Virginia’s beauty industry is as diverse as its people. Whether you want a career at a trendy spa, or a salon in the city, Virginia’s cosmetology schools can offer you an in to a great new career path.

If you love the idea of working with people in an always-growing industry where you have plenty of options, getting your license as a cosmetologist could be the perfect option for you. For sure, VA has a smaller beauty scene than say, California, but it is every bit as professional and competitive.

Virginia Beach in the summer
Virginia Beach in the summer – photo by Jason Pratt [CC BY 2.0]

How Long Is The Training At Virginia Beauty Schools

The most important thing when starting your career in Virginia’s bustling beauty industry is getting your education.

Virginia requires a course or program of at least 1500 hours of training. You’ll need to be educated in professional ethics and state laws, manicures and pedicures, hair styling, scalp treatments, and anatomy.

Virginia allows you to choose an apprenticeship program if you are unable to complete formal education — also some people find cosmetology school more difficult and would prefer a work experience style of training. You will need to sign up for an apprenticeship through the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry. You’ll need 3,000 hours of supervised work experience before you are eligible to take your exams. Find a school using our app below:

Your Virginia Cosmetology License

You will be eligible to take exams once you’ve finished a program, or verified your apprenticeship hours.

You’re required to pass both a written and a practical exam to be eligible for licensure. Once you’ve passed, and paid the licensing fee (there are a lot of fees as part of your cosmetology school costs!), you will be issued a 45-day work permit as a temporary measure. This is to ensure that you can work until your full license arrives.


If you already have a cosmetologist license in good standing in another state, you may qualify for a Virginia state license by reciprocity. You’ll need to apply for a separate exam to be eligible for reciprocity. You’ll also need to prove that your existing license is in good standing, and has been active for the last three years.

How To Renew Your Virginia Cosmetology License

Once you have your license, you will need to renew it every two years from the date of issue.

The date of renewal is the last day of the month of your original license. You’ll need to pay a fee when you submit the application of renewal.

If you are certified for permanent makeup, you will need to complete a minimum of 5 hours of safety and sanitation education which can be done at beauty night school if necessary Otherwise, you are not required to complete any continuing education courses.

Beauty Job Opportunities

Virginia’s beauty scene has plenty of opportunities to hone your skills and earn your clients. When you’re looking for work, your school may be able to help.

The supervisor in your apprenticeship may also help you secure clients and offer you your first booth. Otherwise, for employment, you can take your pick around the salons and spas for a decent salaried position. Try to get started on your new career.

Some Cosmetology Schools in Virginia With Costs

Name Address Tuition Other Programs
Virginia School of Hair Design101 West Queens Way, Hampton, 23669$10,000Barbering
Kenny's Beauty Academy, Inc3461 Washington Boulevard, Arlington, 22201UnknownWaxing
Staunton School of Cosmetology128 East Beverley Street, Staunton, 24401$17,000None
Wards Corner Beauty Academy7525 Tidewater Drive, Suite 200
Norfolk, 23505
Dominion School of Hair Design1755 George Washington Memorial Highway, Gloucester Point, 23062$14,500Nail Technician, Waxing Technician
Cosmopolitan Beauty & Tech School4201 John Marr Drive # 206, Annandale, 22003UnknownEsthetics

Other Virginia schools for nail technicians, estheticians, barbers and makeup artists.

School websites:

Did we miss any cosmetology schools in VA Virginia Beach, Norfolk and so on? Please let us know.