So, how long does it take to finish beauty school? It’s important to know things like this before you decide if this is the right education and career path for you, but the answer to this question will depend on what state you live in and where you go to school. You can bet that beauty school will not take nearly as long as a traditional college degree program, but different states have different requirements for the number of hours that you have to train to get licensed. Different schools also have different expectations, and the length of the program will also depend on what area of specialization you choose or whether you’re doing a general beauty program.
Every state has its own requirements for the number of hours that you must go to beauty school and/or perform hands-on training before you can become licensed as a cosmetologist. Washington requires 1,800 hours, for example; Iowa requires 2,100 hours. The average is 1,400 to 1,600 hours, though. Some schools require that you go 40 hours a week, while some schools require less. If you are required to complete 2,000 hours of training, you could finish beauty school in one year if you go 40 hours a week or two years if you go 20 hours a week. Many people continue working and go to beauty school part time, which will take longer but might be more financially feasible.
There are even shorter term programs if you only want to train for a specific beauty program. It could be as little as 300 hours for esthetics and skin care or 650 hours for nail technology. The full cosmetology programs take longer, but the training will provide you with more career options. Some people find the fact that they can complete a specialized beauty program in as little as six months very appealing, though, because they can begin working in the beauty field as quickly as possible. A full cosmetology program could take as long as three years if your state requires a lot of hours and you only go part time. So, it all depends on your goals and where you go to school.