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How can I become a cosmetologist, electrologist, manicurist, aesthetician, or barber?

Learn about the requirements to become a licensed professional in the cosmetology, electrology, and barbering fields.

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Cosmetology professionals like hairdressers, manicurists and aestheticians offer a range of services including haircuts, styling, manicures, and skincare treatments. Electrologists use electricity to remove hair by applying it with a needle to the hair follicle. Barbers offer a range of services including haircuts, styling, shaving, perming, coloring, and facial treatments.

All three professions work closely with the public and are regulated by the Board of Registration of Cosmetology and Barbering.

Complete a school program

To become licensed you will need to complete a program in a board-approved school and then pass a written theory exam. Minimum school programs for each profession are:

  • Cosmetologist
    • Complete a 1,000-hour course in a licensed school
  • Barber
    • Complete a 1,000-hour course in a licensed school
  • Manicurist
    • Complete a 100-hour course in an approved program
  • Aesthetician
    • Complete a 600-hour course in an approved program
  • Electrologist
    • Complete a 1,100-hour course in an approved program

Apply and take the exam

Once you’ve completed your education, you will need to apply for your license, pay the application fee, and pass a written theory exam.  

The board uses PSI to administer exams. You will need exam approval from PSI before you can schedule your exam.  

You can find the application form and instructions on the PSI website. Application fees are: 

  • Cosmetologist $68 
  • Aesthetician $68 
  • Manicurist $68 
  • Barber $20 
  • Electrology $97 

Fill out the application and email the completed application to MACOSprocessing@psionline.com

Once your application is processed you will receive an email from PSI to schedule your exam. 

Get your license

If you pass the exam, your license will be mailed to you.

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To receive written instructions on how to submit an application, renew your license, change your name or address, request a duplicate license, or obtain a verification of license, please email the Board at: Email Board of Cosmetology and Barbering Services Administration at cosmetologyandbarberingboard@mass.gov


Division of Occupational Licensure
1000 Washington Street, 7th Floor, Boston , MA 02118

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