Are you looking for a great career, where you can meet new people and take on new challenges every day? Beauty is more than a business, but the Massachusetts cosmetology industry is continually growing, with great schools and programs across the state, that can help lead you to a rewarding career.

If you’re passionate about making the world a more beautiful place one person at a time, getting a cosmetology license may be the answer.

Boston skyline
Boston skyline by Fcb981 [GFDL

How Many Hours Is It To Get A Basic Beauty License In MA?

Before you can qualify for your cosmetology licence in the state of Massachusetts, you need to be at least 17 years old, and have at least at 10th grade education. Through study at a institution, you will qualify for either Type 1 Operator license, a hairdresser/cosmetologist, or a cosmetologist instructor license. Each of these licenses come with their own requirements, but you will need to start with 1000 hours of training in both theory and practice. Interestingly, most states like California and Illinois don’t have a tiered system but require more hours for cosmetology training.

You’ll be studying a variety of hair and skin care techniques, such as

  • facial massage
  • skin care
  • hair treatments like relaxing, coloring, and styling

Your education will consist of both theory and practice.

Getting Your MA Cosmetology License

Once you’ve completed your basic cosmetologist training of 1000 hours, you can take your Operator Type 2 license exams. You’ll need to register for the exam at the same time as submitting your application for licensing. Your school will provide you with your education completion and licensing application forms. You must pass the written and practical exams within two years of getting your education to qualify for license.


Massachusetts does not accept reciprocity agreements or licensure by endorsement. Instead, if you want to change your license, you must take the state’s written and practical exams. You also need to apply for the transfer application, and pay a separate fee. If your training hours are less than required by Massachusetts’s state law, you may also be required to make up those hours.

Renew Your Massachusetts Cosmetology License

Your first renewal occurs one year after your receive your license. After that, your license needs to be renewed every two years by your birthday.

No continuing education is required, but if you want to upgrade after you have gained two years of experience, you need to apply with a separate application, and a copy of your current license.

If you wish to update two years after you’ve received a Type 1 license, you can then become a cosmetologist instructor.

MA Job Opportunities For Beauticians

Because of Massachusetts’s tiered system, you will always be growing and challenging yourself in this industry!

You may choose to start at a salon, then open your own spa, and finally become a successful instructor. Or you could start with freelancing, by renting out a chair in an established boutique, and add nail technician and makeup artistry courses to continue in a high-end resort or spa, before finally opening your own place.

However you do it, the future is wide and bright for you as a licensed cosmetologist. And the best place to start a new career is with an online job search!

… so how much does school cost anyway, and how will you pay for it, and generally speaking just how long will the training take?

Some Beauty Schools in Massachusetts with Costs Compared

Name Address Tuition Other Programs
Empire Beauty School30 West Street, Boston, 02111UnknownEsthetics
Alexander Academy55 Massachusetts Avenue, Lunenburg, 01462$14,000Barbering
TONI&GUY Hairdressing Academy727A Granite Street, Braintree, 02184$16,000Barbering, Esthiology
Lowell Academy Hairstyling Institute136 Central Street
Lowell, 01852
$13,000Manicuring, Brush Up, Barber Crossover
Cosmix School of Beauty Sciences181 Cedar Hill Street, Marlborough, 01752$12,500Aesthetics, Nails
Rob Roy Academy260 South Main Street, Fall River, 02721$14,500Barbering, Manicuring, Esthetics

Did we miss any hairdressing schools in MA or Massachusetts cosmetology schools in this list. Please let us know.