Cosmetology Schools in Illinois

If you're considering becoming a cosmetologist in Illinois, now may be a great time to start. Some of the state's metropolitan areas employ among the highest numbers of cosmetologists in the country, and you'll even see some areas ranked among the top-paying. Illinois cosmetology jobs are also growing while, nationwide, they're shrinking.

Browse our directory of cosmetology schools in Illinois, or skip ahead to learn about the state's cosmetology licensing requirements and job outlook.

Rankings Badge

We researched all the cosmetology schools that Illinois has to offer and found the cream of the crop. View our list of the best cosmetology schools in Illinois.

Browse All Cosmetology Schools in Illinois

Accredited School

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.

9714 South Cicero Avenue
Oak Lawn, IL 60453

(708) 636-4660
Cosmetology, Esthetics

700 East Terra Cotta Avenue
Crystal Lake, IL 60014

(815) 455-5900
Cosmetology, Esthetics, Barbering

609 South Randall Road
Elgin, IL 60123

Cosmetology, Esthetics, Makeup Artistry, Barbering

657 Highgrove Place
Rockford, IL 61108

Cosmetology, Esthetics, Makeup Artistry, Barbering

142 East Golf Road
Schaumburg, IL 60173

Cosmetology, Esthetics, Barbering

3602 Marquette Road Suite 2
Peru, IL 61354

(815) 223-7326

2601 North Mulford
Rockford, IL 61114

Cosmetology, Cosmetology Teacher Training, Continuing Education

211 East 3rd Street
Sterling, IL 61081

Cosmetology, Cosmetology Teacher Training, Continuing Education

3106 West North Avenue
Stone Park, IL 60165

(800) 920-4593
Cosmetology, Cosmetology Teacher Training

226 Hawthorn Village Commons
Vernon Hills, IL 60061

(800) 920-4593
Cosmetology, Cosmetology Teacher Training

1200 Harger Road
Oakbrook, IL 60523

(815) 786-7266
Barbering, Continuing Education, Cosmetology, Esthetics, Hair Design, Nail Technology, Cosmetology Teacher Training

90 West Hillcrest Boulevard Suite 302
Schaumburg, IL 60195

(815) 786-7266
Continuing Education, Cosmetology, Esthetics, Nail Technology

2245 Gateway Drive
Sycamore, IL 60178

(815) 756-3596
Cosmetology, Esthetics, Nail Technology

8057 North Milwaukee Avenue
Niles, IL 60714

(847) 965-8061
Cosmetology, Hair Design, Esthetics, Nail Technology

15301 South Cicero Avenue
Oak Forest, IL 60452

(708) 687-7800
Cosmetology, Nail Technology

6458 North Sheridan Road
Chicago, IL 60626

(630) 528-3330
Cosmetology, Esthetics, Barbering

5321 North Harlem Avenue
Chicago, IL 60656

(630) 528-3330
Cosmetology, Esthetics, Barbering

7350 West 87th Street
Bridgeview, IL 60455

(630) 528-3330
Cosmetology, Esthetics, Barbering

2500 Georgetown Road
Danville, IL 61832

(630) 528-3330
Cosmetology, Esthetics, Continuing Education, Barbering

264 South Randall Road
Elgin, IL 60123

(847) 376-0740
Cosmetology, Esthetics, Barbering

530 East North Avenue
Glendale Heights, IL 60139

(630) 790-1500
Cosmetology, Esthetics, Barbering

751 East Park Avenue
Libertyville, IL 60048

(847) 247-8100
Cosmetology, Esthetics, Barbering

755 West Raab Road
Normal, IL 61761

Cosmetology, Esthetics

602 West Glen Avenue
Peoria, IL 61602

Cosmetology, Cosmetology Teacher Training, Esthetics

5485 East State Street
Rockford, IL 61108

Cosmetology, Cosmetology Teacher Training, Esthetics

202 East University Street Suite H I J
Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 344-7550
Cosmetology, Esthetics, Continuing Education, Barbering

2913 West White Oaks Drive
Springfield, IL 62704

(217) 753-8990
Cosmetology, Esthetics, Nail Technology, Massage Therapy, Barbering

