Alberta means beautiful countryside, and beautiful people. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that the beauty industry in Alberta is a great place to build a client base and hone your skills.

Though schooling is not required to begin a cosmetology or hairdressing career in Alberta, its beauty schools are second to none so you should go to cosmetology school as it can help give you a leg up on the competition, both in Alberta, and Canada-wide. It’s a great place to get your license, and start a lucrative new career.

Edmonton, Alberta skyline
Edmonton, Alberta skyline

Schooling Isn’t Required, But It’s A Good Idea

Alberta has no education requirements to become a cosmetologist so you can even start with classes in high school. But you can opt for a two year apprenticeship program covering at least 2000 hours or at least 24 months. This will get you prepared to qualify for your Alberta exams as a hair stylist.

Formal education is not required as it is in many US states such as California, but it can be an asset, especially if you want to be able to command a higher pay scale, and to specialize in additional beauty techniques, such as foot care, nail care and skin care. You can also take night or weekend cosmetology classes and learn while you work.


After your apprenticeship, you will be required to sit a written exam and theory exam. You will need to apply with the Alberta beauty council and get the dates of the nearest exam. You will need to attach proof of your training, and email an application and fee. Hair dressing, barbering, aesthetics and nail technology is one fee, and fast track exams like waxing and makeup application is another. You may retake any part of a failed exam up to three times before you need to requalify.

Out-Of-Province Candidates

Alberta doesn’t have reciprocity agreements with other states. A person who holds a valid recognized credential does not require an Alberta equivalency document to work in the province.

A hairstylist who holds a valid trade certificate from Alberta or another Canadian province or territory may apply to write the Interprovincial exam. You could then be granted a Red Seal, which would mean you could work anywhere in Canada.

License Renewal?

Because no specific licensing requirements are needed in Alberta you do not need to renew your cosmetology license. Technically, in the province, anyone can own and operate a salon, or work as a hairdresser, cosmetologist or skin care specialist. But the more training you have, the higher you can earn.

Jobs In The Alta. Beauty Scene

The industry in Alberta is always changing. Thanks to the lack of regulation, anyone can open or run a salon or work in one, at the discretion of the owner. But the more well-trained you are, the better your pay will be, and the more work clients you’re likely to get. Check out for advice and job opportunities for beauty specialists in Alberta.

Other Alberta schools for nail technicians, estheticians, cosmetologists and makeup artists.

School websites:

Did we miss any Alberta hairdresser schools in cities like Calgary, Edmonton, and Red Deer in this list? Please let us know.Alberta exam info.