Illinois has an extensive statewide licensing system for cosmetologists. Applicants should first choose and attend a cosmetology course. After completing that course, an applicant then takes an exam to prove sufficient book knowledge and hands-on skills to perform cosmetology work. Those who pass the exam can get an Illinois cosmetology license from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
Complete the educational requirements to become an Illinois cosmetologist. This requires completion of a 1500-hour program that is at least 8 months but not longer than 7 straight years. If you have barber training, your school can accept a maximum of 500 hours as part of your 1500-hour cosmetology training requirement. Alternatively, you can have a combination of 1500 hours of barbering and 1000 hours in a cosmetology school, but in this case, the cosmetologist training must be at least 6 months and not more than 2 years.
Download the Illinois cosmetology license and examination fee (see Sources). In this application, you will see the names of dozens of approved Illinois cosmetology schools. Contact those schools individually to find out more about their cosmetologist training programs.
Note that you may also get a cosmetologist license by endorsement. To qualify under this method, you need to
have an existing license and have qualified with similar requirements as Illinois. This generally means completion of a cosmetology course of 1500 hours and passing an exam with a score of at least 75 percent. Finally, you will need to show proof of experience of at least three years.
Prepare the fees for an Illinois cosmetologist license. As of 2010, the fee is $193 if taking an exam and $45 if seeking a license by endorsement. Make a check or money order to Continental Testing Services, Inc. However, if you are applying by endorsement, then you actually need to pay by check or money order to the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
Mail in the exam application when getting an Illinois cosmetology license by exam. Use the following address:
Continental Testing Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 100
LaGrange, IL 60525-0100
If applying by enorsement, then use this address:
Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
ATTN: Division of Professional Regulation
P.O. Box 7007
Springfield, IL 62791
CTS is the exam adminstrator. Also be aware that you can apply online at the Continental Testing website (see Sources) and pay by credit card.
You should always refer to the Continental Testing website and the Illinois cosmetology exam study guide (see Sources). The guide tells you how to register and take the exam and also provides study references and practice questions for the exam.
Illinois Cosmetologist Exam Study Guide
Illinois Cosmetology Exam and License Application
Continental Testing Services Website