Best 49 Cosmetology Schools in Florida (2022)
With its gorgeous weather and thriving tourist industry, Florida may be the perfect state to launch your cosmetology career. In fact, Florida has the third-highest number of hair salons (6,866) in the United States. Whether you want to work in a salon or carve out your own niche in the beauty industry, the Sunshine State offers many options for cosmetology school in preparation for earning your license.
To help you find the best program for your career goals, we researched the best cosmetology schools in the state—these are the top 49.
Top Cosmetology Schools in Florida
Top Cosmetology Schools in Florida (Full List)
La Belle Beauty School's Hialeah campus offers the same comprehensive programs as the two Miami branches but may be more convenient for students in the northwest Miami area. Students can take courses in cosmetology, skin care, makeup, nail technology, massage therapy, and instructor training at this branch.
The school has been operational for more than 45 years, giving students confidence that a beauty school education from La Belle is recognized and well respected. Like the other branches, the Hialeah campus is accredited by NACCAS and licensed by the State of Florida Commission for Independent Education.
The curriculum at Charlotte Technical College prepares students for the Florida Cosmetology Licensing Examination. Their cosmetology program teaches a wide range of skills and processes, including shampoos, rinses, scalp treatments, hairstyling, setting, cutting, coloring, foiling techniques, bleaching, permanent waving, makeup techniques, facial hair removal, facials, manicuring, and hand/arm massaging.
In addition to these hands-on skills, students learn a range of other important skills when working in or running a salon: bacteriology, anatomy, hygiene, sanitation, customer relations, and salon management.
The Artistic Fusion Salon and Day Spa on the college campus provides a range of hair, nail, and skin treatments to the college community and the public, giving students a valuable chance to put their learning into practice.
Manatee Technical College's cosmetology program aims to equip students for employment as licensed cosmetologists. As well as covering all aspects of hair, skin, and nail care and beautification, the course covers diseases and disorders, which is important knowledge for any cosmetologist.
Manatee Technical College is one of the larger places to study cosmetology in Florida but still has small class sizes for an optimal learning environment.
Students with other commitments will particularly appreciate the flexibility of studying here. The 1,200-hour cosmetology course can be completed during the day (over 10 months) or at a slower pace through evening classes (16 months). Alternatively, students can specialize further, taking related courses in barbering, facials, and nails.
Futura Career Institute's 1,200-hour cosmetology program intends to provide students with the necessary training and practical experience to pass the Florida license examination and become successful cosmetologists. If studying full time, students can complete this course in as few as 48 weeks, but they can also take up to 75 weeks if they need extra time to fit their study around other life commitments.
Futura's cosmetology course begins with modules on sanitization, sterilization, and bacteriology. Once students complete these critical lessons, the remainder of the course focuses on shampooing, hairstyling, shaping, coloring, relaxing, permanent waving, and beautifying the skin, hands, and feet.
Many people go into the cosmetology field because they have a passion for it, and at Miami's Celebrity School of Beauty, the instructors' priority is highlighting students' natural talents.
In the cosmetology course, students learn by doing. As well as learning all the basics of skin care, makeup, and hair care during this 1,200-hour course, students also get certified in hair extensions, which is a popular service that can make you extra money when you're employed. Students looking to further their skills can enroll in advanced esthetics, massage, and electrolysis courses.
The cosmetology program at Celebrity School of Beauty can be completed in 10 months, and financial aid is available to students who qualify.
Lorenzo Walker Technical College in Naples prepares students for careers as hairstylists, estheticians, nail technicians, and cosmetic sales consultants. The college has been part of the Southwest Florida community for nearly 50 years and is a trusted vocational and technical education provider.
Students can take the 1,200-hour cosmetology course that prepares them to sit for the state exam or a shorter facials specialty that takes 220 hours. The cosmetology program focuses on broad, transferable skills. Along with the core technical cosmetology skills, this course teaches and encourages various aspects of salon management, including finances, health and safety, and environmental issues.
On the cosmetology school scene since 1990 and nationally accredited with the Council on Occupational Education since 2011, the Florida Academy in Fort Myers provides training in cosmetology, barbering, massage therapy, nail technology, esthetics, and skin care. The start dates for their courses rotate, so students don't have to wait long to get into and start a course.
Florida Academy's Redken Premier School cosmetology program takes 10 months of full-time day study, preparing you for an exciting career cutting and styling hair and providing skin and nail care treatments. They also teach and develop marketing and communication skills to build and retain a loyal client base once you enter the workforce.
Part of the Winter Haven community for nearly 30 years, Ridge Technical College is a trusted provider of post-secondary education in Polk County. Their cosmetology program prepares students for employment as cosmetologists and to pass the Florida Cosmetology Licensing Examination.
Theoretical study and practical experience give students the skills to gain entry-level work cutting and styling hair and treating the complexion and hands. The full cosmetology course takes 1,200 hours and includes education in and practice with equipment use, sanitation and sterilization procedures, hairstyling, shampoos and rinses, scalp treatment, hair cutting and coloring, permanent wave applications, hair straightening, facial treatments, makeup, manicures, and salon operations.
Additionally, students can take facial and nail treatment specialization evening courses in the spring and fall semesters.
While many beauty schools offer similar programs of study, it's the extras at the Beauty Academy of South Florida's Hialeah Gardens branch that make it stand out. Along with a wide variety of study programs to choose from, students can take advantage of flexible class schedules, financial assistance and payment plans for those who qualify, and even free transportation to all students in need.
