Cosmetology teachers in North Carolina must hold certifications. The number and type of certifications required for a cosmetology teacher varies based on whether instructors wish to work in secondary or post-secondary schools. All cosmetology instructors need a general license in cosmetology and an instructor's license from the North Carolina Board of Cosmetic Art Examiners. Secondary school teachers need an additional certification for career and technical teaching from the State of North Carolina Board of Education.

Standard Cosmetology Certification

The North Carolina Board of Cosmetic Art Examiners requires candidates for general cosmetologist certification to complete 1,500 hours of training. Candidates can complete this training at the secondary level at a vocational-technical high school. Alternatively, they can attend a program at a state-approved post-secondary school. After completing the mandatory education, candidates must take a practical examination. For the test, prospective cosmetologists demonstrate techniques like applying hair coloring, performing facials and giving manicures. The examiners who observe the test assign the candidates scores for each technique; prospective cosmetologists must achieve a minimum of a 75-percent score on the exam to gain a license.

Instructor Certification

For cosmetology instructor certification, the North Carolina Board of Cosmetic Art Examiners requires candidates to show proof of five years of full-time work experience at a salon. In addition, they must complete a training course at a state-approved school. The course lasts a minimum of 800 hours. A high school diploma or GED is also necessary. Qualified candidates for cosmetology instructor certification in North Carolina take a written examination that evaluates their knowledge in both cosmetology and teaching methods. A minimum score of 85 percent is necessary for licensing.

SP1 Teacher License

Prospective secondary school cosmetology teachers begin their education certification by earning a Standard Professional 1 Professional Educator's License. To qualify for this license, candidates must earn a bachelor's degree in career and trade education from a state-approved school. As of March 2011, only two colleges in North Carolina offered such degrees: Appalachian State University in Boone and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro. The degree programs at these schools last for four years and include a student-teaching internship.

SP2 Teacher License

After working with an SP1 teacher certification for three years, cosmetology teachers in North Carolina become eligible for the Standard Professional 2 Professional Educator's License. To qualify for the upper-level certification, cosmetology instructors must complete one of two additional requirements. One option is to take a standardized exam in English and mathematics and a second test in career education. Alternatively, candidates can gain certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in career and technical education. The certification involves passing an exam and presenting a portfolio of the cosmetology instructor's professional work.