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Requirements to Practice Cosmetology in the State of Florida

January 3, 2023
Est read time: 3 minutes

In Florida, as in all states, a license is required to practice cosmetology. The licenses are issued by the Board of Cosmetology, with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which accordingly rules on the qualifications of applicants for licensure. 

Cosmetologists Educated in Florida

There are multiple ways to qualify. The most common is by examination. To qualify by examination, the applicant must take the licensure examination established by the Florida Board of Cosmetology.  In addition to this, an applicant must submit their application to the Board having satisfied the following requirements:

  • The applicant must be over sixteen or must have obtained a high school diploma.
  • The applicant must pay the application and examination fees.
  • The applicant must have completed 1,200 hours of training. The training which meets this requirement includes:
    • Education at a school of cosmetology licensed by the Florida Board of Cosmetology.
    • Education in Cosmetology at any school established by the State Government of Florida, including the public school system.
    • The statute reserves the board the right to establish that other forms of training are satisfactory.

An applicant must complete 1000 of the required 1200 hours of training before they will be permitted to take the examination. Under Florida law, your school or training program If they fail, they will have to complete all of the requirements, including the rest of their schooling hours, before they are allowed to take the examination again. If an applicant qualifying to take the examination passes it and pays the examination fee, they are entitled to the issuance of a license.

Foreign Cosmetologists Coming to Florida

Foreign cosmetologists have a simpler way to qualify to take the examination: Anyone who is licensed to practice cosmetology in another country and has been for at least a year is qualified to take the Florida examination (for which they must apply and take the examination fee, as with Floridian applicants). Also as with new applicants, once the examination is completed with a passing grade, that cosmetologist will be issued a Florida license. 

Cosmetologists From other U.S. States

Cosmetologists already licensed and eligible to practice elsewhere in the United States have the easiest time. All such cosmetologists are eligible for licensure by endorsement. Which allows them to skip the Florida cosmetology examination and simply be issued a license upon application, solely on the basis that they are eligible to practice in another U.S. state. 

Regulation of Cosmetologists

After an applicant is issued a license, they are allowed to practice cosmetology freely in the State of Florida. The profession is regulated by the Florida Board of Cosmetology, which in addition to issuing the licenses in the first place, monitors the licensees, ruling on cases of alleged misconduct, including things like failure to keep up with the applicable continuing education requirements, errors in one’s professional practice, and criminal convictions which may reflect on a licensee’s fitness to practice. For any of these and other infractions, the board has the discretion to issue discipline, while the licensee is entitled to an opportunity to defend themselves with the aid of counsel. 

If you believe you are potentially facing discipline by the Florida Board of Cosmetology, or are entitled to a license and are facing a denial, the Attorneys at Howell, Buchan, and Strong is here to help. With decades of experience representing clients in front of Florida’s professional regulation administrative bodies, we are the place to go to answer your questions about what your rights and your options are. Call 850-877-7776 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced professional licensure attorneys. 

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