The state of Washington requires a license to work as a cosmetologist. Applicants for a license generally have the option of either attending a Washington cosmetology school or getting employed as an apprentice of a licensed cosmetologist. After completing school or apprentice training, an applicant must take a Washington cosmetology exam to get licensed in this state. Some out-of-state licensees can bypass these requirements and apply directly for a Washington cosmetologist license.
Complete a 1600-hour course at an approved cosmetology school. Alternatively, you can get an apprenticeship position. However, this will entail working 2000 hours in a licensed salon. There is no published list online of approved schools. Just ask a number of local licensed cosmetologists about where they trained to find a school or apprenticeship program to attend.
For licensees coming from out of state, note that there are specific requirements for endorsement to get a cosmetology license in Washington. First, you must get your license status verified by your state’s cosmetology licensing board. Second, you must have taken a licensing exam that covered both written and practical knowledge and skills to get that license. You must also be at least 17.
Download a Washington cosmetologist application form to apply for a license by endorsement/reciprocity. You can find a link to the application in the Sources below. As of 2010, the fee is $50 for this type of license applicatiion. Make out a check or money order to the “Washington State Treasurer” and use the following mailing address to submit your form and fee:
Department of Licensing
P.O. Box 9048
Olympia, WA 98507
As you are getting your training, it is best to be preparing for your upcoming Washington cosmetology exam at the same time. As of 2010, the test administrator is the National Testing Network. What you want to do is download the candidate exam guide (see Sources below). This test guide will tell you how to prepare and register for the exam to become a cosmetologist. You sign up by getting a username and password from your school and entering it at the National Testing Network website (see Sources).
When you sign up, you can register by credit card for both the written and practical portions of the Washington cosmetology exams. As of 2010, the fee is $110 for the practical exam and $50 for the written portion.
After you pass your exam, the National Testing Network will also process your Washington cosmetology license application from the same website. Log in and fill out a license application. As of 2010, the fee is $25.
Washington Cosmetology License Application
National Testing Network Website