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How to Become a Licensed Esthetician in New Jersey

The state of New Jersey is no stranger to beauty and is home to the Miss America beauty pageant each and every year. New Jersey also has over 50 resort cities and towns, some of them being among the most famous in the United States, such as Cape May, Seaside Heights, and Atlantic City. These facts show that beauty professionals are in high demand in this state. Manicurists, cosmetologists, and estheticians all have a bright career outlook, well into the future, in the great state of New Jersey.

If you are thinking about a career as a licensed esthetician in the state of New Jersey, below you will find the information that you absolutely need to know.

Esthetician License Requirements and Training Schools in New Jersey

Step 1: Complete a State Approved Esthetics Program

The New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling requires that you to be at least 17 years of age and have a high school diploma or GED in order to apply for a license. Additionally, you must have successfully completed a state-approved esthetics program of at least 600 hours.

If you’ve taken any esthetics classes in high school, the state of New Jersey allows you to apply those credits towards the 600 hours required for licensure. Make sure that your high school certifies your credit hours by completing and submitting the Certification of Cosmetology and Hairstyling School Form.

Your esthetics education and training will most likely include classroom study and hands-on training in the following areas:

  • Machine and manual facials
  • Exfoliation, microdermabrasion, and massage
  • Hair removal methods
  • Make-up applications
  • Safety and infection control procedures
  • Skin assessment and products

Once you complete half of your coursework, you will be eligible for a student permit. To apply for a student permit, simply complete the Application for a Student Permit, attach a passport-type head and shoulders photo (2″ x 2″), and pay the $5 filing fee in the form of a check or money order made out to the State of New Jersey.

Mail your completed application with photo attached and check or money order to:

New Jersey Office of the Attorney General
Division of Consumer Affairs
New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling
124 Halsey Street
6th Floor
P.O. Box 45003
Newark, NJ 07101

As soon as the State Board processes your application, they will mail you your student permit.

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: Apply for the Theory Exam and a Temporary Permit

Although the New Jersey Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling oversee the practice and licensing of estheticians in the state, they have contracted with PSI Services to administer the theory (written) esthetics exam. You must be pre-approved in order to take the exam.

Once you have successfully completed your esthetics education, your school will upload your eligibility status to PSI. You will then receive an email from PSI stating that you are eligible to take the written exam. It is your responsibility to register, either online or by phone, and schedule your exams with PSI Services. You will need to pay the required examination fee of $39.

You can register for the written examination by going here and doing the following:

  1. Select “Government/State Licensing Agencies” from the Select Organization drop-down menu.
  2. Select “New Jersey” from the Select Jurisdiction drop down menu.
  3. Select “NJ Cosmetology” from the Select Account drop down menu.
  4. Click the “NJ Skin Care Specialist Theory – English” link in the License Name menu (the exam is also available in Spanish).
  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 calling 1-800-733-9267 and using the automated system.


Apply for a Temporary Permit

Once you have been approved to take the exam, you can request a temporary permit by completing and submitting the Application for a Temporary Permit. The temporary permit is valid for 120 days and cannot be extended. If your permit expires before you obtain your state esthetician license, you will no longer be allowed to practice esthetics.


Step 3: Take and Pass the Written Esthetics Examination

You will need to take and pass your theory (written) esthetics exam prior to taking the practical examination. It is best to arrive 30 minutes early for the exam to allow time for check-in. Be sure to dress professionally.


What to Bring to the Exam

You will need to ensure you bring the following items with you to your exam:


The Esthetics Theory Exam

You will be given two hours to complete the theory exam. There are 10 pre-test items and 105 scored items.

The exam outline is as follows:

I. Safety, Sanitation, and Disinfection – 25 items
II. Client Consultation and Professional Conduct – 5 items
III. Skin Structure and Physiology – 20 items
IV. Skin Treatments – 25 items
V. Hair Removal – 10 items
VI. Makeup – 15 items
VII. New Jersey Laws and Regulations – 5 items

A score of 75% is required to pass the exam. When you have finished the exam, you should see your test score on the screen and receive a printed score report. Be sure to submit this score report along with your application for licensure.

You can prepare for the theory exam by purchasing and studying these reference materials recommended by the State Board:

To help you study for the state laws and regulations portion of the exam, the State Board recommends reading the following:


Step 4: Take and Pass the Practical Esthetics Examination

Now that you have taken and passed the esthetician theory exam, you can apply to take the practical exam and for licensure using the same application.


Scheduling the Practical Exam

You will need to complete the Application for Authorization to Sit for the Examination and for Licensure. Along with this application you must also submit the following:

  • A nonrefundable application filing fee of $50 made payable to the State of New Jersey (check or money order)
  • A licensing fee of either $60 or $30 based on the licensing cycle made payable to the State of New Jersey (check or money order)
  • Two good-quality passport style pictures that feature your full face, head, and shoulders (must be taken within the last 6 months)
  • Your notarized affidavit
  • Your certificate of experience from your present or former employers
  • Your physician’s certificate declaring you free of infectious or communicable disease
  • Your school certificate

Mail your completed and signed application, all of your documents, and your check or money order to:

New Jersey Office of the Attorney General
Division of Consumer Affairs
New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling
124 Halsey Street
6th Floor
P.O. Box 45003
Newark, NJ 07101

If you need assistance filling out your paperwork or have questions about the application process, you can contact the Division of Consumer Affairs by calling (973) 504-6400.

Once the State Board has processed your application, they will notify you by mail with your exam date.


The Esthetics Practical Exam

The practical exam is administered by the Board. It is designed to test your hands-on skills and ability to follow strict procedures. A proctor will give you verbal instructions and evaluate your procedural techniques as well as your attention to infection control protocol.

If you pass the practical exam by scoring a 75% or better, the State Board will issue you your esthetician license through the mail.


Step 5: Renew Your NJ Esthetician License Every Two Years

Your esthetician license will be due for renewal in even numbered years. About 60 days before it expires, you will receive a notice from the New Jersey State Board instructing you on how to renew your license and pay the current fee for renewal.


Esthetician License Reciprocity in New Jersey

In some cases, you may be able to receive a New Jersey esthetician license by reciprocity. In order to qualify for reciprocity, you must have received your license by getting the equivalent in training as required by the state of New Jersey or have notarized documentation proving that you have had at least three years of work experience as an esthetician.

To apply for your esthetician license by reciprocity, you must fill out the Application for Licensure by Endorsement in its entirety, including the affidavit signed in the presence of a public notary. You will also be required to pay the $100 application fee, plus either a $30 or $60 fee, depending on when in the licensing cycle you are applying.


New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology Contact Information

New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling
Division of Consumer Affairs
124 Halsey Street
Newark, NJ 07102
(973) 504-6200 Consumer Service Center Hotline
(800) 242-5846 (toll-free, New Jersey only)
Initial Applications Email
Renewal Applications Email
Online Contact Form


New Jersey Theory Exam Locations

Below is a map showing the locations of the theory exam 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 Exam Locations in New Jersey

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