Cosmetology Schools in Pennsylvania
If you hope to become a cosmetologist in Pennsylvania, now may be the time to jump on the opportunity. The number of available cosmetology jobs is projected to grow rapidly over the next decade.
Browse our directory of cosmetology schools in Pennsylvania, or skip ahead to learn about the state's cosmetology licensing requirements and job outlook.
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130 7th Street
Monessen, PA 15062
1522 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
1000 Carlisle Street
Hanover, PA 17331
3941 Jonestown Road
Harrisburg, PA 17109
1801 Columbia Avenue
Lancaster, PA 17603
1776 Quentin Road
Lebanon, PA 17042
320 Mall Boulevard
Monroeville, PA 15146
3370 Birney Avenue
Moosic, PA 18507
4026 Woodhaven Road
Philadelphia, PA 19154
4768 Mcknight Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15237
396 Pottsville St. Clair Highway
Pottsville, PA 17901
2302 North 5th Street Highway
Reading, PA 19605
30 Baldwin Boulevard
Shamokin Dam, PA 17876
799 West Sproul Road
Springfield, PA 19064
2394 Mountain View Drive
West Mifflin, PA 15122
1634 Macarthur Road
Whitehall, PA 18052
1000 Easton Road
Wyncote, PA 19095
2592 Eastern Boulevard
York, PA 17402
5100 Peach Street
Erie, PA 16509
50 Ranck Avenue
Lancaster, PA 17602
215 West Main Street
Lansdale, PA 19446
9902 East Roosevelt Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19115
344 Stroud Mall Road
Stroudsburg, PA 18360
153 Lehigh Valley Mall
Whitehall, PA 18052
369 Schoonmaker Avenue
Monessen, PA 15062
415 D Orchard Avenue
Altoona, PA 16601
130 West Main Street
Collegeville, PA 19426
1980 Edinboro Road
Erie, PA 16509
600 Turner Industrial Way
Aston, PA 19014
1033 Chester Pke
Sharon Hill, PA 19079
Pleasant Gap, PA 16823
Altoona, PA 16602
Pittsburgh Multicultural Cosmetology Academy – Accredited
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center – Accredited
Springville, PA 18844
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.
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How to Become a Cosmetologist in Pennsylvania
- 1,200 education hours or 2,000 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 Pennsylvania is $34,400.
- There is a predicted 27% job increase between 2020-2030 for cosmetologists.
To become a cosmetologist in Pennsylvania, you must fulfill the following requirements:
Cosmetologist Salary and Projected Job Growth in Pennsylvania
Average yearly salary for cosmetology in Pennsylvania
On average, cosmetologists in Pennsylvania earn $34,400 annually ($16.54 per hour) as of 2021. However, wages vary across the state based on geographic location, workplace, hours worked, and years of experience, with reported earnings ranging from $17,890 to $61,000 annually.
The cosmetology profession is growing quickly in Pennsylvania, with an expected job growth rate of 27% by 2028.
The highest-paying areas for cosmetologists in Pennsylvania are:
|Area||2021 Median Salary|
|New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA||$30,440|
|State College, PA||$28,740|
Data from O*Net (2022)
What to Expect From a Cosmetology Program in Pennsylvania
Required to earn a cosmetology license
Cosmetology students in Pennsylvania must complete 1,250 hours of education at a licensed cosmetology school and pass an exam.
The cosmetology curriculum at an approved cosmetology school in Pennsylvania must include:
1. Professional Practices (50 recommended hours):
2. Sciences (200 recommended hours):
3. Cosmetology Skills—Cognitive and Manipulative (1,000 recommended hours):
Licensed cosmetologists in Pennsylvania can perform the same services as nail technicians, natural hair braiders, and estheticians without additional licenses.
For a cosmetology school to remain licensed in Pennsylvania, it must:
- Only enroll students with a minimum of an 8th-grade education or equivalent and who are of good moral character and free of contagious and infectious diseases
- Maintain a sufficient number of registered teachers
- Possess an adequate amount of proper equipment necessary for training
- Maintain student attendance records
- Provide State Board reports on student hours
- Hold regular instruction hours
- Include day training lasting at least eight months or night training of at least 15 months
- Have a grading system and hold exams
- Be managed by a designated school supervisor
- Have a minimum ratio of one teacher to every 25 students
- Maintain a curriculum consisting of practical demonstrations and theoretical studies and education in antiseptics, cosmetics, sanitation, sterilization, and electrical appliances related to cosmetology
- Maintain a separate curriculum of 500 hours for prospective teachers
- Supply a written affidavit stating compliance with Pennsylvania's cosmetology law upon license renewal
While students can practice their skills on members of the public, customers may only be charged for the cost of the materials used and not the students' work.
