Cosmetology Schools in North Carolina

If you want to become a cosmetologist, North Carolina could be the right place for you to start your career. The field is expected to grow rapidly over the next several years, and the state’s continuing education requirements are very flexible.

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

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1520 South Boulevard Suite 150
Charlotte, NC 28203

(704) 333-9940
Cosmetology, Esthetics, Massage Therapy

4901-B North Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28213

(223) 303-4233

8700 Pineville-Matthews Road Suite 700
Charlotte, NC 28226

(980) 301-0132

10075 Weddington Road Extension
Concord, NC 28027

(412) 516-9889
Cosmetology, Teacher Training

1312 Bridford Parkway 105
Greensboro, NC 27407

(952) 881-8662

7740 North Point Boulevard
Winston-Salem, NC 27106

(908) 481-8899

500 Four Seasons Town Centre
Greensboro, NC 27407

(336) 885-3452
Cosmetology, Esthetics, Salon Management, Teacher Training

461 C East Plaza Drive
Mooresville, NC 28115

(704) 235-0185

Find Cosmetology Schools Near You

A.R.T.C. Beaute & Aesthetics College – Accredited

4853 NC Highway-55
Durham, NC 27713

Absolute Beauty College – Accredited

1004 Palmer Plaza Lane
Charlotte, NC 28211

Academy of Artistic Hair Design

114 Wilkesboro Avenue
North Wilkesboro, NC 28659

Alamance Community College - Burlington – Accredited

1304 Plaza Drive
Burlington, NC 27215

Alamance Community College - Graham

1247 Jimmie Kerr Road
Graham, NC 27253

Alexander Paul Institute of Hair Design – Accredited

1011 Charles Boulevard Suite A
Greenville, NC 27858

Asheville High School – Accredited

419 McDowell Street
Asheville, NC 28803

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College – Accredited

340 Victoria Road
Asheville, NC 28801

Avalon Cosmetic Art Institute – Accredited

6111 Rumple Road
Charlotte, NC 28277

Aveda Institute Chapel Hill – Accredited

201 South Estes Drive Sutie 200-B
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Beaufort County Community College – Accredited

