With mountains, plains and sea Washington is a beautiful state with many great beauty schools as well! To become a cosmetologist in WA requires several steps starting with choosing a cosmetology school that’s right for you. If you’ve already decided keep reading to find out what else you need to do before you can work as a cosmetologist in state.

Panorama of Tacoma, WA
Panorama of Tacoma, WA photo by Patrick Rodriguez [CC BY 3.0]

How Many Hours Will It Take?

Schools in Washington will provide a mix of hands-on training and theoretical background. The minimum hours mandated by the state board is 1,600 hours.

Cosmetology courses in Washington are similar to other states in that they will cover many aspects of beauty. If you go to nail school or esthetician school you will focus on just nails or just skin care, but with cosmetology you will get some training in nails, esthetics, hair styling and cutting, makeup, and even a little massage sometimes.

Find a school near you using the form below:

If you choose to do training via apprenticeship you must do at least 2,000 hours. Otherwise your training will cover the same topics as a school. The added benefit of this style of learning is that you can get paid while you learn! Schools on the other hand may cost quite a lot and you may need to get a loan to be able to attend. So, if you are in high school and are already passionate about beauty consider starting you training before you graduate as you may even get it for free!

You may also be able to take night classes at a school near you. This will enable you to keep working at least part time while you learn so that you don’t need to go in to debt as much as if you were attending f/t.

Taking The Exams

If you’re school instructors are happy with your skills and that you have come through the challenges of school well, and you have gone through the exam preparation guide you should do fine on the exams.

There are two exams. One tests your knowledge of cosmetology practices and theory while in the other you prove you are capable of actually performing various beauty procedures such as chemical wave, haircutting, manicuring, and keeping you and your client safe. One and a half hours is allowed for the written exam while two and a half is allowed for the practical.

Washing Cosmetology Licensing

If you’ve passed the exams you will then need to get a license before you start working. All that is required for this stage is patience and a fee. If you are a working beauty pro from another state and you want to work in WA you will need to actually apply for a license.

To renew you license you are required to apply and pay a fee two years from the date your initial license was granted. There is no continuing education requirements at present.

To start you career you may want to find a job/employment using every means you can: friends, your school, even websites.

Cosmetology Schools in Washington State With Costs

NameAddressCostOther Programs
Elite School Of Beauty2613 Northeast 114th Avenue, Vancouver, 98684Registration fee: $100
Kit fee: $700
Tuition: $6,000
Gary Manuel Aveda Institute1514 10th Avenue, Seattle, 98122Enrollment Fee: $100
Tuition: $15,500
Kit fee: $1,750
Sales Tax: $177
Total: $17,527
Gene Juarez Academy North 6007 244th Street Southwest, Mountlake Terrace, 98043$19,960Manicuring
Glen Dow Academy309 West Riverside Avenue, Spokane, 99201Tuition: $12,230.25
Equipment, Textbook, Supplies: $1,672.17
Registration/Application Fee: $100
Uniforms: $95
Fees: Lab Fee: $116.22 / Drop Fee: $150 / Re-entry Fee: $100
Total Cost: 14,404.51
Esthetics, Manicuring
Paul Mitchell the School Spokane15303 East Sprague Avenue, Veradale, 99037$16,250Hair design, Barbering
Spokane Community College1810 North Greene Street, Spokane, 99217$17,000many

American Beauty & Barber College – Tacoma

Angeles Academy of Hair & Nails – Port Angeles

Anthony’s Beauty School – Seattle

Bellingham Beauty School – Bellingham

Celebrity Beauty School and Salon – Tacoma

Char-Glo School of Beauty – Moses Lake

Chetta’s Academy of Hair & Nails – Port Angeles

Eversmith Academy – Spokane Valley

G P Institute of Cosmetology – Seattle

Hair Academy – Moses Lake

International Beauty College – Seattle

Kirkland Beauty School – Woodinville

Lacey Beauty College – Lacey

Lincoln Beauty School – Tacoma

Moda Hair Cafe & Day Spa – Edmonds

New Beginnings Beauty College – Auburn

Northwest Hair Academy – Everett, Mt. Vernon

Pacific Northwest Hair Academy – Port Hadlock

Quality Beauty College – Olympia

Sakie International College of Cosmetology – Yakima

Shelton Beauty & Barber – Shelton

Simply Couture Beauty College – Renton

Yakima Beauty School, Inc. – Yakima

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



















Did we miss any cosmetology colleges in Washington state? Please let us know.