Getting Your Cosmetology Manager’s License

What is a cosmetology manager?

A cosmetology manager is essentially a cosmetologist who oversees the activities of hair styling, manicures, pedicures, skincare, electrology, and cosmetics in a salon or beauty shop. A cosmetology manager must be certified and licensed to operate a beauty salon. This is to protect both the cosmetology manager and the people they manage from bad practices, and to ensure that services reach a minimum standard.

How to Obtain a Cosmetology Manager License

You can obtain your license in three different ways:

  1. Licensure by examination
  2. Licensure by endorsement or state transfers
  3. Reinstatement of licensure

Licensure By Examination

To obtain a cosmetology manager’s license, a student must first get a cosmetology license. A cosmetology license is only issued after a student meets the following requirements:

  • Attend a licensed and accredited beauty school and complete the minimum training hours. The state of Washington requires 1500 hours for cosmetology..
  • Practice under a licensed cosmetologist and obtain a minimum 2000 hours of practice
  • Take and pass your state’s cosmetology exam
  • Pass the cosmetology manager licensing exam issued by your state board of cosmetology

After passing the exam, a license will be issued.

Licensure By Endorsement

You could also apply for a licensure by endorsement if you are moving from a different state. Each state has different requirements, but they generally request that the candidate pay a reciprocity licensing fee first. After that, the applicant needs to provide a letter of endorsement showing they have met the basic cosmetology requirements in their state. You must also have passed the licensing exam in your state.

Reinstatement of Licensure (License Renewal)

You could also obtain a new license if the old one has expired. However, you must pass both the written and practical portions of the current licensing.

Each state may vary, but Washington State requires you to take six hours of continuing education before your license can be renewed.

You can renew your license online or by mail. A fee is charged for late renewals.

If you are late for more than a year, the license gets cancelled and you must re-apply for a new one and retake the exams as well.

The common reasons why people are denied licenses are:

  • Failure to meet the required training hours of both practice and theory
  • Criminal convictions
  • Professional practice charges

People who have trained in a professional cosmetology manager program do not frequently have issues with these because they have been taught the proper procedures to follow.

Start at Evergreen

By law, any cosmetology manager must have a license to work in a cosmetology manager position. Different states have different requirements for issuing licenses. Please check with your state for specific cosmetology licensing requirements before applying for one. If you want to get a start on a cosmetology education at Evergreen Beauty College, visit our programs page or contact us to learn more!

Frank Trieu
Vice President of Business Development & Industry Relations

Frank Trieu is a cosmetology industry leader, and despite his accomplishments and accolades, he still prioritizes students on the Evergreen campus. Through building relationships within the community and local salons, retail stores, and spas, he helps facilitate job placements for aspiring beauty professionals using his expansive network.

Happy Evergreen Beauty College Students


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James denithorne
James denithorne
9 years ago

To open a salon do I need a managers license in penna. How would I obtain one ?

9 years ago

What do you mean by penna? Depending on the state that you live in, you will want to contact your Department of Licensing for information on obtaining the proper license.

Rita Kiefer
Rita Kiefer
4 years ago

I Learned in beauty school in 1969 that If you’re the owner & always there, no. When you’re not there you need someone to be there with a managers license. You need an operators license.

Ivan Do
Ivan Do
4 years ago

What kind of books for nails salon
Manager liences ?

Rita Kiefer
Rita Kiefer
4 years ago
Reply to  Ivan Do

Used to be you need an hairdresser operator’s license which includes manicures. And owner must always be there to be manager. Or someone with managers license. I’m talking 1969-1980