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How to Become a Licensed Esthetician in New Mexico

New Mexico was named by 16th-century Spanish explorers who had come with hopes to find gold and wealth in excess of Mexico’s Aztec treasures. While you may not find gold in this state, you may find a treasured career in the beauty field.

If a career in the Land of Enchantment as a licensed esthetician interests you, keep reading to find out exactly what you must do to make it happen.

Esthetician License Requirements and Training Schools in New Mexico

Step 1: Complete a State Approved Esthetics Program

  • The New Mexico Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists requires that aspiring estheticians who wish to become licensed must be at least 17 years of age and have completed at least two years of high school education. They are also required to complete a state-approved 600-hour esthetician training course.

Your esthetics education and training will need to include:

  • Safety procedures
  • Infection control
  • Cell structure and growth
  • Microbiology
  • Structure of the skin and hair follicles
  • Skin disorders
  • Chemistry and cosmetic products
  • Skin analysis
  • Exfoliation, steaming, and hair removal
  • Massage

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 New Mexico State Board has contracted with Professional Credential Services (PCS) to administer the NIC exams for estheticians.  However, you will take the written (theory) exam at a PSI test center.

Your first step is to create a new account on the PCS website so you can apply for the esthetician exams.

After you have completed your online application with PCS, you will need to submit the following documents by mail, email, fax, or by uploading them to your PCS account:

  • A recent 2 x 2 picture (no selfies are permitted)
  • A copy of your non-expired state identification card, driver’s license, or U.S. Passport
  • A New Mexico school transcript of esthetician training which is notarized or features your school’s seal (this must be uploaded to the PCS website and mailed to the New Mexico Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists)

The fee for both exams is $203 and must be submitted along with your application. If you fail the exams the first time and must retake them, the re-examination fee is $203.

Once PCS has reviewed and approved your application, you will receive an Authorization To Test (ATT) letter for the theory exam within one business day via email. You will also receive a practical examination admission notice via email 10 business days prior to your actual exam date. Practical examination dates can be found on page 7 of the PCS Candidate Information Bulletin.


Scheduling Your Written Exam

Once you receive your Authorization to Test (ATT) letter from Professional Credential Services (PCS), it is your responsibility to contact PSI and set up an appointment to take the written exam. 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 “New Mexico” from the Jurisdiction drop down menu.
  3. Select “NM Cosmetology” from the Select Account drop down menu.
  4. Click the “NM Esthetician Theory Examination – English” link in the Classification menu (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.

Refer to the PSI Candidate Information Bulletin for more information on what to expect when you go to take your written exam.


Step 3: Take and Pass the State Licensing Exams

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:

You may also want to read over the following PDF:


What to Bring to Your Exams

You will need to arrive 30 minutes early to the exam site. If you arrive late, you will not be allowed entry, you will forfeit your examination fees, and you will be required to reschedule your exam.

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

  • Two forms of proper identification (see page 17 of the PCS Candidate Information Bulletin)
  • Your Authorization To Test (ATT) letter
  • A current 2 x 2 passport-type color photo

For the practical exam you will also need to bring:


The Written Esthetics Exam

The State Board has chosen the NIC written (theory) exam for its esthetics candidates. You will have 90 minutes to complete this multiple choice exam.

The written exam will cover:


  • Knowledge of infection control procedures
  • Methods of infection control
  • Human physiology and anatomy
  • Histology and physiology of the skin
  • Composition of body hair
  • Basic chemistry including the composition and purpose of cosmetic products


  • Client consultation and documentation

Demonstrate your understanding of:

  • Exfoliation procedures
  • Extraction procedures
  • Massage movements and effects
  • The use of masks
  • Hair removal methods and procedures
  • Principles of and procedures for makeup application
  • The use of electrical equipment during skin services
  • Basic knowledge of other services such as body treatments and eyelash extensions

A score of 75% or better is required to pass the exam.

Practice questions and a more thorough outline can be found in the written NIC Candidate Information Bulletin.