ABC School of Cosmetology and Nail Technology

9213 South Illinois Route 31
Lake In The Hills, IL 60156

Bell Mar Beauty College – Accredited

5717 West Cermak Road
Cicero, IL 60804

Cannella School of Hair Design - Aurora – Accredited

9012 South Commercial Avenue
Chicago, IL 60632

Cannella School of Hair Design

12943 Western Avenue
Blue Island, IL 60406

Cannella School of Hair Design – Accredited

4269 South Archer Avenue
Chicago, IL 60617

Cannella School of Hair Design

117 West Chicago Street
Elgin, IL 60120

Cannella School of Hair Design

7645 West Belmont Avenue
Elmwood Park, IL 60707

Cannella School of Hair Design – Accredited

617 West North Avenue
Villa Park, IL 60181

Capelli Academy of Cosmetology, Inc

4518 West Fullerton Avenue
Chicago, IL 60623

Capelli Salon Academy

333 East Rand Road
Arlington Heights, IL 60004

Capri Beauty College – Accredited

1938 East Lincoln Highway
New Lenox, IL 60451

Capri Beauty College – Accredited

15815 South Rob Roy Drive
Oak Forest, IL 60452

Carl Sandburg College

2400 Tom L Wilson Boulevard
Galesburg, IL 61401

Champions Beauty Barber University

2201 Plainfield Road
Crest Hill, IL 60403

Champions Beauty-Barber University – Accredited

4374 East New York Street
Aurora, IL 60504

City Colleges of Chicago - Harry S Truman

1145 West Wilson Avenue
Chicago, IL 60640

City Colleges of Chicago - Malcolm X

1900 West Jackson Boulevard
Chicago, IL 60612

College of DuPage

425 Fawell Boulevard
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

Creative Touch Cosmetology School – Accredited

234 East 3rd Street
Waterloo, IL 62298

Debutantes School – Accredited

145 North 3rd Street
Dekalb, IL 60115

Douglas J Aveda Institute – Accredited

2828 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60657

Dudley Beauty College

8501 South Green Street
Chicago, IL 60620

Elgin Community College

1700 Spartan Drive
Elgin, IL 60123

Elle International Beauty Academy

2113B South China Place
Chicago, IL 60616

Epiphany's Beauty College

3723 Sauk Trail
Richton Park, IL 60471

Estelle Medical Academy

4905 Old Orchard Center Suite 710
Skokie, IL 60077

Futurama Beauty Academy

1822 West 47th Street
Chicago, IL 60609

Gem City College

700 State Street
Quincy, IL 62301

Hair Professionals Career College – Accredited

5460 U.S. Highway 34
Oswego, IL 60543

Hair Professionals Career College – Accredited

10321 South Roberts Road
Palos Hills, IL 60465

Highland Community College

2998 West Pearl City Road
Freeport, IL 61032

I.M. Beauty School – Accredited

615 Milwaukee Avenue
Glenview, IL 60025

Illinois Valley Community College

815 North Orlando Smith Road
Oglesby, IL 61348

Innovations Design Academy – Accredited

125 East Locust Street
Canton, IL 61520

Innovations Design Academy – Accredited

214 East Washington Street
MaComb, IL 61455

Jemist Glamour Academy

2454 South California Avenue
Chicago, IL 60608

John A Logan College

700 Logan College Road
Carterville, IL 62918

John Amico School of Hair Design

4335 West 147th Street
Midlothian, IL 60445

Kaskaskia College

27210 College Road
Centralia, IL 62801

L.A. Style School of Cosmetology – Accredited

2145 West 95th Street
Chicago, IL 60643

Lake County Tech Campus

19525 West Washington Street
Grayslake, IL 60030

Lake Land College

5001 Lake Land Boulevard
Mattoon, IL 61938

Midwest Technical Institute – Accredited

3620 Avenue of the Cities
Moline, IL 61265

Moraine Valley Community College

9000 West College Parkway
Palos Hills, IL 60465

Morton College

3801 South Central Avenue
Cicero, IL 60804

Mr. John's School of Cosmetology, Esthetics, & Nails

1745 East Eldorado Street
Decatur, IL 62521

Mr. John's School of Cosmetology, Esthetics, & Nails

1429 South Main Street
Jacksonville, IL 62650

Ms. Roberts Beauty Academy – Accredited

552 Mannheim Road Suite A
Hillside, IL 60162

National University of Health Sciences

200 East Roosevelt Road
Lombard, IL 60148

Oehrlein School of Cosmetology – Accredited

100 Meadow Avenue East
Peoria, IL 61611

Olney Central College

305 North West Street
Olney, IL 62450

Parkland College

2400 West Bradley Avenue
Champaign, IL 61821

Paul Mitchell – Accredited

1600 North State Route 50 Room 522
Bourbonnais, IL 60914

Paul Mitchell – Accredited

1225 South Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60607

Paul Mitchell – Accredited

106 Yorktown ShoppingCenter
Lombard, IL 60148

Paul Mitchell – Accredited

1503 East College Avenue Suite L
Normal, IL 61761

Paul Mitchell – Accredited

18454 West Creek Drive
Tinley Park, IL 60477

Pivot Point Academy – Accredited

144 East Lake Street Suite C
Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Professional's Choice Hair Design Academy – Accredited

