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How to Become a Licensed Esthetician in Minnesota

Minnesota has long been a state that treasures theater and arts. It is home to the largest urban sculpture garden in the country as well as many different theaters. This eclectic state is also home to many of the nation’s top beauty schools which produce some of the nation’s most sought-after cosmetologists, nail technicians, and estheticians.

If you are considering a career as a licensed esthetician in the state of Minnesota, keep reading to find out how to navigate your way through the confusing state licensing process.

Esthetician License Requirements and Training Schools in Minnesota

Step 1: Complete a State Approved Esthetics Program

The Minnesota Board of Cosmetologist Examiners requires that applicants for esthetician licenses have completed a high school education or have earned a GED. They must also have 600 hours of esthetics training from a state-licensed cosmetology school.

The state of Minnesota does not allow licensees to accumulate the required hours of esthetician training through an apprenticeship.

Your esthetics education and training will most likely include the following:

  • Manual and machine facials
  • Body wraps, massage, exfoliation, microdermabrasion
  • Hair removal methods such as threading and waxing
  • Make-up applications
  • Infection control and safety procedures
  • Skin care products

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

The Minnesota Board of Cosmetologist Examiners has contracted PSI Services LLC to administer the State Exam, the General Theory Exam, and the Practical Written Exam for licensing. You will need to create an account on the PSI website or call in order to register for your exam and schedule your exam dates. You will need to pay at the time you schedule your exams. You can also register and pay via fax, mail, or email, although these methods generally take longer.

You will need to register for each exam separately. To register for your exams, complete the following steps:

  1. Read over the Minnesota Candidate Information Bulletin
  2. Schedule your exams online or by phone (follow the instructions below)
  3. Pay the $25 State Exam fee
  4. Pay the $35 General Theory Exam fee
  5. Pay the $30 Written Practical Exam fee

You should be able to pay your exam fees online using your credit or debit card.

If you are not comfortable paying your exam fees online, you can fill out the Minnesota Cosmetology Examination Registration Form located at the end of the Candidate Information Bulletin and pay your fees using your credit or debit card information on the form.

Fax your completed form to (702) 932-2666. Be sure to write the following on the fax cover letter :

PSI Services LLC
ATTN: Examination Registration MN COSMO

If you would rather pay for your exam fees using a company check, cashier’s check, or money order, then you will have to complete and submit the Minnesota Cosmetology Examination Registration Form located at the end of the Candidate Information Bulletin.

You can mail your completed form and attached fee payment to:

PSI Services LLC
ATTN: Examination Registration MN COS
3210 E. Tropicana Street
Las Vegas, NV 89121


Registering for Your Exams

Once you receive your notice of eligibility from the State Licensing Board, it is your responsibility to contact PSI and set up an appointment to take the theory, written, and written practical exams. You can register for examination by going here and doing the following:

  1. Select “Government/State Licensing Agencies” from the Select Organization drop-down menu.
  2. Select “Minnesota” from the Jurisdiction drop down menu (scroll down until you see Minnesota).
  3. Select “MN Cosmetology” from the Select Account drop down menu.
  4. Click the “MN Esthetician Examination” link in the License Name menu (the exams are also available in Spanish or Vietnamese).
  5. After the webpage loads, click the “Sign In or Create an Account” button and either sign in or create a new account.

You also have the option of scheduling your exam over the phone by calling a PSI representative toll-free at 1-800-733-9267 (Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM to 8:00 PM EST and Saturday from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST).

You can also schedule your written exam using PSI’s Interactive Voice Response System during non business hours at 1-800-733-

If you must reschedule your written exam, you can do so without forfeiting your fee by contacting PSI at least 2 business days prior to your scheduled exam date by calling1-800-733-9267 and using the automated system.


Step 3: Take and Pass the State Licensure Examinations

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:

We also recommend that you purchase and study the following books in preparation for your exams:


What to Bring to the Exam

You should arrive at the exam site at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the exam. Extra time is needed for registration and identification. If you arrive late, you will not be allowed to test at that time and you will automatically forfeit your examination fees. You will have your photo and fingerprints taken prior to beginning the exam.

You will need to ensure you bring two forms of identification both bearing your signature and one that has your photo (examples of proper identification can be found on page 5 of the Candidate Information Bulletin). You will not be admitted into the examination area without the proper identification.


The Minnesota State Laws & Rules Exam

The State Exam has 30 questions and you are given one hour to complete the exam.

The state exam covers the following topics:

I. General Information (15%)

  • Definitions
  • Administration
  • Practitioner

II. Licensing (30%)

  • Specific types of salon licenses
  • Reactivation and renewal
  • Permits
  • Minnesota individual licensing
  • Maintaining individual licenses
  • Salon licenses 2105.0350

III. Sanitation and Requirements (40%)

  • Salons
  • Salon supervision
  • Intoxicants and controlled substances
  • Policy

IV. Enforcement (15%)

  • Licensing and registration
  • Inspections
  • Display of license

You must score a 75% or better to pass the exam.


The General Theory Exam

The General Theory Exam has 75 scored questions. You are given 90 minutes to take the exam.

