Working with hair, nails, and makeup, as a cosmetologist in Utah you can bestow the ultimate gift on your clients: confidence. Whether you work at a trendy, high-end salon in Salt Lake City or a local parlor in Saint George, your customers will value your natural artistic skills when you transform their look from the every-day to the exceptional.
As you pursue a cosmetology license you will be working with the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, the agency responsible for evaluating your application and issuing your license. To become a licensed cosmetologist in Utah, follow these steps:
|Complete Formal Training in Cosmetology|
|Pass the Utah Cosmetology Theory and Practical Exams|
|Apply for a License with the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing|
|Further Develop Your Cosmetology Career|
Utah’s top cosmetologists have gone on to style Sundance celebrities, work in Hollywood, and open their own salons in the state’s hottest districts. Besides the desire to fulfill lofty goals, you may choose to pursue a career in cosmetology because of the stability and flexibility it offers. As a cosmetologist you will be able to style your way to success through hard work, creativity, and dedication.
Step 1. Complete Formal Training in Cosmetology
To become a cosmetologist in Utah, you will need to graduate from a cosmetology school that is approved by the Utah Board of Regents for post secondary schools, such as those that are accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences (NACCAS).
You can find a list of all approved cosmetology schools in the Utah Candidate Information Bulletin (CIB). As you will discover, there are around 50 approved cosmetology training programs in Utah.
The curriculum you study will include 1,600 hours of instruction in subjects such as:
- Safety of personnel, salon, and clients
- Sanitary procedures and aseptic techniques
- Business and salon management
- Professional ethics
- Public relations and advertising
- Human immune system and bacteriology
- Hairdresser training
- Sculptured nails and nail art
- Physiology of skin and nails
- Wet and thermal styling
- Permanent waves
- Clipper variations
- Wigs and artificial hair
- Makeup training
Step 2. Pass the Utah Cosmetology Theory and Practical Exams
Once you graduate from your Utah cosmetology school you will be eligible to take your examinations. Your cosmetology theory and practical examinations are developed by the National-Interstate Council (NIC) of State Boards of Cosmetology and administered by the testing company PSI. You will need to pass both these tests to meet the cosmetology licensing requirements in Utah.
Detailed information about both exams is featured in PSI’s Utah Candidate Information Bulletin (CIB). At the end of the CIB you will find a registration form you can fill out and submit to PSI to take both the theory and practical examinations. You can also register online for these examinations. Upon completion of your exams PSI will report the results to the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing.
Cosmetology Theory Examination
You can take this exam at the following locations throughout the state:
- Hurricane near Saint George
- North Orem near Provo
- North Salt Lake City
- Sunset near Ogden
The theory exam is taken on a computer with one question displayed at a time. You will need to choose the correct answer from four possible choices for each question. Once you complete the test you will receive your score immediately.
The exam itself will have questions taken from the following topic areas:
- Hair care and services – 40 percent
- Scientific concepts – 30 percent
- Skin care and services – 15 percent
- Nail care and services – 15 percent
Cosmetology Practical Examination
You can take this exam at a PSI testing center in the following cities:
- Hurricane near Saint George
- North Salt Lake City
- Sunset near Ogden
For the practical exam you will need to provide your own mannequin on which you will demonstrate the following abilities to an evaluator:
- Client protection during a proper set-up
- Thermal hair curling
- Hair cutting
- Chemical waving
- Hair color retouch and virgin lightening
- Virgin relaxer application and relaxer retouch
- Nail sculpturing
Step 3. Apply for a License with the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing
Once you have graduated from your cosmetology school and passed your examination you will be ready to apply for licensure with the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. You can do this by completing a Cosmetology Application Packet and submitting this to:
State of Utah
Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing
160 East 300 South, PO Box 146741
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6741
Utah Cosmetologist Law and Rule Examination
You will find a Utah Cosmetologist Law and Rule Examination included in your Cosmetology Application Packet. This is an open-book test you will need to complete as part of the application process. This exam is an evaluation of your knowledge pertaining to the rules and laws surrounding the practice of cosmetology in Utah. You can find the answers to the exam questions within the following laws:
If you are a licensed cosmetologist in another state that has licensure requirements similar to those of Utah, you may be eligible for Utah licensure by reciprocity. To apply via this route you will need to submit a Request for Verification of Out-of-State Licensure form, included in the application packet.
If the cosmetology school that you graduated from had less than 1,600 hours of instruction, you may still be eligible for a reciprocal license in Utah if you have work experience that will make up for the difference in hours. In this case you will also need to submit a Verification of Work Experience form that is also included in the application packet.
If you completed an apprentice program instead of formal schooling at a cosmetology school the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing may accept this, provided you include the Completion of Apprentice Program form that is contained in the application packet.
Step 4. Further Develop Your Cosmetology Career
Once you have earned your license you will be prepared to strike out on your own and start your new career as a cosmetologist. Remember that you will need to renew your license biannually before it expires on September 30th of odd-numbered years.
If you have demonstrated a skillful approach to your cosmetology school and have proven skills, your first job could be anywhere between a local chain store to a trendy neighborhood salon. One of the most attractive aspects of becoming a cosmetologist is that your destiny lies in your own hands – literally. If you have the motivation to hone your skills to a high degree of expertise your clients and work location will reflect this.
Every year dozens of newly licensed graduates go out into the field looking for cosmetology jobs in Utah. Of the approximately 2,630 licensed professionals statewide, you will find your colleagues concentrated as follows:
- 1,670 in Salt Lake City
- 460 in the Ogden-Clearfield area
- 250 in the Provo-Orem area
- 100 in Saint George
- 30 in the eastern non-metropolitan region of the state
As you gain years of experience you may even decide to open up a salon on your own or in a partnership. Whatever you decide to do, you will always have the satisfaction of knowing that you are in charge of your future success.