Cosmetology Schools in Virginia
With a wide number of specializations to choose from, healthy future job potential, and above-average salaries, Virginia is the perfect place to begin your career in cosmetology. Browse our directory of cosmetology schools in Virginia, or skip ahead to learn about the state's cosmetology licensing requirements and job outlook.
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671 North Glebe Road Suite 1280
Arlington, VA 22203
10807 Hull Street Road
Midlothian, VA 23112
12365 Hornsby Lane
Newport News, VA 23602
9049 West Broad Street #3
Richmond, VA 23294
116 South Independence Boulevard
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
3405 Candlers Mountain Road #G360
Lynchburg, VA 24502
Another Level Barbering and Cosmetology School – Accredited
Petersburg, VA 23803
Better Barbers Institute Of Barbering – Accredited
Virginia Beach, VA 23453
Golden Opportunities Beauty And Barber Academy – Accredited
Midlothian, VA 23112
Grayson County Career And Technical Education Center – Accredited
Independence, VA 24348
Hair 4 U International Beauty & Barber College – Accredited
Hampton, VA 23663
Hair Fashions Salon & Beauty Academy – Accredited
Aylett, VA 23009
Innocent Beauty Collections Academy – Accredited
Richmond, VA 23235
Kingdom Kuts Christian Cosmetology School – Accredited
Wakefield, VA 23867
Miracle Beauty & Nails Academy – Accredited
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
Miracle Beauty And Nails Academy – Accredited
Newport News, VA 23602
Ms Kelli's School Of Cosmetology – Accredited
Hayes, VA 23072
Paulette de Paris, International Beauty Academy – Accredited
Vienna, VA 22182
Romans Hair Empire & Beauty Academy – Accredited
Front Royal, VA 22630
Sean Paul Barber Braids And Beauty Academy – Accredited
Norfolk, VA 23510
Sharpen Your Skillz Continuing Education and Salon – Accredited
Norfolk, VA 23502
Tomorrow's Image Barber & Beauty Academy of Virginia – Accredited
Newport News, VA 23608
Ultimate Performance School Of Cosmetology – Accredited
Martinsville, VA 24112
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
- 1,500 education hours or 3,000 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 Virginia is $34,190.
- There is a predicted 14% job increase between 2018–2028 for cosmetologists.
To qualify for a cosmetologist's license in the state of Virginia, you must meet certain requirements, including the completion of at least one of the following:
In addition to this, you must also:
Having a criminal conviction does not necessarily prevent you from obtaining a cosmetology license in Virginia. Applicants with past convictions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine whether their criminal history is related to the profession. If you do have previous convictions, you need to disclose them on a Criminal Conviction Reporting Form.
Virginia Cosmetology Careers
Average yearly salary for cosmetology in Virginia
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, cosmetologists in Virginia earned average salaries of $34,190 ($16.44 per hour) in 2020—over 4% higher than the national average of $32,740 ($15.74 per hour). Future job prospects are also looking good, with a projected 14% job growth between 2018-2028. Each year, there will be an estimated 2,520 cosmetology positions available across the state.
Overall salaries vary, with reported annual wages of between $18,080 and $59,580. The variation is often due to differences in work experience, services, and geographical area. For example, someone performing specialized color services in a busy city center near D.C. will probably earn more than someone offering basic services in a lower cost of living area such as Newport News.
Some of the highest-paying metropolitan areas for cosmetologists in Virginia are:
|Metro Area||2020 Median Salary|
Table information sourced from the O*Net (2021)
What to Expect From a Cosmetology Program in Virginia
Required to earn a cosmetology license
The first step toward earning your cosmetology license in Virginia is registering to attend a state-approved cosmetology program and completing the required 1,500 hours of training. (See our Virginia cosmetology school directory above.) You'll cover a wide range of topics relevant to the job during your education, such as hair cutting, coloring, styling; manicuring; and facials. You'll also learn a range of business-related topics, such as marketing, finance, and safety practices. The Virginia Board for Barbers and Cosmetology states that all cosmetology schools must cover the following in their core curriculum:
As with individual practitioners, cosmetology schools in Virginia must also be licensed. The state board closely monitors them to ensure they maintain a high standard of education and clean, safe facilities for staff, students, and clients.
