Cosmetology Schools in Pennsylvania

If you hope to become a cosmetologist in Pennsylvania, now may be the time to jump on the opportunity. The number of available cosmetology jobs is projected to grow rapidly over the next decade.

Browse our directory of cosmetology schools in Pennsylvania, or skip ahead to learn about the state's cosmetology licensing requirements and job outlook.

Browse All Cosmetology Schools in Pennsylvania

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211 South Gulph Road Suite 100
King Of Prussia, PA 19406

(484) 690-1400
Cosmetology, Esthetics, Massage Therapy

130 7th Street
Monessen, PA 15062

Cosmetology, Esthetics, Nail Technology, Massage Therapy

1000 Carlisle Street
Hanover, PA 17331

(717) 633-6201
Cosmetology, Nail Technology, Teacher Training

3941 Jonestown Road
Harrisburg, PA 17109

(717) 652-8500
Cosmetology, Nail Technology, Teacher Training

1801 Columbia Avenue
Lancaster, PA 17603

(717) 394-8561
Cosmetology, Nail Technology, Teacher Training

1776 Quentin Road
Lebanon, PA 17042

(717) 272-3323
Cosmetology, Nail Technology, Teacher Training

320 Mall Boulevard
Monroeville, PA 15146

(412) 373-7727
Cosmetology, Nail Technology, Teacher Training

3370 Birney Avenue
Moosic, PA 18507

(520) 327-6544
Cosmetology, Nail Technology, Teacher Training

1522 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

(570) 429-4321
Cosmetology, Nail Technology, Teacher Training

4026 Woodhaven Road
Philadelphia, PA 19154

(215) 637-3700
Cosmetology, Esthetics, Nail Technology, Teacher Training

4768 Mcknight Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15237

(412) 367-1765
Cosmetology, Nail Technology, Teacher Training

396 Pottsville St. Clair Highway
Pottsville, PA 17901

(270) 765-3374
Cosmetology, Esthetics, Nail Technology, Teacher Training

2302 North 5th Street Highway
Reading, PA 19605

(267) 627-6641
Cosmetology, Nail Technology, Teacher Training

30 Baldwin Boulevard Suite 50
Shamokin Dam, PA 17876

(616) 349-7026
Cosmetology, Nail Technology, Teacher Training

799 West Sproul Road
Springfield, PA 19064

(336) 252-5498
Cosmetology, Nail Technology, Teacher Training

2394 Mountain View Drive
West Mifflin, PA 15122

(412) 653-2870
Cosmetology, Nail Technology, Teacher Training

1634 Macarthur Road
Whitehall, PA 18052

(973) 932-0974
Cosmetology, Nail Technology, Teacher Training

1000 Easton Road
Wyncote, PA 19095

(856) 320-5341
Cosmetology, Nail Technology

2592 Eastern Boulevard
York, PA 17402

(602) 249-1262
Cosmetology, Nail Technology, Teacher Training

50 Ranck Avenue
Lancaster, PA 17602

Cosmetology, Esthetics, Massage Therapy, Nail Technology, Teacher Training

215 West Main Street
Lansdale, PA 19446

Barbering, Cosmetology

11 East Penn Street
Uniontown, PA 15401

(724) 439-4900
Cosmetology, Esthetics, Nail Technology, Massage Therapy, Teacher Training

200 Sterling Avenue
Sharon, PA 16146

Cosmetology, Esthetics, Nail Technology, Massage Therapy, Hair Design, Teacher Training

2370 Broadway Avenue
Hermitage, PA 16159

(724) 983-0700
Cosmetology, Esthetics, Nail Technology, Massage Therapy, Hair Design, Teacher Training

50 East Butler Pike
Ambler, PA 19002

Barbering, Cosmetology, Esthetics, Makeup Artistry, Nail Technology, Teacher Training

9902 East Roosevelt Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19115

Barbering, Cosmetology, Esthetics, Makeup Artistry, Nail Technology, Teacher Training

