How to Become a Cosmetologist in Texas

How to Become a Cosmetologist in Texas

Young people are not always sure how to choose the best career for them.

In case you are interested in making people beautiful, then you should consider becoming a cosmetologist.

A career in cosmetology is stable due to the increasing number of job openings and greater demand for certified cosmetologists.

It can be fun working with various people and rewarding when you see that a person is satisfied with your work.

Popular Programs

Job Description

The beginning of each vocation is always very difficult and you might consider getting into the business first by achieving appropriate education and working for the experienced salon owners, and later open your premises.

As you will be working with people’s skin, hair and nails, you are not allowed to make a mistake and damage the client’s skin.

Barbers a cut, trim, shampoo, and style hair of male clients, as well as do facial shaving, while hairdressers cut, color, and style the hair of both male and female customers.

They frequently do facial treatments and makeup application, and even sell skincare products.

Cosmetology Programs in Texas

When it comes to Texas, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation works under requirements set by the Texas Advisory Board on Cosmetology.

Once you get the cosmetology license you will be allowed to perform:

  • Esthetics
  • Manicuring
  • Eyelash extension
  • Hair weaving
  • Hair braiding
  • Wig specialization

The appropriate and accredited education which will make you eligible for testing can be found in some of the most famous schools in Texas:

  • Avenue Five Institute – Austin
  • Baldwin Beauty Schools – Austin
  • Central Texas Beauty College – Austin
  • Franklin Beauty School – Houston
  • Milan Institute of Cosmetology – Amarillo
  • Ogle School of Hair, Skin, and Nails – Dallas
  • Paul Mitchell – Austin.

Young people interested in becoming cosmetologists need to have in mind that schooling is obligatory.

Besides the high school diploma or equivalent, future cosmetologists need to finish either a cosmetology schools which provide them with modern skills training that lasts 1,500 hours, complete a cosmetology school program with 1,000 hours of instruction plus 500 hours of high school courses in a vocational or technical cosmetology program or complete 300 hours of instruction in a cosmetology training program and hold a Class A Barber Certificate.

No matter which of the above-mentioned ways of getting the education you take, the subjects that are found in the curriculum are:

  • Theory and practice of hair cutting and styling
  • Hairdresser training
  • Hair coloring
  • Cold waving
  • Salon management and practice
  • Makeup training
  • Manicuring
  • Chemical hair relaxing
  • Facials
  • Chemistry
  • Hair and scalp treatments
  • Texas rules and laws

Besides the already mentioned cosmetology schools, you can enroll in any of the 454 approved cosmetology training programs in Texas:

  • 65 in Houston
  • 31 in San Antonio
  • 16 in El Paso
  • 14 in Austin
  • 12 in Fort Worth
  • 12 in Dallas
  • 8 in Arlington
  • 3 in Corpus Christi
  • 3 in Plano
  • 3 in Laredo

Cosmetology Exams in Texas

The Cosmetology Exams in Texas are written and practical.

PSI requires that the order of passing the exams is the written exam first, followed by the practical exam.

Once you apply to take these exams, you have automatically applied for licensure with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

The requirements are that you are 17 years old and that you have earned a high school diploma or GED certificate.

The application for testing and a Cosmetology Operator License can be filled out online or via the mail by submitting a paper application.

PSI will then send you a registration postcard with all the information on how to register for this first test.

Only if you pass the written part you can schedule the practical exam.

After the passing of both, PSI sends the report to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation and it will issue your license.

You can pay to obtain a temporary non-renewable 21-day permit to work while you are waiting for examination.

To prepare for the test, you should take a look at the Candidate Information Bulletin (CIB) provided by PSI.

Written Examination lasts two hours, and you are supposed to answer 100 questions related to:

  • Disinfection, sanitation, and safety
  • Shampooing and conditioning of hair
  • Haircutting and hairstyling
  • Braiding and braid extensions
  • Hair coloring
  • Chemical texture services
  • Licensing and regulations
  • Skincare
  • Nail care

The testing centers for the written exam are in:

  • Abilene
  • Amarillo
  • Arlington
  • Austin
  • Corpus Christi
  • Dallas
  • El Paso
  • Fort Worth
  • Harlingen
  • Houston
  • Lubbock
  • Midland
  • San Antonio
  • Tyler
  • Waco

The practical exam can be done in:

  • Austin
  • Amarillo
  • Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex
  • El Paso
  • Greater Houston
  • McAllen
  • Midland

You are required to bring a person to act as a model, as well as a mannequin for the remaining portions of the exam.

