How to Become a Cosmetologist in New Mexico

How to Become a Cosmetologist in New Mexico

When we think about a cosmetologist, many of us underestimate their job, believing that you can easily become one without too much effort and education.

What first comes to our mind are barbers and hairstylists, but cosmetologists are also nail-stylists, estheticians, and skincare professionals.

Job Description

What cosmetologists typically do during their working day is:

  • Inspecting and analyzing hair, nails, and skin, and advising clients about the hairstyle or nail style options that would suit them best
  • Washing, coloring, and lightening of hair, as well as cutting, drying and styling it
  • Nail styling
  • Pedicures and manicures
  • Receiving payments from clients and scheduling appointments
  • Cleaning and disinfecting all the used equipment and work areas.

Cosmetology Programs in New Mexico

The license requirements for cosmetologists exist in all states, as the professionals emphasize the need for proper education and training in the use of chemicals and sanitation.

Popular Programs

So, specialized training is needed if you want to become a cosmetologist in New Mexico and it can be gained by passing 1600 hours of courses in a Board-approved school.

You will gain theoretical, practical and sanitation courses and achieve knowledge about:

  • Shampooing
  • Rinsing
  • Scalp Treatments
  • Hairstyling
  • Hair coloring
  • Haircutting
  • Facials
  • Salon Business and Retail

The top beauty schools in New Mexico which will teach you how to please and impress your employers and clients are:

  • Adorabella Beauty Academy – Albuquerque
  • Aveda Institute – Albuquerque
  • The Avenue Academy Cosmetology Institute – Albuquerque
  • DeWolff Institute of Hairstyling & Cosmetology Inc – Santa Fe
  • Glitz – Las Cruces.

Cosmetology Exams in New Mexico

To finish your cosmetology education, you will have to pass the cosmetology examination, consisting of the national practical and written exams, as well as the state jurisprudence exam.

The National Exam is organized by the National Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology, Inc. (NIC).

During the practical exam, you will be tested in six areas of cosmetology:

  • Set Up and Client Protection
  • Thermal Curling
  • Haircutting
  • Chemical Waving
  • Virgin Hair Lightening Application and Hair Color Retouch
  • Virgin Relaxer Application and Relaxer Retouch

You are supposed to bring your kit and models or mannequins.

The written exam consists of questions related to:

  • Infection Control
  • Draping Procedures
  • Human Anatomy
  • Basic Principles of Chemistry
  • Trichology
  • Principles of Hair Design
  • Haircutting
  • Wigs, Hair enhancements, and extensions
  • Chemical Services Consultation
  • Chemical Services
  • Hair color
  • Skin histology
  • Skincare services
  • Nail care services

It is 90 minutes long, and you should score more than 75%.

The NIC Cosmetology practice test can be done online by calling 1-800-211-2754 and submitting a $30.00 fee.

The books where you can study for the exam are:

  • Milady’s Standard Cosmetology, by Milady
  • Salon Fundamentals, Cosmetology
  • Cosmetology Career Concepts, haircutting, Hair designing, Hair coloring, and Success Dynamics
  • NIC Health and Safety Standards
  • NIC Cleaning and Disinfecting of Circulating and Non Circulating Tubs and Spas

Another examination is the Jurisprudence exam.

It is about New Mexico’s cosmetology rules, regulations, and laws and some questions should be correctly answered.

To get acquainted with the rules, you can read the Barbers and Cosmetologists Act.


To get the initial license, you do not have to apply, as it will be issued immediately upon completing the examination requirements.

If you have already possessed a license in a different state, you will need to pass the licensure by reciprocity process and provide proof that you have:

  • Completed 1600 hours of cosmetology training
  • An affidavit from the state agency who issued your previous license
  • Proof of your high school education
  • Proof of age
  • Passing scores on the New Mexico Jurisprudence exam

The application for licensure by reciprocity should be filled in and submitted, with the $150 application fee to the Board at their mailing address:

New Mexico Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists
P.O. Box 25101
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505

Keeping Your License Current 

The rules oblige you to renew your license each year during your birthday month.

The Board will send you an annual, official renewal notification package with all of the information you will need.

The license can be renewed online.

If you do not want to advance more in this field you do not need to complete any further cosmetology education.

On the other hand, if you have aspirations of becoming a licensed instructor, you must complete twelve hours or more per year for renewal.

All in all, cosmetology is the field that requires constant improvement, innovation, and creation of your styles, trends, but to be able to meet client’s needs you will have to invest some more time in advancing your skills.

Average Annual Cosmetologist Salary and Job Prospects in New Mexico

The license allows you to work on your own or to apply for a position in any of the great salons located through New Mexico.

There is a great number of possible cosmetologists’ employers, like:

  • Salon Marjorie, Taos
  • Square Root Salon, Albuquerque
  • La Bella Spa & Salon, Albuquerque
  • Next Step Spa/Salon, Las Vegas
  • Expressions, Artesia
  • La Roux Salon, Farmington

This is a good starting point for entry-level cosmetologists to gain experience and get involved in the job itself.

However, you can always start your salon, but you need to first establish your booth by submitting a Booth Establishment Application, and after just a few years of experience you can possess your beauty premises.

The salaries highly depend on the skills and quality of the job, as the more experienced and successful cosmetologists have much more work.

It is also affected by the prominence of the salon, the number of wealthy clientele and the location of it, as those in urban cities will earn much more than the salons in towns.

Still, tipping is also one of the ways of earning frequent in this vocation.

The lowest salaries in New Mexico are in Las Cruces, only $ 22 181, while the highest are in Santa Fe reaching $ 24 660.

All in all, New Mexico does not belong to those states where salaries are high.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Alamogordo,NM $23,277
Albuquerque,NM $24,373
Clovis,NM $23,117
Farmington,NM $24,125
Hobbs,NM $22,512
Las Cruces,NM $22,181
Rio Rancho,NM $24,295
Roswell,NM $22,886
Santa Fe,NM $24,660
Sunland Park,NM $22,825

Regional Salary in New Mexico

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Albuquerque, NM710$28,290$13.6$42,090$23,920
Farmington, NM40$27,980$13.45$36,800$23,920
Las Cruces, NM60$27,130$13.04$38,560$23,920
Santa Fe, NM120$32,130$15.45$45,440$24,810
* 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

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