Cosmetology Schools in Wisconsin

With more than 3,200 beauty salons and a variety of cosmetology training options, Wisconsin can be an ideal place to start your cosmetology career. Browse our directory of cosmetology schools in Wisconsin, or skip ahead to learn about the state's cosmetology licensing requirements and job outlook.

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940 Hansen Road
Ashwaubenon, WI 54304

(920) 494-1430
Cosmetology, Esthetics

5655 South 27th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53221

(414) 282-4110
Cosmetology, Esthetics

353 East Campus Mall
Madison, WI 53715

(608) 250-3100
Cosmetology, Esthetics, Barbering, Nail Technology, Massage Therapy, Teacher Training

327 East Saint Paul Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53202

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

2310 West Court Street
Janesville, WI 53548

(888) 616-9051
Cosmetology, Esthetics, Barbering, Nail Technology, Teacher Training

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Academy of Beauty Professionals - Appleton – Accredited

525 Westhill Boulevard
Appleton, WI 54914

Academy of Beauty Professionals - Green Bay – Accredited

2575 West Mason Street
Green Bay, WI 54303

Academy of Beauty Professionals - Madison – Accredited

6414 Odana Road
Madison, WI 53719

Advanced College of Cosmetology – Accredited

25 West Main Street
Waupun, WI 53963

Beauty Is Skin Deep By Antee

5600 West Brown Deer Road
Brown Deer, WI 53223

Bella Academy of Cosmetology

1440 South 39th Street
Manitowoc, WI 54220

Chanell Ardor Schools of Beauty and Culture

1810 South Park Street
Madison, WI 53713

Chippewa Valley Technical College

620 West Clairemont Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54701

First Class Cosmetology School – Accredited

306 State Street
Beloit, WI 53511

Fox Valley Technical College

1825 North Bluemound Drive
Appleton, WI 54912

Gateway Technical College

3520 30th Avenue
Kenosha, WI 53144

I M Beauty School Of Aesthetics

5416 North Lovers Lane Road
RdMilwaukee, WI 53225

Madison Area Technical College

1701 Wright Street
Madison, WI 53704

Mid-State Technical College

500 32nd Street North Wisconsin Rapids
Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494

Milwaukee Area Technical College

700 West State Street
Milwaukee, WI 53233

Moraine Park Technical College

235 North National Avenue
Fond Du Lac, WI 54935

Nicolet Area Technical College

5364 College Drive
Rhinelander, WI 54501

Northcentral Technical College

1000 Campus Drive
Wausau, WI 54401

Northwood Technical College - Rice Lake

1900 College Drive
Rice Lake, WI 54868

Northwood Technical College - Superior

600 North 21st Street
Superior, WI 54880

Paul Mitchell The School Madison – Accredited

7021 Tree Lane
Madison, WI 53717

Paul Mitchell The School Milwaukee – Accredited

11415 West Burleigh Street Suite 107
Wauwatosa, WI 53222

Southwest Wisconsin Technical College

1800 Bronson Boulevard
Fennimore, WI 53809

State College of Beauty Culture – Accredited

1930 Grand Avenue
Wausau, WI 54403

The Professional Hair Design Academy – Accredited

3408 Mall Drive
Eau Claire, WI 54701

The Salon Professional Academy - Appleton – Accredited

3355 West College Avenue
Appleton, WI 54914

The Salon Professional Academy - Kenosha – Accredited

3701 80th Street Suite B
Kenosha, WI 53142

The Salon Professional Academy - Onalaska – Accredited

566 Theater Road
Onalaska, WI 54650

VICI Beauty School – Accredited

4111 South 108th Street
Greenfield, WI 53228

Waukesha County Technical College

800 Main Street
Pewaukee, WI 53072
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 Wisconsin have to offer.

Cost of Cosmetology School Across WI

Metro Average Tuition
Madison $20,911
Milwaukee $19,435
Green Bay / Appleton $18,112
Rockford $17,995
La Crosse / Eau Claire $16,228
Wausau / Rhinelander $14,900

Comparing Program Costs in WI

Cosmetology School Costs
Highest range: $14,057 - $26,013
Lowest range: $2,100 - $14,057
Average: $18,313
Esthetics/Skin Care School Costs
Highest range: $9,249 - $11,700
Lowest range: $6,798 - $9,249
Average: $9,114
Nail Technology School Costs
Highest range: $3,325 - $4,950
Lowest range: $1,700 - $3,325
Average: $3,409
Barbering School Costs
Highest range: $14,058 - $15,526
Lowest range: $12,590 - $14,058
Average: $13,925

How to Become a Cosmetologist in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Cosmetology Careers At A Glance
  • 1,550 education hours or 4,000 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 Wisconsin is $31,970.
  • There is a predicted 2% job decrease between 2018–2028 for cosmetologists.

If you want to earn a cosmetology license in Wisconsin, you must meet several requirements, including:

  • Be at least 18 years old or have graduated from high school or the equivalent
  • Have completed at least 1,550 training hours over at least ten months in a state-approved school of cosmetology OR completed at least 4,000 training hours via an approved apprenticeship
  • Pass theoretical and practical exams
  • Apply for your license and pay the $11 fee (dropped from $82 in 2019)

You may be required to undergo medical and criminal history background checks during the licensing process. Having a criminal record does not automatically mean that your application will be turned down. However, it likely will be refused if you’ve previously committed a felony while engaged in the practice of cosmetology.