The 1,200-hour cosmetology course prepares students for the licensing exams. Most students complete this course in 48 weeks or a year of study. The courses include the general study of the hair and scalp, hair coloring, shampooing and conditioning, anatomy and physiology, chemistry, and the products, tools, and equipment used in the cosmetology and hairstyling fields.
A big benefit of studying cosmetology at Riveroak Technical College in Live Oak is the low student-to-teacher ratio. This school has the lowest ratio of any cosmetology school on this list, at just seven students per teacher. This means students get personalized attention from the experts, potentially leading to improved learning outcomes and greater confidence in newfound skills.
The 1,200-hour cosmetology course is designed to take 18 months of full-time study. While this is longer than many other cosmetology school programs, it helps students learn thoroughly and at a steady pace. These factors make Riveroak Technical College an appealing choice for cosmetology study in North Florida.
It's all about location at the Tampa branch of the Artistic Nails & Beauty Academy. Close to downtown Tampa, the academy has been part of the local area for over a quarter-century and is proud of the supportive community it has developed.
Artistic Nails & Beauty Academy offers programs in cosmetology, barbering, skin care, nail technology, massage therapy, spa therapy, and full specialist courses. The comprehensive cosmetology course takes 1,200 hours and can be completed in as little as 10 months.
The academy offers a variety of day and evening classes, so it's a good beauty school to attend if you have other work or care commitments and can't study during the traditional 9-to-5.
Since opening in 2006, Paul Mitchell the School in Jacksonville has provided industry-leading cosmetology programs led by faculty members with a combined 75 years of beauty education experience.
The school offers two programs for aspiring cosmetologists: a comprehensive 1,200-hour program and a 1,300-hour program that includes an additional 100 hours of Dulce Lash certification and the Ultimate Face Make Up Program.
Students can choose to enroll for part-time study on Monday-Thursday evenings or full-time study during the days on Tuesday-Saturday. Those who opt for the distance education option can complete 10% of the course online. All Future Professionals at Paul Mitchell the School Jacksonville receive an iPad and a student kit that includes mannequin heads, styling tools, scissors and clips, combs, brushes, and more.
The Lakeland branch of the Artistic Nails & Beauty Academy offers the same high-quality, flexible education as the Tampa branch but within the charming setting of Lakeland, a city with 38 lakes. The academy opened in 2010 when the school wanted to expand to a site that matched the quality of its course offerings.
Students in the cosmetology, massage therapy, skin care, and nail technology programs study and practice in modern, intimate salon and spa settings created to imitate the types of environments graduates may go on to work in.
The cosmetology program at Artistic Nails & Beauty Academy Lakeland takes 1,200 hours to complete and includes hair cutting and styling, facials and makeup, waxing, business management, and much more.
Boca Beauty Academy in Boca Raton has been a leading and multiple award-winning South Florida beauty and cosmetology school for three decades. A distinctive feature of this school is that students can choose between creative and clinically focused programs, each with its own benefits and career possibilities.
Boca Beauty Academy's cosmetology program is a sound option if you want to become a trained and accredited cosmetologist in under a year. The 1,200-hour course is designed to be completed in 40 weeks. Students learn basic and advanced cosmetology techniques, get the chance to work on real clients in the student salon, and use top brands, including Matrix, Pervonia, and OPI.
Boca Beauty Academy also offers flexible class schedules, with day, evening, and Saturday classes to work around every type of schedule.
Robert Fiance is a leading cosmetology school in New Jersey. The Boynton Beach branch brings the school's innovative education methods to Florida, including the live broadcast of the Makeup Bar—short makeup and beauty lessons available to students and the public.
The Robert Fiance Redken Hair Design Institute also utilizes the Summit Salon System, which simulates a full salon experience: senior students will get the chance to serve clients in all fields and manage important aspects of the salon. There's no replacement for real-world experience, and students benefit from this and studying the theory of cosmetology.
The cosmetology program is a 1,200-hour course, with many other available related courses, including barbering, special effects makeup, and teacher training.
At Immokalee Technical College, cosmetology students learn in the classroom and at the iSalon, an upscale salon open to the public. While learning the broad technical skills necessary to have a successful career in cosmetology, students will also study communication, leadership, and human relations skills; employability skills; safe and efficient work practices; Florida cosmetology law and rules; and the chemistry related to the field.
Immokalee Technical College's cosmetology course is a 1,200-hour course that prepares students for the Florida cosmetology exam. The college opens enrollment three times a year—in August, January, and June—so you can find a session that works with your life plans.
How We Ranked Florida Cosmetology Programs
The cosmetology schools ranked are accredited or state-approved to provide cosmetology programming according to the licensing requirements in the state. We researched schools that qualified as Title IV institutions and had an average of at least 25 students enrolled in the most recent 3 academic years of available data (2018 - 2020). These schools are all within 50 miles of a major city center and had a weighted 3-year average graduation rate (2018, 2019, and 2020) greater than 50%. After filtering for those requirements, we sorted the remaining programs by the highest weighted average graduation rate to determine the top 49 cosmetology schools in Florida.
Graduation rate and student enrollment data are from the U.S. Department of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) reports. Schools with key data points missing from IPEDS reports may be omitted from the ranking, as are schools with data that is unattributable to its beauty programs. Many excellent educational institutions—including community colleges—offering a wide variety of vocational programs may, as a result, not be represented on these rankings of top beauty schools.