Why Do Cosmetologists and Manicurists Need to be Licensed?

Why do cosmetologist and manicurist need to be licensed? It looks like a fairly simple job, but there is a lot to becoming a cosmetologist or manicurist that people don’t realize. For almost any career in the beauty field, a state-approved training program and exam is required. This is to protect customers from untrained employees who may damage to their appearance or body.

Licencing For Cosmetologists and Manicurists

Here is the break-down of why cosmetologists and manicurists need to be licenced as well as their education and skill requirements:


Why Do I Need A License? 

Let’s say that someone walks into a beauty clinic and wants a perm. While this seems simple enough, how does the cosmetologist know the hair is in good enough condition so the perm won’t break the hair off? He/she needs to check the elasticity, texture, and porosity of the air. These types of skills can only be received through hands-on training.

Education Requirements 

The exact requirements will vary depending on the state, but at a minimum you will need a high school diploma and a state-approved training cosmetology training program. Usually, these programs involve a nine month course and a minimum of 1500-3000 hours of training. Once you pass the final exam, you will be granted a license to practice cosmetology.


Interpersonal skills and creativity are important for anyone working in the beauty industry. The final exam will also test the your practical and written skills along with their ability to work well with clients. You will also need to take some time learning how to properly sanitize and clean the equipment and working area.


Why Do I Need a License? 

Nail art is one of the only types of art where the artist needs a license to create their canvas. The reason why you need a license is that you’re doing this service for money, so customers need to be confident that you know what you are doing when you touch their hands.

Education Requirements

To become a manicurist you must be at least sixteen, completed high school, and finished a manicuring course from a registered cosmetology school. Required hours will depend on your state, but it usually ranges between 200-600 hours and requires a combination of hands-on training and classes.


Manicurists need to be extremely good with their hands and have a knack for art. In the next ten years, the demand for pedicurists is expected to grow by over 17%, so if you do your job well, word will spread and you will get many more customers.


The cosmetology/manicuring field is perfect if you are a “people person” who likes art and are good with your hands. This industry is about more than glamour, it is about satisfying each customer and making them want to come back for more. For more information on why do cosmetologist and manicurist need to be licensed, www.evergreenbeauty.edu.

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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kathleen alvarez
kathleen alvarez
9 years ago

How do these nail shops stay open without a license,I’ve been in these salons and asked the girl where she went to school and she said “she learned on her own and has no license”What’s up with that?

9 years ago

It is very sad. If you come across these places, please report them into the Department of Licensing as keeping these places open is not protecting the safety of the public. As a citizen, we need to work together with the government to keep things check and balanced.

matt lobel
matt lobel
10 months ago

Not only do these job restrictions adversely impact low-income and minority Americans, but they also raise costs on consumers. The license is an arbitrary barrier to entry for a decent paying job. Consumers go to hair stylists they trust, no one asks for their license before they see them. And if consumers want certified stylists, those stylists can just get certifications from third party entities like this one. The only people who benefit from these restrictions are incumbent stylists who are able to prevent competition from entering the industry.