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Cosmetology Instructor Requirements

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Cosmetology instructors teach students in cosmetology programs about hair styling, manicuring, skin care and other salon services. Instructors typically have experience working as cosmetologists, as well as additional training that will help them effectively pass their cosmetology knowledge on to students.

Cosmetology Schooling

Becoming a cosmetology instructor requires a high school diploma or GED certificate, as well as enrolling at a cosmetology school to complete the required hours of training to become a licensed cosmetologist. Classes focus on developing skills necessary to function as a cosmetologist. A state board examination is also typically necessary for licensure. Licensing requirements for cosmetologists may vary by state.

Instructor Courses

Candidates must complete cosmetology instructor courses to gain the skills necessary to teach the trade. Training topics include instruction concepts, classroom management, testing, evaluation and lesson planning. Community colleges and technical schools often offer these courses. Students must have active cosmetology licenses to enroll in instructor courses and should already have a broad base of knowledge in cosmetology practices.


Taking the cosmetology instructor examination is the final step required to obtain an instructor license. The tests and requirements vary by state.