Can I Apprentice as a Cosmetologist in Pennsylvania?
Required to complete a cosmetology apprenticeship
Individuals wishing to pursue their training through an apprenticeship program must file an application for an apprentice permit with the State Board. Applicants must meet the expectations of traditionally-trained cosmetology students, such as having completed at least 10th grade.
The apprentice permit lasts 21 months, and apprentices are required to take the state exam—though they can get a temporary license to practice between finishing their apprenticeship and taking the test.
A board-approved licensed cosmetologist must oversee the apprenticeship and cover the same materials as the school curriculum. The cosmetologist in charge of the apprentices must provide quarterly reports about their apprentices' hours, provide equipment (including a mannequin), and require them to work a minimum of 25 hours per week.
High School Cosmetology Programs in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania allows high school students attending approved schools to undergo a career and technical education (CTE) program in cosmetology, generally over the three years of grades 10 through 12. The educational requirements are the same as they are for traditional cosmetology programs.
Cosmetology Programs for Incarcerated People in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania allows incarcerated people ages 21 and over to complete cosmetology and barbering programs, providing they meet all qualifications determined by the state's Department of Corrections.
Pennsylvania Cosmetology Licensing Requirements
You must take a written examination to become a licensed cosmetologist in Pennsylvania. However, the state doesn't require a practical test.
If you're a traditional cosmetology student, you must complete 900 hours before applying to take the test. However, you can't get your license until you've passed the exam and completed all 1,250 hours of education.
Apprentices need to complete 2,000 hours of training before testing. They also must pass the theory/procedural skills exam, which costs $93.
After submitting a completed application along with the relevant documents and fees, you'll receive an approval to test notice via email.
Once you receive your notice, you can schedule your exam date online through the Pearson VUE web reservations site. You must schedule your exam at least 48 hours in advance.
Testing sites are in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Allentown, Erie, Plymouth Meeting, and Scranton. Frequency varies based on the site, but the exams are usually offered a few days each week.
You can also take the test outside Pennsylvania in Newark, Delaware; Cumberland, Maryland; or Morgantown, West Virginia.
The test is offered in English, Korean, Spanish, and Vietnamese. You will be allotted 2 hours and 15 minutes to take the test.
The Pennsylvania cosmetology exam consists of 110 scored multiple-choice questions and 25 pretest questions. Pretest questions aren't graded and are used as insight for future tests.
On the test day, check in with the test center administrator. You should arrive 30 minutes before your exam. Late arrivals won't be permitted to take the test.
You need to bring two forms of signed identification with you. The first form of identification must include a photo. Accepted forms of photo identification are:
The second form of identification must include a signature. A Social Security card, debit card, or photo-bearing school ID are acceptable.
You can apply for Americans with Disabilities Act accommodations by submitting documentation regarding your condition and how it impacts your test-taking abilities.
The exam includes the following sections:
- Rules, regulations, and safety
- Shampoo/scalp analysis
- Hair color and lightening
- Permanent waving
- Chemical straightening and relaxing
A passing score is 75. You'll receive your exam results on the day of testing. After passing the exam, you can expect to receive your license in the mail within 10-15 business days.
If you don't pass, you can apply to retake the exam online at the web reservations site 24 hours after the failed exam. You must pay the $93 exam fee each time you take the test.
Pennsylvania Cosmetology Licensure Reciprocity
Licensure reciprocity is available in Pennsylvania for cosmetologists from most other states. If you're moving to Pennsylvania and want to practice cosmetology in the state, you must submit an application with relevant documents. The state board may take several weeks to complete the reciprocity process, so it's best to apply as early as possible.
Pennsylvania has reciprocal agreements with every state except:
If you're from one of those states, you must take and pass the Pennsylvania cosmetology exam.
Military veterans can waive the 10th-grade education requirement for the cosmetology exam.
Cosmetology Specialties in Pennsylvania
Cosmetology is a vast field in Pennsylvania. You can find your passion in various areas and pursue continuing education rather than an additional license to practice those specialties.
Some potential specialties include:
Nail technology is also a separate license in Pennsylvania. So, you could begin with that and later get your full cosmetology license if you like.
Additionally, you should research what's popular in your area to help you decide the types of courses and certifications you should pursue.
License renewal period
Continuing education required
Cosmetologist licenses in Pennsylvania expire on Jan. 31 of either an odd-numbered or even-numbered year, so expect to renew your license every two years. The renewal fee is $67. Licenses are typically renewed within three calendar days.
If your license expires, you may reactivate it if it's been fewer than five years since it was active. You must retake the test if it's been more than five years.
There are no continuing education requirements for cosmetologists in Pennsylvania.