5337 U.S. Highway 264 East
Washington, NC 27889

Beltine Education Center – Accredited

3200 Bush Street
Raleigh, NC 27609

Blue Ridge Community College – Accredited

180 West Campus Drive
Flat Rock, NC 28731

Brunswick Community College – Accredited

50 College Road Northeast
Bolivia, NC 28422

Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute - Hudson – Accredited

2855 Hickory Boulevard
Hudson, NC 28638

Cape Fear Community College - Castle Hayne – Accredited

4500 Blue Clay Road
Castle Hayne, NC 28429

Cape Fear Community College - Wilmington

411 North Front Street
Wilmington, NC 28401

Carolina College of Hair Design – Accredited

1302 Patton Avenue Suite 20
Asheville, NC 28806

Carteret Community College – Accredited

3505 Arendell Street
Morehead City, NC 28557

Catawba Valley Community College – Accredited

1995 Startown Road Suite 109
Hickory, NC 28602

Cavelia Institute of Cosmetology – Accredited

3130 Monroe Road
Charlotte, NC 28205

CCC&TI Watauga High School Campus – Accredited

300 Go Pioneer Drive
Boone, NC 28607

Central Carolina Community College - Lillington – Accredited

995 East Cornelius Harnett Boulevard
Lillington, NC 27546

Central Carolina Community College - Pittsboro

764 West Street
Pittsboro, NC 27312

Central Carolina Community College - Sanford – Accredited

1105 Kelly Drive
Sanford, NC 27330

Central Piedmont Community College

1141 Elizabeth Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28204

Charisma Beauty Institute – Accredited

6441 C Yadkin Road
Fayetteville, NC 28303

Circle of Love Academy – Accredited

409 Stanley Chapel Church Road
Dudley, NC 28333

Civella Beauty Academy – Accredited

1021 North Spence Avenue
Goldsboro, NC 27534

Cleveland Community College – Accredited

137 South Post Road
Shelby, NC 28152

Coastal Carolina Community College – Accredited

444 Western Boulevard
Jacksonville, NC 28546

College of the Albemarle – Accredited

1208 North Road Street
Elizabeth City, NC 27909

College of Wilmington – Accredited

3500 Oleander Drive Suite 1111
Wilmington, NC 28403

Craven Community College – Accredited

800 College Court
New Bern, NC 28562

Davidson-Davie Community College – Accredited

297 Davidson Community College Road
Thomasville, NC 27306

Dudley Cosmetology University – Accredited

519 South Elm Street
Greensboro, NC 27406

Durham Tech – Accredited

3404 North Duke Street
Durham, NC 27703

Edgecombe Community College - Rocky Mount

225 Tarboro Street
Rocky Mount, NC 27801

Edgecombe Community College - Tarboro – Accredited

2009 West Wilson Street
Tarboro, NC 27866

Elevate Beauty Institute – Accredited

300 East Main Street Suite 100
Durham, NC 27701

Fayetteville Technical Community College – Accredited

2201 Hull Road
Fayetteville, NC 28304

Gaston College - Dallas

201 Highway 321 South
Dallas, NC 28034

Gaston College - Lincolnton – Accredited

511 South Aspen
Lincolnton, NC 28093

Gifted Hands Academy – Accredited

971 Salisbury Ridge Road
Winston-Salem, NC 27105

Guilford Technical Community College – Accredited

601 High Point Road
Jamestown, NC 27282

Halifax Community College – Accredited

100 College Drive
Weldon, NC 27890

Haywood Community College – Accredited

185 Freelander Drive
Clyde, NC 28721

Hoke County High School – Accredited

505 South Bethel Road
Raeford, NC 28376

Holton Career and Resource Center – Accredited

401 North Driver Street
Durham, NC 27713

Isothermal Community College – Accredited

286 ICC Loop Road
Spindale, NC 28160

J. Evans Beauty Academy of Natural Hair

1221 South Main Street
Graham, NC 27253

James Sprunt Community College – Accredited

133 James Sprunt Drive Hall Building Room 118
Kenansville, NC 28349

Johnston Community College – Accredited

245 College Road
Smithfield, NC 27577

Lenoir Community College – Accredited

231 Highway 58 South
Kinston, NC 28504

Leon's Beauty School – Accredited

1305 Coliseum Boulevard
Greensboro, NC 27403

London International Barber and Beauty Academy – Accredited

3211 Yanceyville Street
Greensboro, NC 27405

Martin Community College – Accredited

1161 Kehukee Park Road
Williamston, NC 27892

Mayland Community College – Accredited

97 Pinebridge Avenue
Spruce Pine, NC 28777

McDowell Technical Community College – Accredited

54 College Drive
Marion, NC 28752

Mitchell Community College – Accredited

3223 Taylorsville Highway
Statesville, NC 28625

Mitchell's Academy – Accredited

1301 Buck Jones Road
Raleigh, NC 27606

MyrAngel Beauty Institute Charlotte – Accredited

9101 Kings Parade Boulevard Suite 101
Charlotte, NC 28273

Nash Community College – Accredited

522 North Old Carriage Road
Rocky Mount, NC 27804

