How to Become a Cosmetologist in Delaware

To become a cosmetologist in Delaware, however, you must first become licensed through the Delaware Board of Cosmetology and Barbering, which requires the successful completion of the following steps:

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Complete an Approved Cosmetology Program or Apprenticeship
Complete the Required Cosmetology Examinations
Maintain your Delaware Cosmetology License

Delaware may not be very big, but it sure is jam packed with plenty of reasons to pursue your cosmetology career here. Salons and spas are quite at home here, and you can find them everywhere from the hip and trendy Trolley Square area of Wilmington, which is home to everything from sidewalk cafes to upscale restaurants, to the affluent area of Lewes, which is known for its plethora of local-owned businesses.

You can flex your creative mind and skills by working in one of Delaware’s 350-plus salons, or take a leap of faith by opening up your own salon and take advantage of a growing industry worth $130 million a year in Delaware!

So whether you want to set up shop at one of the State’s many shore destinations like Fenwick Island or settle in Greenville-Centerville, a classic American town, your desire to succeed in the salon industry is sure to be satisfied.



Step 1. Complete an Approved Cosmetology Program or Apprenticeship

There are two, distinct routes to licensure as a cosmetologist in Delaware: through the completion of an approved cosmetology program or through an apprenticeship, both of which have their own set of requirements:

Approved Cosmetology Program

To become a licensed cosmetologist in Delaware, you must first complete a comprehensive cosmetology program, which must include at least 1,500 classroom hours. You may achieve this requirement by completing a program through a vocational school, dedicated cosmetology school, or junior college, and the program may culminate in either a certificate/diploma or an associate degree.

Certificate/diploma programs in cosmetology are generally between 15 and 18 months in duration, while an associate degree in cosmetology generally takes about 2 years to complete. If you have aspirations of pursuing additional study beyond your initial cosmetology program, you may choose to complete an associate degree. An associate degree may also be the right choice if you may want to eventually pursue a career in salon or spa management.

A cosmetologist license in Delaware means that you are permitted to perform all hair services, including cutting, chemically coloring, styling, permanent waving, etc., as well as massaging or stimulating the scalp, face, arms, hands, or upper body.

If you want to focus your cosmetology career on a certain area, you may also choose to complete an abbreviated cosmetology program and become licensed in one of the following areas:

  • Nail technician: 300 classroom hours
  • Electrologist: 300 classroom hours
  • Aesthetician: 600 classroom hours

Many times, institutions will also offer combined programs that include not only cosmetology training, but training in one or more of the above areas, as well, thereby allowing you to serve in a number of capacities.

Approved Apprenticeship Program

You may also complete an apprenticeship in lieu of a formal cosmetology program; however, the requirements for this route to licensure vary from those of a cosmetology program. In particular, you must complete at least 3,000 apprenticeship hours to qualify for a cosmetology license.

Before applying for a cosmetology internship, you must find a sponsor to supervise your apprenticeship. The supervisor must be a licensed cosmetologist in the State of Delaware, the salon in which the supervisor works must hold a professional license and a business license.

To apply for an apprenticeship, you must complete, sign, and notarize an Application for Apprenticeship and enclose a processing fee of $40, made payable to the State of Delaware. You must also provide the Board with proof of your high school education (You must have completed at least the 10th grade to qualify.).

You and your supervisor must maintain clear records of your apprenticeship hours and record them on the Verification of Apprenticeship Hours form (found at the end of the application). Once you have completed your apprenticeship, your supervisor must submit the form to the Board office.



Step 2. Complete the Required Cosmetology Examinations

Upon the successful completion of either a formal cosmetology program or an apprenticeship, you must complete an online Examination and License application through Professional Credential Services (PCS) and pay the examination fee of $225, which covers both the theory and practical examinations. This application determines your eligibility for testing. In addition to meeting the education or apprenticeship requirements for licensure, you must show proof that you are at least 16 years old and have completed the 10th grade.

The Board, through PCS, utilizes the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC) examinations. You can find more information about these examinations and what to expect by visiting the NIC website.

Once your application has been approved, PCS will send you an email notification that will include a Theory Authorization to Test (ATT) letter and a Practical Admission Notice conforming your assigned, date, time, and location to take the practical examination. All practical examinations for cosmetology are administered in Newark, New Jersey.

Once you have received your ATT letter, you must contact PSI to schedule the theory examination. You can either contact PSI at 1-800-733-9267 or at The theory examination, a computer-based examination, may be taken at the PSI testing centers located in either Dover or Georgetown.

You must score at least 75 on both the practical and theory examinations to pass. Once you passed both examinations, PCS will notify the Board of your status so that you can pay the initial application fee of $110 (made payable the State of Delaware) and your license can be issued.



Step 3. Maintain your Delaware Cosmetology License

Cosmetology licenses in Delaware expire on October 31 of each even-numbered year. You can expect to receive a renewal notice a few weeks before your license expiration date, which will include instructions on how to access the online renewal application. The cost of renewal is $110.

There are no continuing education requirements for cosmetology licenses in Delaware; however, it is often a wise decision to keep up to date on the latest issues in cosmetology and the latest trends and styles in beauty and fashion through continuing education courses.

Continuing education is also a practical pursuit if you want to further your career by working as a salon supervisor or cosmetology instructor. For example, cosmetology instructors in Delaware, in addition to holding a current cosmetologist license, must complete at least 500 hours of instruction in cosmetology teacher training course (or 250 hours if they possess at least two years of experience) before they can sit for the instructor examination and become licensed as a cosmetology instructor.

Business, marketing, and management courses are often sought by cosmetologists who want to explore the option of opening their own salon business in Delaware.

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