How to Become a Cosmetologist in Hawaii

How to Become a Cosmetologist in Hawaii

If you are 16 years old and you spend most of your time applying make-up or doing different hairstyles for your friends and family, and devote your free time to learn new ways of treating hair and nails, then the profession of a cosmetologist might be your cup of tea.

In recent years, it has developed so much that the lack of licensed cosmetologists is present in almost every state.

However, you should know that success in the field depends on your ability, motivation and willingness to work long hours and patience to listen to and understand people’s desires.

Job Description

Successful cosmetologists can build a loyal clientele by respecting clients’ tastes.

Popular Programs

They often manage their salon, which offers higher earning potential.

Cosmetologists can work in many settings, at a resort, in a theatre or spas.

Nails, makeup and hair are something that is perceived at first sight and people put a lot of money and effort into making their physical appearance more attractive and catchy.

Cosmetology Programs in Hawaii

Being one of the top-paying states in the United States for cosmetologists, Hawaii’s law requires education and experience to become one of the certified cosmetologists.

The Hawaii Barbering and Cosmetology Board determine the prerequisites for beauty professionals in Hawaii.

It is required to be sixteen, to have a social security number, and to hold a high school diploma.

Furthermore, you will need to get education and training at beauty schools, beauty apprenticeships, or from another jurisdiction.

Beauty Schools require you to have at least 1800 hours of training where you will learn everything about the functioning of the salon as well as the job duties such as design, cutting, and coloring of the nails, hair techniques, fashion trends, and business ethics.

The courses will be about:

  • Sanitation
  • Quality Customer Service
  • Personal Appearance and Hygiene
  • State Laws and Regulations
  • Salon-Type Administration
  • Fashion Trends
  • Manicuring
  • Pedicuring
  • Basic Facials

The cost of cosmetology school can vary, but you should choose only accredited cosmetology programs, even though they might be a little bit more expensive.

Another great thing is that some schools award scholarships to deserving students.

These kinds of programs can be found in:

  • Hawaii Institute of Hair Design – Honolulu.
  • Honolulu Community College Cosmetology Program – Honolulu.
  • IBS School of Cosmetology and Massage – Maui.
  • The Paul Brown Institute at Remington College – Honolulu.

Another way of achieving eligibility for the license is through a beauty apprenticeship.

You will have to gain at least 3600 hours of on-the-job training, or you can even combine the beauty school training and beauty apprenticeship hours.

The option that is available in Hawaii is to attain a license from another jurisdiction if you have at least one year of experience.

The license from another state and experience is the requirement for cosmetology licensure in Hawaii and if you do not have one of them, you will need to pass the required program to achieve it.


In Hawaii, you can apply for the temporary permit and the beauty operator application.

The temporary permit allows you to work and train under the supervision of a licensed hairstylist while you are waiting for the licensing exam.

It lasts three exam periods as scheduled by the Board.

This can be done by attaching the temporary permit application and the beauty operator license.

Your beauty operator application requires the following documents:

  • High school diploma
  • Beauty school diploma
  • Beauty school transcripts
  • $20 application fee
  • Application for Exam and License

You should send these to the Board at the addresses:

Board of Barbering and Cosmetology
DCCA, PVL Licensing Branch
P.O. Box 3469
Honolulu, HI 96801


355 Merchant St. Room 301
Honolulu, HI 96813

Cosmetology Exams in Hawaii

The education and training are one part of your professional development.

The exams are required for all the graduates from beauty schools or apprenticeships and they are scheduled three times a year, in January, May, and October.

You need to register for a Prometric exam with the Board approval which contains the letter of approval by the Board, a Prometric examination registration form and a cosmetology exam candidate information brochure.

Once you pay the $90 exam fee, you will receive an admission letter and ticket with the time, date, and location for your exam.

The exam has 100 questions and it takes two hours to be completed.

The questions are about infection control, hair, and scalp, skin and nails, shampoo and rinses, manicuring and pedicuring, chemical waving, hair coloring, and lightening.

The results will be mailed to you and if you have passed, you will be allowed to get the license, but if you failed, you will receive re-examination information.

Keeping Your License Current in Hawaii

It is obligatory to renew your license on December 31st every two years on odd-numbered years, by signing up for an account with the Professional Vocational Licensing Board.

Continuing education is not necessary, but it can be optional for the candidates interested in advancing their professional skills.

Average Annual Cosmetologist Salary in Hawaii

A licensed cosmetologist can work anywhere in Hawaii.

Spas and salons throughout Hawaii are constantly looking for novice certified cosmetologists.

They can find a job in:

  • Kai Salon and Day Spa – Honolulu
  • Herbal Spa Sauna and Salon – Honolulu
  • Rainforest Spa –Kauai, Maui, Ho’ola
  • Serenity Spa – Honolulu
  • Kai J Salon and Spa – Honolulu
  • Heaven on Earth Salon and Day Spa – Honolulu

The salary cannot be precise because experienced cosmetologists receive larger tips for exceptional service, but it can be said that Hawaii belongs to those states with a very high average salary in the USA.

In Hawaii, cosmetologists earn an average salary of $27,000 and the variations among major cities are not so significant.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Ewa Beach,HI $27,207
Hilo,HI $27,024
Honolulu,HI $27,207
Kahului,HI $27,024
Kaneohe,HI $27,207
Pearl City,HI $27,207
Waipahu,HI $27,195

Regional Salary in Hawaii

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI80$40,920$19.67$62,840$22,980
Urban Honolulu, HI810$33,160$15.94$58,160$21,660
* 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.


Indeed, the cosmetologist profession is not easy and education is not cheap, but by attending some of these schools you will not only gain a solid base of education and experience to pass the state licensing exam but also will achieve lifelong skills in styling.

USA Cosmetology by State

Leave a Comment