How to Become a Cosmetologist in Nevada

To join the ranks of Nevada’s cosmetologists working in diverse industries, you’ll need to attain a license through the Nevada State Board of Cosmetology. To become a licensed cosmetologist in Nevada, follow these steps:

Enter Zip:
Get your Training at a Cosmetology School or Qualify Through Apprenticeship
Apply for Licensure with the Nevada State Board of Cosmetology
Pass Nevada’s Required Cosmetology Examinations
Maintain Your License Through Continuing Education
Find Work in Nevada’s Thriving Beauty Industry

While the casino resort and hospitality industry will always be Nevada’s biggest moneymaker and one of the top industries supporting cosmetologist jobs in the state, the film industry is also a major player. Movies are fast becoming one of the Silver State’s leading industries, and where there are movies being filmed, there is a need for skilled stylists, hairdressers and makeup artists. Other opportunities are available at salons, spas, medical facilities, health care practitioners’ offices, health clubs and more.



Step 1. Get your Training at a Cosmetology School or Qualify Through Apprenticeship

As a prospective cosmetologist, the Nevada State Board of Cosmetology requires you to be a U. S. citizen/lawful resident who is of good moral character, and at least 18 years old with a 10th grade education (minimum) prior to enrolling in cosmetology training.

The Nevada State Board of Cosmetology requires you to complete 1600 hours of cosmetology training in a program offered at a Board-approved school located in the state, or one offered in a different state that teaches to similar standards and that includes the required number of training hours. A list of schools located in Nevada can be found on the Board’s website.

If you choose to pursue training at one of Nevada’s cosmetology schools, your 1600 hours will be made up of lectures and practical coursework on hair, skin and nails. Course titles may include:

  • Career transitions
  • Design forums
  • Haircutting
  • Hair styling
  • Color
  • Chemistry and chemical procedures
  • Skin and nails
  • Hair design and salon success
  • Hair sculpting and chemical texturizing

Alternatively, you can qualify for licensure by apprenticeship if you live more than 60 miles from a Board-approved cosmetology school. As an apprentice, you’ll need to document 3200 hours of training experience under the guidance of a cosmetologist licensed by the Nevada State Board of Cosmetology. For more information on applying to become an apprentice and tracking your hours, see the Apprentice Application page.


Step 2. Apply for Licensure with the Nevada State Board of Cosmetology

Once you have completed your 1600 hours of cosmetology training, you’ll be required to complete three exams:

  • Theory Test
  • State Law
  • Practical Exam (taken as part of your training program)

Your school must send proof of your training hours and passing score on the practical exam to the Board in order for you to receive authorization to take the Cosmetology Theory Exam and Nevada Law Examination.

Since the practical exam is administered through all Board-approved training programs in Nevada, you’ll only be required to apply for the exam separately as part of the licensing process if you completed your training out of state.

When you have received approval from the Board, you may register to take the examinations.



Step 3. Pass Nevada’s Required Cosmetology Examinations

Theory Exam

The Theory Exam is administered at Board locations in Reno and Las Vegas. You will have two hours to complete questions in ten categories:

  • Safety and Infection Control (25%)
  • Client Consultation and Professional Conduct (4%)
  • Hair, Skin and Nail Anatomy (8%)
  • Shampooing, Conditioning and Scalp Care (5%)
  • Hairstyling (7%)
  • Haircutting (12%)
  • Hair Coloring (12%)
  • Chemical Texture Services (11%)
  • Esthetics (8%)
  • Nails (8%)

Nevada Law Exam

The Nevada Law Exam, which you might be able to take on the same day as the Theory Exam, is a 25-question exam that covers information related to the Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 644 and the Nevada Administrative Code Chapter 644.

Practical Exam

You will take the Practical Exam as part of your cosmetology program at a Nevada-based Board-approved school.

If you do NOT hold a cosmetology license issued in another state or country but have completed the required number of training or apprenticeship hours, you’ll need to apply to take the exam directly through the Nevada State Board of Cosmetology.

You must bring your own mannequin head, mannequin hand and supply kit. Consult the Practical Exam Preparation Guides for suggested items and other information on exam preparedness.

All tests must be passed with a score of at least 75% in order to receive your license. Upon passing the exams, you will receive your cosmetology license from the Board by mail.



Step 4. Maintain Your Nevada Cosmetologist License Through Continuing Education

You made it! You are now a licensed cosmetologist in Nevada! You can choose to have your license on either a two- or four-year renewal cycle.

In order to renew your license, you must pay a license renewal fee and complete four continuing education unit hours in Infection Control. The Infection Control Exam is taken online. Log onto this site and create an account, then take the exam when you are ready.

Along with your renewal form and printed certification that you have completed the Infection Control Exam, you’ll need to send:

  • Renewal Application (can be submitted online or using a downloadable paper form)
  • Two current passport-sized photos of yourself taken in the past three months, with your name and license number printed on the back of each
  • Renewal fee of $140 (4-year license) or $70 (two-year license) payable to the Board via money order, cashier’s check or credit card only

Mail the above information to:

Nevada State Board of Cosmetology
8945 W. Russell Rd. #100, Las Vegas, NV 89148




Step 5. Find Work in Nevada’s Thriving Beauty Industry

The hospitality and gaming industry here means there’s no shortage of opportunities for cosmetologists within casino resorts and the hottest vacation spots and destination spas.

You may choose to rent a chair at someone else’s salon or open your own. Some examples of places that Nevada cosmetologists work include (but are not limited to):

  • TitoJimy Salon – Las Vegas
  • ULTA Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc. – Summerlin, Henderson and Las Vegas
  • Hard Rock Hotel – Las Vegas
  • Pure Platinum Salon and Spa – Sparks
  • Grand Sierra Resort and Casino-Reno
  • Canyon Ranch SpaClub-Las Vegas
  • Hyatt – Incline Village
  • Siena Hotel Spa Casino-Reno

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