How to Become a Cosmetologist in Virginia

How to Become a Cosmetologist in Virginia

When we take a look at people who are deeply into the latest trends and styles and follow celebrities wherever they go to make them look gorgeous, we believe that they live a life of glamour and enjoyment.

We are not aware of the fact that the cosmetology profession is not at all easy and requires constant development and advantage, as well as a lot of devotion.

As we perceive just the beautiful surface of the job, we might not understand the importance of education and training to be successful in this field.

Job Description

Beauticians are in constant need as people invest more time and money in their look than in previous years and more and more young people decide to educate themselves and become a cosmetologist.

Popular Programs

It is a rewarding job, to make people’s hair, nails and skin look good, thus improving both physical and mental state and your clients will feel more self-confident if the results of your work suit them.

They often work in salons, which are excellent places for work, but cosmetology jobs can be found in other facilities, such as spas, hotels and beauty centers.

When it comes to personal characteristics, a good cosmetologist needs to possess time-management skills, patience, and physical stamina to effectively do the job.

Cosmetology Programs in Virginia

Virginia is the state which offers a lot of job opportunities for a cosmetologist and working as a hairdresser in Virginia, you can express your creativity, but only if you have achieved appropriate education through public or private vocational schools or as an apprentice.

The Virginia Board for Barbers and Cosmetology determine which educational institutions can provide you with the necessary knowledge and training, which lasts 1500 hours.

Among those 200 licensed cosmetology schools in Virginia you can find:

  • 13 in Richmond
  • 12 in Virginia Beach
  • 9 in Newport News
  • 9 in Alexandria
  • 7 in Norfolk
  • 7 in Chesapeake
  • 6 in Hampton
  • 6 in Roanoke
  • 6 in Fairfax

The most popular ones among the students and the most appreciated by licensed cosmetologists are:

  • Graham Webb International Academy of Hair – Arlington
  • Miller-Motte Technical College – Roanoke
  • Paul Mitchell School – Woodbridge
  • Rudy & Kelly Academy – Virginia Beach.

The above-mentioned schools and programs need to provide students with knowledge related to:

  • Professional ethics, state laws, and state regulations
  • Natural and artificial manicuring and pedicuring procedures
  • Anatomy, physiology, and chemistry
  • Sterilization techniques
  • Shampooing and rinsing
  • Hairstyling
  • Scalp treatments
  • Permanent waving and chemical relaxing
  • Haircutting
  • Hair bleaching and coloring
  • Makeup and skincare
  • Hairpieces and wigs
  • Business ethics and salon management

The Virginia Board for Barbers and Cosmetology accepts an apprentice program instead of formal education, but you are supposed to sign up for an apprenticeship through the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry and the training must last 3,000 hours.

There is also an option for people who finished hairstylist education in a different state to get the Virginia cosmetology license, but only if their program had at least 1,500 hours and similar subjects, or less than 1,500 hours, but an equal curriculum as Virginia cosmetology schools, and six months of work experience.

If he/she has not passed the practical and written examination, he/she will need to complete Virginia’s cosmetology testing.

Cosmetology Exams in Virginia

The company Ergometrics/National Testing Network (NTN) sets rules for cosmetology exams.

To become certified, you must pass:

  • Cosmetology Written Exam
  • Cosmetology Practical Exam

First, you need to apply online with NTN, which will give you a chance to choose a temporary 45-day cosmetology permit, meaning that you will be allowed to work until you sit for your exams and you receive the license.

Testing sites across Virginia are numerous and both tests can be done there.

The NTN’s Candidate Information Bulletin (CIB) has all the necessary information about what you need to know for the exams.

Cosmetology Written Exam takes two hours, which is enough for 120 multiple-choice questions focused on:

  • Infection control, safety, and sanitation – 30 percent
  • Cosmetology services – 24 percent
  • Cosmetology tools and equipment – 17 percent
  • Chemistry and product knowledge – 13 percent
  • Virginia state laws, rules, and regulations – 11 percent
  • Anatomy and physiology – 5 percent

Cosmetology Practical Exam requires you to bring two mannequin heads and supplies.

You will need to express your skills and knowledge learned through classroom learning and training.

The examination consists of:

  • Setup and disinfection – 10 minutes
  • Blood spill procedures – 10 minutes
  • Thermal curling – 10 minutes
  • Haircut – 30 minutes
  • Blow-dry – 10 minutes
  • Eyebrow wax – 10 minutes
  • Chemical waving – 20 minutes
  • Hair coloring – 32 minutes in total
  • Patch test – 2 minutes
  • Color retouch – 10 minutes
  • Virgin hair lightener – 10 minutes
  • Hair foiling – 10 minutes
  • Chemical relaxer retouch – 10 minutes
  • Disinfection and cleanup – no time limit

The only way of getting the license is to pass both these examinations.

Then, you should log in to your NTN account and go to the Licensure Fee Notice.

Once you print the payment form, you should send it with your license fee to the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR).

NTN will inform the DPOR about your scores and the license will be issued through the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation.

Keeping Your License Current 

A licensed cosmetologist should not forget to renew the license, as it expires every two years at the end of the issuing month.

The additional education or training is not compulsory for license renewal in Virginia.

Average Annual Cosmetologist Salary and Job Prospects in Virginia

Most schools of cosmetology help their students find jobs and the prominence of the school leads to a myriad job opportunities.

Once you have obtained your license you can look for a job at some of the nationally recognized salons in the state that include:

Employment information can be found everywhere, and the cosmetology salaries in Virginia are very stable and decent.

They vary considerably between different regions in the state.

The highest salaries are offered to cosmetologists in Alexandria, estimated at $ 29 026 per year, while the lowest are in Lynchburg only $ 23 928.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Alexandria,VA $29,026
Annandale,VA $29,026
Arlington,VA $29,026
Centreville,VA $28,922
Chesapeake,VA $24,540
Hampton,VA $24,446
Lynchburg,VA $23,928
Newport News,VA $24,446
Norfolk,VA $24,571
Petersburg,VA $25,939
Portsmouth,VA $24,571
Reston,VA $28,974
Richmond,VA $26,161
Roanoke,VA $24,085
Suffolk,VA $24,465
Virginia Beach,VA $24,960

Regional Salary in Virginia

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA160$32,400$15.58$44,510$22,880
Charlottesville, VA280$37,640$18.1$54,480$22,910
Harrisonburg, VA80$35,970$17.3$56,910$22,880
Lynchburg, VA220$35,860$17.24$58,450$22,880
Richmond, VA1,520$38,690$18.6$66,000$23,120
Roanoke, VA290$32,020$15.39$47,920$22,880
Staunton-Waynesboro, VA60$32,050$15.41$45,460$22,880
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC1,740$36,070$17.34$57,400$22,880
Winchester, VA-WV140$34,950$16.8$47,320$22,880
* 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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