There are certain requirements when the model is in question:

  • He/she must be at least 16
  • Does not have skin diseases
  • Must be wearing eye makeup
  • Have all nail polish removed except for one fingernail, which should have a dark-colored polish

The practical examination lasts 200 minutes and you should show your skills achieved during your education and training that focus on:

  • Set-up and disinfection
  • Manicure performed on your live model
  • Facial performed on your live model
  • Chemical services – preparation, virgin tint, virgin relaxer, bleach retouch
  • Shampoo service
  • Hair shaping service
  • Permanent waving service
  • Curl demonstration and roller placement
  • Blow drying and thermal curling
  • Clean-up disinfection


You can apply for Booth Licenses and Mini-Salon Licenses if you want to rent a booth or you plan to operate a mini-salon.

Mini-salons are located inside licensed beauty salons, specialty salons, or dual shops and operated independently of the facility in which it is located.

Out-of-state applicants are eligible for reciprocal licensure if the education is similar to those of Texas.

If you are from any of the following states, you must have at least one year of work experience before applying for the license:

  • Connecticut
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virgin Islands

Licensed cosmetologists from Florida or New York must have two-years of work experience.

Apprenticeship is not equivalent to academic training in Texas.

Keeping Your License Current 

The license needs to be renewed in two-years’ time by paying the renewal fee and submitting the renewal form to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

Additional education is required, and you are supposed to finish four hours of continuing education from approved continuing education providers every two years, consisting of one hour of education regarding sanitation and three hours of education in subjects covered in your initial cosmetology school’s curriculum.

Average Annual Cosmetologist Salary and Job Prospects in Texas

Newly licensed cosmetologists can legally work in Texas and it is advisable to apply at some salons and impress their employers with their qualifications.

Cosmetologists work on nails, haircuts, and hairstyling and the salary they get depends on the specialty and number of clients during the day, as well as the prominence of the salon.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Abilene,TX $23,799
Amarillo,TX $23,929
Arlington,TX $25,386
Austin,TX $25,704
Beaumont,TX $25,153
Brownsville,TX $22,990
Carrollton,TX $25,851
Corpus Christi,TX $24,149
Dallas,TX $25,921
Denton,TX $25,458
El Paso,TX $22,826
Fort Worth,TX $25,428
Frisco,TX $25,571
Galveston,TX $25,615
Garland,TX $25,865
Grand Prairie,TX $25,865
Harlingen,TX $22,873
Houston,TX $26,748
Irving,TX $25,921
Killeen,TX $23,470
Laredo,TX $23,087
Longview,TX $23,551
Lubbock,TX $22,721
Mcallen,TX $22,442
Mckinney,TX $25,712
Mesquite,TX $25,893
Midland,TX $22,512
Odessa,TX $22,512
Pasadena,TX $26,650
Plano,TX $25,810
Port Arthur,TX $24,668
Richardson,TX $25,865
Round Rock,TX $25,607
San Antonio,TX $25,417
Temple,TX $23,496
Waco,TX $23,447
Wichita Falls,TX $23,828

Regional Salary in Texas

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Abilene, TX120$27,150$13.06$40,540$16,330
Amarillo, TX220$32,460$15.61$54,440$18,060
Austin-Round Rock, TX3,470$33,360$16.04$47,930$22,140
Brownsville-Harlingen, TX150$26,640$12.81$46,940$16,550
College Station-Bryan, TX210$28,450$13.68$39,720$17,710
Corpus Christi, TX270$27,610$13.28$39,420$16,850
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX8,580$33,790$16.24$59,990$20,160
El Paso, TX570$27,260$13.11$42,750$17,150
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX6,980$28,720$13.81$42,670$18,200
Killeen-Temple, TX360$29,930$14.39$43,530$17,630
Longview, TX100$29,930$14.39$48,410$20,230
Lubbock, TX350$28,520$13.71$42,890$18,320
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX510$24,420$11.74$36,230$15,670
Midland, TX110$30,080$14.46$47,430$17,760
Odessa, TX50$28,570$13.73$41,830$17,420
San Angelo, TX80$27,060$13.01$47,660$16,290
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX2,620$29,440$14.16$44,460$17,350
Sherman-Denison, TX40$27,680$13.31$41,600$17,150
Texarkana, TX-AR60$27,620$13.28$44,840$16,000
Tyler, TX190$27,240$13.1$39,020$17,150
Victoria, TX70$28,710$13.8$41,740$16,620
Waco, TX280$28,070$13.5$39,390$17,410
Wichita Falls, TX130$31,990$15.38$52,800$18,220
* 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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