344 Stroud Mall Road
Stroudsburg, PA 18360

Barbering, Cosmetology, Esthetics, Makeup Artistry, Nail Technology, Teacher Training

153 Lehigh Valley Mall
Whitehall, PA 18052

Cosmetology, Esthetics, Barbering, Nail Technology, Makeup Artistry, Teacher Training

369 Schoonmaker Avenue
Monessen, PA 15062

Cosmetology, Esthetics, Nail Technology, Teacher Training

415 D Orchard Avenue
Altoona, PA 16601

Cosmetology, Esthetics, Nail Technology, Teacher Training

130 West Main Street Suite 106
Collegeville, PA 19426

(610) 489-7788
Cosmetology, Esthetics, Nail Technology, Teacher Training

1980 Edinboro Road
Erie, PA 16509

Cosmetology, Esthetics, Barbering, Makeup Artistry, Teacher Training
Venus Beauty Academy – Accredited

600 Turner Industrial Way
Aston, PA 19014

Cosmetology, Esthetics, Nail Technology, Teacher Training

Find Cosmetology Schools Near You

Altoona Beauty School – Accredited

1528 Valley View Boulevard
Altoona, PA 16602

American Barber Academy – Accredited

733 Lancaster Avenue Unit A
Reading, PA 19607

Ayanna Beauty and Business Academy

307 Beaver Valley Mall Boulevard
Monaca, PA 15061

Barber and Beauty Academy of Pennsylvania – Accredited

3849 C Union Deposit Road
Harrisburg, PA 17110

BBC Beauty Academy

6790 Market Street
Upper Darby, PA 19082

Bella Capelli Academy - Monroeville – Accredited

151 Wyngate Drive
Monroeville, PA 15146

Bella Capelli Academy - Pittsburgh – Accredited

2 Robinson Plaza Suite 100
Pittsburgh, PA 15205

Belle Institute

6534 Castor Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19149

Berks Career & Technology Center

1057 County Road
Leesport, PA 19533

Born Again Barber Academy

3831 Walnut Street Unit B
Harrisburg, PA 17109

Bucks County School of Beauty Culture – Accredited

1761 Bustleton Pike
Feasterville, PA 19053

Butler Beauty Academy – Accredited

233 South Main Street
Butler, PA 16001

Butler County Community College

107 College Drive
Butler, PA 16002

Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science & Technology – Accredited

540 North Harrison Road
Pleasant Gap, PA 16823

Chrome Institute of Cosmetology – Accredited

1 Campus Boulevard
Newtown Square, PA 19073

Clearfield County Career and Technology Center

1620 River Road
Clearfield, PA 16830

Dauphin County Technical School

6001 Locust Lane
Harrisburg, PA 17109

DeRielle Cosmetology Academy

11 North Railroad Avenue 19
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

Dream Cosmetology Institute

1715 Markley Street suite 1725
Norristown, PA 19401

Eastern Westmoreland CTC

4904 PA-982
Latrobe, PA 15650

Forbes Road Career and Technology Center

607 Beatty Road
Monroeville, PA 15146

Fortis Institute - Scranton – Accredited

517 Ash Street
Scranton, PA 18509

Fountain of Youth Academy of Cosmetology - Bellevue – Accredited

616 Lincoln Avenue
Bellevue, PA 15202

Fountain of Youth Academy of Cosmetology - Pittsburgh – Accredited

5824 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15217

Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center

1500 Fourth Avenue
Altoona, PA 16602

Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center

445 Schoolhouse Road
Johnstown, PA 15904

Hazleton Area Career Center

1451 West 23rd Street
Hazle Township, PA 18202

Indiana County Technology Center

441 Hamill Road
Indiana, PA 15701

Jean Madeline Aveda Institute – Accredited

3943-45 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Jean Madeline Aveda Institute - Bensalem – Accredited

528 Neshaminy Mall
Bensalem, PA 19020

Jean Madeline Aveda Institute - Queen Village – Accredited

315 A Bainbridge Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

Jean Madeline Aveda Institute - University City – Accredited

3945 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Kittanning Beauty Academy – Accredited

