How to Become a Cosmetologist in Maryland

How to Become a Cosmetologist in Maryland

The way of becoming a cosmetologist might not be too demanding, but the personal qualities that you need to possess to be wanted and frequently visited by the clients are numerous.

First of all, you will need to have highly developed listening and understanding skills, as you must listen carefully to what the client wants, understand his/her desires and do your best to make him/her happy with the result.

Another characteristic is patience, as there will be people that are not easy to handle with and you will still need to act as everything is in perfect order.

Physical stamina is necessary to be able to stand on your feet during the whole shift and tidiness plays a crucial role, as clients will want a cosmetologist with a neat personal appearance and who work in clean and sanitary space.

Popular Programs

Job Description

Many cosmetologists work with hair, cutting, shampooing, coloring, permanent waving, etc.

Scissors, clippers, curlers, irons, and dryers are their equipment which helps them give their customers fashionable hairstyles.

Some cosmetologists specialize in other areas as well, like nail styling and facials.

Nevertheless, to successfully do this job you need to be a talented, creative and passionate person.

Cosmetology Programs in Maryland

What would be the requirements for earning the cosmetology license depends on the state you live in.

Each state has an organization that determines the rules and organizes examination.

When it comes to Maryland, this is entrusted to the Maryland Board of Cosmetologists.

The cosmetology career is allowed only to those people who are at least 17 years old and have completed 9th grade.

To become a cosmetologist in Maryland, you can choose between two options: schooling and apprentice training.

Beauty schools are supposed to organize 1500 hours of training and it is advisable to choose a program that is approved by the State Board of Education or the Maryland Higher Education Commission, even though it is not obligatory.

The accreditation agency for cosmetology programs is the National Accreditation Committee of Career Arts & Sciences (NACCAS) and there are 28 accredited cosmetology programs in Maryland which can be found in:

  • Baltimore
  • Salisbury
  • Ellicott City
  • Hagerstown
  • Laurel
  • Waldorf
  • Frederick
  • Glen Burnie
  • Owings Mills
  • Cumberland
  • Rockville
  • Bel Air
  • Jessup

The curriculum involves both practical and theoretical lessons, and help you become acquainted not only with hair, makeup, and nail care skills but also with key business skills.

You will learn the basics of:

  • Salon administration
  • State laws and regulations
  • Sanitation
  • Record keeping
  • Personal appearance and hygiene
  • Customer service
  • Skincare
  • Nail care
  • Hair coloring

Top beauty schools in Maryland are:

  • Aaron’s Academy of Beauty – Waldorf.
  • Aspen Beauty Academy of Laurel – Annapolis.
  • Award Beauty School – Hagerstown.
  • The Colorlab Academy of Hair – Bel Air.
  • Del-Mar-Va Beauty Academy – Salisbury.

Another option of getting a license is through 24 months apprenticeship.

Your apprentice license lasts only one year, plus two one-year renewals.

You will be trained by the licensed and experienced cosmetologist who must send monthly reports to the Board.

You can also become a senior cosmetologist who will be allowed to train future cosmetologists as your apprentices, but first, you must have two years of experience as a licensed Maryland cosmetologist and pass the senior cosmetologist exam and the cosmetologist exam.

Cosmetology Exams in Maryland

After you have finished a 1500-hour program, while you are still a student, your trainer will tell you whether you are ready for the examination or not.

Then, you will be allowed to take the theory and the practical part of the exam which are administered through Prometric testing centers.

First, you need to pay the application fee which costs $80.

The theoretical part includes 100 multiple-choice questions and lasts two hours

Questions are related to the subjects that you have learned during education and training:

  • Infection control and bacteriology
  • Salon safety
  • Salon ethics
  • Client protection
  • Applied anatomy
  • Physical services
  • Chemical services
  • Hairstyling and shaping
  • State laws and regulations

For the practical examination, you will need to bring your kit, mannequin head and mannequin hand and you will have 195 minutes to perform:

  • Blood spill safety-critical section
  • Manicure table set up
  • Eyebrow wax service
  • Thermal curling
  • Hair shaping
  • Chemical wave, permanent wave
  • Hair lightening and coloring
  • Chemical relaxer
  • Final clean-up

When the senior cosmetology exam is in question, you will have to pass only the theoretical part, consisting of 100 multiple-choice questions that should be done in two hours.

The application fee is $50 and the questions are about:

  • Salon management
  • Job search
  • Chemistry
  • Apprenticeship and sanitation
  • Licensing


The license application is done through the State of Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation’s online application system after you have paid the $25 fee.

As the application is done online, you might be asked to send the additional documentation via mail, and it should be sent to:

State of Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation,

Maryland State Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists,

500 N. Calvert St., Room 201,

Baltimore, MD 21202-3651.

Keeping Your License Current in Maryland

Once you get the license that is not the end of your requirements, as it is obligatory to maintain it.

Licenses are valid for two years and you are required to complete 16 hours of continuing education during that period to be able to renew it.

The additional education should be about Maryland occupational safety and health regulations and state law, communicable diseases and disinfection, sanitation and sterilization, one hour for each of them.

The remaining 12 hours can be done on any cosmetology-related subject.

The license renewal fee is $ 25 and the process can be done online.

Average Annual Cosmetologist Salary in Maryland

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, cosmetologists working as hairdressers, hairstylists, makeup artists, and nail care specialists are in constant demand.

Spas, salons, and resorts are always looking for a cosmetologist who will provide excellent services, and they offer a decent salary.

Although cosmetologist salaries in Maryland vary widely by region, the average salary is $28,768.

The more experienced cosmetologist might earn more, as tipping is common in this profession.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Baltimore,MD $26,826
Bethesda,MD $29,026
Bowie,MD $28,965
Columbia,MD $26,782
Dundalk,MD $26,826
Ellicott City,MD $26,809
Frederick,MD $28,015
Gaithersburg,MD $28,948
Germantown,MD $28,180
Glen Burnie,MD $26,826
Potomac,MD $29,008
Rockville,MD $28,991
Silver Spring,MD $29,026
Towson,MD $26,826
Waldorf,MD $28,948

Regional Salary in Maryland

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD3,150$41,390$19.9$57,130$26,990
California-Lexington Park, MD120$41,140$19.78$56,750$27,000
Cumberland, MD-WV110$37,570$18.06$61,230$26,000
Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV290$37,440$18$58,850$26,000
Salisbury, MD-DE580$37,800$18.17$56,980$23,790
* 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.

USA Cosmetology by State

Leave a Comment