Esthetician's give clients cosmetic beauty treatments designed to keep the skin and body healthy including facials, body wraps and hair removal. The esthetician receives her licensing at the state level through a Board of Cosmetology, and is required to complete long hours of training and education. Some states allow the esthetician to apprentice under a licensed professional instead of attending a cosmetology school. A completed apprenticeship is then evaluated by the board before the esthetician can take the state exam for a professional license.

Contact your state's Board of Cosmetology and ask about the requirements for an esthetician license. The Board of Cosmetology is usually found within a state's department of occupational and business regulation and licensing. Some states offer an apprentice license and other states may consider apprenticing in lieu of or in addition to attending a training program to qualify for a professional license but will not offer an apprentice license.

Read through the licensing information and requirements. Note the age and education requirements for an apprenticeship license. Typically an apprentice must be at least 17 with some high school education. Note any forfeitures you may be asked to make when applying for the apprentice license.

For instance, apprentices in Maryland forfeit any school training they have received when applying for and apprentice license. This means if the apprentice went to a beauty school for a month prior to application she cannot claim that month of training as part of her professional licensing requirements at a later date.

Find an apprentice training opportunity. The name and license number of the esthetician supervising the apprentice is usually required on an apprentice license application or when claiming an apprenticeship on a professional license. A list of licensed professionals able to supervise an apprentice is available through the state Board of Cosmetology.

Complete the apprentice license application. Apprentices work under the supervision of a licensed esthetician in a licensed salon for a designated period of time and number of hours. The apprentice records the training hours daily and keeps a copy of her records at the salon so that state inspectors have access to it.

For example, Georgia requires an 18-month apprenticeship and 2,000 hours of training. Maryland requires six months with at least 30 hours each week during the apprentice period. Fees vary and range from $10 to $50 for an apprentice license.

Request permission to sit for the licensing exam. Upon completion of the apprenticeship, contact the Board of Cosmetology to request a letter of eligibility to sit for the exam and include a copy of your apprenticeship hours. The letter of eligibility will outline the process for scheduling and taking the exam.

Take and pass the esthetician exam, and then apply for a professional license. Some state's may request the application first and then ask the applicant to take the exam. Passing the exam does not mean licensing is approved. Wait to receive the license from the state before practicing as a professional esthetician.


No exam is required for the apprentice license; however, a fee may be requested. Apprentices are not charged for their training.

Incomplete applications can delay or void the application process. Make sure you provide all requested information before returning the application. Contact the licensing office with any questions before sending in the application.

Retain a copy of your apprenticeship records. Reciprocity from another state, if you should ever move and want to continue working as an esthetician, may require a copy of the records as proof of work experience.