Cosmetology Schools in Alabama
Whether you want to work in a busy city salon or see yourself in a quiet rural setting, Alabama is a great place to start your cosmetology career. With a wide variety of schools and a bustling beauty scene, it's the perfect location to earn your license and become a beauty professional.
Browse our directory of cosmetology schools in Alabama, or skip ahead to learn about the state's cosmetology licensing requirements and job outlook.
Browse All Cosmetology Schools in Alabama
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3200 Galleria Circle
Birmingham, AL 35244
Birmingham, AL 35235
Southeastern School of Cosmetology – Accredited
Birmingham, AL 35208
You must attend school in the state you want to practice in. Most states require that you graduate from an accredited school. Learn more about the requirements in your state.
Cosmetology Schools Near Me
- 1,500 education hours or 3,000 apprentice hours are required to become licensed.
- You must renew your license every 2 years.
- 0 continuing education hours are required to renew your license.
- The average salary for cosmetologists in Alabama is $33,370.
- There is a predicted 12% job increase between 2020–2030 for cosmetologists.
The first step to working as a cosmetologist in Alabama is earning your license—you can't work without one. Before you can apply for licensure, you need to meet certain requirements, including:
Alabama Cosmetology Careers
Average yearly salary for cosmetology in Alabama
On average, cosmetologists in Alabama earned $33,370 in 2021 or $16.04 per hour. Although this salary is somewhat lower than the national average of $35,990, the cost of living in Alabama is also lower than in many other parts of the country, and wages may correlate appropriately.
The job outlook for cosmetologists in Alabama is promising, with a predicted 12% growth between 2023-2030.
The amount you can earn as a cosmetologist depends on several factors, such as your level of experience, the types of services you offer, and your location. For example, a hairstylist based in a small, rural salon will usually earn less than a specialized color expert working in a high-end city spa.
These are the median annual salaries for cosmetologists in metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas across the state:
|Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Areas||2021 Median Salary|
|Northeast Alabama nonmetropolitan area||$28,130|
|Northwest Alabama nonmetropolitan area||$24,040|
Table information sourced from O*Net (2022)
State License Requirements
Required to earn a cosmetology license
The most common way to prepare to earn your cosmetology license is by attending a state-approved cosmetology program. You can find a list of approved schools on the state board website.
Cosmetology programs cover a wide range of different topics, such as:
Programs also often teach students about other aspects of the job, including PR, marketing, and client management. Like cosmetologists, cosmetology schools must be licensed and have to renew their licenses every two years.
Can I Apprentice as a Cosmetologist in Alabama?
It is possible to get your Alabama cosmetologist's license via an apprenticeship. Students who take this route learn through work experience rather than participating in a standard cosmetology program. Apprenticeships have to be completed within three years, and all trainees must accrue at least 3,000 hours of experience before taking the relevant exams and applying for their license.
To be eligible for a cosmetology apprenticeship in Alabama, you must:
Alabama Cosmetology Licensing Requirements
Once you've completed at least 1,500 hours within a cosmetology program or 3,000 hours of an apprenticeship, you can apply for your license. First, you'll need to take and pass written ($75) and practical ($130) exams. In Alabama, Prometric administers the exams.
You can sign up to take the tests on Prometric's website or via the state board. You must become licensed within two years of completing your cosmetology program.
The written exam takes 90 minutes to complete, and you must score at least 70 (out of 100 questions) to pass. The exam divides into subjects as follows:
The practical exam is split into timed sections, as follows:
- Work Area and Client Prep (15 minutes)
- Thermal Curling (10 minutes)
- Hair cutting (30 minutes)
- Work Area and New Client Prep (15 minutes)
- Chemical Waving (20 minutes)
- Predisposition Test and Strand Test (10 minutes)
- Highlighting with Foil (15 minutes)
- Hair Color Retouch (10 minutes)
- Virgin Hair Relaxer Application (Untimed)
- Blood Exposure Procedure (10 minutes)
If you fail your exam, you're allowed to try again, twice more. If you fail for a third time, you may have to undertake additional education requirements.
Both tests are offered in English as standard, though students can also take the written portion in Korean, Spanish, and Vietnamese. All supplies in the practical exam should be labeled in English.
The state board abides by all ADA requirements and suggests that if students need further assistance during their exams, they get in contact to arrange it in advance.
Alabama Cosmetology Licensure Reciprocity
If you already have a cosmetology license in a different state, you may be eligible for license reciprocity in Alabama.
To apply for reciprocity, the cosmetology board of the state you're currently licensed in must send certification of your licensure to the Alabama state board. You also need to pay a $100 fee and may need to take Alabama's written and practical cosmetology exams, depending on your prior training.
Special reciprocity consideration is available for spouses of active-duty military who are transferring from out of state to Alabama. As long as they meet the Application for Reciprocity and Military Spouse Fee Waiver Application requirements, military spouses can receive the appropriate expedited reciprocal license.
Cosmetology Specialties in Alabama
Cosmetologists in Alabama can also apply for specializations in other related areas.
For example, those just starting in the hair business and only need to be licensed to wash, shampoo, and condition hair can opt for the specialized shampoo assistant license, which costs $75.
License renewal period
Continuing education required
In Alabama, cosmetologists must renew their licenses every odd-numbered year during the licensee's birth month. Renewals cost $100, but there are no continuing education requirements.
Late renewals come with an additional fee of $54. After four years, all licenses become void, and licensees must re-take their practical exam to regain them and pay fees back to when the license expired.
Contact the Alabama State Board of Cosmetology
Cosmetology in Alabama is part of a treasured tradition of beauty care and a robust facet of their economy. Aspiring cosmetologists have made it a point to consult the following groups as resources.
Alabama Board of Cosmetology and Barbering
The state board in charge of cosmetology licensing provides information on cosmetology licenses, exams, FAQs, and more.
This organization administers cosmetology exams in the state and provides manuals and candidate information bulletins for applicants.