Cosmetology Salary in Wisconsin and Projected Job Growth


Average yearly salary for cosmetologists in Wisconsin

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual wage earned by licensed cosmetologists in Wisconsin in 2021 was $31,970 (or $15.37 per hour). This is below the national average of $35,990 ($15.74 per hour). However, the top 10% of cosmetologists in Wisconsin made $47,740 or more in 2021.

Future employment prospects are well below the nationwide average, with the number of cosmetology jobs projected to decrease by 2% through 2028. However, as beauty professionals retire and leave the field, cosmetologist positions will still become available.

The highest-paying metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas for cosmetologists in Wisconsin are:

Metro Area 2021 Median Salary
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI $36,530
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI $36,500
Madison, WI $29,950
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI $29,730
Oshkosh-Neenah, WI $29,030
Appleton, WI $28,860
Wausau, WI $28,720

Table information sourced from O*Net (2022)

What to Expect From a Cosmetology Program in Wisconsin

1,550 Hours

Time to complete a cosmetology program in Wisconsin

The first step toward gaining your license is attending a state-approved cosmetology program and completing the required 1,550 hours of training. You'll cover a wide range of topics relevant to the job during your education, including hair cutting and styling, manicuring, and facials. You'll also learn about business-related topics, such as marketing, finance, and safety practices.

Just like practicing cosmetologists, schools must also be licensed and need to keep up with certain standards to maintain their state-approved status.

Can I Apprentice as a Cosmetologist in Wisconsin?

4,000 Hours

Time to complete a cosmetology apprenticeship in Wisconsin

You can earn your cosmetology license in Wisconsin through an apprenticeship. For a list of available apprentice positions with state-approved employers, check out the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) site.

Cosmetology apprentice permits in Wisconsin cost $10 and are valid for three years from the issue date. Within that time, you must complete at least 3,712 hours of practical training and 288 theory-based hours.

Wisconsin Cosmetology Licensing Requirements

Before obtaining a cosmetology license in Wisconsin, you’ll have to take and pass theoretical (written) and practical exams overseen by the state board’s official exam partner, DL Roope.

If you graduated from a licensed cosmetology program, you can get a paper exam application from your school (along with a money order to pay the relevant fees). Applications are also available online. If you apply online, your school will be notified that you've applied.

The practical portion of the exam and the Wisconsin state law questions are only in English. The written exam is available in additional languages, which applicants can select during the application process.

DL Roope and the state board comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and make extra accommodations during exams if needed. If you believe you need extra help, you must fill out the appropriate forms in advance and submit them to the exam board for review.

On the day of your exams, plan to dress appropriately, in the same manner as you would when working. Hair should be neat and jewelry limited. Examiners don’t permit watches, cell phones, or other electronic items in the exam room, so make sure you leave those in your bag or locker before entering.

Practical Exam for Cosmetology in Wisconsin

The practical portion of the exam takes approximately four to five hours to complete and consists of the following sections:

  • Work area and client preparation, and set up of supplies
  • Thermal curling
  • Hair cutting
  • Work area and new client preparation, and set up of supplies
  • Chemical waving
  • Predisposition test and strand test with simulated product
  • Highlighting with foil, virgin application with colored simulated product
  • Hair color retouch with colored simulated product
  • Virgin hair relaxer application with colored simulated product
  • Blood exposure procedure
  • Hair removal of the eyebrows by tweezing and using simulated soft wax
  • Manicure and polish application

Theoretical (Written) Exam for Cosmetology in Wisconsin

The theory exam takes 90 minutes to complete and contains 110 questions, of which 100 contribute to your final score. They cover the following topics:

  • Scientific Concepts: 30%
  • Hair Care and Services: 40%
  • Skin Care and Services: 15%
  • Nail Care and Services: 15%

You must receive a scaled score of 75 to pass both exams. You can receive your test results in the mail or via the DL Roope web portal.

Wisconsin Cosmetology Licensure Reciprocity

If you have a cosmetology license in another state, you may be able to obtain your Wisconsin license via reciprocity/endorsement, but not all out-of-state licenses are eligible. Wisconsin maintains a list of states and licenses the board has determined to be non-reciprocal.

To be eligible for a reciprocal license, applicants must hold a current license in good standing in another state, pay the licensing fee, and complete an approved one-hour course on Wisconsin statutes and administrative code.

Military Reciprocity and Waivers for Wisconsin

If you're an active service member (or the spouse of an active service member) and your license expires while you're on active duty, the Wisconsin Act 210 allows you to extend your license by an extra 180 days from your date of discharge.

Cosmetology License Renewal in Wisconsin

2 Years

License renewal period

0 Hours

Continuing education required

Cosmetologists in Wisconsin must renew their licenses every two years. All renewals are due on March 31st of every odd year. Each renewal costs $11, though if you submit your renewal late, the price increases to $36.

Since the passing of the 2017 Wisconsin Act 81, cosmetologists have not been required to complete any continuing education hours when renewing a standard license.

Contact the Wisconsin State Board of Cosmetology

Department of Safety and Professional Services

Resources for Cosmetologists in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (Cosmetologists)
The Wisconsin state board regulates and issues cosmetology licenses. The site provides information on cosmetology laws and statutes in the state.

DL Roope
The state board’s official exam partner provides several resources for aspiring cosmetologists, including candidate information bulletins, cosmetology handbooks, exam information, and more.

Wisconsin Cosmetology & Barbering Association
This private Facebook group is open to license holders, salon owners, students, and anyone connected to the cosmetology industry. Resources include product reviews, upcoming events, and equipment for sale.


How to Become a Cosmetologist in Your State

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