A new haircut can change someone’s life and renew their self-confidence.

If you’re excited to spend your career bringing out people’s best features and helping them look great, cosmetology is the natural choice for you.

State License Requirements

Once you’ve completed your training at a cosmetology school in Washington, your next stop is the Washington State Department of Licensing. They charge a $25 licensing fee. At this point, you should schedule your written exam and your practical exam. Passing these exams allows you to become a licensed cosmetologist.

Education Details

Before you get behind the salon chair with a pair of shears, you must be licensed and fully confident in your ability to provide professional, effective service. To qualify for a Washington beauty license, you need to go through at least 1600 hours of beauty education. Accredited state programs cover specific topics in their curricula.

Courses Taught at Beauty Schools in WA

  • Theory of cosmetology
  • Business practices
  • Manicuring and pedicuring
  • Esthetics services
  • Draping and brushing
  • Scalp manipulations
  • Shampooing and conditioning
  • Scalp and hair analysis
  • Hair cutting and trimming
  • Use of scissors, razors, thinning shears, and clippers
  • Cutting and trimming of facial hair
  • Wet, dry, and thermal styling
  • Braiding
  • Artificial hair
  • Permanent waving
  • Chemical relaxing
  • Hair coloring and bleaching
  • Cleaning and disinfecting
  • Shampooing and conditioning
  • First aid

A good grasp of theory is important in this field, but it’s even more important to know how to apply theory to cosmetology practice. You should get the chance to work with mannequins and a wide range of clients before you graduate.

License Renewal
License Renewal Hours
2 Years
License Renewal Period

Cosmetology license renewal in Washington is required every 2 years on the date of your license issuance. The cost to renew a beauty practitioner's license or an instructor’s license is $55 prior to expiration, or $110 if you renew past the expiration date. Cosmetology continuing education hours are not currently required to renew your license, but we do recommend cosmetology CEUs with the industry, in order to stay abreast of trends and changes.

Job Outlook Increase
Between 2016 - 2026

According to O*Net, demand for cosmetologists may increase 27% between 2016 and 2026 (2019). The average income for a Washington cosmetologist is $30,910 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019).

Working as a Cosmetologist

No matter where you are in Washington, you may have the chance to explore diverse and exciting beauty careers. In large cities like Seattle, there are hundreds of salons that serve everyone from babies getting their first haircuts to professionals who value reliability and efficiency. Whether you find that you prefer hairdressing, haircutting, or hairstyling, you may have the opportunity to use your unique talents in a rewarding beauty setting.

State board Contact Information

State of Washington Dept. of Licensing, Cosmetology Licensing Program
Seattle, WA 98124
405 Black Lake Blvd SW
Olympia, WA 98502
PO Box 3856
Phone Number: 360-664-6626
Fax Number: 360-664-2550
E-mail Address:

The Washington State Department of Licensing can help with the entire process, as well as answer any other questions your have about obtaining a Washington cosmetology license.

Washington is making a mark as a state for those looking to become premier
cosmetologists whether they’re independent or aligned with a shop. This is
more than evident with notable salons in Seattle and Bellevue.  Eager individuals
will find a firm network to gain data from, thanks to these groups.

Washington State Department of Licensing
Professional Beauty Association
American Association of Cosmetology Schools

Find the Beauty Schools in Washington that interest you below,

Toni&Guy Hairdressing Academy - Couer D'Alene

410 W Neider Ave, Suite B,
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83815

Program: Cosmetology

Gene Juarez Academy

2222 South 314th Street,
Federal Way, WA 98003

Program: Cosmetology

Gene Juarez Academy

6007 A - 244th Street SW,
Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043

Program: Cosmetology

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