Illinois is a great state for many reasons. Especially in the urban areas there’s a lot happening in the art and music world. For those of us who appreciate great beauty and great performers, it’s the perfect place to start a cosmetology career. If you’ve decided to be a specialist and you’re looking for somewhere to work in the beauty industry, Illinois is a great choice, whether you want to be a makeup artist, or work in a salon or spa. Of course, you’ll need to go through the state board get licensed.
What Does The Illinois State Board of Cosmetology Require of You?
To start a career in the exciting health and beauty industry, you need to begin with a degree or diploma in cosmetology. The program should include 1500 hours of training, and should be longer than 8 months, but shorter than 7 years, in order to qualify you for license.
Your courses will include basic and advanced makeup, chemical relaxing and texture, nail techniques and manicure. You’ll also be given an education in business and salon management and marketing.
The more education you get, the higher your pay tends to be, so it might be in your best interests to take a longer program, and continuing education courses — which can be taken at night school — after graduation.
Actually Getting Your License
Once you’ve finished your full course, you must pass your Illinois written exam. Fill out the application online. When it is approved, you’ll receive information on the study guide, and step-by-step instructions on how to schedule your exams and where.
You must pass the exam with at least 70%, and include your scores with your licensing application. You must study at least 750 hours with an A grade or higher before you can apply for internships.
If you are coming to Illinois from out of state, and you want to update your cosmetology license to an Illinois license, you will need to check with the board as to whether they offer reciprocity for your home state. If your education included 1500 hours of study, and your current license has been active and in good standing for at least a year, you may qualify for reciprocity. You simply pay the fee and apply for an Illinois license.
The list of approved sponsors for continuing education can be found on the Board’s website.
The Department may conduct random audits between licensing periods, so it’s important to keep track of your continuing education hours.
Starting Your Career
Illinois has a vibrant community for cosmetologists. Once you have some experience with an internship through school, or at one of the many spas and salons across the state, whether in Chicago, Peoria, or further from the city.
Chicago has a vibrant art and music scene, so work as a makeup artist is another option for any trained beauty specialist. There are plenty of postings online for a talented artist or hairstylist.
Beauty schools isn’t a piece of cake but you can do it! Check out difficulties you may encounter.
ABC Cosmetology School – River Grove
Arlington Academy of Cosmetology – Buffalo Grove
Capelli Beauty Academy – Chicago
Career Logics Institute – Pekin
Curve Metric School of Hair Design – Elmwood Park
Du Quoin Beauty College – Du Quoin
Aveda Institute Chicago – Chicago
Douglas J Aveda – Chicago
Elite Beauty Insititute – Westmont
Eric Alexander University of Cosmetology and Esthetics – Mount Prospect
Empire Beauty School – Chicago
Empire Beauty School – Stone Park
Empire Beauty School – Vernon Hills
Hair Professionals Academy – Elgin-West Dundee
Hair Professionals Academy – Naperville
Hair Tech Academy – Peoria
Morris Academy of Hair Design – Morris
Josef Phillips Academy – Freeport
Kankakee Academy of Hair Design – Chicago
Ms. Roberts Academy of Beauty Culture – Villa Park
Regency Beauty Institute – NOW CLOSED
The Salon Professional Academy – Elgin
The Salon Professional Academy – Shorewood
Trend Beauty College – Marion
Tricoci University of Beauty Culture – various locations
Vee’s School of Beauty Culture – East St Louis
Did we miss any cosmetology or hair and beauty schools in Chicago and the rest of Illinois? Please let us know.