How to Become a Licensed Esthetician in Colorado
People travel to Colorado from all over the world to ski, enjoy the mountain air, and to relax. Colorado residents and visitors alike enjoy looking and feeling their best and are willing to pay someone to help them achieve these goals. Estheticians are in high demand for work in many different places Colorado such as:
- Dermatology offices
- Resorts and hotels
- Medical spas
Some estheticians in Colorado even work for private clients.
Esthetician License Requirements and Training Schools in Colorado
Before you can become an esthetician in the state of Colorado, you must be issued a license by the Office of Barber and Cosmetology Licensure. There are several steps you need to follow in order to become licensed in the state of Colorado.
- Step 1: Complete a State Approved Esthetics Program
- Step 2: Complete and Submit the Esthetician Application for Examination
- Step 3: Take and Pass the Written and Practical Esthetician Examinations
- Step 4: Renew Your CO Esthetician License Every Two Years
- Esthetician License Reciprocity in Colorado
- Colorado State Board Contact Information
- Colorado Written and Practical Exam Locations
Step 1: Complete a State Approved Esthetics Program
In order to apply to take the esthetics practical and written exams in the state of Colorado, you must be at least 16 years of age. You are also required to complete at least 600 clock hours (20 credit hours) at a State Board-approved esthetician or cosmetology school. At minimum your training will need to include:
- Facials & Skincare (7 credit hours)
- Facial Makeup (1 credit hour)
- Hair Removal (3 credit hours)
- Laws, Rules & Regulations (1 credit hour)
- Management, Ethics, Interpersonal Skills & Salesmanship (1 credit hour)
- Disinfection, Cleaning & Safe Work Practices (7 credit hours)
Clinical instruction needs to account for at least 75 percent of your credit hours while the remaining 25 percent can be done through theory or lecture.
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The beauty schools in our network contain one or more of the following high quality standards:
- State Board Recognition
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To get started, simply fill out the quick 1-minute application below.
Step 2: Complete and Submit the Esthetician Application for Examination
Step 3: Take and Pass the Written and Practical Esthetician Examinations
Once your application has been received, you should receive an approval notice within 48 hours. The Colorado Office of Barber and Cosmetology Licensure governs the licensing and regulation of all cosmetology professions in Colorado, including estheticians. PSI Services LLC (PSI) has been contracted to deliver all of Colorado’s exams including the written and practical esthetics examinations.
You can schedule your exams online or by phone. The fee for the practical exam is $71 and the fee for the written exam is $56. Both of these fees are payable to PSI. PSI requires that candidates take and pass the practical exam prior to scheduling the written portion.
Testing locations are as follows:
- Denver (Centennial): written examination only
- Denver (Wheat Ridge): practical and written
- Fort Collins: practical and written
- Pueblo: written examination only
- Colorado Springs: practical and written
- Grand Junction: practical and written
- Durango: practical and written
Most candidates complete the practical exam in about 85 minutes and the written exam within 100 minutes.
Preparing for the Written and Practical Exams
The National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC) recommends the following reference materials to help you prepare for and pass the written (theory) and practical esthetics exams, which can be purchased at discounted prices on Amazon:
- Milady Standard Esthetics: Fundamentals (2013, 11th Edition)
- Salon Fundamentals: Esthetics Textbook (2007, 11th printing, 2nd Edition, August 2013)
We also recommend that you purchase and study the following books in preparation for your exams:
- Salon Fundamentals Esthetics Licensure Exam Prep Book (Spiral-bound – 2007)
- Modern Esthetics: A Scientific Source for Estheticians (Milady)
What to Bring to the Exams
Be sure to bring two forms of identification that bear your signature when you arrive at the exam site. Acceptable forms of identification can be found on page 5 of the Candidate Information Bulletin.
For the practical examination, candidates are required to bring their own mannequin head and exam supplies. More information on what supplies are required can be found on page 9 of the Candidate Information Bulletin.
The Esthetics Written Exam
The written esthetician licensure exam has 100 questions and covers the following topics:
- Safety, Cleaning, and Disinfection (30 percent)
- Client Consultation and Professional Conduct (10 percent)
- Skin Structure and Physiology (12 percent)
- Basic Facials (18 percent)
- Hair Removal (10 percent)
- Electricity and Electrotherapy (6 percent)
- Makeup (6 percent)
- Basic Knowledge of Advance Treatments (8 percent)
The written esthetics exam is computer based and should take you about 100 minutes to complete. You can familiarize yourself with how to use it by referencing page 6 of the Candidate Information Bulletin.
The Esthetics Practical Exam
The practical examination should take you about 85 minutes to complete. The exam will cover the following:
- Disinfection after procedures
- Facial service
- Makeup service
- Pre-Exam set up and disinfection
- Tweezing and waxing
- Skin Cleansing
- Skin Analysis
Preparing for the exam and studying will increase the chances that you will pass it on the first time for both the practical and written exams. Reviewing your course materials, practicing hands-on skills with your mannequin, studying with friends or classmates, and reviewing the candidate bulletin will help. You can also take online or book practice exams to show you any areas of weakness you might have.
Once you have successfully passed both exams, the Colorado Office of Barber and Cosmetology Licensure will issue your esthetician license. You can then begin practicing as a licensed esthetician in the state of Colorado.
Step 4: Renew Your CO Esthetician License Every Two Years
Estheticians in the state of Colorado all have licenses that expire on March 31st on even numbered years. Estheticians must complete an online renewal in order to keep their license current and practice legally in the state of Colorado.
Many estheticians in the state of Colorado choose to advance their career by receiving additional education and training in esthetic-related services such as permanent makeup, which requires the completion of an additional 132 clock hours of training, and massage therapy, which requires an additional 500 clock hours of training for state licensure.
Any esthetician that would like to perform chemical peels or microdemabrasion on clients is required to receive an additional 14 clock hours of training for microdermabrasion and 24 clock hours of training for chemical peels. At the completion of their training, the esthetician will be certified by the State Board. Estheticians licensed in the state of Colorado are the only ones allowed to acquire this additional training and certification.
Esthetician License Reciprocity in Colorado
If you are moving to Colorado from another state and want to practice as an esthetician, you can apply for licensure via endorsement. You will need your licensing agency in your home state to send proof of your esthetician license in good standing to the Colorado Office of Barbering and Cosmetology. An online application is also required.
If you do not currently have an active license in another state, you will be required to meet the educational requirements in Colorado and take the licensing examinations.
Colorado State Board of Cosmetology Contact Information
Colorado Office of Barber and Cosmetology Licensure
Denver, CO 80202
Colorado Written and Practical Exam Locations
Below is a map showing the locations of the written and practical exams administered by PSI Services. Before you arrive at a PSI test center, please be sure to call PSI Services toll-free at 1-800-733-9267 to confirm the test center’s current address and inquire about their hours of operation.
Map of Written and Practical Exam Locations in Colorado
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