How to Become a Cosmetologist in Vermont

The Vermont Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists reviews applicants and determines the requisite qualifications for all cosmetologists in the state, while Vermont’s Office of Professional Regulation is responsible for issuing the actual cosmetologist license. You will need to navigate the following steps to become a cosmetologist in Vermont:

Enter Zip:
Complete Cosmetology Training
Pass Vermont’s Required Cosmetologist Examinations
Consider your Professional Options
Grow in Your Career as a Professional Cosmetologist in Vermont

As a cosmetologist in Vermont you will be able to express yourself artistically while helping people look their best – whether they are about to go skiing at Killington Mountain or out on the town in Burlington. Hair styling is likely to be your main focus as a cosmetologist in Vermont, but you will also have the opportunity to do nails, makeup, and perform skin care treatments too.

Vermont’s cosmetologists are found working everywhere from small town beauty shops, to the trendiest salons in Montpelier or New York. Besides being a career that speaks to your expressive and creative side, you may choose to pursue a career in cosmetology because of the stability and flexibility it offers. As a cosmetologist, your success will depend on your talent and dedication to your trade.



Step 1. Complete Cosmetology Training

In addition to being at least 18 years old and having graduated from high school or obtained a GED, you will need to complete cosmetology training in one of the following two ways:

  • Graduate from an approved cosmetology training program that includes at least 1,500 hours of classroom education
  • Complete a 24-month apprenticeship with a cosmetologist who has been licensed in Vermont for at least five years – this route requires you to complete an Apprentice Application with the Vermont Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists

You can find a list of approved cosmetology schools in Vermont by conducting a search for Schools of Cosmetology in Vermont on the state’s Office of Professional Regulation query website. Cosmetology training programs in Vermont are located in the following cities:

  • Barre
  • Essex Junction
  • Williston
  • South Burlington

A typical program at one of these cosmetology schools can take up to two years to complete, and will include an introduction to:

  • Hair cutting
  • Hairdresser training
  • Styling
  • Makeup training
  • Pedicures and manicures
  • Hair coloring
  • Facials
  • Safety procedures
  • Business management and customer service



Step 2. Pass Vermont’s Required Cosmetologist Examinations

You will need to pass three examinations to fulfill the cosmetology licensing requirements in Vermont:

  • Cosmetology Written Exam
  • Cosmetology Practical Exam
  • Cosmetology Jurisprudence Exam

All three of these exams are administered through the company Professional Credential Services (PCS). Once you graduate from your cosmetology school you will be able to make an online application for these with PCS. When you pass your examinations PCS will notify the Vermont Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists of your results and forward your information. The Board can then evaluate your qualifications and choose to issue your cosmetology license.

As a starting point to study for your cosmetology exams, you can browse through the PCS Cosmetology Candidate Handbook for Vermont.

Cosmetology Written Exam

The Cosmetology Written Exam is offered in a multiple-choice format with questions taken from the following subject areas:

  • Hair care and hair services – 40 percent
  • Scientific concepts of cosmetology – 30 percent
  • Nail care and nail services – 15 percent
  • Skin care and skin services – 15 percent

The exam is offered at a testing center in Colchester as well as in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

Cosmetology Practical Exam

The practical exam is offered in Montpelier once each month. Because this is a practical demonstration of your skill and technique in front of an evaluator you will need to bring up to two mannequins that do not have pre-sectioned hair, on which you must demonstrate the following services:

  • Proper set-up with adequate client protection
  • Thermal curling – demonstrated with a cold iron
  • Chemical waiving
  • Hair cutting
  • Virgin hair lightening and hair color retouch
  • Virgin relaxer application and retouch
  • Basic facial and manicure
  • Nail sculpturing

You will find more than 50 supplies you should bring with you to your practical exam on page 31 of your PCS Cosmetology Candidate Handbook. These include:

  • Neck strips
  • Towels
  • Protective gloves
  • Hair shears
  • Thermal curling iron
  • Razor
  • Combs
  • Red nail polish

Cosmetology Jurisprudence Exam

Although PCS administers your application for the Vermont Cosmetology Jurisprudence Exam, you will actually take this test through another company, Iso-Quality Testing. Once PCS has approved your application it will send you a username and password you can use to log on to Iso-Quality Testing and register for the exam, which is offered at a testing center in Burlington.

The exam itself will evaluate your knowledge of the Vermont Statutes and Rules that pertain to being a cosmetologist.



Step 3. Consider your Professional Options

Depending on your individual circumstances the following options may be advantageous:

Booth Rentals

Once you advance to the point of having a loyal customer base or the security to experiment with renting your own space, you can consider a booth rental. This is effectively where you rent a chair or space as an independent business operator in a pre-existing salon facility under certain conditions.

As a booth renter you will be able to set your own prices and keep all profits you make. To operate as a booth renter you will need to ensure that you adhere to the same general requirements as all salons.

Out-of-State Applicants

If you are a licensed cosmetologist in a different state you are eligible for a reciprocal license in Vermont if your home state’s licensure requirements were similar to those of Vermont’s. To apply via this route you will need to submit a Cosmetology Endorsement Application with the Vermont Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists. Make sure that the cosmetology school you graduated from included at least 1,500 hours of classroom instruction. You can substitute for this requirement in one of the following two ways:

  • You have worked as a cosmetologist for the immediate three years preceding your application in Vermont
  • You have worked as a cosmetologist for at least 2,000 hours in the period of one year

You will also need to request that your home state’s board of cosmetology send a Verification of Licensure Form to Vermont’s Office of Professional Regulation.

If you have not completed tests that are equivalent to those offered by PCS to Vermont candidates – such as the Cosmetology Jurisprudence Exam for Vermont – you will need to register with PCS to do this before your license will be issued in Vermont.



Step 4. Grow in Your Career as a Professional Cosmetologist in Vermont

As you start out in your new career you will need to demonstrate that you have refined your cosmetology skills so as to develop your own base of loyal customers. This will take hard work and dedication, but if you have made it as far as getting your cosmetology license, accomplishing this will be the fun part.

As a cosmetologist you will find that your successes or failures are largely self-imposed, and that if you are willing to work hard and use your natural artistic abilities along with what you have learned in school, you will be rewarded with clients who keep coming back.

Don’t forget that you will need to renew your cosmetology license biannually in November of odd-numbered years.

Because no matter where people are they will want to look their best, you can find cosmetology jobs in Vermont virtually anywhere there are people. Of the 760 licensed cosmetologists in the state, your colleagues are mostly concentrated in the following areas:

  • 350 in the southern non-metropolitan areas of the state
  • 280 in the Burlington-South Burlington area
  • 130 in the northern non-metropolitan areas of the state

Eventually as you gain more experience you may even have the opportunity to consider opening your own salon where you can specialize in exactly what you enjoy doing and hire your own employees.

Back to Top