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Licensing Requirements for Electrologists

Electrology School > Licensing

 

Learning the trade is a big, but not the only, step in becoming an electrologist. Aspiring electrologists also need to fulfill the licensing requirements of their state in order to practice in the industry. Electrology is a tightly, but inconsistently, regulated industry where the path to a career can be very different depending on where you live and what you want to do.

What Are the Requirements for Obtaining an Electrology License?

Electrologist licensing requirements vary considerably from one state to the next. They involve both education and whether or not you need a license.

Some states have licenses specifically for electrologists, while others require that you earn an esthetician license before completing an electrology certificate program. Other states give you the option of participating in an apprentice program. And some states don’t license or regulate electrologists at all. For information specific to your state, follow this link to individual state requirements

Training Hour Requirements

The states that do issue licenses determine how many electrology training hours you’re required to complete before you’re eligible to apply for a license. Training hours refer to the amount of time you’ll spend in your electrolysis training program or school. In most states this number is around 600 hours, but some states, like Florida, require as few as 320 hours. On the other end of the spectrum are states like Indiana, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, which require more than 1,000 hours.

If you’re considering an apprenticeship alternative in a state that allows it, you should be prepared to complete many more apprenticeship hours than you would if you took the classroom route. However, completing an apprenticeship can help you start to build your clientele, and you are usually paid.

Below are tables that give you a summary of the requirements in individual states.

Required Exams

Exam requirements, too, vary from state to state. Some states don’t test you with an examination during the licensing process. Other states do, but the test isn’t always the same from one place to the next—in fact, some boards administer their own exam specific to only their state. There are, however, national exams that you might take:

  • International Board of Electrologist Certification (IBEC): Although passing this exam doesn’t lead to licensure until you satisfy all your state’s requirements, the IBEC exam is the national industry standard.
  • National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC): The NIC electrology exam comes in two parts. The theory, or written portion, tests your knowledge. The hands-on, or practical portion, tests your skills.

Requirements for Electrologists by State

State License General Requirements Training Hours
Alabama Not required    
Alaska Not required    
Arizona Not required    
Arkansas Required—exam 16 years old & high school or equivalent 600 hours OR 350 hours AND 1,500 hours of cosmetology training
California Not required 17 years old & high school or equivalent 600 hours OR 2-year apprenticeship
Colorado Not required    
Connecticut Required—IBCE exam 18 years old & high school or equivalent 600 hours
Delaware Required—exam 16 years old & 10th grade or equivalent 300 hours OR 600-hour apprenticeship
District of Columbia Required—exam 18 years old 600 hours
Florida Required—IBCE exam 18 years old & 10th grade or equivalent 320 hours
Georgia Not required    
Hawaii Required—exam 18 years old 600 hours OR 800-hour apprenticeship
Idaho Required—NIC Written & Practical exam 16 1/2 years old & 2 years old of high school or equivalent 800 hours OR 1,600 hours apprenticeship
Illinois Required—IBEC exam 18 years old & high school degree or GED equivalent 600 hours
Indiana Required—exam 18 years old 300 hours AND 1,500 hours of cosmetology training OR 700 hours of esthetician training
Iowa Required—exam Hih school degree or GED equivalent 425 hours
Kansas Required—exam 17 years old & high school degree or GED equivalent 500 hours OR 1,000-hour apprenticeship
Kentucky Not required    
Louisiana Required—exam 18 years old & high school or equivalent 600 hours OR 600-hour apprenticeship
Maine Certificate 17 years old & high school or equivalent 600 hours in a school of electrology
Maryland Required—IBEC exam 18 years old & high school or equivalent 600 hours
Massachusetts Required—exam 18 years old & high school or equivalent 1,100 hours
Michigan Required—exam 18 years old & 9th grade or equivalent 400 hours OR 6-month apprenticeship
Minnesota Not required    
Mississippi Not required    
Missouri Not required    
Montana Required—exam 18 years old & high school or equivalent 600 hours
Nebraska Required—exam 18 years old & high school or equivalent 600 hours
Nevada Required—exam 18 years old & high school or equivalent 500 hours OR 1,000-hour apprenticeship
New Hampshire Required—IBEC exam 18 years old & high school or equivalent 1,100 hours
New Jersey Required—IBEC and Jurisprudence exams 18 years old & high school or equivalent 600 hours
New Mexico Required—exam 17 years old & 10th grade or equivalent 600 hours
New York Not required    
North Carolina Required—IBEC exam 21 years old & high school or equivalent 600 hours
North Dakota Required—exam 18 years old & high school or equivalent 600 hours
Ohio Required—exam 18 years old & high school or equivalent 750 hours
Oklahoma Required—IBEC exam 21 years old & B.S. degree in approved field 600-hour internship
Oregon Required—exam 18 years old & high school or equivalent 600 hours
Pennsylvania Not required    
Rhode Island Required—IBEC exam 18 years old & high school or equivalent 650-hour apprenticeship
South Carolina Not required    
South Dakota Not required    
Tennessee Required—IBEC exam OR Society for Clinical & Medical Hair Removal exams 18 years old & high school or equivalent 600 hours
Texas Not required    
Utah Required—exam 18 years old & high school or equivalent 600 hours
Vermont Required—IBEC exam 18 years old & high school or equivalent 600 hours
Virginia Not required    
Washington Not required    
West Virginia Not required    
Wisconsin Required—IBEC exam 18 years old & high school or equivalent 450 hours
Wyoming Not required    

