Cosmetology Schools in Massachusetts

With licensed cosmetologists earning more in Massachusetts than anywhere else in the U.S., the Bay State might be the perfect place to launch your beauty career. Browse our directory of cosmetology schools in Massachusetts, or skip ahead to learn about the state's cosmetology licensing requirements and job outlook.

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

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30 West Street
Boston, MA 02111

(800) 920-4593
Programs:
Cosmetology

347 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148

(800) 920-4593
Programs:
Cosmetology, Cosmetology Teacher Training, Hair Design, Esthetics
Mildred Elley – Accredited

100 West Street
Pittsfield, MA 1201

Programs:
Cosmetology, Massage Therapy
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Alexander Academy – Accredited

55 Massachusetts Avenue
Lunenburg, MA 01462

Bay Path Regional Vocational Techinical High School (high school students only) – Accredited

57 Old Muggett Hill Road
Charlton, MA 01507

Berkshire Community College

1350 West Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201

Charles H McCann Technical School

70 Hodges Cross Road
North Adams, MA 1247

DiGrigoli School of Cosmetology – Accredited

1578 Riverdale Street West
Springfield, MA 01089

East Boston Beauty Academy

4 Neptune Road
Boston, MA 02128

Flavia Leal Academy

20 Chelsea Street
Everett, MA 2149

Jupiter Beauty Academy – Accredited

95 Freeport Street
Boston, MA 02122

Lowell Academy Hairstyling Institute – Accredited

136 Central Street
Lowell, MA 01852

Mansfield Beauty Schools

200 Parking Way
Quincy, MA 02169

Montachesett Regional Vocational Technical School

1050 Westminster Street
Fitchburg, MA 1420

New England Hair Academy – Accredited

110 Florence Street
Malden, MA 02148

North Shore Community College

1 Ferncroft Road
Danvers, MA 01923

Rob Roy Academy – Accredited

260 South Main Street
Fall River, MA 2721

Rob Roy Academy – Accredited

1872 Acushnet Avenue
New Bedford, MA 2720

Rob Roy Academy – Accredited

1 School Street
Taunton, MA 2780

Rob Roy Academy – Accredited

150 Pleasant Street
Worcester, MA 01609

Southeastern Technical Institute – Accredited

250 Foundry Street
South Easton, MA 02375

Spa Tech Institute – Accredited

227 Turnpike Road Suite 1
Westboro, MA 01581

Springfield Technical Community College

1 Armory Square
Springfield, MA 01105

Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy – Accredited

6 Park Avenue
Braintree, MA 02184

Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy – Accredited

727A Granite Street
Worcester, MA 01605

Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School

220 Sandwich Road
Bourne, MA 2532

Flavia Leal Academy | Everett

20 Chelsea Street
Everett, MA 02149
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.

Cosmetology Schools Near Me

Check out the Cosmetology schools these cities in Massachusetts have to offer.

Best Cosmetology Schools in Massachusetts Metro Areas

We've ranked the top cosmetology schools in metro areas within or near Massachusetts to help you find your perfect fit.

How to Become a Cosmetologist in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Cosmetology Careers At a Glance
  • 1,000 education hours or 1,000 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 Massachusetts is $46,310.
  • There is a predicted 6% job increase between 2018–2028 for cosmetologists.

To qualify for a cosmetologist license in the state of Massachusetts, you must meet certain requirements, including:

  • Completing 1,000 hours of training in a board-approved cosmetology school
  • Passing written and practical exams
  • Applying for a license and paying the required fee of $68
  • Passing relevant criminal record background checks

A criminal record does not automatically disqualify you from being eligible for a cosmetology license, but it may lead to additional checks. Some factors, such as a recent conviction or one that involves aggravating circumstances, may lead to disqualification.

Obtaining your cosmetology license in Massachusetts doesn't automatically permit you to run your own business; perform manicures, aesthetics, or electrolysis; or work as a mobile practitioner or cosmetology instructor. To perform these services, you'll need to earn additional licenses.

