Eyelash extension before and after

How to Become a Lash Extension Specialist

Esthetics > How to Become a Lash Extension Specialist


Long, thick eyelashes call attention to the eyes, which are often referred to as "windows to the soul." Countless authors and poets have used descriptions of eyelashes to evoke images of beautiful women. This is even true in animated films—did you know that long, fluttery eyelashes are the only difference between Disney’s animated Robin Hood and Maid Marian characters' faces? 

Since not all women are blessed with naturally long lashes, beauty experts help augment this feature using eyelash extensions.  In fact, there's an entire career path available for eyelash extension specialists.

What is a Lash Extension Specialist?

A lash extension specialist is a beauty professional who has taken specialized training in the application of semi-permanent eyelash extensions onto existing lashes. It's a task that requires training, good vision, steady hands, and great patience because the lash extensions are applied one by one onto existing lashes. The procedure typically takes one to three hours and the client is left with full, beautiful, natural-looking eyelashes that last a long time.

Many lash extension specialists first get a cosmetology or esthetics license and then take an eyelash technician course. Anyone interested in such training should first check eyelash extension state requirements.

Some of the areas of study in an eyelash extension training program include:

  • Eyelash extension isolation and separation procedures
  • Eyelash extension application
  • Lash bonding and effective bonding tips
  • Allergic reactions
  • Infectious and contagious diseases of the eye
  • Proper sanitation practices
  • Occupational health and safety practices

Eyelash extension specialists may be called lash specialists, eyelash technicians, or lash artists. Whatever label they carry, they typically enjoy flexible schedules and high career satisfaction.

An eyelash technician may work in a salon, spa, or boutique. Experienced lash extension specialists may teach at beauty schools, work with plastic surgery offices, or open specialty eyelash salons where they perform eyelash extensions, eyelash lifts, eyelash color tints, and other services.

Lash Extension Specialist Salary and Career Growth

Earnings for eyelash extension specialists can vary significantly due to multiple factors such as the area you live in and whether you work full-time or part-time.  Earnings differ depending on whether you work as an employee, a 1099 contractor, or rent booth space. Profits can also change dramatically if you open your own specialty shop.

Regulations in some states require eyelash extensions to be applied in licensed facilities.  However, in states where it’s allowed, some eyelash technicians choose to work from home.

Information on eyelash technician salaries from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is typically grouped with other beauty industry jobs. The most recent report available showed 2018 median annual pay of $24,830 for cosmetologists and $31,290 for skin care specialists, also known as estheticians/aestheticians.

The Board of Cosmetology salon jobs listed in December 2019 for eyelash technicians had salaries ranging from $20,000 to $58,127. During the same timeframe, a Glassdoor survey of 2,900 salaries (submitted anonymously) showed lash stylist salaries ranging from $22,000 to $50,000 annually. Those with the highest earnings were licensed cosmetologists and estheticians. As there is no centralized governmental report for this career specifically, the best way to know the pay for your area is to check job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed.

CareerOneStop (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor) doesn't provide information specifically for eyelash technicians or eyelash extension specialists, but they report a bright job outlook with projections for positive job growth of 11% for skin care specialists and 9% for cosmetologists.

How do I Become a Lash Extension Specialist?

The key to a successful career as a lash extension specialist or eyelash technician is to become a professional licensed through the state. Even if your state has no special requirements, it's best to have esthetician or cosmetologist licensure. This assures clients that the individual to whom they're entrusting a sensitive and essential part of their body is qualified and has the knowledge and skills necessary to provide the service. Building a trusting, repeat clientele helps ensure a rewarding career.

Estheticians and cosmetologists who've decided they'd like to add eyelash extension specialist to their resume may choose to complete eyelash extension certification requirements.

Always be sure your state board approves any training you invest in.

Once trained, an eyelash technician specialist can confidently market and use their skills to complement other services they provide. As their clientele develops, some find this part of their work to be so gratifying and financially rewarding that it becomes their sole focus.

Kentucky offers an Eyelash Extension Specialty Permit, and Texas has specific licensure requirements for lash technicians. Other states are considering similar regulations. Currently, almost every state requires that anyone who performs eyelash extension services have a cosmetologist or esthetician license. Even in states where there are no specific requirements, there are schools that offer training in the subject—always a good idea!

