How to Become a Cosmetologist in Illinois

How to Become a Cosmetologist in Illinois

Once you come into a beauty salon, you want a person working there, hairstylist, nail stylist or cosmetologist, help you transform your physical appearance to your liking.

The desire you have is to come out of the salon as a new person who would be self-confident and satisfied with his/her look.

To be able to manage all kinds of customers and know what to do with their wishes, cosmetologists need to pass certain training, education and have years of experience before they can reach great success.

If you want to become one of them, arm yourself with a lot of patience and knowledge.

Popular Programs

Job Description

Cosmetologists are licensed professionals who take care of their hair, nails, and skin.

Usually, the do shampooing, conditioning, and styling and should know what kind of treatment is good and bad for your hair or skin and find the products that suit you.

As they are beauticians, they are more frequently visited by women, but nowadays more and more men are starting visiting salons.

Some of the daily duties of a cosmetologist are:

  • Bleaching and dying of hair.
  • Shampooing, rinsing and drying hair
  • Straightening or waving
  • Shaping eyebrows and remove facial hair
  • Administering chemicals

Cosmetology Programs in Illinois

When it comes to the requirements for becoming a licensed cosmetologist in the state of Illinois, everything is in charge of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

As education is mandatory, you will need to choose an approved cosmetology school which can be found online or in:

  • Addison
  • Arlington Heights
  • Aurora
  • Belleville
  • Berwyn
  • Bloomingdale
  • Blue Island
  • Bourbonnais
  • Chicago
  • Darien
  • Freeport
  • Morris
  • Quincy
  • Peoria

The curriculum of these schools is related to theoretical and hands-on training and you will gain knowledge about:

  • Cutting and Coloring
  • Make-Up
  • Hair Extensions and Braiding
  • Long Hair Design Systems
  • Nail Techniques
  • Salon Business, Marketing, and Managing

The accredited schools will give you the required 1500 hours of training for Cosmetologists and barbers, 600 hours for electrologists and 750 hours for estheticians.

Massage therapists will need to have at least 500 hours, while nail technicians and hair braiders are required less training, about 300 hours.

The best-known cosmetology schools in Illinois are:

  • Alvareita’s College of Cosmetology Inc.
  • Cosmetology and Spa Academy – Chicago
  • Hair Professionals Career College – Chicago
  • Oehrlein School of Cosmetology – Peoria
  • Paul Mitchell School – Kankakee
  • G Skin & Beauty Institute – Oak Brook.

Cosmetology Exams in Illinois

The graduation makes you eligible to take and pass the Illinois exam, organized by Continental Testing Services.

To apply for the exam, you will have to submit an application or apply online, pay the exam fee and schedule testing location and date.

The exam will be scheduled with any PSI Testing Center at the following locations:

  • Chicago
  • Springfield
  • Carbondale
  • Champaign
  • East Peoria
  • Evansville
  • Galesburg
  • Glen Ellyn

License Application

The passing of the Illinois exam allows you to complete your application for licensure and add the approved cosmetology school diploma and the official exam scores to have all the necessary documentation submitted.

You can also apply for licensure based on your endorsements in case you have ever been licensed in another state or jurisdiction.

The additional documents that should be submitted in this case are:

  • Certification by Licensing Agency/Board (CT) document
  • Verification of Employment/Experience (VE-COB) by three (3) different individuals

All these should be sent to the following address:

Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
ATTN: Division of Professional Regulation
P.O. Box 7007
Springfield, IL 62791

Keeping Your License Current in Illinois

Even though you have all the working knowledge and proven experience as a cosmetologist, you are obliged to renew your license.

The renewal requires the completion of at least fourteen hours of continuing education within the two year renewal period.

The license expires on September 30th of each odd year and further education can be gained only through approved sponsors.

By visiting up-to-date with fashion and beauty trends you will become acquainted with cutting-edge beauty trends and that can make both your clients and your employers satisfied with your work.

Average Annual Cosmetologist Salary in Illinois

The license allows you to work at any of the salons or beauty centers in Illinois and there are many places where you can apply for employment, including:

  • Xeno Salon and Day Spa – Rockford
  • Five Senses Spa and Salon – Peoria
  • Touché Salon – Libertyville
  • Natural Concepts Salon – Peoria
  • The Circle Salon – Chicago
  • Maxine Salon – Chicago
  • Red 7 Salon – Chicago
  • Taylor Reese – Chicago

The job opportunities are great in Illinois and if you are not satisfied with the employer, you can always decide to set up your beauty premises.

Your education, quality of work and advancement will affect the possible salary that you can get, and it can lead to the negotiation about the salary as well.

This profession can earn you a decent salary.

Your work will determine whether you will become prominent and visited by the rich and famous people.

That way your salary will be higher and the tips they give if they are satisfied with your work are great.

The state of Illinois belongs to the states with the highest employment rates and they are expected to grow in the future.

The average annual salaries for cosmetologists are the lowest in Rock Island with $ 24 112 per year, while the highest are in Cicero and Chicago estimated at $ 27 797.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Arlington Heights,IL $27,081
Aurora,IL $27,546
Bloomington,IL $24,927
Bolingbrook,IL $27,089
Champaign,IL $24,514
Chicago,IL $27,797
Cicero,IL $27,797
Decatur,IL $24,113
Des Plaines,IL $27,724
Elgin,IL $27,389
Evanston,IL $27,787
Hoffman Estates,IL $27,546
Joliet,IL $26,963
Moline,IL $24,092
Mount Prospect,IL $27,703
Naperville,IL $27,205
Normal,IL $25,044
Oak Lawn,IL $27,766
Oak Park,IL $27,797
Orland Park,IL $26,843
Palatine,IL $27,129
Peoria,IL $25,286
Rock Island,IL $24,112
Rockford,IL $26,203
Schaumburg,IL $27,490
Skokie,IL $27,787
Springfield,IL $24,086
Tinley Park,IL $26,770
Waukegan,IL $26,133
Wheaton,IL $27,266

Regional Salary in Illinois

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Bloomington, IL140$33,760$16.23$46,900$24,960
Champaign-Urbana, IL160$33,970$16.33$47,450$24,960
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI11,690$44,700$21.49$76,650$26,040
Decatur, IL60$38,370$18.45$58,050$25,540
Peoria, IL260$36,900$17.74$55,710$24,960
Rockford, IL160$37,240$17.91$56,480$25,080
Springfield, IL240$39,020$18.76$59,070$24,960
* 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.


If you decide that this vocation is ideal for you, then you should build your career based on professional skills and achievements and by maintaining lifelong relationships with your clients.

It is good to know that your eagerness to advance, gain further and valuable knowledge related to the latest fashion trends and improvement of your work will gain you more customers.

You should not expect to become extremely popular over the night.

In this world full of a cosmetologist, you will have to patiently wait for your five minutes to come, but eventually, with a lot of effort and work, they will certainly come.

USA Cosmetology by State

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