Cosmetologist Salary and Projected Job Growth in Massachusetts

$46,310

Average yearly salary for cosmetology in Massachusetts

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, cosmetologists in Massachusetts earned an average annual wage of $46,310 ($22.26 per hour) in 2020, much higher than the national average of $32,740 ($15.74 per hour). In fact, Massachusetts is the highest-paying state for cosmetology across the country.

The job market for cosmetologists in Massachusetts is also looking up, with a projected job growth of 6% between 2018 and 2028. An estimated 2,540 positions will open up across the state each year.

Salaries can vary, with annual wages of between $27,700 and $76,340. This difference is largely due to the level of experience a cosmetologist has, the services they offer, and the area they're based in.

The highest-paying metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas for cosmetologists in Massachusetts are:

Metro Area 2020 Median Salary
Worcester, MA-CT $48,080
Barnstable Town, MA $42,530
Massachusetts non-metropolitan area $39,980
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH $38,460
Pittsfield, MA $38,420
New Bedford, MA $35,540
Springfield, MA-CT $34,600
Leominster-Gardner, MA $32,160
Providence-Warwick, RI-MA $30,520

Table information sourced from O*Net (2021)

What to Expect From a Cosmetology Program in Massachusetts

1,000 Education Hours

Required to earn a cosmetology license

The first step to earning your cosmetologist license in Massachusetts is registering to participate in a state-approved cosmetology program and completing the required 1,000 hours of training. During your education, you'll learn about a wide range of topics relevant to the job, such as hair cutting, hair coloring, hairstyling, manicuring, facials, and more. You may also cover business-related topics, such as running your own salon, marketing, and finance. The Massachusetts Board of Registration of Cosmetology and Barbering requires that schools offer a curriculum that includes the following:

  • Hair straightening and permanent waving: 250 hours
  • Dyes and bleaching: 150 hours
  • Hair cutting: 125 hours
  • Sterilization, hygiene, and anatomy: 125 hours
  • Skin care, facial grooming, and eyelash and eyebrow extensions, tinting, and perming: 80 hours
  • Finger waving: 50 hours
  • Manicuring: 50 hours
  • Wig instruction and scalp treatments: 50 hours
  • Iron curls: 45 hours
  • Cleaning and disinfection: 25 hours
  • Ethics, salesmanship, courtesy, and conduct: 25 hours
  • Shampooing: 25 hours

Like individual practitioners, cosmetology schools must also be licensed. The state board closely monitors them to make sure they maintain a high standard of education and clean, safe facilities for staff, students, and clients.

Can I Apprentice as a Cosmetologist in Massachusetts?

It is possible to gain licensure as a cosmetologist in Massachusetts by completing an apprenticeship. You need to complete at least 200 school hours and pass a background check to qualify for this.

Once enrolled, you need to complete at least 1,000 education hours, consisting of:

  • A minimum of 600 school hours
  • A maximum of 400 shop hours

Your apprenticeship registration will expire after 12 months and cannot be renewed. The apprenticeship will also automatically terminate if you graduate or leave the program, though you may be able to apply for reinstatement if the interruption was for a good reason.

Massachusetts Cosmetology Licensing Requirements

Once you complete the required 1,000 hours of training, you can apply for your cosmetology license. To do this, you first need to register with the state board's testing vendor, Pearson VUE, and pass both the practical and written exams.

You must register for your exams at least three business days before you wish to take them. Applicants can take their exams at the following Pearson VUE locations on specific days of the week:

  • Malden: Monday–Thursday, Saturday
  • West Springfield: Saturdays only
  • Framingham: every other Saturday

The first time you take your cosmetology exam, it costs $150. If you need to retake it, you'll pay a fee of $120. Once you pass, you need to pay a license fee of $68.

