How to Become a Cosmetologist in Alabama

Cosmetologist in Alabama

It is universally known that the way we perceive people around us has significantly changed.

The way we look and the appearance of others became very important, due to the standards set by the development of television and fashion.

This leads to the desire to reach those standards and more and more people are doing their best to make themselves more attractive and beautiful.

That is when cosmetologist comes into play.

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Job Description

A cosmetologist is a person whose duty is to make his/her customer look more gorgeous by changing his/her hairstyle, nails or face.

This person needs to be passionate about meeting customer expectations and successfully provide the precise results that the client wants.

Their duties are versatile, and they usually provide recommendations to their clients related to the improvement of their skin, nails, hair.

They prepare hair for styling by analyzing hair condition.

After shampooing and washing, they treat hair by shaping, curling, cutting, trimming, bleaching and dyeing.

They also need to do some clerical staff like maintaining supplies by checking stock, placing orders and verifying receipt.

By providing various beauty services,  scalp, and facial treatments and make-up applications, they are eager to meet the desires and needs of their customers to be satisfied and come back again.

Cosmetology Programs in Alabama

When it comes to Alabama, cosmetologists are regulated and licensed by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology and Barbering.

They can work with hair, nails, and skin, but only certain duties that are permitted to perform.

They can perform arranging, bleaching, braiding, cleansing, coloring, curling, cutting, waxing and weaving of the hair, and manicure and pedicure as well as using lotions, creams, cosmetic preparations, with or without massage, on the arms, legs, feet, scalp, feet, and hands.

To achieve a license as a cosmetologist in Alabama, you must complete 1,500 clock hours within a cosmetology school which offers a cosmetology program.

These kinds of programs can be found in a beauty school, a junior college or a vocational school.

Applicants can choose between a certificate/diploma programs which are shorter or an associate degree which lasts longer but offers better knowledge and training.

An associate degree is also a great option for those interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree in areas like salon and spa management or health and beauty management.

The curriculum at these schools covers anatomy and physiology, electrotherapy and the chemistry of cosmetics and teaches students more than the minimum required for the state exams.

The schools and colleges that offer this kind of education throughout Alabama and the time necessary for finishing it are:

  • Aveda Institute in Birmingham – 13 months
  • Beauty Enterprise School of Cosmetology in Anniston
  • Blue Cliff Career College in Mobile – 16 months
  • Mitchell Cosmetology College in Birmingham
  • New Beginning College of Cosmetology in Albertville – 12 months
  • Remington College in Mobile – 12 months
  • O.C.K. Academy of Cosmetology in Fairhope – 12 months
  • University Academy of Hair Design in Tuscaloosa – 9,5 months
  • Winonah International School of Cosmetology in Birmingham – 12 months


How much time should you need to dedicate to become a licensed cosmetologist depends on the type of license you wish to get.

Manicurists must complete 750 clock hours while estheticians must complete at least 1,000 clock hours.

There is an option of choosing apprenticeship instead of a formal cosmetology program, but it lasts 3,000 clock hours within 3 years and you need to be under the direct supervision of a licensed cosmetologist.

A manicurist must complete at least 1,200 clock hours within 2 years and an esthetician 2,000 clock hours within 3 years to earn a license in Alabama through an apprenticeship.

Upon the finishing of the apprenticeship or formal program, you have two years to apply for a cosmetologist license in Alabama.

The Board determines that you must be at least 16 years old, and you must have completed at least the 10th grade in high school and successfully passed the cosmetology education.

Cosmetology Exams in Alabama

After applying, the Board determines whether or not you are eligible to sit for the required examinations which consist of theory and practical examination.

The examination is administered through PSI Exams and it lasts 90 minutes.

In Alabama, there are PSI testing locations are in:

  • Birmingham
  • Mobile
  • Huntsville
  • Montgomery

The written examination requires more than 70 points, and if you achieve it, you can schedule the practical examination with Professional Credentialing Services (PCS) at 1-888-822-3272.

Examination sites are in Mobile, Birmingham, Montgomery, and North Alabama.

Keeping Your License Current

Once you get the license, it does not last forever and it expires on the last day of your birth month every odd-numbered year.

You will need to renew it and the cost of renewing it is $80.

You can educate more and stay in touch with the latest trends in hair and makeup through:

As cosmetology is also a business, people tend to acquire further education related to business and marketing to successfully open and run a salon.

Because technology is advancing and developing too fast, they also need to maintain technical knowledge by attending educational workshops.

Annual Cosmetologist Salary in Alabama

The Alabama Department of Labor collects data related to the employment and salaries of various occupations throughout the US states, and it estimates that there will be job growth for future cosmetologists.

This might lead to the increasing demand for licensed cosmetologists which will affect their salaries.

According to the Alabama Department of Labor’s cosmetologist’s average salary is $23,620 per year.

The good side of this job is tipping, so they can earn more through it.

The average annual salary of a cosmetologist in Alabama ranges from $ 23 141 in Georgiana up to $ 24 686 in Huntsville.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Auburn,AL $23,392
Birmingham,AL $24,550
Decatur,AL $23,932
Dothan,AL $23,039
Florence,AL $22,503
Gadsden,AL $24,409
Georgiana,AL $23,141
Huntsville,AL $24,686
Madison,AL $24,686
Mobile,AL $24,156
Montgomery,AL $23,350
Prattville,AL $23,350
Tanner,AL $24,025
Tuscaloosa,AL $24,465

Regional Salary in Alabama

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL50$27,360$13.16$43,520$18,410
Auburn-Opelika, AL100$37,340$17.95$56,290$19,850
Birmingham-Hoover, AL930$36,960$17.77$59,990$18,670
Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL180$36,830$17.71$58,570$20,060
Decatur, AL80$37,260$17.91$57,100$19,770
Dothan, AL70$30,290$14.56$47,180$18,010
Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL70$32,110$15.44$49,620$17,620
Gadsden, AL30$27,650$13.29$45,330$17,930
Huntsville, AL480$38,380$18.45$65,400$20,650
Mobile, AL360$32,460$15.61$51,930$18,430
Montgomery, AL250$42,420$20.39$58,390$18,640
Tuscaloosa, AL160$36,020$17.32$58,730$18,440
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists, OCC Code 39-5012, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.


Cosmetologist belongs to the team of people who are dedicated to provide their customers with satisfactory service and to build up a large client base.

To get more clients and become popular and appreciated in this profession, it is advisable to finish any kind of offered programs and achieve a license to be able to grow and learn more during his/her cosmetology career.

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