120 Market Street
Kittanning, PA 16201

L & D Multicultural Academy of Beauty and Barber Science

225 Washington Street
Johnstown, PA 15901

L T International Beauty School

2520 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19132

Lawrence County Career Tech

750 Phelps Way
New Castle, PA 16101

Lebanon County Area Vocational Technical School

833 Metro Drive
Lebanon, PA 17042

Lehigh Valley Barber School - Bethlehem – Accredited

1517B Irene Street
Bethlehem, PA 18017

Lehigh Valley Barber School - Philadelphia – Accredited

114 North 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Lp Modern Beauty Academy

6938 Market Street
Upper Darby, PA 19082

Metro Beauty Academy – Accredited

4977 Medical Center Circle
Allentown, PA 18106

New Castle Beauty Academy – Accredited

314 East Washington Street
New Castle, PA 16101

Noe Noonan School of Cosmetology

5739 West Ridge Road Building B
Erie, PA 16506

North Hills Beauty Academy – Accredited

813 West View Park Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15229

Pittsburgh Multicultural Cosmetology Academy – Accredited

415 Smithfield Street Floor 3
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Professional Academy of Cosmetology

516 East Marshall Street
Norristown, PA 19401

Queen Beauty Academy

6133 Colgate Street
Philadelphia, PA 19111

Reading Muhlenberg Career & Technology Center

2615 Warren Road
Reading, PA 19604

Shears Cosmetology School

50 Alexander Spring Road
Carlisle, PA 17015

Somerset County Technology Center

281 Technology Drive
Somerset, PA 15501

South Hills Beauty Academy – Accredited

3269 West Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15216

Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center – Accredited

2380 Elk Lake School Road
Springville, PA 18844

The Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County

3201 Rockwell Avenue
Scranton, PA 18508

Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy - Washington

230 Oak Spring Road
Washington, PA 15301

Universal A Rising Sun Beauty School

4717 Rising Sun Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19120

Walk with Scissors

135 East Emaus Street
Middletown, PA 17057

West Side Career & Technology Centers

75 Evans Street
Kingston, PA 18704

York County School of Technology

2179 South Queen Street
York, PA 17402
Accredited School

You must attend a school that meets any licensure requirements as defined by your state. Most states require that you graduate from an accredited or state-approved school.

Find a Cosmetology School Near You

Check out the Cosmetology schools these cities in Pennsylvania have to offer.

Cost of Cosmetology School Across PA

Metro Average Tuition
Wilkes Barre / Scranton / Hazleton $16,713
Harrisburg $16,319
Philadelphia $16,226
Pittsburgh $15,054
Johnstown / Altoona $13,387

Comparing Program Costs in PA

Barbering School Costs
Highest range: $14,723 - $20,000
Lowest range: $9,445 - $14,723
Average: $16,973
Cosmetology School Costs
Highest range: $13,520 - $22,500
Lowest range: $4,540 - $13,520
Average: $15,804
Esthetics/Skin Care School Costs
Highest range: $5,250 - $8,100
Lowest range: $2,400 - $5,250
Average: $5,132
Nail Technology School Costs
Highest range: $4,814 - $6,999
Lowest range: $2,628 - $4,814
Average: $3,902

How to Become a Cosmetologist in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Cosmetology Careers At A Glance
  • 1,200 education hours or 2,000 apprentice hours are required to become licensed.
  • You must renew your license every 2 years.
  • 0 continuing education hours are required to renew your license.
  • The average salary for cosmetologists in Pennsylvania is $34,400.
  • There is a predicted 27% job increase between 2020-2030 for cosmetologists.

