Online Cosmetology School
As more degrees become available online, you may be wondering if earning your cosmetology licensure can be done this way. There are no 100% online cosmetology programs due to the hands-on nature of the work.
But the good news is that many schools are beginning to offer online coursework on the science and theory behind cosmetology, creating hybrid programming that may best fit your schedule.
What Is It Like to Take Classes Online?
Accredited online cosmetology schools offer the same education and licensing preparation you’d get with an in-person program.
If you enroll online, you’ll likely have to do some practice in person. Many schools choose to cover these portions of the program online:
Many online classes are self-directed. You’ll get access to the full syllabus, course materials, and assignments on the first day and work at your own pace.
Some online classes have assignment deadlines and require you to post to discussion threads with your classmates. You still have some flexibility with these, because you may be able to work ahead and take time off if you need it.
If your state requires practical experience, you may have to do these portions of the program in person at a cosmetology school or as an apprentice at a salon:
When choosing a program, look into the school’s apprenticeship or internship opportunities to make sure it can connect you with a local business to complete required hands-on training.
How to Know If an Online Cosmetology Program Is Legitimate
To ensure an online program is legitimate:
How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online Program?
An online program should take the same amount of time to complete as an in-person program. Program length depends on your area of focus and state requirements and can vary between two months and two years.
Makeup artistry programs typically take two to three months to complete, while skincare and nail technician programs can last longer—anywhere from three months to a year. A cosmetology program can demand a year or longer, and an associate degree program typically lasts two years.
How much of the program is online versus in-person depends on your state licensing requirements.
For a full cosmetology program, most states require around 1,000 to 2,000 hours of coursework before licensing exams.
A majority of states do not require apprenticeship hours to obtain a license. Those that do require anywhere from 300 to 4,000 hours and requirements vary by the type of license you seek.
Depending on your cosmetology school, you may be able to complete the rest of the program online.
What Are the Benefits of Online Cosmetology Classes?
You might prefer to take online cosmetology classes rather than in-person classes because:
However, if you have trouble with self-motivation or learn best through face-to-face discussions, online classes might not be right for you.
Which States Allow Online Cosmetology School?
Whether you can become a licensed cosmetologist online depends on the regulations in your state. The states in the map below do not require apprenticeship hours, so you may be able to complete all your required education online in these locations. Some of the states include Arizona, New Jersey, New York, and Texas.
However, according to the National Association of Complementary and Alternative Medicines, most states—excluding Connecticut—include a practical skills exam to obtain your license, which you’ll need to prepare for with hands-on training.