It's important to note that licensing and regulations vary by state and are subject to change, so it's essential to check your states' rules via the licensing sites below. All requirements are specifically in reference to eyelash extension technicians.


Who can do it?

School offering coursework

Eyelash Extension Licensure Required?

State Licensing Site


No specified requirements

Bodylogic School of Cosmetology & Esthetics

No specified requirements

Alabama Board of Cosmetology & Barbering



Licensed Hairdresser, Esthetician

Academy of Hair Design

No specified requirements

Alaska Board of Barbers and Hairdressers



Cosmetologist, Esthetician

Lash Out Academy

Eyelash extension license required

Arizona State Board of Cosmetology



Cosmetologist, Esthetician, Barber

Academy of Professional Cosmetology

No specified requirements

Arkansas Department of Health



Cosmetologist, Esthetician

Sinful Lashes Academy

No specified requirements

California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology



Cosmetologist, Esthetician

College of International Esthetics

No specified requirements

Colorado Office of Barber and Cosmetology Licensure



Licensed eyelash technicians

International Institute of Cosmetology

Eyelash Technician - 50 hours approved  study and certificate

Connecticut State Department of Public Health



No specified requirements

Delaware Learning Institute of Cosmetology

No specified requirements

Delaware Board of Cosmetology and Barbering

302 -744-4500

District of Columbia

Cosmetologist, Esthetician

Dermal Science International Aesthetics and Nail Academy

No specified requirements





Pearl Lash Extensions Beauty School

No specified requirements

Florida Dept. of Business & Professional Regulation



Cosmetologist, Esthetician

School of Glamology

No specified requirements

Georgia State Board of Cosmetology and Barbers



Cosmetologist, Esthetician, Barber

Hawaii Massage Academy/Esthetician School

No specified requirements

Hawaii Board of Barbering and Cosmetology



Cosmetologist, Esthetician

Aveda Institutes

No specified requirements

Idaho Barber & Cosmetology Licensing Board

(208) 334-3233


Cosmetologist, Esthetician

New Age Spa Institute

No specified requirements

IDFPR - Cosmetology



Cosmetologist, Esthetician

Lash Therapy

No specified requirements

Indiana State Board of Cosmetology

(317) 234-3031


Cosmetologist, Esthetician

Artisan Brow & Lash

No specified requirements

Iowa.gov - Cosmetology

(515) 281-7689


Cosmetologist, Esthetician

Eric Fisher Academy

No specified requirements

Kansas Board of Cosmetology

(785) 296-3155


Eyelash extension specialist

Lavish Lashes

Eyelash Extension Specialty Permit requires certification training from Board-approved training provider

Note: All licenses or permit holders in the state of Kentucky are required by law to work in a KBC-licensed facility at all times.

Kentucky Board of Cosmetology



Cosmetologist, Esthetician

LA Lash Academy

No specified requirements

Louisiana Board of Cosmetology




Novalash Training - Maine

No specified requirements

Maine.gov - Professional Licensing




Xtreme Lashes

No specified requirements

Maryland Board of Cosmetology



Cosmetologist, Esthetician

Lash L'Amour

No specified requirements, though Lash L'Amour does provide certificates.

Mass.gov - Board of Cosmetology and Barbering

(617) 727-9940


Cosmetologist, Esthetician

Xtreme Lashes

No specified requirements

Michigan.gov Licensing and Regulatory Affairs - Cosmetology



Eyelash technician

Nova Academy of Cosmetology

Board-approved List

Eyelash Technician license

Minnesota Board of Cosmetology



Cosmetologist, Esthetician

B Dazzled Day Spa & Lash Lounge

No specified requirements

Mississippi State Board of Cosmetology




Nova Lash

No specified requirements

MO Board of Cosmetology



Cosmetologist, Esthetician

Lavish Lashes

No specified requirements

Montana Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists

(406) 444-6880


Cosmetologist, Esthetician

The Lash Studio

No specified requirements

Nebraska Dept. of Health and Human Services - Cosmetology and Esthetics

(402) 471-3121


Cosmetologist, Esthetician

House of Sassy

No specified requirements

Nevada State Board of Cosmetology

702- 508-0015

New Hampshire

Cosmetologist, Esthetician

EyEnvy Lash Studio & Academy

No specified requirements

New Hampshire Board of Barbering, Cosmetology, and Esthetics


New Jersey

Cosmetologist, Esthetician

Lash Pro Academy at Love Some Lashes

No specified requirements

State of New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology


New Mexico

Cosmetologist, Esthetician

Shea Beauty Institute

No specified requirements

New Mexico Barbers and Cosmetologists

(505) 476-4622

New York

Cosmetologist, Esthetician

Beauty World NYC

Not specified for individuals, but workplaces need an Appearance Enhancement Business license

