Cosmetology Schools in Colorado
Colorado may be the ideal place to start your cosmetology career. Cosmetologists in Colorado are in high demand to help clients maintain healthy hair and skin despite the state’s dry climate and outdoor culture. Browse our directory of cosmetology schools in Colorado, or skip ahead to learn about the state's cosmetology licensing requirements and job outlook.
Browse All Cosmetology Schools in Colorado
For School Owners
Don't see your school listed? Want to discuss becoming a featured school in the directory? Contact us to learn more.
2231 South Peoria Street
Aurora, CO 80014
16800 East Mississippi Avenue
Aurora, CO 80017
8996 West Bowles Avenue
Littleton, CO 80123
3811 East 120Th Avenue
Thornton, CO 80233
3842 South Mason Street
Fort Collins, CO 80525
2863 35th Avenue
Greeley, CO 80634
2315 North Main Street
Longmont, CO 80501
772 Horizon Drive
Grand Junction, CO 81506
3673 Parker Boulevard
Pueblo, CO 81008
5707 North Academy Boulevard
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
16534 Keystone Boulevard
Parker, CO 80134
TIGI Hairdressing Academy Legacy – Accredited
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
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 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 Colorado is $40,420.
- There is a predicted 16% job increase between 2018–2028 for cosmetologists.
In the state of Colorado, you must have a license to cut or color hair, perform skin care or nail services, or apply makeup. The requirements to become a cosmetologist in Colorado include:
Colorado doesn’t automatically prohibit you from obtaining a license if you have a felony conviction. The state board reviews any criminal history and determines eligibility on a case-by-case basis. You may need to submit additional documentation.
Cosmetologist Salary and Projected Job Growth in Colorado
Average yearly salary for cosmetology in Colorado
In Colorado, employment projections for cosmetologists are very positive, with an estimated 16% job growth through 2028. This growth is much faster than average and is on par with the 19% projected employment growth nationwide for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists.
Not only does the state have plenty of jobs to offer, but you may also earn a higher salary. Cosmetologists in Colorado earned an average salary of $40,420 or $19.43 per hour in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That’s much higher than the national average of $32,740 annually. Colorado is the fourth highest-paying state in the U.S., with 10% of cosmetologists earning $73,070 or more each year.
Median salaries in Colorado metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas for cosmetologists are:
|Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Areas||2020 Median Salary|
|Southwest Colorado nonmetropolitan area||$35,220|
|Northwest Colorado nonmetropolitan area||$31,550|
Table information sourced from O*Net (2021)
State License Requirements
Required to earn a cosmetology license
The Colorado Office of Barber and Cosmetology Licensure is the licensing board for cosmetologists in the state. The state requires cosmetologists to obtain 1,500 training hours or 50 credit hours from a beauty school approved by the Division of Private Occupational Schools (DPOS) or the Colorado Community College System (CCCS).
Cosmetology schools in Colorado must include the following program subjects and hours:
Can I Apprentice as a Cosmetologist in Colorado?
Colorado doesn’t currently provide apprenticeship paths for aspiring cosmetologists, but the state plans to offer apprenticeships for various occupations—including cosmetology—beginning in 2023.
Colorado Cosmetology Licensing Requirements
After you complete 1,500 training hours at your approved beauty school, you’re ready to take the exams. Your school issues a record of completion and transcript of your education, which you then send to the licensing board with your application. Before taking the exams, you must file all three forms with the testing vendor, PSI.
You must also submit the application fee and any other required documentation when you apply. Documentation may include information on a name change and any other license you may hold. Expect to answer general and criminal history screening questions and complete a Healthcare Professions Profile as well, which may involve uploading supporting documentation.
You can register, schedule, and pay for both exams on PSI’s website. You need to schedule the exams at least a day in advance. If you must cancel or reschedule, you have to do so at least two days before the tests.
All of PSI’s testing centers are equipped in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). You can make any accommodation requests on your application or during the scheduling process.
The cosmetologist practical exam is $69, while the written is $55. You can take the theory portion on a computer at an approved testing center, and the exam takes 120 minutes to complete. The practical exam takes place in-person to test your hands-on skills. It takes 145 minutes, and you may need to bring a beauty kit and all materials with you.
On the test day, you should arrive at least 30 minutes early. You must bring two forms of ID, the only items you’re allowed to take into the testing area. The testing center offers lockers to hold your personal belongings during your written test. The environment is quiet, with only 10 candidates testing at once. Noise-reducing earplugs are available as well.
First, you take the practical test. There is a full list of the supplies you need on PSI’s website. The written exam takes place after, and you have one year in between to schedule and complete the exam. You can learn more about what topics are on the exams through the DOP Licensing Guide.
You can expect to receive your score immediately after completing the test. If you fail the exams, you can retake them unlimited times. However, you must wait at least 14 days between attempts and pay a retake fee. The practical exam comes with a $67 retake fee, while the written exam is $52.
Applications take varying time frames to process. Colorado doesn’t print and mail licenses, so expect to receive an electronic notification with a link to log in to your account and print your license. You can also check the status of your application online.
Colorado Cosmetology Licensure Reciprocity
You must have a license before working with the public as a cosmetologist in Colorado. However, you may be able to transfer it from another state if you’re already licensed elsewhere.
Individuals moving to Colorado who are licensed in another state can apply for licensure by endorsement. To be eligible, you must have graduated from an approved school and completed training hours equal to or greater than Colorado’s required hours. If you don’t have equivalent training hours but have at least 65%, you can substitute five hours of documented work experience for every hour of unfulfilled training.
Military spouses licensed as cosmetologists in another state can work in Colorado for three years before obtaining a Colorado license.
Cosmetology Specialties in Colorado
As a licensed cosmetologist, the licensing board allows you to cut and color hair, perform some skin care and nail services, or apply makeup. However, Colorado requires cosmetologists to earn an additional 132 training hours from an approved school to apply permanent makeup. You may also need a license to apply or extend eyelashes.
Colorado offers a hairstylist license as well. This route only requires 1,200 training hours from an approved school, but hairstylists may not be able to perform all the same services as cosmetologists.
Services deemed medical procedures, rather than cosmetic—such as any injections or fillers like Botox or collagen—must be performed by a licensed physician.
License renewal period
Continuing education required
Colorado requires cosmetologists to renew their license every two years. Licenses expire on April 30 of each year. Half of the profession renews on even years, while the other half renews on odd years.
You receive an electronic notification around six weeks before your license expires. However, you may still want to look at the expiration date on your license, which may vary depending on the original issue date.
You’ll get a final notification when your license expires and the late fee period begins. If your license expires, you must complete an online reinstatement application and pay all fees before your license is reinstated. Continuing education hours are not required to renew cosmetology licenses in Colorado.
Contact the Colorado State Board of Cosmetology
For those looking to have more intrepid career paths and also forge more horizons for small business, cosmetology is an inspired choice. Colorado has seen this unfold with a plethora of salons and professionals shaping style statewide. Potential professionals look into these resources for guidance.
Colorado Office of Barber and Cosmetology Licensure
The Colorado Division of Professions and Occupations (DOP) oversees the state board for cosmetology licensure. Here you can find all the important information about the requirements for licensure.
As the testing vendor in Colorado, PSI allows you to register and schedule your exams. They also offer online practice tests and tutorials in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, and Simplified Chinese.