How to Become a Cosmetologist in Wisconsin

People tend to think that shampooing, cutting and styling client’s hair, performing facials, makeup applications are the duties that can be performed by anyone.

But they do not think about the amount of patience necessary to make the clients feel relaxed by listening to their needs and preferences and even their problems.

It is not considered that appropriate education is obligatory to accomplish a detailed and satisfying work that will meet the client’s needs.

All these and many other activities are in the hands of a cosmetologist.

Popular Programs

Job Description

First of all, no matter whether they are employers or employees, all of them are supposed to maintain a clean working environment and sanitize the equipment after the usage and create a warm, calming environment for clients to build a clientèle of people who will always come back.

They need to schedule the appointments, advise clients and sell beauty products, as well as do manicures and pedicures.

They need to be able to work well with hands and should have a good sense of style.

They can work in spas, salons, hotels, resorts, and even in healthcare centers, full time or part-time.

Cosmetology Programs in Wisconsin

Cosmetologists are very deeply involved in this field and highly passionate about the highest possible levels of advancement which makes the cosmetology schools and colleges in Wisconsin frequently visited.

The Wisconsin Cosmetology Examining Board in cooperation with the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) determines the requirements and rules for future licensed cosmetologists.

You, as a future student, can choose between an approved cosmetology school with a curriculum that entails 1,550 hours of instruction or an apprenticeship with 4,000 hours of theory and practical training.

 The most appreciated schools accredited by the Board in Wisconsin are:

  • Cosmetology Careers Unlimited, WI
  • Empire Beauty School Green Bay Green Bay, WI
  • Academy of Advance Esthetics, LLC Janesville, WI
  • The Salon Professional Academy Kenosha, WI
  • AVEDA Institute VICI Madison Madison, WI
  • Academy of Beauty Professionals Green Bay, WI.

The curriculum in Wisconsin’s cosmetology schools covers the basics of the following subjects related to beautician work:

  • Personal development
  • Hygiene and grooming
  • Sterilization and sanitation
  • Cosmetology equipment and tools
  • Hair, skin, and nail anatomy and physiology
  • Haircutting and styling techniques and approaches
  • Hair straightening and relaxing
  • Shaving and beard/mustache trimming
  • Manicuring and nail enhancements
  • Product knowledge, sales, and information
  • Cosmetology laws, rules, and ethics
  • Industry trends and cosmetology student needs

Other less prominent, but also approved cosmetology degree programs in Wisconsin can be found:

  • 4 in Appleton
  • 4 in Madison
  • 4 in Milwaukee
  • 2 in Eau Claire
  • 2 in Green Bay
  • 1 in Kenosha
  • 1 in Oshkosh
  • 1 in Racine
  • 1 in Waukesha

Cosmetology Exams in Wisconsin

Pearson VUE organizes the cosmetology examination after graduation, and students must pass the Cosmetology Theory Examination and Practical Skills Cosmetology Examination to get the license.

Before the finishing of the program, you should apply online for an exam, and that application will be used for licensure with the Wisconsin Cosmetology Examining Board.

While you are waiting for the examination, you can apply for a temporary cosmetology license, which lasts 6 months and allows you to work.

Pearson VUE’s Wisconsin Cosmetology Candidate Handbook can provide you with all the necessary information about the examination.

The theory exam is related to both Wisconsin state laws and regulations about the practice of cosmetology which is covered by 20 questions and cosmetology subjects that are evaluated through 120 questions.

What you need to know to correctly answer the questions is related to:

  • Cosmetology safety, sanitation, rules, and regulation
  • Trichology
  • Shampooing
  • Scalp analysis
  • Styling
  • Hair coloring, bleaching, tinting, and lightening
  • Haircutting
  • Perms
  • Chemical relaxing and straightening
  • Esthetics
  • Nails

For the Practical Skills Cosmetology Examination you will need to bring your supplies and what is meant by it is explained in greater detail on the Pearson VUE Supply List.

You will be evaluated on the following activities:

  • Safety and infection control
  • Haircutting
  • Hairstyling
  • Hair bleaching, highlighting, and coloring
  • Chemical relaxing
  • Perms
  • Esthetics and skincare
  • Manicure

If you have passed both exams, Pearson VUE will reply to the Board.

The licensing and exam fee is $391.


A licensed cosmetologist who got an education in another state has to possess 4,000 hours of practice to be eligible for licensure in Wisconsin.

He/she need to fill in the submission to the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) in Madison and provide the following documentation:

  • Application for Wisconsin Licensure by Endorsement
  • Certification Form to be completed by the board of cosmetology in each state he/she is licensed
  • Employment Verification Form and/or Self Employment Verification Form to prove that he/she has worked as an out-of-state licensed cosmetologist for at least 4,000 hours

Another way is that you had education in the other state that lasted 1,550 hours and you complete Wisconsin’s testing requirements, but you will need to send your official school transcripts to the Wisconsin Cosmetology Examining Board and request a transcript review.

Keeping Your License Current 

No matter which way you have chosen to get the license,  you will need to renew it biannually by March 31st of odd-numbered years.

furthermore, you are obliged to earn at least four hours of continuing education.

One hour should be related to cosmetology laws and three hours to infection control, safety, and sanitation.

The approved cosmetology schools offer additional education.

Average Annual Cosmetologist Salary and Job Prospects in Wisconsin

The achievement of the license allows you to legally work and apply at the salons, spas and beauty centers or open your beauty premises.

Some of Wisconsin’s hottest locations where licensed cosmetologists can search for a job are:

When the salary is in question, it can be said that cosmetologist earns a decent and satisfying salary, but can earn more through tipping which is very frequent in this vocation.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Appleton,WI $25,039
Eau Claire,WI $24,126
Green Bay,WI $25,033
Janesville,WI $25,801
Kenosha,WI $25,584
La Crosse,WI $23,475
Madison,WI $25,678
Milwaukee,WI $25,871
Oshkosh,WI $24,876
Racine,WI $25,584
Waukesha,WI $25,774

Regional Salary in Wisconsin

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Appleton, WI320$33,360$16.04$55,730$20,430
Eau Claire, WI200$31,180$14.99$46,100$19,300
Fond du Lac, WI120$32,180$15.47$52,900$20,160
Green Bay, WI290$34,130$16.41$52,860$21,690
Janesville-Beloit, WI180$34,780$16.72$56,770$21,470
La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN170$34,020$16.36$54,940$20,980
Madison, WI820$36,020$17.32$55,000$20,800
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI2,160$39,460$18.97$58,880$22,700
Oshkosh-Neenah, WI210$34,650$16.66$52,920$21,020
Racine, WI250$36,710$17.65$62,940$21,290
Sheboygan, WI160$33,970$16.33$56,580$19,550
Wausau, WI130$35,220$16.93$57,500$21,950
* 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