North Mecklenburg High School – Accredited

11201 Old Statesville Road
Huntersville, NC 28078

Northampton County High School – Accredited

750 NCHSE Road
Conway, NC 27820

Pamlico Community College - Bayboro – Accredited

703 Main Street
Bayboro, NC 28529

Pamlico Community College - Grantsboro

5049 Highway 306 South
Grantsboro, NC 28529

Paul Mitchell The School Charlotte – Accredited

1516 Elizabeth Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28204

Paul Mitchell The School Fayetteville – Accredited

505A Cross Creek Mall
Fayetteville, NC 28303

Paul Mitchell The School Gastonia – Accredited

284 East Garrison Boulevard
Gastonia, NC 28054

Paul Mitchell The School Raleigh – Accredited

8551 Glenwood Avenue Suite 100
Raleigh, NC 27612

Piedmont Community College - Roxboro – Accredited

1715 College Drive
Roxboro, NC 27573

Piedmont Community College - Yanceyville

331 Piedmont Drive
Yanceyville, NC 27379

PITT Community College

1986 Pitt Tech Road
Winterville, NC 28590

Pitt Community College Hairstyling Academy – Accredited

426 A East Arlington Boulevard
Greenville, NC 27858

Randolph Community College – Accredited

503 Industrial Park Avenue
Asheboro, NC 27205

RDT Academy of Cosmetology School – Accredited

5110 NC Highway 87 South Suite 106
Fayetteville, NC 28306

Roanoke-Chowan Community College – Accredited

109 Community College Road
Ahoskie, NC 27910

Robeson Community College – Accredited

5160 Fayetteville Road
Lumberton, NC 28360

Rockingham Community College – Accredited

215 Wrenn Memorial Road
Wentworth, NC 27375

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College - Kannapolis – Accredited

489 North Cannon Boulevard
Kannapolis, NC 28083

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College - Salisbury

1333 Jake Alexander Boulevard South
Salisbury, NC 28146

Sampson Community College – Accredited

1801 Sunset Avenue
Clinton, NC 28328

Sandhills Community College – Accredited

3395 Airport Road
Pinehurst, NC 28374

Shear Grace Institute of Cosmetology – Accredited

229 First Avenue Southeast
Hickory, NC 28602

Sherrill's University of Barber & Cosmetology – Accredited

3601 Bastion Lane
Raleigh, NC 27616

Southeastern Community College – Accredited

4564 Chadbourn Highway
Whiteville, NC 28472

Southwestern Community College – Accredited

447 College Drive
Sylva, NC 28779

Stanly Community College – Accredited

141 College Drive
Albemarle, NC 28001

Surry Community College – Accredited

630 South Main Street
Dobson, NC 27017

The Dooby Shop School of Cosmetology – Accredited

2107 Beatties Ford Road Suite A
Charlotte, NC 28216

Tri-County Community College – Accredited

21 Campus Circle
Murphy, NC 28906

V Tran Beauty Academy – Accredited

605 Phillip Davis Drive 1
Charlotte, NC 28217

Vance Granville Community College - Creedmoor

1547 South Campus Drive
Creedmoor, NC 27522

Vance Granville Community College - Louisburg – Accredited

8100 Highway 56 West
Louisburg, NC 27549

Vance-Granville Community College

200 Community College Road
Henderson, NC 27537

Vernon Malone College and Career Academy – Accredited

2200 South Wilmington Street
Raleigh, NC 27603

Wake Technical Community College – Accredited

9101 Fayetteville Road
Raleigh, NC 27603

Wayne Community College

3000 Wayne Memorial Drive
Goldsboro, NC 27534

West Charlotte High School – Accredited

2219 Senior Drive
Charlotte, NC 28216

West Mecklenburg High School – Accredited

7400 Tuckaseegee Road
Charlotte, NC 28214

Western Piedmont Community College – Accredited

1231 C Burkemont Avenue
Morganton, NC 28655

Wilkes Community College – Accredited

144 Campus Drive
West Jefferson, NC 28694

Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools Career Center – Accredited

910 Highland Court
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

World of Excellence Beauty College – Accredited

3519 Fayetteville Street
Durham, NC 27707
Accredited School

You must attend a school that meets any licensure requirements as defined by your state. Most states require that you graduate from an accredited or state-approved school.

Cosmetology Schools Near Me

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

How to Become a Cosmetologist in North Carolina

North Carolina Cosmetology Careers At a Glance
  • 1,500 education hours or 1,200 apprentice hours are required to become licensed.
  • You must renew your license every year.
  • 8 continuing education hours are required to renew your license.
  • The average salary for cosmetologists in North Carolina is $34,880.
  • There is a predicted 12% job increase between 2018–2028 for cosmetologists.

