How to Become a Licensed Esthetician in Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri was home to the first educational institution in the nation that was specific to the field of African-American cosmetology. Poro College was founded in 1917 by Annie Malone, a high school dropout who worked her way to becoming the first African-American female millionaire. She had a passion for helping women succeed and a passion for cosmetology. Malone believed that women who improved their physical appearance would have greater self-respect and would be able to succeed in other facets of their lives.
While you may not have the means to build your own beauty college in Missouri, you can certainly help both women and men improve their physical appearance and possibly even help them succeed in other areas of their lives as a licensed esthetician.
There are a few steps you must complete in order to become a licensed esthetician in the state of Missouri. This article will take you through each of these steps in an easy-to-read informative way.
Esthetician License Requirements and Training Schools in Missouri
In order to practice professional esthetics legally in the state of Missouri, you must first obtain a license from the Missouri Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners. The steps below will help you navigate through this often confusing and intimidating process.
- Step 1: Complete a State Approved Esthetics Program or Apprenticeship
- 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 MO Esthetician License Every Two Years
- Esthetician License Reciprocity in Missouri
- Missouri State Board Contact Information
- Missouri Theory Exam Locations
Step 1: Complete a State Approved Esthetics Program or Apprenticeship
The Missouri Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners is a branch of the Missouri government that oversees the esthetics practice and licensing in the state of Missouri. The state’s requirements for those wanting to become a licensed esthetician is that they are at least 17 years old and have a 10th-grade education or higher, or a GED.
In addition, individuals wanting to apply for state licensure must complete a 750-hour esthetician course at an approved cosmetology school or a 1500-hour apprenticeship under the supervision of a licensed esthetician.
If you choose to apply for licensure via a state approved school, the Missouri board requires you to take classes and have hands-on training in the following areas:
- Skin cleansing, toning, and massaging
- Color theory and makeup application
- Methods of hair removal
- Wraps and other body treatments
- Anatomy and physiology
- Chemistry of cosmetic products
- Salon management and business ethics
- Infection control and safety practices
- Missouri State Law
The first step to becoming a student or an apprentice is to complete the proper paperwork.
If you intend to go to esthetics school, your first step is to submit a Student Enrollment Application for a student license. Along with this application, you must include:
- A copy of your birth certificate (preferred) or your current state driver’s license for proof of age
- Proof of a minimum of a 10th-grade education
- Two recent photographs of yourself that clearly shows your face and shoulders (must be 2″ x 2″)
- Payment for the $25 application fee
Mail your completed and signed application, required documents, and fee payment (check or money order) to:
Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners
3605 Missouri Blvd
P.O. Box 1062
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Once your application has been processed and you have been issued your student license and your school receives your student license, you will then be eligible for credit for class attendance.
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Step 2: Complete and Submit the Esthetician Application for Examination
Once you have successfully finished your esthetics training or an approved apprenticeship, you can apply to take the esthetics exam.
Although the Missouri Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners governs the esthetics practice and licensing for the state, they have contracted with PCS to administer the NIC exams.
Once the State Board has approved your application and PCS has approved your pre-registration, you will receive an Authorization To Test (ATT) letter for the theory examination and an admission notice for the practical examination. You can then schedule your theory test date with ISO-Quality Testing (IQT) online by going to IQT.
Step 3: Take and Pass the Written and Practical Esthetician 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:
- 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
You should plan on arriving at the exam site at least 30 minutes early to allow time for check-in. It is also recommended that you visit the site the day prior to your testing to familiarize yourself with the area.
You will need to ensure you bring the following items to your exams:
• Two forms of identification (specific requirements on page 2 of the Candidate Information Bulletin)
• For the practical exam, you will need your mannequin and a kit
Be sure to refer to the required kit information on pages 2 and 14-16 of the NIC Candidate Information Bulletin in preparation for the practical exam.
The Esthetics Written Exam
For the theory (written) exam, 55 percent of the questions will be based on scientific concepts and 45 percent will be skin care and services questions.
The esthetics written exam includes topics such as:
- Client consultation
- Infection control
- Skin functions and assessment
- Factors that impact the skin
- Contraindications for services
More detailed information and practice questions can be found in the NIC Candidate Information Bulletin.
Immediately following the theory exam, you will receive a pass or fail notice.
The Esthetics Practical Exam
The practical exam covers the following 12 sections:
- Work Area and Client Preparation, and Set Up of Universal Supplies (First client)
- Cleansing of the Face with Product
- Exfoliating the Face with Product, Using Facial Brush, Including Towel Steaming
- Massaging the Face with Product
- Work Area and New Client Preparation, and Set Up of Supplies (Second client)
- Hair Removal of the Eyebrows by Tweezing and Using Simulated Soft Wax
- Hair Removal of the Upper Lip Using Hard Wax
- Particle Microdermabrasion on the Forehead
- Facial Mask and Conclusion of Facial Service
- Facial Makeup
- Eyelash Enhancement
- Blood Exposure Procedure
In order to be licensed, you must have an overall score of at least 75% on both the theory and practical exams.
Once you have passed both exams, the State Board will be electronically notified and will automatically issue you your esthetician license.
Step 4: Renew Your MO Esthetician License Every Two Years
In order to maintain an active license, estheticians in Missouri must renew their license by September 30th on odd numbered years. The fee for renewal is $60.
You will receive a postcard reminder about your license renewal and will be given renewal instructions. You can renew your license online using the Missouri Online License Renewal portal.
Esthetician License Reciprocity in Missouri
The Missouri Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners allows license reciprocity from other states as long as the license requirements in the state where the license is active are equal to or greater than the requirements in Missouri. Estheticians who have worked for at least two consecutive years will also be considered. You will also be required to pass a Missouri state law test.
You will need to submit a completed Application for Reciprocity along with the following:
- An affidavit completed by the state licensing agency verifying the type of license you currently hold and that the license is in good standing
- Two color passport type photos (2″ x 2″) that have been taken within the past 2 years
- A check or money order made payable to the Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners to cover the $100 reciprocity fee
- Your completed Missouri state law test that shows a passing grade of at least 75%
- Your birth certificate or current driver’s license (must not be expired) that shows proof of your age
- You must not currently be under disciplinary action by another State Board of Cosmetology
Mail your completed and signed application, required documents, and fee payment to:
Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners
3605 Missouri Blvd
P.O. Box 1062
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Once the State Board has processed your application they will mail you your Missouri esthetician license.
Missouri State Board of Cosmetology Contact Information
Missouri Theory Exam Locations
Below is a map showing the locations of the theory exams administered by ISO-Quality Testing (IQT). Before you arrive at an IQT test center, please be sure to call ISO-Quality Testing toll-free at 1-866-773-1114 to confirm the test center’s current address and inquire about their hours of operation.
Map of Theory Exam Locations in Missouri
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