Can I Apprentice as a Cosmetologist in Virginia?
If you don't want to attend a regular cosmetology program, you can earn your license through an apprenticeship. The Department of Labor and Industry oversees apprenticeships in Virginia, and cosmetology apprenticeships require 3,000 hours of work experience over 18 months. During this time, the curriculum is organized as follows:
- Hair cutting and grooming: 1,200 hours
- Orientation and hygiene: 600 hours
- Chemical relaxers, perms, coloring, and bleaching: 800 hours
- Business and Salon Management: 400 hours
Once all 3,000 hours are complete, you will earn a Certificate of Completion and can apply to take your practical and written exams to obtain your license.
Virginia Cosmetology Licensing Requirements
After completing your required training hours, you can apply to take the necessary practical and written exams. To do this, you first need to register with the state board's examiner, PSI, and provide them with the following:
Applicants can take the exams at several locations across the state, a full list of which is available on the PSI website. The written exam is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Korean, but the practical portion of the text is in English.
On the day of your exams, plan to arrive 30 minutes before the tests begin, making sure you bring two forms of valid ID with you, as well as all required exam supplies. Once complete, you'll receive your results immediately. You need to score at least 75 on both parts of the exam to pass.
You can take the two tests on different dates, though you must pass both within 12 months of each other. If you fail, you can retake the exams as many times as needed during that year-long period, though you'll need to repay the $86 exam fee each time.
The theory exam contains 110 questions, of which 100 contribute to your final score. They cover the following topics:
- Scientific Concepts: 30%
- Hair Care and Services: 40%
- Skin Care and Services: 15%
- Nail Care and Services: 15%
The practical exam covers 11 different sections, timed as follows:
- Work area and client prep and set-up (client one): 15 minutes
- Thermal curling: 10 minutes
- Hair cutting: 30 minutes
- Work area and client prep and set-up (client two): 15 minutes
- Chemical waving: 20 minutes
- Predisposition test and strand test: 10 minutes
- Highlighting with foil: 15 minutes
- Hair color retouch: 10 minutes
- Virgin hair relaxer application: untimed
- Blood exposure procedure: 10 minutes
- Hair removal of eyebrows with tweezing and soft wax: untimed
All examination centers comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and extra accommodations are available if needed. If you believe you need extra help, you must provide appropriate documentation of your condition and how you expect it to affect your ability to take the test under standard conditions.
Virginia Cosmetology Licensure Reciprocity
You may be eligible for license reciprocity in Virginia via endorsement if you've previously earned your cosmetology license in another state. To qualify for this, you must:
Veterans and their spouses may also be eligible for reciprocity, with military training and service counting toward Virginia licensure. In addition, the state board will expedite the licensure process and grant a 12-month temporary license for active-duty service members and spouses who are licensed in other states but moved to Virginia due to military transfer.
Cosmetology Specialties in Virginia
In addition to a Virginia cosmetology license, you can gain several additional licenses for other beauty specializations, too. These involve additional training hours and exams but could lead to an exciting career trajectory. Specializations include:
License renewal period
Continuing education required
Cosmetologists in Virginia must renew their license every two years at the end of the month in which they first received it. Active-duty military personnel and their spouses may be eligible to receive up to a five-year extension on renewals. Until August 31, 2022, the fee for renewing your license is $95, but beginning September 1, 2022, it will increase to $105.
There are no continuing education requirements for cosmetologists in Virginia, though it's recommended cosmetologists brush up their skills frequently to stay on top of the latest industry trends and techniques.
Contact the Virginia State Board of Cosmetology
- 9960 Mayland Drive, Richmond VA 23233
- Website: Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
- Email: BarberCosmo@dpor.virginia.gov
- Call: 804-367-8590
- Fax: 866-245-9693
Beauty care is a fine art in the state of Virginia, and this is reinforced with the abundance of quality salon facilities there. Cosmetology is a field looked upon with favor, and enterprising applicants look to learn more from these institutions.
PSI Services LLC
PSI is the examination company responsible for organizing and providing cosmetology exams. Resources include candidate information bulletins, exam information, and more.
Virginia State Beauticians Association
A state-wide group that aims to educate, promote, and enhance the beauty industry and its professionals.