Pennsylvania isn’t exactly a fashion capital of the world. So it may surprise you to know that if you have an interest in the beauty industry, Pennsylvania may be exactly where you need to be! It’s home to some of the top schools for cosmetology, and a flexible education program that allows you to work toward your license on your own schedule. If you’re looking to join this exciting career, this may be the right option for you!

Philadelphia skyline
Philadelphia skyline

Pennsylvania Beauty Schools Education Requirements — How Long Is The Training?

If you want to become a cosmetologist in Pennsylvania, you’ll need a 10th grade high school education at the very least. If you can’t provide proof of your education, you will need to be over 35 years old. After that, you’ll need to graduate from an approved cosmetology school, or complete an approved apprenticeship program.

If you choose to attend a school, you must complete a training program that includes 1250 hours of study, and take at least eight months.

You will study everything from skin care and makeup training, to texture, colouring, and hair cutting. You will also cover courses on safety, customer service and business management, and state laws and regulations as pertaining to cosmetologists. Find a school near you by using our app below:


To choose apprenticeship instead, your cosmetology teacher should have at least five years experience with license, and your apprenticeship salon must have at least two cosmetologists employed who work at least 25 hours per week. You must work at least 2000 hours in a space of at least eight months.

PA Cosmetology License Procedure

Once your education requirements or apprenticeship hours have been met, you must complete your theory and practical exams. These are administered through Pearson VUE. You must register online, and will be sent your testing dates.

You’ll need to bring your own mannequin and kit to the practical exam. Once you’ve passed your exams, your application for license will be forwarded to the cosmetology board, along with your test scores.

Out-Of-State

If your are a licensed cosmetologist in another state, you can avoid the examination process if your home state has a reciprocity agreement with the state of Pennsylvania. Check online with the state board to see if your home state qualifies.

If your home state is on the list, but the required hours of study are lower, you can make it up with work experience. You will need to submit an application for Licensure via Reciprocity.

How To Renew Your License

In Pennsylvania you are required to renew your license every two years. Renewing your license does not require continuing education hours. Just apply online and pay the fee, and your license will be renewed.

Job Search For Beauticians in PA

Pennsylvania has one of the highest concentrations of cosmetologists in urban areas in the country.

From hairdressers, to manicurists to skin care specialists, it’s a booming career with a great future. If you choose to go the traditional school route, your school will have contacts in the industry to help you with your practical hours and your first job.

If you choose an apprenticeship, it’s a great way to start gaining private clients. You may also choose to take the extra 600 hours of study in an approved instructor course, where you can make an even better salary! Check out pennlive.com/jobs to get started on your exciting new career!

Still having doubts about studying cosmetology?

Some Cosmetology Schools in Pennsylvania with Costs

NameAddressTuitionOther Programs
Altoona Beauty School Inc1528 Valley View Boulevard, Altoona, 16602 $12,850.00Esthetician, Nail Technology, Continuing Education
Divine Crown Barber and Beauty Academy3849c Union Deposit Road, Harrisburg, 17109$15,000.00Barbering, Nail Technician, Esthetics, Natural Hair Braider
The Beauty Institute - Schwarzkopf Professional344 Stroud Mall #308, Stroudsburg, 18360UnknownBarbering, Make Up Course, Esthetics/Skin Care Program, Nail Technician,
Lansdale School of Cosmetology 215 Main Street, Lansdale, 19446UnknownEsthetics
New Castle Beauty Academy314 East Washington Street, New Castle, 16101UnknownNail Technician, Esthetician Course,
Empire Beauty School1522 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, 19102$17,000.00None

Pulse Academy – A Paul Mitchell Partner School – Downingtown

Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy – Allentown

Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy – Ambler

Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy – Philadelphia

Toni&Guy Hairdressing Academy – Erie

The Salon Professional Academy – Altoona

Other Pennsylvania schools for nail technicians, estheticians, barbers and makeup artists

Website URLs:
metrobeautyacademy.edu
altoonabeautyschool.com
beautyacademy.edu
bcsbc.edu
chambersburgbeautyschool.com
fortis.edu
jeanmadeline.edu
jolieacademy.com
lancasterschoolofcosmetology.com
laurel.edu
mccann.edu
pacas.com
sscosmetologyschool.edu – Stroudsburg
dec.edu
venusbeautyacademy.edu
Did we miss any schools in this list. Please let us know.