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How to Become a Licensed Esthetician in Hawaii

Hawaii is a popular destination for honeymooning, weddings, family reunions, vacations, and simply relaxing. With so many people flocking to this amazing state for special reasons, the beauty industry now has a demand for more estheticians to help people look and feel their best. Licensed esthetician jobs can be found in Hawaii in places such as:

  • Medical spas and chiropractic offices
  • Dermatology offices
  • Film and fashion industries
  • Spas
  • Salons
  • Resorts and hotels

As you can see, in the state of Hawaii you have many job options to choose from.

If a career as an esthetician in Hawaii sounds interesting to you, keep reading to find out what you need to know to get licensed in Hawaii.

Esthetician License Requirements and Training Schools in Hawaii

Step 1: Complete a State Approved Esthetics Program

Getting esthetics training or beginning an apprenticeship program is the first step to becoming a licensed esthetician in Hawaii. The Hawaii Professional and Vocational Licensing Cosmetology and Barbering division requires those applying to take the esthetician exam to be at least 16 years old and have completed high school or a high school equivalent. You are also required to have completed 600 clock hours in a state-approved esthetician program or 1200 apprenticeship hours under the supervision of a state-licensed esthetician in a spa or beauty shop.

Your esthetics education and training will likely include:

  • Facials
  • Nutrition
  • Waxing
  • Aromatherapy
  • Body treatments
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Retail and sales techniques
  • Makeup artistry
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Infection control, safety, and sanitation

Let Esthetician Schooling Connect You With a High Quality Esthetician School in Your Area!

Are you ready to take the next step and begin your career as a well-paid esthetician? Esthetician Schooling has partnered with some of the best esthetician schools in the nation.  Our huge network of nationally recognized esthetician schools will make it easy for you to find the right school and get started training immediately!

The beauty schools in our network contain one or more of the following high quality standards:

  • State Board Recognition
  • NACCAS Accreditation
  • Student Financial Aid
  • Job Placement Assistance for Those Who Qualify

To get started, simply fill out the quick 1-minute application below.


Step 2: Complete and Submit the Esthetician Application for Examination

Once you have fulfilled the state’s requirements of either classroom hours or apprenticeship hours, you will need to follow the steps outlined below according to your method of training.

If you have completed 600 hours of esthetician training in an approved cosmetology or esthetician school, you will need to:

  1. Complete and submit the Application for a Beauty Operator Exam and License.
  2. Submit proof of high school graduation or equivalent.
  3. Attach a copy of your transcript that includes a breakdown of subjects and hours of schooling.
  4. Attach payment of the non-refundable $20 application fee and optional $40 temporary permit fee.

If you have completed 1200 training hours in an esthetician apprenticeship program, you will need to:

  1. complete and submit the Application for Registration – Beauty or Barber Apprentice.
  2. Submit proof of high school graduation or equivalent.
  3. Attach a copy of your Progress Report Forms that shows the subjects and hours of training (p. A-15).
  4. Attach a copy of the Notice of Completion or Withdrawal (p. A-13).
  5. Attach payment of the non-refundable $20 application fee and optional $40 temporary permit fee.

Your application should be delivered to the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology:

335 Merchant St., Room 301
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 586-3000

Or mailed to:

Board of Barbering and Cosmetology
DCCA, PVL Licensing Branch
P.O. Box 3469
Honolulu, HI 96801

The Board of Barbering and Cosmetology has contracted with Prometric Inc to administer the esthetician licensing exams. Once you are approved to take the exam, you will receive notice from Prometric, the company giving the exam. You will then submit your exam registration with a $90 fee.


Step 3: Take and Pass the Esthetics Theory Exam

Unlike other states, Hawaii does not require applicants to take a practical exam to become a licensed beauty operator. You will, however, be required to take an esthetician theory exam, also referred to as the written exam.


Preparing for the Written Exam

Prometric recommends the following reference material to help you prepare for and pass the written (theory) exam, which can be purchased at a discounted price on Amazon:


What to Bring to the Exam

In order to be admitted to the written exam site, you will be required to bring the following:

  • Your admission letter from Prometric
  • A current photo identification card that contains your signature (driver’s license, passport, or school ID with your signature)
  • Two #2 pencils that are sharpened

Failure to bring your admission letter or the required photo ID will result in a missed appointment and cause you to forfeit your exam fees.


The Esthetics Theory Exam

The Esthetician Theory Exam is a closed book exam containing 100 multiple choice questions. You have 2 hours to complete the exam and you must score a 75% or better in order to pass the exam.

The exam is offered at the following locations:

  • Hilo
  • Kauai
  • Kona
  • Maui
  • Oahu

The exam locations above are subject to change without notice. You can find a list of current exam locations and times here.

While there is a deadline for testing, approved candidates who missed the Prometric deadline may become licensed by “walk-in” appointment on Oahu only. For an additional fee of $60, you may test on any of the walk-in dates designated on this page. Walk-in testing for Oahu occurs at 8:45 a.m. only.

The Hawaii NEC Approved Esthetician Theory Exam Content Outline is as follows:

  • General Concepts – 15%

Including Safety, Infection Control, Ethics, EPA/OSHA Requirements

  • Applied Anatomy and Physiology – 25%

Including Conditions/Diseases, Growth/Regeneration, Body Systems

  • Chemical Concepts –  15%

Including Product Knowledge, Ingredients/Usage, EPA/OSHA Requirements

  • Physical Concepts –  35%

Including Facials, Hair Removal, Makeup

  • State Laws, Rules, and Regulations – 10%

Including Reasons for Licensure and Scope of Practice

Approximately 10 days after your exam, you will receive a score report.This score report will tell you what the next steps are to receive your license. Prometric cannot reveal your results over the phone.

Although you may be nervous about taking the exam, proper preparation and studying will increase your chances of passing it on the first try. If you need to retake the exam, it will require additional time and more fees.

You can go online to view sample tests and test questions. You can also review your class notes and other materials as well as study with friends or former classmates. The more you can do to study and prepare for the esthetician exam, the more confident you will feel when you finally take the exam.


Step 4: Renew Your HI Esthetician License Every Two Years

Estheticians holding a beauty operator license in Hawaii will need to renew their license by December 31st of odd-numbered years. A renewal application will be mailed to you approximately two months prior to your license expiration date. To renew, simply submit the required fees and application to the Hawaii State Board.

While you are not required to complete continuing education credit hours in order to renew your beauty operator license in Hawaii, it is a good idea to attend seminars and get further education in order to keep up with changes in the professional cosmetology and esthetics field. Joining professional associations can also help advance your career and the profession itself.


Esthetician License Reciprocity in Hawaii

The Hawaii State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology does allow license endorsements from other states in some cases. You will need to submit proof of a valid license in your home state as well as transcripts or documentation of apprenticeship hours.

If you have completed at least 600 clock hours in an esthetics program or 1200 hours in an apprenticeship program, you will be allowed to apply, pay a fee, and have a Hawaii beauty operator license based on reciprocity. However, if you have not had at least the minimum amount of hours required in the state of Hawaii, you will be required to make up the difference before apply for a Hawaii license.


Hawaii State Board of Cosmetology Contact Information

Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
Professional and Vocational Licensing Division
King Kalakaua Building
335 Merchant Street
Room 301
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 586-3000


Hawaii Written Exam Locations

Below is a map showing the locations of the written exams administered by Prometric. Before you arrive at a test center, please be sure to call Prometric at (808) 261-8182 to confirm the test center’s current address and inquire about their hours of operation.


Map of Written Exam Locations in Hawaii

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