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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:

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Get your Cosmetology Education or Qualify through Experience
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 industry will always be Nevada’s biggest moneymaker and one of the top industries to support cosmetologist jobs in the state, the film industry is also a major player. Film is fast becoming one of the Silver State’s leading industries, and where there are films being shot, 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 Cosmetology Education or Qualify through Experience

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, at least 18 years old and finished your 10th grade education (minimum) prior to enrolling in cosmetology training.

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The Nevada State Board of Cosmetology requires that you complete 1800 hours of cosmetology training in a Board-approved school. A list of these schools is on the Board’s website. They are found statewide, in cities such as:

  • Las Vegas
  • Henderson
  • Carson City
  • Reno

Alternatively, you may claim experience as a basis for licensure by fulfilling one of the following:

  • Four years of cosmetologist work outside of Nevada
  • 3600 hours served as a licensed cosmetologist’s apprentice in Nevada. If you choose this route, you and your employer must complete the Proof of Current Work Experience form and submit it to the Board.

If you choose to pursue training at one of Nevada’s cosmetology school, your 1800 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



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

Once you have completed your 1800 hours of cosmetology training, your school must send proof of this to the Board in order for you to receive authorization to take the National Cosmetology Examination and Nevada Law Examination.

You must also send an Application Request Form and fee of $15 payable to the Board via money order, cashier’s check or credit card only.

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



Step 3. Pass Nevada’s Required Cosmetology Examinations

NIC Written Exam

The NIC Written Exam is administered through PSI Test Centers. You will have one and a half hours to complete questions on the following topics:

  • Infection Control
  • Human anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Ergonomics
  • Principles of electricity
  • Trichology
  • Draping procedures for hair services
  • Shampooing, conditioning, massaging, brushing
  • Hair design
  • Haircutting
  • Hairstyling
  • Wigs, hair enhancements and extensions
  • Chemical services
  • Haircoloring
  • Skin histology
  • Skin care services
  • Draping procedures for facial services
  • Temporary hair removal procedures
  • Facial procedures
  • Facial makeup application
  • Nail care service
  • Nail structure
  • Manicure and pedicure procedures
  • Advanced nail care

You will pay exam fees online or via phone when you schedule with PSI. A fee of $50 will cover both the Written and Law Examinations. Test centers in Nevada are located in:

  • Colorado Springs
  • Las Vegas
  • Reno

Nevada Law Exam

PSI test centers also administer the Nevada Law Exam, which you might be able to take on the same day as the NIC Written Exam. This 30-minute exam covers information related to the Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 644 and the Nevada Administrative Code Chapter 644.

Review this guide to prepare for the Law Exam.

NIC Practical Exam

Finally, you must pass the NIC Practical Exam. Contact the Board for information on scheduling this exam, as the test sites and dates vary. During the NIC Practical Exam, you will be given four hours to demonstrate your cosmetology skills in the following core domain services:

  • Set up and client protection
  • Thermal curling
  • Haircutting
  • Chemical waving
  • Virgin hair lightening application and hair color retouch
  • Virgin relaxer application and relaxer retouch

You must bring your own mannequin head, mannequin hand and supply kit (consult this link for suggested items in the kit).

All tests must be passed with a score of at least 75 in order to receive your license. Once this is done, you will receive your cosmetology license from the Board by mail.



Step 4. Maintain Your Nevada Cosmetologist License Through Continuing Education

You have made it! You are now a licensed cosmetologist in Nevada! Your license will expire every other year according to the following schedule:

  • If your last name begins with the letter A-M, your license will expire on your birthday on the next odd-numbered year
  • If your last name begins with N –Z, your license will expire on your birthday on the next even-numbered year.

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, send:

  • Child Support Questionnaire (included in Renewal Application)
  • 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 $70 payable to the Board via money order, cashier’s check or credit card only

Mail the above information to one of these two addresses:

  • Nevada State Board of Cosmetology
    1785 E Sahara Ave, Suite 255
    Las Vegas, NV 89104
  • Nevada State Board of Cosmetology4600 Kietzke Lane #O-262
    Reno, NV 89502



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

Work abounds for cosmetologists in Nevada. The gaming industry creates even more opportunities for Nevada’s cosmetologists within casino resorts and vacation areas.

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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