In the Cosmetology and Hairstyling Act of 1984, the state of New Jersey established what types of beauty and personal care services require a license. Waxing, along with tweezing and administering depilatories, is among services that require a license under the law, provided the services are occurring for cosmetic purposes and outside of a medical setting for the treatment of a health condition.

License Options

New Jersey does not offer a license solely in waxing and hair removal. To work in the field, candidates must have a cosmetologist, manicurist or skin care specialist license. The manicurist license also allows recipients to manicure and pedicure the fingernails and toenails and sculpt the nails with artificial products. A New Jersey skin care specialist can give facials, apply makeup and massage the face and neck in addition to performing hair removal services. The cosmetology license enables recipients to complete any of the duties allowed for both skin care specialists and manicurists as well as services for the hair, like cutting and dyeing.

General Requirements

To receive a cosmetologist, manicurist or skin care specialist license in New Jersey, applicants must be at least 17 years of age. Proof of receiving a high school diploma in New Jersey or another state is also mandatory. All applicants must complete an application, which is given to candidates when they complete their mandatory education program. Candidates must also pay a fee, the amount of which was $45 as of July 2011.


The cosmetology, manicurist and skin care specialist licenses in New Jersey each require candidates to complete an educational program. Candidates who attend a state-approved postsecondary school must have 1,200 hours of training for the cosmetology license. The manicurist license involves 300 hours of training, while the skin care specialist license needs 600 hours of training. Some prospective waxing professionals complete their education while still in high school through vocational programs. These students need only 1,000 hours of training for a cosmetology license; training hours for manicurists and skin care specialists are the same at the secondary and postsecondary levels.


The cosmetology, skin care specialist and manicurist licenses require candidates to pass two examinations. The first exam is a written test taken using a computer at Prometric Testing Centers. The cosmetologist examination features 110 multiple-choice questions and lasts for up to two hours. The skin care specialist and manicurists tests both have 105 questions and last up to two hours. After passing the written examination, candidates must pass a practical examination, during which they demonstrate their skills in the techniques for which they are being licensed.