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.
Browse All Cosmetology Schools in Illinois
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9714 South Cicero Avenue
Oak Lawn, IL 60453
700 East Terra Cotta Avenue
Crystal Lake, IL 60014
609 South Randall Road
Elgin, IL 60123
657 Highgrove Place
Rockford, IL 61108
142 East Golf Road
Schaumburg, IL 60173
3602 Marquette Road Suite 2
Peru, IL 61354
2601 North Mulford
Rockford, IL 61114
211 East 3rd Street
Sterling, IL 61081
1200 Harger Road
Oakbrook, IL 60523
825 Village Quarter Road
West Dundee, IL 60118
2245 Gateway Drive
Sycamore, IL 60178
8057 North Milwaukee Avenue
Niles, IL 60714
15301 South Cicero Avenue
Oak Forest, IL 60452
6458 North Sheridan Road
Chicago, IL 60626
5321 North Harlem Avenue
Chicago, IL 60656
7350 West 87th Street
Bridgeview, IL 60455
264 South Randall Road
Elgin, IL 60123
530 East North Avenue
Glendale Heights, IL 60139
751 East Park Avenue
Libertyville, IL 60048
755 West Raab Road
Normal, IL 61761
602 West Glen Avenue
Peoria, IL 61602
5485 East State Street
Rockford, IL 61108
202 East University Street Suite H I J
Urbana, IL 61801
2913 West White Oaks Drive
Springfield, IL 62704
Lake In The Hills, IL 60156
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.
- 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:
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:
2019 salaries in some other nonmetropolitan areas worth noting in Illinois include:
Data from O*Net (2021)
State License Requirements
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:
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:
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:
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:
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
License renewal period
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
- 100 West Randolph, 9th Floor Chicago, IL 60601
- Website: Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
- Call: 888-473-4858
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.