You have three hours to pass the practical portion of the test and two hours for the written part, and you will receive your results as soon as you're finished. You need to score at least 80 on the practical exam and 70 on the written exam to pass. You can take the tests on different dates, though you must pass both within 24 months of each other.

The practical exam is only available in English, though you can bring in a translation dictionary if needed. All supplies brought into the exam must be labeled in English. The written portion of the test is available in English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, or Vietnamese.

On the day of your practical exam, arrive 30 minutes before the start of the test and meet with the manager or proctor, who will check that you've brought the right materials and photograph you for your score report. You need to bring the following:

  • Two forms of signature-bearing government ID (one with a photo)
  • Your candidate ID number
  • A model that meets the exam requirements
  • Completed and stamped education completion/licensing application form
  • The relevant practical exam tools and supplies (labeled)
  • First aid kit
  • Your uniform, smock, and dress code attire
  • Hand sanitizer or liquid hand soap, labeled
  • Disinfectant with manufacturer's label
  • Face masks for both candidate and model
  • Failing Score Report (for retakers only)

After completing the practical exam, you can take the written test. There are 100 questions (plus 20 pre-test questions), each of which is in a four-option, multiple-choice format, covering the following topics:

  1. Rules, Regulations, and Safety (27%-32%)
  2. Trichology (5%-8%)
  3. Shampoo/Scalp Analysis (4%-6%)
  4. Styling (5%-8%)
  5. Hair Cutting (9%-11%)
  6. Hair Color & Lightening (13%-15%)
  7. Permanent Waving (12%-14%)
  8. Chemical Straightening and Relaxing (12%-14%)
  9. Aesthetics (5%-7%)
  10. Nails (5%-7%)

Pearson VUE complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provisions, and extra accommodations can be made during your test if needed. If so, you must provide appropriate documentation of your condition and how you expect it to affect your ability to take the test under standard conditions.

Massachusetts Cosmetology Licensure Reciprocity

If you've previously trained as a licensed cosmetologist in another state (or even another country), you may be eligible for license reciprocity in Massachusetts.

  • If your license is current: You won't need to take any additional exams
  • If your license is expired: You must take the Massachusetts practical exam
  • If you went to school in another state but have not yet been licensed: You must take both the Massachusetts written and practical exams

If you are licensed in another state, you need to provide the following to the Massachusetts state board:

  • One 2" x2" photo
  • A copy of your driver's license
  • A copy of your cosmetology license
  • A verification of your license from the other state directly to the board, whether it's current or not
  • The relevant fee ($204 if applying with a current license, $136 if applying without)
  • An official, sealed transcript from your cosmetology school
  • A notarized Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) acknowledgment form

Veterans and their spouses may also be eligible for reciprocity, with military training and service counting toward Massachusetts licensure. In addition, the state board will expedite the licensure process for active-duty service members and spouses who are licensed in other states but moved to Massachusetts due to military transfer.

License Renewal

2 Year

License renewal period

0 Hours

Continuing education required

Cosmetologists in Massachusetts must renew their licenses every two years. Renewal costs $68 and is due on your birthday. If you forget, you'll need to pay an additional late fee of $57, so it's important not to miss the deadline.

There are no continuing education requirements for cosmetologists in Massachusetts, though professionals should brush up on skills frequently to stay on top of the latest industry trends and techniques.

Contact the Massachusetts State Board of Cosmetology

Board of Registration of Cosmetology and Barbering

Being part of the cosmetology industry in Massachusetts means being part of an expanding workforce and fueling the rise of small businesses. The state in turn has encouraged more towards personal grooming as a career. With that future in mind, many take advantage of these resources to get started.

Pearson VUE
As the state's testing vendor, Pearson VUE gives applicants information on testing, candidate handbooks, and licensing.

Massachusetts Cosmetology Advocacy Forum
This group for licensed cosmetologists in Massachusetts shares safety protocols, licensing requirements, industry news, and more.

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Cosmetology
Massachusetts

How to Become a Cosmetologist in Your State