Electrolysis Certification

The American Electrology Association (AEA) recommends that electrologists pursue the Certified Professional Electrologist (CPE) certification. In fact, the AEA states that earning this credential is one of the most important things you can do to enjoy a successful career in the field.

Getting certified is voluntary. However, it shows employers and clients that you’ve gone above and beyond the standards required by your state licensing board.

Maintaining Your Electrology License

In some cases you’ll have to renew your license periodically to keep it in good standing. This requirement, too, varies by state. Often you will be required to earn continuing education credits (CEUs) to renew your license. As with everything else, the number and type of CEUs differ from one state to the next.

The following table lays out CEU requirements to date, but you should check with your state for updates.

Renewal Requirements for Electrologists by State

State Renewal Requirements
Connecticut 1.0 CEUs for annual license renewal
Florida 2.0 CEUs every 2 years
Illinois 3.0 CEUs every 2 years
Iowa .6 CEUs biennially
Louisiana .3 CEUs for instructors annual license renewal; .3 CEUs for licensure
Maryland 2.0 CEUs for biennial license renewal
Massachusetts 1.0 CEUs biennially
New Hampshire 1.0 CEUs every 2 years for license renewal
New Jersey 2.0 CEUs every 2 years
North Carolina 1.0 CEUs annual
North Dakota .5 CEUs for annual license renewal
Ohio 2.5 CEUs for biennial license renewal
Oklahoma 1.0 CEUs every 3 years
Oregon 0.8 CEUs each year for annual license renewal
Tennessee 1.0 CEUs annually
Vermont 1.0 CEUs every 2 years
Wisconsin 1.2 CEUs every 2 years

Continuing Education

As you can see, more than half the states don’t require continuing education—but that doesn’t mean that you should ever stop improving. Whether you take a class, watch some videos, attend a seminar, or go to a trade show, lifelong learning is the key to keeping up with new trends, techniques, and technology to stay on top of your game throughout your career.

Career Outlook
Info based on National Averages. Enter zip and program for more exact details.
Hours-required: 1600 Education and hands-on training
Licence Renewal Hours: 1000 Hands-on training
Certification Needed: Cosmetology
State Board Contact:E: barbercosmo@dca.ca.gov P: 1.800.952.5210
Average Salary: $28,770 Annually
Job Outlook: 20% increase Between 2012 - 2022
 
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