To become a cosmetologist in Pennsylvania, you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Have completed 10th grade (this requirement is waived if you're at least 35 years old)
  • Have completed 1,250 hours of training at a licensed cosmetology school or 2,000 hours as an apprentice in a licensed salon
  • Pass the State Board theory examination
  • Apply for licensure and pay a $10 application fee and $93 exam fee
  • Have been examined by a physician and declared free of all contagious and infectious diseases
  • Submit a criminal background check for every state you've lived in over the last five years

Cosmetologist Salary and Projected Job Growth in Pennsylvania


Average yearly salary for cosmetology in Pennsylvania

On average, cosmetologists in Pennsylvania earn $34,400 annually ($16.54 per hour) as of 2021. However, wages vary across the state based on geographic location, workplace, hours worked, and years of experience, with reported earnings ranging from $17,890 to $61,000 annually.

The cosmetology profession is growing quickly in Pennsylvania, with an expected job growth rate of 27% by 2028.

The highest-paying areas for cosmetologists in Pennsylvania are:

Area 2021 Median Salary
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA $30,440
Bloomsburg-Berwick, PA $29,910
Reading, PA $28,860
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD $28,740
State College, PA $28,740

Data from O*Net (2022)

What to Expect From a Cosmetology Program in Pennsylvania

1,200 Education Hours

Required to earn a cosmetology license

Cosmetology students in Pennsylvania must complete 1,250 hours of education at a licensed cosmetology school and pass an exam.

The cosmetology curriculum at an approved cosmetology school in Pennsylvania must include:

1. Professional Practices (50 recommended hours):

  • Bacteriology, disinfection, and sanitation
  • Business practices
  • Pennsylvania cosmetology law
  • Professional attitude

2. Sciences (200 recommended hours):

  • Chemistry
  • Cosmetic dermatology
  • Electricity
  • Histology
  • Physiology
  • Trichology

3. Cosmetology Skills—Cognitive and Manipulative (1,000 recommended hours):

Licensed cosmetologists in Pennsylvania can perform the same services as nail technicians, natural hair braiders, and estheticians without additional licenses.

For a cosmetology school to remain licensed in Pennsylvania, it must:

  1. Only enroll students with a minimum of an 8th-grade education or equivalent and who are of good moral character and free of contagious and infectious diseases
  2. Maintain a sufficient number of registered teachers
  3. Possess an adequate amount of proper equipment necessary for training
  4. Maintain student attendance records
  5. Provide State Board reports on student hours
  6. Hold regular instruction hours
  7. Include day training lasting at least eight months or night training of at least 15 months
  8. Have a grading system and hold exams
  9. Be managed by a designated school supervisor
  10. Have a minimum ratio of one teacher to every 25 students
  11. Maintain a curriculum consisting of practical demonstrations and theoretical studies and education in antiseptics, cosmetics, sanitation, sterilization, and electrical appliances related to cosmetology
  12. Maintain a separate curriculum of 500 hours for prospective teachers
  13. Supply a written affidavit stating compliance with Pennsylvania's cosmetology law upon license renewal

While students can practice their skills on members of the public, customers may only be charged for the cost of the materials used and not the students' work.

Can I Apprentice as a Cosmetologist in Pennsylvania?

2,000 Hours

Required to complete a cosmetology apprenticeship

Individuals wishing to pursue their training through an apprenticeship program must file an application for an apprentice permit with the State Board. Applicants must meet the expectations of traditionally-trained cosmetology students, such as having completed at least 10th grade.

The apprentice permit lasts 21 months, and apprentices are required to take the state exam—though they can get a temporary license to practice between finishing their apprenticeship and taking the test.

A board-approved licensed cosmetologist must oversee the apprenticeship and cover the same materials as the school curriculum. The cosmetologist in charge of the apprentices must provide quarterly reports about their apprentices' hours, provide equipment (including a mannequin), and require them to work a minimum of 25 hours per week.

High School Cosmetology Programs in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania allows high school students attending approved schools to undergo a career and technical education (CTE) program in cosmetology, generally over the three years of grades 10 through 12. The educational requirements are the same as they are for traditional cosmetology programs.

Cosmetology Programs for Incarcerated People in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania allows incarcerated people ages 21 and over to complete cosmetology and barbering programs, providing they meet all qualifications determined by the state's Department of Corrections.

