Last Updated: April 25, 2017
In order to obtain a cosmetology, esthetics or nail technology license in North Carolina, you must complete the requirements of the North Carolina Board of Cosmetic Art Examiners. When getting a North Carolina cosmetology license or other beauty practitioner certification, you must attend a Board-approved school and complete the state of North Carolina's minimum required training hours—listed below—then take the state's cosmetology board exams.
After finishing your training, you are required to pass a licensing exam in order to work legally in the state of North Carolina. The cosmetology board exams in North Carolina may be taken in English, Spanish or Korean. North Carolina requires beauty licensees to complete 8 hours of continuing education per year. For specific questions, please contact the North Carolina Board of Cosmetic Arts Examiners directly for more information.
Find North Carolina beauty schools that can help you obtain a license from the North Carolina Board of Cosmetic Arts Examiners in nail technology, barbering, cosmetology, esthetics and other programs.
2017 North Carolina Board of Cosmetology License Requirements
- COSMETOLOGIST LICENSE: 1500 Hours
- BARBER LICENSE: 1528 Hours
- ESTHETICIAN LICENSE: 600 Hours
- NAIL TECHNICIAN LICENSE: 300 Hours
- COSMETOLOGY INSTRUCTOR LICENSE: License + 800 Hours or 5 Years of Experience
- NATURAL HAIR CARE INSTRUCTOR: 300 Hours
- MANICURIST INSTRUCTOR: License + 320 Hours or 2 Years of Experience
- ESTHETICS INSTRUCTOR: License + 650 Hours or 3 Years of Experience
- MASSAGE THERAPIST LICENSE: 500 Hours
North Carolina Cosmetology License Renewal
Professional beauty licenses expire on October 1 across the state, but different professions renew in different years. Cosmetologists must renew licenses every 3 years, completing 24 continuing education hours during that 3-year period.
Estheticians, manicurists and cosmetology instructors all renew annually, and 8 hours of continuing education must be completed during that time. Cosmetologist licenses are $49 to renew, whereas estheticians, manicurists, instructors and apprentices all pay $20 to renew.
Cosmetology License Reciprocity (Transfer) in North Carolina
North Carolina allows license transfer from Alabama, Alaska 2, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida 3, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi 1, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma 1, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina 1, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas 1, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington DC, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
You must show that you have a current license from your home state, prove that you have passed a state board exam or national cosmetology exam, and be free from disciplinary actions against your license. International transfers must show original documents from their original school and licensing board.
Transferring a license costs $64 for cosmetologists and $35 for all other beauty specialists
For licensees in Alabama, Alaska 2, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida 3, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina 1, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington DC, Washington, Wyoming, no certification is required. Apply by mail to the address below, or online.
For licensees in Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Mississippi 1, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma 1, Pennsylvania, Texas 1, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, your state licensing agency must send a verification via email or mail using the addresses below.
NC State Board of Cosmetology Contact Information
North Carolina State Board of Cosmetic Art Examiners
1207 Front St. #110
Raleigh, NC 27609-7533
Phone Number: 919-733-4117
If you need help updating a change of name or address, acquiring out-of-state transfer forms, or need help with additional questions about obtaining a North Carolina cosmetology license, contact the NC Board using the information above.
1 Reciprocity licenses will not be granted for hair braiders in the state of Texas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, or South Carolina.
2 Reciprocity licenses will not be granted for manicurist in the state of Alaska, although advanced manicurist are accepted.
3 Reciprocity licenses will not be granted for hair braiders, manicurist or estheticians in the state of Florida.
4 Teacher's licenses cannot be obtained without first holding a current license for practice in the corresponding discipline.
Ex: Only NC licensed cosmetologists may obtain a NC cosmetology teacher's license.