Are you passionate about beauty? Even though it has far fewer schools than, for instance, California, South Dakota has some of the best training schools for cosmetology in the country. It may not seem like a fashion capital, but studying in South Dakota will give you the hours and experience you need to succeed in almost every state. If you are still in grade school check to see if you can start your training in a high school cosmetology program. No matter where you end up, it’s the beginning of a great career.

Reptile Gardens sky dome in Rapid City, SD
Reptile Gardens sky dome in Rapid City, SD – by Reptile Gardens Creative Commons

How Many Hours Are Required For Cosmetology Training in South Dakota?

South Dakota’s cosmetologists and beauty experts are some of the best trained in the country. You will need to complete a 2100 hour program that includes study in massage, the science of anatomy, skin care, nail treatments, and hair relaxing, among other things. Such a long program can be costly and some may require financial aid.

You must have at least 500 hour theoretical training before you start with practical learning on mannequins and customers.

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If for some reason, the demands of traditional education are too rigorous to be practical for you, you may be given the opportunity for an apprenticeship. You will need to complete an apprentice checklist and submit it to the executive director of the South Dakota Cosmetology Commission for approval. You will also need to prove 18 months of work, for a total of 3,000 hours of work under your supervisor.

How To Get Your Actual Cosmetology License in SD

Once you have completed your education or apprenticeship, you will need to fill out an application to take the required exams. This will automatically allow you a temporary permit until you pass the exams. You must find a salon in South Dakota willing to hire you, until you finish the exams and receive your license. The temporary license immediately becomes invalid in the case of failure.

There are three exams: the cosmetologist theory exam, and practical exam issued by the NIC, and the South Dakota Laws and Rules Test which specifically deals with the laws relating to cosmetology and hair stylists in South Dakota.

All must be passed with at least 70% to qualify for license. If you pass, your license will be sent out automatically.

Out-Of-State Licensees

To move to South Dakota and retain your out of state license, you must apply for licensure via reciprocity.

To transfer your license, you education and work experience needs to be equal to or greater the South Dakota Board required.

You’ll need to prove education requirements are met, and provide proof of your high school graduation, and current license.

If your home state requires less than 2100 hours of study, you may be able to make up the hours in work experience. Check with the South Dakota Board of Cosmetology as to whether your home state qualifies for reciprocity.

How To Renew Your SD Beauty License

South Dakota license renewal happens annually. The date of renewal is your birthday every year. Simply pay the fee and submit the application. There are no continuing education requirements for cosmetologists, but instructors must prove 12 hours of continuing education.

Cosmetology Career & Work Possibilities  in South Dakota

There are several options for beginning your career.

Starting out as an apprentice will give you a leg up in terms of job opportunities and your personal clients. Your school may even provide you an edge when you’re looking for well-paid work.

After a few years in smaller salons, you can move on to bigger things, or choose to set your own hours, renting out a chair in an established salon.

For a glimpse at the kind of work you’ll be starting with, look no further:

Also, a list of 10 beauty products that many people rave about here.

Cosmetology Schools in South Dakota With Tuition Costs

NameAddressCostOther Programs
Black Hills Beauty College623 Saint Joseph Street, Rapid City, 57701Tuition:$13,366
Textbooks & Equipment:$1,800
Registration Fee:$60
Esthetics, Nail Technology, Massage Therapy
Desaree & Co School of Beauty1117 Main Street, Sturgis, 57785Tuition: $10,500
Kit Cost: $1,478
Headlines Academy333 Omaha Street, Rapid City, 57701Tuition: $14,535
Kit Cost: $1,600
Esthetics, Nail Technology, Massage Therapy
Lake Area Technical Institute1201 Arrow Avenue Northeast, Watertown, 57201$6,500.00Many

Other South Dakota schools for nail technicians, estheticians, barbers.

School websites:

Did we miss any cosmetology academies in South Dakota? Please let us know.