New York Cosmetology


North Carolina

Cosmetologist, Esthetician

April's Creative Expressions

No specified requirements

North Carolina Cosmetic Arts


North Dakota

Cosmetologist, Esthetician

The Salon Professional Academy

No specified requirements

North Dakota State Board of Cosmetology



Cosmetologist, Esthetician


No specified requirements for individuals, though facilities must be licensed

Ohio State Cosmetology and Barber Board



Cosmetologist, Esthetician

Elite Academy

No specified requirements

Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology




Smart Lashes Eyelash Extension Training Center

No specified requirements

Oregon Board of Cosmetology - Esthetician





No specified requirements

Pennsylvania State Board of Cosmetology


Rhode Island

Cosmetologist, Esthetician

Noir Salon and Lash Lounge

No specified requirements

Rhode Island Barbering Hairdressing and Cosmetology Licensing


South Carolina

Cosmetologist, Esthetician

Venice Lash Lounge

No specified requirements

South Carolina Board of Cosmetology


South Dakota

Cosmetologist, Esthetician

Stewart School

16 hours of approved eyelash extensions training required

South Dakota Cosmetology Commission



Cosmetologist, Esthetician

Tennessee School of Beauty

No specified requirements

Tennessee Cosmetologist License




Dallas Lash Academy

Texas Eyelash Extension Specialty license - 320 hours approved training

Texas Cosmetology - Eyelash Extension Specialty License



Cosmetologist, Esthetician

Sirene's Beauty Place

No specified requirements

Utah Professional licensing



Cosmetologist, Esthetician

Pure Beauty

No specified requirements

Vermont Secretary of State Barbers & Cosmetologists



Cosmetologist, Esthetician

Eye Candy Lash Boutique

No specified requirements

Virginia Dept. of Professional and Occupational Regulation



Cosmetologist, Esthetician

Evergreen Beauty College

No specified requirements

Washington State Department of Licensing


West Virginia

Cosmetologist, Esthetician

Pash Volume Lash Training

No specified requirements

West Virginia State Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists



Cosmetologist, Esthetician

I.M. Beauty Trainings

No specified requirements

State of Wisconsin Dept. of Safety and Professional Services



Cosmetologist, Esthetician

Rocky Mountain Academy

No specified requirements

Wyoming Board of Cosmetology


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
What do you love most about beauty school?
The connections. All of the girls are so close, they are great. The teachers are awesome and have so many connections and will help you get your career started.
How do you like beauty school?
I love it, it’s a lot of fun! It makes it easier when it’s something you are passionate about. It’s so fun to go to school and always trying new things. They give you plenty time to do you homework at school too!
Can you describe a typical day?

Arrive at 8am and prep for appointments starting at 8:45.

You could have 4-5 appointments in one day doing facials, makeup, skin treatments, waxing, brows, lash tinting. My favorite part is if you don’t have appointments you can do treatments on each other! We give each other facials, makeup and the nail girls do our nails, etc! It’s so fun and we are never bored!

What’s it like juggling work and school?

I work two jobs. It can be busy but I map out the week and it keeps me out of trouble.

What would you tell someone thinking about enrolling?

Just do it! I was pretty nervous at first. I doubted myself b/c I have never been in a program I felt I could succeed. The support and encouragement of the other ladies in the class and seeing how intelligent the teachers were eased my worries. It’s a fun experience! There weren’t “know it all’s” in the class. Everyone is eager to learn and help each other.

Do you feel confident getting a job after school?

Yes! I feel confident and qualified. The teachers are great and positive. They want to set up you for success.

What inspires you?

Instagram. I could scroll all day long. I love art, makeup, clothes, house decor. I love going to Sephora and seeing all the makeup and think about the possible ways to do different things.

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