Illinois License Requirements

Last Updated: April 25, 2017

In Illinois, you must meet a list of requirements before you can become licensed as a beauty professional and begin legally working in this state. You must complete your education at an approved school whose programs meet the minimum training requirements listed below. Training expectations are laid out by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

After finishing your training, you are required to pass a licensing exam issued by the Illinois Barber, Cosmetology, Esthetics, Hair Braiding, and Nail Technology Board. Once you pass this exam, you will receive your Illinois cosmetology license shortly thereafter. . IL uses PSI for its cosmetology board exams, and you may take the exam in English, Spanish or Vietnamese.

The state of IL does not allow apprenticeship to get your training hours. However, an internship may be substituted for 150 hours of the 1500 hours of organized, pre-planned training from a full cosmetology program under the direct supervision of a licensed cosmetologist in a registered salon. You may participate in this internship program only after completing 750 hours of school training with a minimum average grade of 80.

Illinois does require continuing education for most of the main beauty professions. Even if continuing education is not required for your specialty, it is still an excellent way to keep your skills relevant. For specific questions, please contact the IL Board of Cosmetology directly for more information.

Check out our list of Illinois beauty schools and find the right program for your educational needs and career goals.

2017 Illinois Board of Cosmetology License Requirements

Illinois Cosmetology License Renewal

Barber licenses and barber teacher licenses expire on July 31 of each odd-numbered year, and licensees may renew within the month prior to expiration. Cosmetology instructors, cosmetology clinic teachers and cosmetology licenses expire on September 30 of each even-numbered year. Illinois requires cosmetologists to certify on their renewal applications that they have successfully completed 14 hours of cosmetology continuing education within the 2-year licensure period. Cosmetology instructors and cosmetology clinic teachers must show a minimum of 24 hours of continuing education from a sponsor registered with the division within the 2-year licensure period. License renewal is $50 per two-year period.

Cosmetology License Reciprocity (Transfer) to Illinois

If you want to transfer your license to Illinois, you may be able to bypass the testing requirements of the license by applying for endorsement. You must submit proof of your education to demonstrate that your home state’s training requirements are at least as extensive as those in Illinois. You must also submit proof of work experience and proof of your current cosmetology license.

IL State Board of Cosmetology Contact Information

Illinois Dept. of Professional Regulation—Barber, Cosmetology, Esthetics, Hair Braiding, and Nail Technology Board
320 W. Washington St., 3rd Fl. 
Springfield, IL 62786 
100 W. Randolph Street, 9th Fl. 
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone Number: 1-888-473-4858


The Illinois State Board of Cosmetology can help you with replacing a lost cosmetology license, updating change of name or change of address information, and acquiring out-of-state and other useful forms, as well as answer additional questions about obtaining an Illinois state cosmetology license.