2719 West Jefferson Street
Joliet, IL 60435

PS Lash & Hair Extension Academy & Studio

705 North Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, IL 60642

Reflections Academy of Beauty – Accredited

241 North Main Street
Decatur, IL 62523

Rend Lake College

468 North Ken Gray Parkway
Ina, IL 62846

Rosel School of Cosmetology – Accredited

307 Golf Mill Center
Niles, IL 60714

Sandra Rossi Education Center

264 West Rand Road
Arlington Heights, IL 60004

Shawnee Community College

8364 Shawnee College Road
Ullin, IL 62992

Southeastern Illinois College

3575 College Road
Harrisburg, IL 62946

Southwestern Illinois College

2500 Carlyle Avenue
Belleville, IL 62221

Stautzenberger College-Rockford Career College

1130 South Alpine Road Suite 100
Rockford, IL 61108

Steven Papageorge Hair Academy

3401 West Lawrence Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625

Technology Center of DuPage

301 South Swift Road
Addison, IL 60101

The Nail Inn & School of Cosmetology

47 Suitephen Street
Lemont, IL 60439

The Salon Professional Academy – Accredited

335 Vertin Boulevard
Shorewood, IL 60404

The University of Aesthetics & Cosmetology – Accredited

1037 Curtiss Street
Downers Grove, IL 60515

Trenz Beauty Academy – Accredited

695 Wentworth Avenue
Calumet City, IL 60409

Trenz Beauty Academy – Accredited

2605 West 79th Street
Chicago, IL 60652

Tri-County Beauty Academy – Accredited

219 North State Street
Litchfield, IL 62056

Trichology Trends Institute

341 West Northwest Highway
Palatine, IL 60067

Vee's School of Beauty Culture

2701 State Street East Street
St. Louis, IL 62205

Waubonsee Community College

4S783 IL-47
Sugar Grove, IL 60554

William Rainey Harper College

1200 West Algonquin Road
Palatine, IL 60067

Your School of Beauty Culture

116 East Pershing Road
Chicago, IL 60653

Niles School of Cosmetology

8057 North Milwaukee Avenue
Niles, IL 60714

Cosmetology Schools Near Me

How to Become a Cosmetologist in Illinois

Illinois Cosmetology Careers At a Glance
  • 1,500 education hours are required to become licensed.
  • You must renew your license every 2 years.
  • 14 continuing education hours are required to renew your license.
  • The average salary for cosmetologists in Illinois is $32,980 ($15.86/hour).
  • There is a predicted 3% job increase between 2018–2028 for cosmetologists.

To work as a cosmetologist here, you must obtain a license from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).

The requirements for licensure are:

  • Be at least 16 years of age
  • Be a high school graduate (or equivalent) or be old enough to be done with compulsory schooling
  • Graduate from an approved cosmetology or barber school with 1,500 hours of education
  • Take and pass the state's cosmetology exam with at least a 75%

Once you complete your required cosmetology training, you may take the exam for licensure. If you pass, you'll receive your license. No background check is required.

According to state law, a cosmetology license qualifies you to cut, style, and care for hair (including facial hair), nails, and skin for cosmetic, not medical, purposes.

Cosmetologist Salary and Projected Job Growth in Illinois


Average yearly salary for cosmetology in Illinois

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean salary for cosmetologists in Illinois was $32,980 per year ($15.85 per hour) as of 2020. This is higher than the national average of $32,740 ($15.74).

While the field is declining by 2% nationally, Illinois anticipates the number of cosmetologists to grow by 3% between 2018 and 2028.

As of 2019, the five highest-paying metro areas for cosmetologists in Illinois are:

  • Springfield: $35,170
  • Rockford: $27,290
  • Peoria: $27,060
  • Carbondale-Marion: $26,980
  • Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI: $26,850

2019 salaries in some other nonmetropolitan areas worth noting in Illinois include:

  • West Central Illinois Balance of State: $29,450
  • South Illinois Balance of State: $23,220
  • East Central Illinois Balance of State: $21,330

Data from O*Net (2021)

State License Requirements

1,500 Education Hours

Required to earn a cosmetology license

To work as a cosmetologist in Illinois, you must complete 1,500 hours of training from a state-approved, accredited cosmetology school. Your program should cover the following topics:

  • Hair chemical treatments, including waving, relaxing, coloring, and lightening
  • Hair cutting and styling
  • Nail and skin treatments
  • Safety and sanitation
  • Scalp, hair, skin, and nails analysis and treatments

Any approved cosmetology school must submit to a periodic review by the IDFPR, which will look at topics covered in its programs, the rigor of the content, graduation rates, etc.

Can I Apprentice as a Cosmetologist in Illinois?

Illinois doesn't offer apprenticeship as a pathway to licensure in the field.

