Cosmetology Schools in Tennessee
Tennessee provides plenty of opportunities for those who want to train to become a cosmetologist. Browse our directory of cosmetology schools in Tennessee, or skip ahead to learn about the state's cosmetology licensing requirements and job outlook.
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1765 Galleria Boulevard
Franklin, TN 37067
7106 Moore's Lane
Brentwood, TN 37027
1433 Hollywood Drive
Jackson, TN 38301
1691 Memorial Boulevard
Murfreesboro, TN 37129
222 East Unaka Avenue
Johnson City, TN 37601
Chattanooga, TN 37415
Last Minute Cuts School of Barbering and Cosmetology – Accredited
Memphis, TN 38109
Tennessee Institute of Cosmetology – Accredited
Morristown, TN 37814
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 Tennessee
- 1,500 education hours or 1,500 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 Tennessee is $34,540.
- There is a predicted 7% job increase between 2018–2028 for cosmetologists.
A cosmetologist in Tennessee primarily performs work on hair, such as dressing, curling, cleansing, waving, cutting, bleaching, or coloring. They may also dress wigs, apply artificial eyelashes, give facials, apply makeup, remove hair, and offer skin care or manicure services.
To become a cosmetologist in Tennessee, you must meet certain requirements:
Tennessee beauty professionals must also complete domestic violence awareness courses. Students at approved cosmetology schools in Tennessee will take the course as part of their overall training.
Cosmetology Salary in Tennessee and Projected Job Growth
Average yearly salary for cosmetologists in Tennessee
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), cosmetologists in Tennessee made an average annual salary of $34,540 or $16.60 hourly in 2021. While this is lower than the national average for cosmetologists, salaries vary by location. O*Net projects employment growth for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists in the state (7%) through 2028.
The median annual salaries for several metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas for cosmetologists in Tennessee are as follows:
|Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Areas||2021 Median Salary|
|East Tennessee nonmetropolitan area||$28,160|
|South Central Tennessee nonmetropolitan area||$27,360|
|West Tennessee nonmetropolitan area||$27,360|
Table information sourced from O*Net (2022).
What to Expect From a Cosmetology Program in Tennessee
Time to complete a cosmetology program in Tennessee
Before you can earn your cosmetology license in Tennessee, you must complete 1,500 hours of training in practice and theory courses at a cosmetology school. The required hours include:
Can I Apprentice as a Cosmetologist in Tennessee?
Time to complete a cosmetology apprenticeship in Tennessee
Tennessee also offers a cosmetology apprenticeship program. To participate in the program, you must enroll in beauty school as an apprentice student, complete an initial 750 classroom hours in theory-based material, and pass the theory exam. Then, you can apprentice with a pre-approved mentor or salon for the remaining 750 hours. They must log your hours and report them to the school.
The state also has rules concerning your mentor. The mentor must have held a license in good standing for a minimum of 10 years, and they cannot take on more than one student at a time. You need to have your own workspace in the salon, and the salon or shop must post a sign that shows apprentice students practice there.
Keep in mind that you must enroll as an apprentice for this path—you can’t enroll as a traditional cosmetology student, then switch to an apprentice program.
Tennessee Cosmetology Licensing Requirements
Earning a cosmetology license in Tennessee includes completing 1,500 hours of training at a beauty school then passing the written and practical exams. You can apply, register, and pay your exam fees online through Tennessee’s testing vendor, PSI.
To register for the exams, you need a government-issued ID with your photograph, Social Security number, contact information, and eligibility information. PSI offers a full list of testing centers that administer the practical exam. You must sign up at least six weeks before the test date.
The written exam is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, and Simplified Chinese. The examination centers are also equipped to comply with ADA accommodations. If needed, you can ask for accommodations during the online scheduling process. PSI also provides online practice tests you can take to prepare.
All exams take place at a testing center. On the day of your exam, arrive at the testing center at least 30 minutes prior and prepare to show ID for entry. Nothing else is allowed in the testing center with you. Your test results will post after testing is complete. Fees for the theory and practical tests are $70 each.
Tennessee Cosmetology Licensure Reciprocity
If you hold a cosmetology license in another state, you may obtain a Tennessee license through a reciprocity agreement. You must submit a license certification history from every state you have held a cosmetology license. When submitting your application through Tennessee’s CORE site, make sure to select “Initial Out of State Cosmetology.” Attach your photo ID, proof of work experience, education transcripts showing your training hours, and your $100 fee with your application.
If your initial training required less than 1,500 hours, you also need to submit documentation showing that you’ve practiced for at least one of the previous three years or three of the previous five years. The Tennessee board will accept an affidavit, tax returns, or a letter from your employer as proof.
Cosmetology Specialties in Tennessee
If you want to work in beauty but aren’t ready for the full 1,500-hour course, Tennessee offers several other beauty licenses that require fewer training hours, including those for natural hair stylists, aestheticians, manicurists, and hair braiders.
Natural hair stylist licensure, for example, requires 300 hours in practice and theory training at a cosmetology school. Natural hair stylists are licensed to perform hair braiding, weaving, twisting, and many other services. However, if you only want to braid hair, the hair braider registration requires 16 hours of education in a health and hygiene course that you can complete online or in person. To apply, you must pay a $30 initial licensing fee, show a photo ID, and provide course certification.
Cosmetology License Renewal in Tennessee
License renewal period
Continuing education required
You must renew your cosmetology license in Tennessee every two years, but there are no continuing education requirements to do so.
When your license is nearing expiration, expect to receive a renewal notice in the mail about a month before your renewal date. You must apply online using the CORE portal and pay the $60 renewal fee to the board before the expiration date listed on your license. If you renew late, an additional $25 fee applies. Any licenses expired for more than three years become invalid, but you can reinstate an invalid license by completing reinstatement exams.
If you didn’t complete the domestic violence training during your schooling, you need to take it before renewing your license. You can register for the free, 20-minute course through Barbicide, and you’ll receive a certificate after completion that you can provide to the board during your license renewal process.
Contact the Tennessee State Board of Cosmetology
- 500 James Robertson Parkway Nashville, TN 37243
- Website: Tennessee State Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners
- Email: Cosmetology.Board@TN.Gov
- Call: 615-741-2515
- Fax: 615-741-1310
Resources for Cosmetologists in Tennessee
Tennessee Cosmetology and Barber Examiners
As the website for the cosmetology state board in Tennessee, you can use this site to find education and examination requirements, links to apply online, frequently asked questions, and more.
Tennessee’s cosmetology exam provider offers a one-stop-shop to register for or schedule exams, pay exam fees, or take online practice tests.
Tennessee Association of Professional Stylists
This association advocates for, educates, and empowers cosmetologists in Tennessee.