How to Become a Cosmetologist in Rhode Island

How to Become a Cosmetologist in Rhode Island

Sixteen years old people are always doubtful about which occupation to choose.

They are at the turning point of life and realize that this decision will be crucial for them.

But, those who spend most of the time applying make-up to themselves or others, or make different hairstyles for their friends and family should think about the profession of a cosmetologist as their cup of tea.

The lack of licensed cosmetologists is present in almost every state.

Popular Programs

Job Description

A cosmetologist is dedicated to provide their customers with satisfactory service and to build up a large client base to become popular and appreciated in this profession.

They devote their free time to learn new ways of treating hair and nails, knowing that the success in the field depends on their ability, motivation and willingness to work long hours.

Patience to listen to and understand people’s desires to can build a loyal clientele by respecting clients’ tastes is vital for this vocation.

They also do other activities like the scalp and facial treatments and make-up application.

Clerical staff, such as checking stock, placing orders and verifying receipt, is also entrusted to them.

Cosmetologists can work in many settings, at a resort, in a theater or spas, or manage their salon, which offers higher earning potential.

Cosmetology Programs in Rhode Island

Rhode Island classifies cosmetologists into four fields:

  • Hairdresser
  • Barber
  • Manicurist
  • Esthetician

All of them need to be educated at state-approved cosmetology schools and some of the most famous are:

  • Aveda Institute – Cranston.
  • Newport School of Hairdressing – Pawtucket.
  • Paul Mitchell School – Cranston.
  • Rob Roy Academy – Woonsocket.
  • Toni&Guy Hairdressing Academy – Cranston.

A cosmetologist who specializes in hairdressing needs to complete a program that lasts 1,500 hours.

The Rhode Island Board of Hairdressing and Barbering determines that education which usually lasts one year must provide knowledge related to the topics:

  • Scalp treatments
  • Hairstyling, including cutting, arranging, curling, creating waves, bleaching, singeing, or coloring
  • Nail manicures
  • Application of lotions, tonics, creams, clays, antiseptics, or oils to the neck, face, or arms
  • Massaging, manipulating, cleansing, exercising, or beautifying the neck, face, or arms
  • Removal of hair

When you reach 1,000 hours of classroom study, you get the chance to work as a cosmetologist in a work-study arrangement to gain experience and earn some money.


The graduation for a cosmetology school makes you eligible to apply for a cosmetology license with the Rhode Island Board of Hairdressing and Barbering.

The documentation that you need to provide when applying is:

  • Completed application for licensure
  • your hairdressing school should send official transcripts to the Board
  • your high school or GED program should send official transcripts to the Board, or you can submit a notarized copy to prove that you have graduated from high school or earned a GED

The period from the moment of applying to the examination can be 8 weeks, and if your application is complete, you can continue to testing.

Applicants who have a license from another state can qualify to become a cosmetologist, but need to submit additional documentation with the already mentioned application materials:

  • Copy of your current out-of-state cosmetologist license
  • If you graduated from a high school in a foreign country you will need to have your transcripts evaluated and approved through the Center for Educational Documentation
  • Official verification from your out-of-state board of cosmetology that you have passed written and practical cosmetology exams – if you have not passed one or both of these exams you will need to take and pass the outstanding exams in Rhode Island before you will be issued any licenses

However, the original cosmetology hairdressing program must have been 1,500 hours in length and you need to pass lacking hours to equal this amount before you will be able to receive a license.

During the period of waiting for the approval, you will be given a 90-day temporary non-renewable license that will allow you to practice.

Cosmetology Exams in Rhode Island

The education and training are one part of your professional development and the exams are there to show who you have mastered the education material.

The Rhode Island Board of Hairdressing and Barbering requires you to pass a practical and written exam.

The Board of Hairdressing and Barbering can assign their examinations or choose the National Interstate-Council (NIC) of State Boards of Cosmetology for the exam

The written exam can be done four times per year at the Department of Health Auditorium on 3 Capitol Hill in Providence.

It lasts 90-minutes and the skills that will be tested are hair care and services represent 40% of the exam, scientific concepts 30%, and skincare and services and nail care and services 15 % each.

The practical examination can be done twice a year and you are supposed to show your skills in some of the following fields:

  • Client protection during set up
  • Basic facial
  • Manicure
  • Thermal curling
  • Chemical waving
  • Eyebrow hair removal
  • Sculpturing of nails
  • Hair lightening and relaxing
  • Haircutting
  • Roller placement
  • Hairstyling with a blow dryer
  • Pin curl placement and shaping

Your license is issued by the Office of Professionals Regulation if both of the exams are successfully done.

Keeping Your License Current 

Once gained, your license needs to be renewed every two years by October 30th.

The Rhode Island Board of Hairdressing and Barbering is in charge of sending you a license renewal form by the first day in September.

What you need to do is to complete this form and submit it with the paid fee to the Board by October 15th.

Average Annual Cosmetologist Salary and Job Prospects in Rhode Island

The licensed cosmetologist can work anywhere and spas and salons throughout Rhode Island are constantly looking for novice certified cosmetologists.

Some of the best salons where cosmetologist can look for a job are:

The more prominent salon offers you greater chances of gaining more experience and starts to make a reputation for yourself.

Also, it allows you to earn better salaries.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Coventry,RI $27,583
Cranston,RI $27,635
Cumberland,RI $27,635
Narragansett,RI $27,654
Newport,RI $27,605
Pawtucket,RI $27,635
Providence,RI $27,635
Warwick,RI $27,635
Woonsocket,RI $27,609

Regional Salary in Rhode Island

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Providence-Warwick, RI-MA1,810$32,480$15.61$41,600$25,480
* 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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