Illinois Cosmetology Licensing Requirements

To receive your cosmetology license in Illinois, you have to complete your 1,500 hours of training in no less than eight months long and no more than seven years in a row and pass a cosmetology exam.

As an alternative, you could undergo 1,000 hours of barber school training and later take 500 hours of cosmetology training.

Once you graduate from your program, you need to take the following steps to earn your license:

1. Apply to take the exam
Complete the four-page cosmetology license application and submit it online or by mail, along with any supporting documents and a $30 fee.

2. Schedule your exam
Once your application has been approved, you'll receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) with information about scheduling your test at a day, time, and location of your choice. You must take the test within 60 days of receiving your ATT, or you'll have to reapply.

3. Request accommodations ahead of time
If you need accommodations due to a disability or other concern, you need to request them and provide appropriate documentation. If the accommodations are approved, you'll receive an email to schedule a test at a location able to provide them. These appointments must be scheduled at least two weeks before the test date.

4. Take your exam
On test day, you must present a photo ID and sign an agreement to abide by test center rules. You may not bring anything into the testing room, including purses or phones. If you need to use the restroom, you must sign in and out. The exam lasts a maximum of two hours.

5.Receive your score
You'll be given an unofficial score before you leave your testing center, but your official score will arrive one to two weeks after you take your test. You must earn a score of at least 75% to receive your license.

If you don't pass your exam after three attempts, you need to complete 250 additional hours of cosmetology study before you can take the test again.

According to the IDFPR cosmetology exam study guide, the test is divided up as follows:

  • Salon safety and sanitation: 32%
  • Analyze and treat scalp, hair, skin, and nails: 11%
  • Cut and style hair: 13%
  • Waxing and relaxing: 13%
  • Hair coloring and lightening: 13%
  • Nail services: 9%
  • Skin services: 9%

Illinois Cosmetology Licensure Reciprocity

Currently, the State of Illinois doesn't have any reciprocity agreements. However, if you're a licensed cosmetologist in another state, you may apply for a license by endorsement. For your license to be considered for endorsement, one of the following must be true:

  • Your training must meet or exceed Illinois' requirements; or
  • You must have enough work experience to make up any difference, with 12 months of work generally equaling 300 hours of training

If you meet those eligibility requirements, apply to the IDFPR with proof of your existing license and pay a fee of $45.

Cosmetology Specialties in Illinois

Illinois also offers licenses by exam to work in a variety of other beauty specialties. Training for these specialties include:

  • Barbers: 1,500 hours of barbering or cosmetology training lasting between nine months and three years
  • Estheticians: 750 hours of esthetics study lasting between 18 weeks and four consecutive years
  • Nail Technicians: 350 hours of nail technology training lasting between eight weeks and two consecutive years
  • Hair Braiders: 300 clock hours of training in a hair braiding curriculum
  • Cosmetology Teachers: Proof of licensure in cosmetology as well as two years of proven practical experience in the field and an official transcript showing successful completion of a 500-hour teacher training program

Illinois is one of the most racially and culturally diverse states in the nation. This is evident in the state's beauty industry, where hair braiding now requires licensure. This license enables you to do such styles as cornrows, locs, and more.

Additionally, some specialties may not require special licenses, but you could take continuing education courses to earn certifications. Some workplaces offer these trainings, though you may want to seek out some on your own. Look at what's in demand in your area and seek out education in those areas so you could become even more appealing to potential clients.

Cosmetology License Renewal in Illinois

2 Years

License renewal period

14 Hours

Continuing education required

In Illinois, licensed cosmetologists must renew their licenses before September 30 of every even-numbered year. Licenses, according to state law, expire on September 30 of each odd-numbered year, meaning that the 24 months leading up to your renewal date is considered the "prerenewal period."

To renew your license, you must submit a renewal application along with a $25 renewal fee and prove you've completed 14 hours of approved continuing education (CE).

This CE must include a one-hour domestic violence and sexual assault awareness education program. People working in beauty have the unique opportunity to see people up close, which may give them a good look at any potential signs of abuse.

Contact the Illinois State Board of Cosmetology

Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation

Illinois possesses a distinctive cosmetology culture, one that is influential and has allowed for numerous people to become professionals statewide. As more are expected to satisfy the demand of clients who enjoy quality service, those looking to get started in cosmetology consult these groups.

America's Beauty Show
This website is the home of Cosmetologists Chicago, a nonprofit association serving licensed beauty professionals throughout Illinois. The organization offers members access to CE credits, discounts on beauty products, networking opportunities, and more.

Illinois Association of Cosmetology Schools
The IACS serves as a voice for beauty schools, teachers, and vendors in the industry. The organization is involved in policy advocacy and provides industry news to professionals.