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How to Become a Licensed Esthetician in New York

New York State is known for being home to one of the most well-known fashion and beauty focused cities in the world… New York City. It also boasts many different broadway shows, millionaires, and people who simply want to look good.

You can join in on the action with a career as a beauty professional in this state. Those in the beauty industry such as estheticians have the unique opportunity to help people of all backgrounds and careers look and feel their very best.

If you would like to become a New York licensed esthetician, there are a few steps you will need to complete. Keep reading this article to find out what they are.

Esthetician License Requirements and Training Schools in New York

Becoming a licensed esthetician in the great state of New York can be a daunting and somewhat confusing process. Lucky for you, we have taken this important information and have broken it down into an easy to read, step-by-step format. Follow the steps below to find out how to obtain licensure in the state of New York.



Step 1: Complete a State Approved Esthetics Program

The practice and licensing of estheticians in New York is handled by the New York State Appearance Enhancement and Barber Licensing Service. The New York State Board defines the practice of esthetics as providing services for a fee that enhance the look of the face, neck, arms, legs, or shoulders of a human being. It also recognizes that the practice of esthetics includes compounds and procedures such as lotions, tweezing, and makeup that can be applied manually, mechanically or by chemical or electrical means but, esthetics cannot include the practice of electrology.

In order to become a licensed esthetician in the state of New York you must:

  • Be at least 17 years of age
  • Complete a state-approved 600-hour esthetics training program
  • Provide a doctor’s certificate stating that you are free of communicable diseases
  • Provide an affirmation of your esthetics training, completed by a school official

The esthetics program you participate in should include:

  • Client consultation and assessment
  • Business skills and ethics
  • Waxing and other services for hair removal
  • Make-up applications
  • Health, safety, and infection control procedures
  • Skin care products, wraps, and exfoliation

It is important to note that New York does not offer an apprenticeship as a way to become licensed at this time. All applicants must complete 600 hours of training in an esthetics program approved by the state. This must be done at either a dedicated esthetician school or a cosmetology school.

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 completed your esthetics education, you will need to submit an application to take the state licensing exams and apply for licensure. There is no paper application to submit for licensure. You must apply online through the New York State License Center to help ensure a quick and easy process. There is a $40 licensing fee that must be paid online as well.

To start the three-step application process, go here and click the “I need a ID” link and begin entering your user information. Follow the instructions that are given to you. Before you begin, you may want to read over this handy guide illustrating the entire online application process.

In addition to your application, the school where you received your esthetics training must submit the Affirmation of New York State Approved School Form verifying completion of your esthetics training. This form must be completed by either the school’s director or the school’s principal.

The state of New York requires that all esthetician license applicants undergo a physical examination. The physical must be performed by a physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner. The health practitioner who performs the examination is required to complete the Health Certification Form which you, the applicant, are then required to enter this information during the online application process.

Please be aware that you must submit your online license application within 30 days from the date of your physical examination!


Registering for Your Licensing Exams

Once your application has been received and reviewed by the State Board, you will receive further instructions on how to schedule your theory and practical exams through the online account that you used to apply for licensure. You will also be required to pay a fee of $15 for each exam.


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:

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


What to Bring to the Exam

Plan to arrive at the testing center 30 minutes early to allow time for proper registration and check-in procedures. You will need to bring the following items to both exams:

  • A current form of identification from this list
  • A copy of your examination confirmation (should include all of your examination information, including your candidate number)


The Written Esthetics Exam

The written (theory) exam is made up of all multiple-choice questions and is based on the pre-licensing curriculum. You will have 2.5 hours to complete the written esthetics examination. Your allotted time begins at the conclusion of the exam instructions.

Be sure to adhere to the examination rules below during your time at the examination site:

  1. Cellular phones, beepers and any other electronic devices MUST be turned off during the examination.
  2. Dictionaries, books, other reference materials, large bags and briefcases are not allowed at the examination site. Do not bring these materials to the examination site as there is no place to store them.
  3. Eating, drinking or smoking is not permitted at the examination site. If you bring food or beverages, you will be asked to dispose of them before entering the examination site.
  4. Visitors, guests and children are not permitted at the examination site.
  5. Any person found using notes, books, or other aids; giving or receiving help; removing examination materials or notes from the examination site; causing a disturbance or engaging in practices contrary to the rules of proper examination conduct will be dismissed from the examination site. Any decisions regarding disciplinary measures will be made by the Examination Unit Supervisor at the Department of State.


The Practical Esthetics Exam

You are expected to come to the practical exam site dressed cleanly and professionally. You should also adhere to the following instructions:

  1. A clean, washable outer garment with at least one-quarter length
    sleeves is required
  2. Closed-toe and closed-heel shoes that cover top of foot (no
    canvas) are required
  3. NO hand or arm jewelry is permitted (Exception: Wedding
    rings and wrist watches)
  4. NO gum chewing or cell phone use is permitted
  5. Hands must be washed with soap and water prior to arriving at the examination site

The practical esthetics exam will test your skills and hands-on knowledge in a variety of esthetics practices. You will use a live model during this test. The proctor will provide verbal instructions and you are required to maintain safety and infection control methods throughout the entire exam.

The practical exam will cover the following:

  • Preparation of work area and model (15 minutes)
  • Removal of superfluous hair (15 minutes)
  • Facial (60 minutes)
  • Makeup Application and clean-up (30 minutes)

In order to pass either exam, you must score a 70% or better. As soon as your scores are available in the online system, you will be sent an email.

Once you have passed both the written and practical exams, you will automatically be issued a New York esthetician license.


Step 4: Renew Your NY Esthetician License Every Four Years

Your esthetician license is valid for four years from the date of issue. About two months before it expires, you will receive a renewal notice from the State Board.

All esthetician licenses in New York must be renewed online. Follow these instructions when it is time for your license to be renewed. You will also be required to pay a $40 license renewal fee.

New York State does not have any continuing education requirements for estheticians.


Esthetician License Reciprocity in New York

New York State does not have an esthetics reciprocity program. However, it does have endorsement agreements with the following states:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Mexico
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

In order to qualify for licensure by endorsement, you must:

  • Hold a valid esthetician license from one of the states above
  • Be in good standing with the state that issued your license
  • Submit an official letter of good standing (certification), dated within 6 months, from the Cosmetology Board where you are currently licensed (must be included with your application)


New York State Board of Cosmetology Contact Information

New York State Appearance Enhancement and Barber Licensing Service
Division of Licensing Services
1 Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Avenue
6th Floor
Albany, NY 12231
Phone: (518) 474-4429

Mailing Address:
NYS Department of State
Division of Licensing Services
P.O. Box 22001
Albany, NY 12201-2001


New York Written and Practical Exam Locations

Below is a map showing the locations of the written and practical exams administered by the NY State Board. Before you arrive at a test center, please be sure to call the Division of Professional Licensing at (518) 474-4429 to confirm the test center’s current address and inquire about their hours of operation.


Map of Written and Practical Exam Locations in New York

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