Pennsylvania Licensure Requirements

High School Diploma or Equivalent

1 Examination

500 Hours

No Continuing Education Requirement

$118.00 Initial Fee

$120.00 Renewal Fee

An individual who is qualified, without further licensure, to perform the functions of a teacher in cosmetology. The practice of cosmetology includes the embellishment, cleanliness and beautification of the human hair, such as arranging, braiding, dressing, curling, waving, permanent waving, cleansing, cutting, singeing, bleaching, coloring, pressing, or similar work.

Degree Requirement: 

High School Diploma or Equivalent - An applicant must receive a high school diploma or equivalent. Proof of education must be submitted in the form of a copy of the high school diploma or GED diploma issued by Department of Education, unless over 35 years of age or a veteran.

Examination Requirement: 

1 Examination - The State Board examination consists of a theory only exam. The applicant must hold a cosmetology license to be eligible to sit for the examination.


500 Hours - Applicant must complete 500 additional hours in a teacher curriculum of a licensed cosmetology school. Licensed instructors are qualified to perform any of the functions of a teacher, manager, cosmetologist, esthetician, natural hair braider, or nail technician without additional licensure.

Continuing Education: 

No continuing education requirement for licensure.

Initial Licensing Fee: 

$118.00 - $25 application fee & $93 fee to the testing organization

For Reciprocity/Act 41 applicants, there is a $85 fee.

Licensure Renewal Fee: 

$120.00 - Biennial renewal of license

Licensure by Reciprocity & Licensure by Act 41

To apply by reciprocity, applicant must submit an employment certification showing a minimum of two years of licensed work experience in the state, territory or country in which you have a current license.

Act 41 allows for portability of out-of-state professional licensees coming to work in Pennsylvania. Act 41 does this by granting all boards and commissions within the Commonwealth the authority to endorse licensees from other states, territories or jurisdictions (with substantially equivalent licensing requirements) who are active, in good standing and without discipline against their license or criminal conviction.