Once you have your cosmetology license, you still have certain requirements to continue your practice. Typically, you have to apply for a cosmetology renewal license every few years to maintain eligibility to practice. If you do not and continue to practice on an expired license, you face civil and potentially criminal charges, including large fines, as well as set yourself up for potential lawsuits. It is best to keep up with your license renewal, especially as you can do it in just seven — or fewer — easy steps.
Look at Your State’s Requirements
Cosmetology licenses are regulated by the state governments, so your first step needs to be to check the requirements of the state in which your practice. Some states require you to obtain a cosmetology renewal license every two years, for other states it may be every three years. It is also up to the state whether or not you need continuing education hours, as well as how many and in what subjects.
Find Approved Continuing Education Providers
If your state requires continuing education hours to renew your license, you need to first find providers who are approved by your state. Most state boards of cosmetology have a list of approved places on their website. If you find a course that appeals to you and you are unsure whether or not it will be approved, you can always contact the state board to determine whether or not it will work as one of your required courses.
Choose Your Continuing Education Courses
You have many choices of what type of courses to take. However, you may be limited to certain topics. Many states require that at least a few of the hours be taken on topics in health and sanitation guidelines. The other courses can be taken in an associated cosmetology topic, although you may still have to take one from an approved listing of topics. For example, in Texas you have to take courses that are listed in Chapter 83 of the Cosmetology Administrative Rules. When choosing course topics, you also want to choose topics of interest to you that will also help you to expand your career. For example, you could find topics in specialty hair coloring techniques if you are looking to become a hair color specialist.
Complete Continuing Education Courses
Once you have found approved providers, it is time to sign up for the class and complete it. Be sure that you get a certificate of completion. Although you may not have to submit it with your application, most states require that you maintain copies for a period of time in the case of an audit. You can always take more continuing education courses than required by your state, especially if you believe it will help you to expand your practice.
Tips for Covering Continuing Education Costs
The costs of continuing education courses vary. There are many cost-effective solutions that provide affordable ways to complete all your required amount of courses for your cosmetology renewal license. However, some courses that you may wish to take to expand your career may be very expensive. You could check to see if your state has any type of scholarships or other types of assistance for continuing education. It is also possible that your employer may help cover the expense if it will apply to your current job. There may also be federal programs in place to help you pay for your courses.
Fill Out a Renewal Application
Once you have your continuing education requirements out of the way, the easy part of obtaining your cosmetology renewal license begins. You simply have to obtain an application form for the type of license you have from your state board of cosmetology and fill out it out. Some states only have one cosmetology license, while others also have several specialty licenses, such as hair braiding, esthetician, nail technician, instructor, and more.
You will need your current license number in order to proceed, and you may also be required to give your social security number. Many boards offer online renewal to make it even easier. If you have let your license expire for a prolonged period of time, you may have to submit a special request for your license to be renewed, or you may have to apply for a new license.
Pay Any Fees
In addition to the application, you also have to submit payment. The fees vary by state but typically cost around $50. If you renew past the deadline, you typically will have to pay more. The type of payment required also depends on your state, so you will need to check to ensure that the credit card or another type of payment you plan to use will be acceptable.
Once you have submitted your application and paid your fees, all that is left to do is wait for your new license to arrive. The largest time constraints for getting your cosmetology renewal license is taking care of your continuing education requirements. It is important that you take care of it in enough time so that you can continue practicing.
Beauty Academy offers cost-effective, state-approved courses online that you can easily complete on your own time. Check out our courses to see how they can help you.