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How Long Is Cosmetology School?

How long is cosmetology school? Hours of required cosmetology training across the U.S. generally range from 1,000-2,000 hrs. Each state has its own set of minimum requirements, including hours of training and specific courses needed, to be eligible for a cosmetology license.

Cosmetology Program Lengths

Cosmetology programs can be found at community colleges, beauty schools, or vocational/trade schools. There are certificates, diplomas, or associate degrees available in this field. Certificates normally take about 9 months, diplomas 12-18 months, and associate degrees take two years.

Example Schools With Program Lengths

Here’s a short list of partner schools along with the time it takes to complete their cosmetology training programs.

  • Blake Austin - 1,600 hours to complete, located in California.
  • Empire Beauty School - “most students graduate in about a year,” locations across the U.S.
  • Hastings Beauty School - 1,550-hour diploma program, located in Minnesota.
  • Meridian College - 12-month cosmetology diploma program, located in Florida.
  • Mildred Elley - 1,000-clock hour cosmetology certificate program, located in Massachusetts. Program lengths may vary at their New York or other campuses.
  • Miller Motte College - 10-month cosmetology certificate program, located in South Carolina.
  • Pivot Point Academy - 1,500-hour cosmetology or barbering program, located in Illinois.
  • Remington College - They offer both a 12-month cosmetology diploma program and a 2-year associate degree in cosmetology. These programs can be found in Ohio, Texas, and Alabama. Program length may vary per state.
  • Southern Careers Institute - 50-week (daytime) cosmetology diploma program, located in Texas.

Cosmetology Specialist Program Lengths

You can also choose to specialize and focus your training on one particular area of cosmetology like nail technician or esthetician. Average education hours for manicurists or nail technicians run around 300 including coursework and hands-on training. Hours of esthetician training needed can vary a lot too, from as few as 300 to as high as 1,500 hrs, depending on your state.


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