North Carolina has several strict requirements for cosmetologists. To gain licensure, you need to:

  • Complete an approved 1,500-hour training course or 1,200 hours of an apprenticeship
  • Submit an online license application
  • Pay a $49 application fee (plus $5 for a temporary permit, if needed)
  • Pass both written and practical exams with 75% or higher

North Carolina Cosmetology Careers


Average yearly salary for cosmetology in North Carolina

As of 2020, cosmetologists in North Carolina earned a mean wage of $34,880 annually ($16.77 per hour). Typical pay for cosmetologists throughout the state ranges between $18,550 and $57,630, varying based on hours worked, years of experience, location, and more.

The number of cosmetologists in North Carolina is expected to grow by 12% between 2018 and 2028.

Salaries vary based on skill, experience, and where you work. Both the location and type of salon you work for may impact your wage. For example, cosmetologists near Fayetteville earn much higher salaries on average than those in the more remote mountain regions of North Carolina. High-end salons may offer higher pay as well.

As of 2021, the five highest-paying metro areas for cosmetologists in North Carolina by median pay are:

  • Durham-Chapel Hill, NC: $38,750
  • Raleigh, NC: $29,790
  • Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC: $29,710
  • Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC: $29,620
  • Greensboro-High Point, NC: $28,640

Reported pay in North Carolina nonmetropolitan areas include:

  • Northeast Coastal North Carolina: $29,800
  • Piedmont North Carolina: $27,940
  • Southeast Coastal North Carolina: $27,750
  • Mountain North Carolina: $27,530

Data from O*Net (2022)

What to Expect From a Cosmetology Program in North Carolina

1,500 Education Hours

Required to earn a cosmetology license

To earn your cosmetologist license in North Carolina, you need to complete 1,500 hours of training at a school approved by the North Carolina Board of Cosmetic Art Examiners. The curriculum includes many requirements, including subjects in theory and practical application including, but not limited to:

  • Anatomy
  • Artificial nails
  • Bacteriology
  • Business management
  • Chemistry as it relates to cosmetics
  • Electricity as it relates to cosmetics
  • First aid
  • Hair cutting
  • Professional image and ethics
  • Scalp treatments

At your school, you're required to pass evaluations on infection control, tool safety, and safe application of products for each service you perform. You must also perform services on a live model, such as:

  • Basic facial, including steam
  • Basic manicure and pedicure
  • Blow drying
  • Color application
  • Haircutting with shears, razor, or clippers
  • Hot ironing
  • Permanent waving and wraps
  • Relaxer application
  • Waxing

North Carolina students also need to pass an infection control and blood exposure procedure evaluation with a score of 100%. The board offers a list of approved North Carolina schools.

Can I Apprentice as a Cosmetologist in North Carolina?

1,200 Education Hours AND 1,040 Apprentice Hours

Required to earn a cosmetology license

You may earn your cosmetology license through an apprenticeship in North Carolina. However, they do this in an unusual way: You need to complete 1,200 hours of a cosmetology program in a licensed school before getting an apprentice license to complete your requirements.

Beyond the 1,200 hours of schooling, you need to apprentice for 38-40 hours per week for at least six months or fewer than 38 hours per week for a total of 1,040 hours.

Since you have to attend that many hours of school, you may be wondering why an apprenticeship would be worth it. For one, apprentices are paid. Secondly, this means paying for 300 fewer hours of training, though you still have to pay apprentice licensure and exam fees.

Becoming a cosmetologist apprentice in North Carolina involves paying a $49 application fee for a three-year license and passing the same written and practical exams as those who solely attended school with a 70% or higher.

If you apply from out of state, submit a copy of your current cosmetic arts license and a valid ID to the board.

You must also submit proof of your certification if you earned your training in the following states:

  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • New Hampshire
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas
  • West Virginia

North Carolina Cosmetology Licensing Requirements

After completing the 1,500 training hours from a certified school, sign up to take the written and practical exams online at D.L. within six months of graduation. You must score 75% or better on both the written and practical exams for licensure.