The Practical Esthetics Exam

The NIC practical exam covers twelve different hands-on topics:

  1. Work Area and Client Preparation, and Set Up of Universal Supplies (First client)* (15 minutes)
  2. Cleansing of the Face with Product* (10 minutes)
  3. Exfoliating the Face with Product, Using Facial Brush, Including Towel Steaming* (10 minutes)
  4. Massaging the Face with Product* (10 minutes)
  5. Work Area and New Client Preparation, and Set Up of Supplies (Second client)* (15 minutes)
  6. Hair Removal of the Eyebrows by Tweezing and Using Simulated Soft Wax* (Not timed)
  7. Hair Removal of the Upper Lip Using Hard Wax+ (Not timed)
  8. Particle Microdermabrasion on the Forehead+ (10 minutes)
  9. Facial Mask and Conclusion of Facial Service* (10 minutes)
  10. Facial Makeup* (20 minutes)
  11. Eyelash Enhancement (this section may be administered during Facial Makeup) (10 minutes)
  12. Blood Exposure Procedure* (Not timed)

A score of 75% or better is required to pass the exam.

Once you have passed both the theory and the practical exams, you will get a Notice of Completion and a Licensure Fee Notice. Your license will be issued once you mail the form and the necessary fee to the State Board Office. The fee for your original esthetician license is $50.

Mail your form and fee payment:

New Mexico Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists
P.O. Box 25101
Santa Fe, NM 87504


The State of New Mexico Jurisprudence Exam

All esthetician license applicants must take the State of New Mexico Jurisprudence Exam. This exam is an open book, multiple choice test that deals with the specific legal requirements of the state. You have two hours to complete the exam and a 75% or better is considered a passing score. You may not receive assistance from anyone else during the exam.

Upon completion, mail your exam to the Board at the following address:

New Mexico Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists
P.O. Box 25101
Santa Fe, NM 87504

If, for some reason, you need to retake the exam, you will be allowed to do so within 30 days.


Step 4: Renew Your NM Esthetician License Every Two Years

Your New Mexico esthetician license is due for renewal each year. The New Mexico Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists will mail you the information that you need in order to renew your license online. There is a $50 fee for your renewal.

Continuing education is not required for estheticians unless you are an esthetics instructor.


Esthetician License Reciprocity in New Mexico

In order to practice as an esthetician in the state of New Mexico, you are required to have a state license. If you have an active license in good standing in another state, you may be eligible for licensure via reciprocity.

You will need to complete the following steps in order to obtain your license by reciprocity:

  1. Complete and sign the Application for Licensure by Reciprocity
  2. Submit proof that you have received at least 600 hours of esthetics training (you may receive 150 hours of credit for every 6 months of licensed work experience. This must be verified in a notarized statement from an employer with specific work dates)
  3. Submit a signed affidavit from the state regulatory agency stating that you currently possess a valid esthetician license and that you are in good standing with the state (the affidavit must be have the State Board seal)
  4. Submit proof that you have completed the 10th grade or higher (high school transcripts, diploma, or GED)
  5. Submit a recent photo (taken within 90 days) of your face, head & shoulders that is at least 1.5″ x 1.5″ but no larger than 2″ x 3″
  6. Submit proof of your age (photocopy of your valid driver’s license)
  7. Submit payment for the $150 non-refundable fee. No cash or personal checks allowed (money orders and cashier’s checks only, made payable to the New Mexico Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists)

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

New Mexico Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists
P.O. Box 25101
Santa Fe, NM 87505

Once the State Board has processed your application they will mail you your esthetician license (usually within 30 days).


New Mexico State Board of Cosmetology Contact Information

New Mexico Board of Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists
2550 Cerrillos Road
Toney Anaya Bldg
2nd Floor
Santa Fe, NM 87505


New Mexico Written Exam Locations

Below is a map showing the locations of the written 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 Exam Locations in New Mexico

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