The General Theory Exam contains the following subjects:

I. Safety and Infection Control (30%)

  1. Safe working conditions and practices
  2. Safety agencies
  3. Infection control
  4. Standard precautions for exposure incidents
  5. Adverse or allergic reaction

II. Client Consultation and Professional Conduct (10%)

  1. Client consultation
  2. Record keeping
  3. Professional ethics
  4. Personal hygiene

III. Skin Structure and Physiology (12%)

  1. Skin structure and anatomy
  2. Skin types
  3. Skin conditions and disorders

IV. Basic Facials (20%)

  1. Skin analysis
  2. Products and product chemistry
  3. Procedures
  4. Tools, implements, and equipment
  5. Massage manipulations

V. Hair Removal (10%)

  1. Waxing
  2. Tweezing

VI. Makeup (6%)

  1. Application and removal
  2. Color theory
  3. Corrective makeup
  4. Brushes and tools
  5. Artificial eyelashes

VII. Electricity and Electrotherapy (8%)

  1. Galvanic current
  2. High frequency
  3. Light therapy

VIII. Basic Knowledge of Advanced Treatments (4%)

  1. Chemical exfoliation
  2. Microdermabrasion

In order to pass the exam, you must score a 75% or better.


The Written Practical Exam

The Written Practical Exam has 50 scored items and you are allowed 90 minutes to complete the exam. As with the other exams, you must score a 75% or better to pass the exam.

The Written Practical Exam consists of the following topics:

I. Safety and Infection Control (24%)

  1. Disinfection and infection control procedures
  2. Storage of tools and implements
  3. First aid and exposure incident

II. Skin Analysis (16%)

  1. Skin types and structure
  2. Skin disorders and diseases

III. Basic Facial (26%)

  1. Cleansing
  2. Exfoliating
  3. Steaming
  4. Masks
  5. Massage manipulations
  6. Products
  7. Extractions

IV. Makeup (12%)

  1. Face shapes, contouring, and corrective
  2. Application
  3. Forms of makeup
  4. Brushes and tools

V. Hair Removal (22%)

  1. Tweezing
  2. Waxing

Additional information on exam procedures can be found in the Candidate Information Bulletin.


Step 4: Submit the Initial Operator License Application

Once you have completed your esthetician training and have passed all three examinations for licensure, you are qualified to complete and submit the Initial Operator License Application.

To apply for state licensure, follow these steps:

  1. Complete, sign, and date the Initial Operator License Application
  2. Pay the non-refundable application fee of $195 for normal processing* OR $345 for expedited processing*
  3. Make your check or money order out to “BCE”
  4. Proof of graduation from high school, completion of your GED, or recognized equivalent
  5. An original certificate of course completion that is complete, accurate, and properly notarized
  6. Your original passing results from the Minnesota State Laws & Rules Exam
  7. Your original passing results from the General Theory Exam
  8. Your original passing results from the Written Practical Exam

Mail your completed application, required documents, and payment to:

Board of Cosmetologist Examiners
2829 University Avenue SE
Suite 710
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Once received, your application will be reviewed for approval by the State Board. Upon approval, you will receive your Minnesota esthetician license.

Please note, if a student does not become licensed within three years of completion of training, the training (600 hours) is no longer valid. At that point, a student must return for the full training program.

*Normal application processing time is 15 business days. Expedited application processing time is 5 business days.


Step 5: Renew Your MN Esthetician License Every Three Years

Licensed estheticians in Minnesota will need to renew their license every third year during their birth month. Your license is eligible for renewal 10 weeks before its expiration date.

To renew your license, complete, sign, and submit the Operator or Salon Manager Renewal Application along with your check or money order to cover the $115 renewal fee. Make your check or money order payable to “BCE”. Allow the State Board 15 business days to process your application. Once your application has been processed, you will receive a brand new license in the mail.

Renewal applications can also be done online using the Minnesota License Renewal Portal.

Estheticians working professionally in the state of Minnesota are required to complete four hours of continuing education pertaining to safety, rules, laws, and sanitation during the previous three years prior to renewal in order to renew their license.


Esthetician License Reciprocity in Minnesota

If you currently hold an esthetician license in another state, you may qualify for a Minnesota license via reciprocity. Applicants are required to have a minimum of 600 hours of esthetics education.

To obtain your Minnesota esthetician license via reciprocity, complete the following steps:

  1. Complete, sign, and submit the Domestic Endorsement or Transfer Operator License Application
  2. Pay the application fee of $195 (processing within 15 business days) or $345 (expedited processing within 5 business days)
  3. Make your check or money order payable to “BCE”
  4. Submit letter(s) of license verification from each state in which you have ever held an esthetician license. The letter(s) must verify that you completed 600 hours of esthetician training and must be mailed directly to the BCE office from each state board.
  5. Submit proof of passing a National/General Theory Examination and the Practical Examination (if you have not passed these exams, you will need to contact PSI to schedule them)
  6. Submit your original passing results from the Minnesota State Laws & Rules Examination (if you have not yet taken this exam, contact PSI to schedule it)
  7. Submit proof of high school graduation, GED completion, or recognized equivalent

Once the State Board has reviewed your application and submitted documents and has verified that you are eligible for state licensure, you will receive your esthetician license in the mail.


Minnesota State Board of Cosmetology Contact Information

Minnesota Board of Cosmetologist Examiners
2829 University Avenue SE
Suite 710
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Phone: (651) 201-2742


Minnesota State Licensure Examination Locations

Below is a map showing the locations of the State, General Theory, and Written 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 Theory and Practical Exam Locations in Minnesota

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