West Virginia License Requirements

Last Updated: April 25, 2017

When you decide to begin a career as a barber, cosmetologist, or another beauty professional, you have to meet the expectations of the West Virginia State Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists. You must select an accredited, approved school that meets the minimum certification requirements listed below. With your certification hours behind you, you can sign up to take the licensing exam.

After finishing your training, you are required to pass a licensing exam before you can begin working. In West Virginia, licensure exams are given by third-party examiners, not the Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists. Once you pass this exam and the Board receives proof of your passing score from the testing site, you will receive your West Virginia cosmetology license. This permits you to work in your chosen specialty in West Virginia beauty salons and shops.

Not only does continuing education help you learn more about your field and find out what customers want, continuing education is actually required in West Virginia. You must complete four hours per year. For specific questions regarding licensure and examination, please contact the West Virginia Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists directly. The state of West Virginia does allow apprenticeship to get the final required training hours for a barbering license.

2017 West Virginia Board of Cosmetology License Requirements

West Virginia Cosmetology License Renewal

Cosmetology license renewal in West Virginia happens every year, with all licenses expiring on December 31 of each year and renewal beginning in January. West Virginia requires cosmetologists to have 4 hours of cosmetology continuing education during each licensure period. The cost to renew a practitioner’s license is $35.

Cosmetology License Reciprocity (Transfer) in West Virginia

To transfer your license to West Virginia, you must contact your home state's Board of Cosmetology that issued your original license and request that proof of Board certification be mailed to the West Virginia Board. This form must be sent directly between the state boards.

If your license is from an NIC state, your application may be processed more quickly. NIC states include AL, AZ, AR, DE, GA, ID, ME, MO, NH, NC, NV, OH, PA, SC, SD, UT, and WY. Please note that there is no reciprocity or license transfer option available for nail technicians and manicurists.

The Board will accept licensed work experience in lieu of part of the required training hours. Work experience is awarded at 25 hours per month of licensed salon work, or 300 hours per year. Your work hours must be proven via tax receipts. Total work experience accepted may not exceed 50% of the required hours to transfer, and it must have been acquired in the past 5 years. If you have not worked in the last 5 years, you must take the complete WV examinations covering practical skills, the national written exam, the State written exam and the State law exam, which calls for a $50 fee.

WV State Board of Cosmetology Contact Information

West Virginia State Board of Barbers & Cosmetologists
1201 Dunbar Ave.
Dunbar, WV 25064
Phone Number: 304-558-2924
Fax Number: 304-558-3450
E-mail Address: danielle.j.cordle@wv.gov

The West Virginia 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 a West Virginia state cosmetology license.