Pennsylvania Cosmetology Licensing Requirements

You must take a written examination to become a licensed cosmetologist in Pennsylvania. However, the state doesn't require a practical test.

If you're a traditional cosmetology student, you must complete 900 hours before applying to take the test. However, you can't get your license until you've passed the exam and completed all 1,250 hours of education.

Apprentices need to complete 2,000 hours of training before testing. They also must pass the theory/procedural skills exam, which costs $93.

After submitting a completed application along with the relevant documents and fees, you'll receive an approval to test notice via email.

Once you receive your notice, you can schedule your exam date online through the Pearson VUE web reservations site. You must schedule your exam at least 48 hours in advance.

Testing sites are in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Allentown, Erie, Plymouth Meeting, and Scranton. Frequency varies based on the site, but the exams are usually offered a few days each week.

You can also take the test outside Pennsylvania in Newark, Delaware; Cumberland, Maryland; or Morgantown, West Virginia.

The test is offered in English, Korean, Spanish, and Vietnamese. You will be allotted 2 hours and 15 minutes to take the test.

The Pennsylvania cosmetology exam consists of 110 scored multiple-choice questions and 25 pretest questions. Pretest questions aren't graded and are used as insight for future tests.

On the test day, check in with the test center administrator. You should arrive 30 minutes before your exam. Late arrivals won't be permitted to take the test.

You need to bring two forms of signed identification with you. The first form of identification must include a photo. Accepted forms of photo identification are:

  • Driver's license or learner's permit
  • Government-issued ID
  • Military ID
  • Passport
  • Permanent residency card

The second form of identification must include a signature. A Social Security card, debit card, or photo-bearing school ID are acceptable.

You can apply for Americans with Disabilities Act accommodations by submitting documentation regarding your condition and how it impacts your test-taking abilities.

The exam includes the following sections:

  1. Rules, regulations, and safety
  2. Trichology
  3. Shampoo/scalp analysis
  4. Styling
  5. Haircutting
  6. Hair color and lightening
  7. Permanent waving
  8. Chemical straightening and relaxing
  9. Esthetics
  10. Nails

A passing score is 75. You'll receive your exam results on the day of testing. After passing the exam, you can expect to receive your license in the mail within 10-15 business days.

If you don't pass, you can apply to retake the exam online at the web reservations site 24 hours after the failed exam. You must pay the $93 exam fee each time you take the test.

Pennsylvania Cosmetology Licensure Reciprocity

Licensure reciprocity is available in Pennsylvania for cosmetologists from most other states. If you're moving to Pennsylvania and want to practice cosmetology in the state, you must submit an application with relevant documents. The state board may take several weeks to complete the reciprocity process, so it's best to apply as early as possible.

Pennsylvania has reciprocal agreements with every state except:

  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah

If you're from one of those states, you must take and pass the Pennsylvania cosmetology exam.

Military veterans can waive the 10th-grade education requirement for the cosmetology exam.

Cosmetology Specialties in Pennsylvania

Cosmetology is a vast field in Pennsylvania. You can find your passion in various areas and pursue continuing education rather than an additional license to practice those specialties.

Some potential specialties include:

Nail technology is also a separate license in Pennsylvania. So, you could begin with that and later get your full cosmetology license if you like.

Pennsylvania also offers licenses in natural hair and braiding, esthetics, and cosmetology education.

Additionally, you should research what's popular in your area to help you decide the types of courses and certifications you should pursue.

License Renewal

2 Years

License renewal period

0 Hours

Continuing education required

Cosmetologist licenses in Pennsylvania expire on Jan. 31 of either an odd-numbered or even-numbered year, so expect to renew your license every two years. The renewal fee is $67. Licenses are typically renewed within three calendar days.

If your license expires, you may reactivate it if it's been fewer than five years since it was active. You must retake the test if it's been more than five years.

There are no continuing education requirements for cosmetologists in Pennsylvania.

Contact the Pennsylvania State Board of Cosmetology

Pennsylvania Department of State

How to Become a Cosmetologist in Your State

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