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Cosmetology applicants are required to complete a set number of education hours as outlined by the state Board of Cosmetology. These school training hours range, depending on the makeup training courses and makeup artist classes in which you need to enroll, and whether or not there are specialty registrations you are signing up for. Some states do not offer a makeup specialization, and therefore, you must apply for a standard cosmetology license, instead. A cosmetologist license will allow you to work in a variety of beauty-related fields, such as makeup and cosmetics, skincare and hair styling. In order to fulfill your required educational hours, you will need to enroll in an accredited and state-approved beauty school. You can start looking at schools to become a makeup artist by visiting your state Board’s website and utilizing the search feature. When deciding on the school of your choice, make sure to include information such as the institution’s name (if you have it with you) and its city and/or ZIP code. Before applying for a professional makeup certification, note that you will often need to meet the minimum age requirement of 16 or 18. You will also need to show proof of identification, such as a valid and current drivers license, as part of your school enrollment process. If you need assistance with financial aid, many options may be available to you. Several makeup artist colleges and schools offer a wide range of make up artist scholarships, as well as different loans to help cover your full tuition.

Pre-Requisites for Makeup and Cosmetics Education

Those applying for a cosmetology license or make up artist license must meet a certain age requirement in order to begin the process. Depending on the state you live in, this minimum age may be 16, 17 or 18. In some cases, you may also be required to hold a high school diploma or an equivalent. Without this credential, your application will be denied by the state Board of Cosmetology.

Makeup and Cosmetics Coursework

What education is needed to become a makeup artist? Once you have met the eligibility criteria, the next step will be to enroll in an accredited-state school. You can begin searching for a beauty institution in your area by accessing your state’s school of cosmetology website. For example, Florida allows applicants to conduct a search through the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS) website. When you are trying to find the right school for yourself, make sure to enter important information, such as the city you live in and its ZIP code, if you have it available.

Every state in the nation requires candidates to complete the necessary schooling hours in order to get makeup licensure. The state Board of Cosmetology will reject applicants who do not complete the hours required for make up licenses. Oftentimes, a makeup and cosmetics artist is required to complete an average of 1,000 or more training hours, but this will depend on your state’s mandatory steps to become a makeup artist. In some cases, you may be able to proceed with taking the standard makeup artist examination if you have been deemed competent to do so by an official school representative. When taking your makeup artistry classes and online courses for makeup artists (if applicable,) keep in mind that you may also be required to get additional certification. Once you have fulfilled your makeup artistry training hours, you will then be ready to take the standard exam to become a makeup artist.

Makeup and Cosmetics On the Job

When you are in the process of completing training to become a makeup artist, consider signing up for an internship program that will help you further enhance your skills and put your knowledge to the test. Call your state Board of Cosmetology to find out about available programs in your city.

In addition to fulfilling your regular hours of school training, an internship program will help you build a valuable network of both colleagues and clients to work for or with after you receive your makeup license. Work experience as a makeup artist is more than putting in the hours. It is the foundation of your future as a cosmetologist.

When applying for an internship, ponder the following questions in order to help you make the best decision:

  • What kind of makeup and cosmetics internship do I want to sign up for?
  • Do I have significant hours of availability?
  • Would I like to focus on a specific makeup training program?
  • What job search websites should I use?
  • Can I contact any friends, co-workers or family members for referrals?
  • Can I get a letter of recommendation from my beauty school?
  • Am I willing to travel far for the right opportunity?

Steps to Getting an Internship

  • Fill out your resume – Start putting together a resume with information about any current education experience. If you have acquired training hours in a specialty field, make sure to note this as well.
  • Look for internships in your city – Speak to people you know, including your beauty school advisor, to inquire about any possible opportunities that may be in the vicinity. Do not hesitate to reach out to them once you have more information.
  • Check out different job listings – Though you may not have your licensure yet, it is the ideal time to start looking for job openings that are in your area. Sort through different job search websites, as well as take the time to look through your local newspaper ads.
  • Get approval from your beauty school ? It is a good idea to run by the internship of your choice with your beauty school advisor before you start your training. Your internship may count as additional credit hours toward your schooling program.
  • Look for other job opportunities – Aside from internships, you can also explore volunteering options, as well as networking opportunities in your neighborhood.

During your school enrollment period, another option to consider is volunteering your time and skills as a student of beauty. Perhaps you know of a friend in need who can benefit from getting glammed up for one day, or maybe you can offer cosmetic services at a local fundraiser. Look through your city’s newspaper or website for listings about upcoming events.

How to Pay for Makeup and Cosmetics Education

If you find yourself in a position where you do not have the financial means to pay for your beauty school tuition, rest easy in knowing that many solutions are available to you. Depending on the makeup artist college you enroll in, a number of options may be presented, including cosmetics scholarships, as well as cosmetology grants and beauty school loans you can sign up for. As you prepare to meet with your official school representative, make sure to write down a list of questions regarding their financial aid choices for qualified students. It is also important to inquire about the average cost to become a makeup artist and the types of make up artist scholarships your beauty school may have available.

As you are exploring your make up and cosmetics schooling options, consider asking yourself these questions about your current financial status:

  • How many different types of scholarships does the beauty school provide?
  • What is the main eligibility criteria for me to qualify?
  • What grants and loans are available?
  • How much time do I have to pay off a loan?
  • Will I be able to support myself with a career in cosmetology?

Average Cosmetology Tuition and Salary Costs

On average, the tuition costs for an accredited cosmetology school may range from $10,000 to $20,000. But, if you live on the outskirts of town, this amount may be much lower, around $5,000 or so. The average salary for a makeup artist can also fluctuate, depending on the type of industry you are working in, and whether or not your job is situated in a popular city. If you are interested in becoming a make up artist for large-scale theatrical productions, for example, your average salary can be $60,000 or more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Depending on which state you reside in, you may be required to enroll in a state-approved beauty school in order to obtain a cosmetology license.
You may be required to complete a certain number of hours of beauty school in order to obtain a cosmetology license, depending on your state of residence.
Each state has different requirements in order to enroll in a state-approved beauty school, commonly does include having a high school diploma or a GED.
Once you have completed the required hours of beauty school, you will need to pass a state-approved exam, present a complete cosmetology application, and pay set fees.
Some states offer ways in which you can expedite the process to take the state-approved cosmetology exam prior to completing the required school hours. is a privately owned website that is not affiliated with any government agencies.