After you apply for your written exam online and pay the $10 electronic registration fee, your school and state Board reviews the information. You should receive an email or letter from D.L. Roope Administrations with your examination date, time, and location.

The computerized written exam takes 90 minutes to complete and takes place at your closest Iso Quality Testing (IQT) center. Bring a valid form of ID for entry. The exam is available in multiple languages, so select your preference when you apply.

The practical exam is around four to five hours and only available in English. The test is typically offered in Raleigh, though it also occurs once per year in Hickory and Wilmington. You must dress professionally, show a valid ID, and bring a cosmetology kit with a mannequin head for the exam. Exam results post on the D.L. Roope website after three business days.

If you have a disability or require ADA accommodations for testing, you need to submit three forms with your application. Obtain the forms from your school or D.L. Roope Administrations.

When you have passed the exams, complete your online license application through the board. Send your scores, $49 application fee, and proof of graduation. Once the board approves all the requirements, they issue your license in five to 10 business days.

If you don't pass the exams, you will receive an application to reschedule with the fee required. You can also re-apply online using the D.L. link above. Your school doesn't need to re-approve the exam, so make sure to select "retake" or "no show" when you apply.

North Carolina Cosmetology Licensure Reciprocity

North Carolina has cosmetology licensure reciprocity agreements with most states. This means if you're approved for reciprocity, you don't have to take the state exams. Your license must be in current good standing for eligibility.

Individuals licensed in another state must pay a $64 application fee (or $35 for an apprenticeship). Send the fee with a copy of your current cosmetic arts license and a valid ID. You should ask your state licensing agency to send your certification to the board if you earned your cosmetology license in:

  • Arkansas
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Washington D.C.
  • Wisconsin
  • West Virginia

Additional requirements apply if you earned your education in Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia. You must send your certification by mail before applying for your North Carolina license.

You could skip the certification requirement and go straight to submitting your application online or by mail if you earned your license in most other states or Puerto Rico.

Out-of-state graduates from an approved cosmetic art school are eligible to transfer with a minimum of 1,500 training hours. If you graduated within the previous five years, send your transcript to the board by email or mail.

Cosmetology Specialties in North Carolina

Many hair salons around North Carolina's metro areas offer Black hair services, particularly near Raleigh and Charlotte. If you want to specialize in natural hair care or braiding services, you need a specialty license.

The only specialty license available in North Carolina is natural hair care. This license allows you to provide braid, twist, wrap, extend, or lock hair – any hair service that requires tension on the roots.

If you want to earn your natural hair care specialist licensure in North Carolina, you need to complete at least 300 hours of a natural hair care curriculum at an approved school. You need to take the written and practical exams and pay a $20 application fee. The written exam takes 90 minutes, and you still need a cosmetology kit and mannequin head for the two-hour practical exam.

However, a this license doesn't cover other cosmetology services like styling or cutting hair. You may want to earn a cosmetology license and become a natural hair care specialist through an additional program if you plan to perform both services.

If you want to add additional specialties to your skillset that don't require extra licenses, you could consider continuing education classes in fields that interest you.

License Renewal

1 Year

License renewal period

8 Hours

Continuing education required

In North Carolina, cosmetologists must renew their licenses and complete eight hours of continuing education courses yearly. Your license expires on October 1 each year, and you can renew online anytime between July 1 and the expiration date.

Your continuing education classes can be taken online, via video tutorials, or in person. Record the date, time, and location or URL of each educational course you take with a brief description of what you learned for the board.

Contact the North Carolina State Board of Cosmetology

North Carolina State Board of Cosmetic Art Examiners

If you need help updating a change of name or address, acquiring out-of-state transfer forms, or need help with additional questions about obtaining a North Carolina cosmetology license, contact the NC Board using the information above.

North Carolina views cosmetologists as a cherished part of its society. As more individuals add to the number currently operating in the state, beauty care takes on a more dynamic outlook. Those looking to learn more go to these groups.

North Carolina Board of Cosmetic Art Examiners
American Association of Cosmetology Schools

North Carolina

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