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How to Become a Licensed Esthetician in North Dakota

Don’t let the cold weather, snow, or ice drive you away from becoming a licensed esthetician in North Dakota. Many people in this state appreciate the chance to be pampered and to focus on their own appearance as well as the health of their skin.

If you are considering a career as a licensed esthetician in the state of North Dakota, keep reading to find out what steps you must take to obtain licensure.

Esthetician License Requirements and Training Schools in North Dakota

Step 1: Complete a State Approved Esthetics Program

The first step to becoming a North Dakota licensed esthetician is to complete your high school education or GED. You can then select a state-approved 600-hour esthetics course.

According to the North Dakota State Board of Cosmetology, your esthetics education and training will need to include theses areas in the following hourly increments:

  • Sterilization, Sanitation, and Safety (75 Hours)
  • Body Treatments, Facials, Hair Removal, and Makeup (340 Hours)
  • Study of Theory, Law, and Sanitation (75 Hours)
  • Related Subjects (60 Hours)
  • Unassigned (50 Hours)

After you have started a state-approved esthetics program, you and your school will need to submit a Student Registration Form to the State Board. The purpose of this form is to notify the State Board that you are an esthetician student, which will give you access to the licensing exams after graduation.

In addition to your application, you will need to submit the following:

  • The $15 student registration fee
  • A copy of your birth certificate
  • Proof of a high school education or equivalent
  • Your student contract
  • A complete list of supplies, including books and tools

You and your school can mail the completed and signed application, all required documents, and fee payment to:

ND State Board of Cosmetology
P.O. Box 2177
1102 S. Washington Street
Suite 200
Bismarck, ND 58502-2177

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 written esthetics exam is administered by PSI Services. You do not need prior approval from the State Board to test. Instead, you will simply log onto the PSI website, register, pay your $70 application fee, and schedule your written exam testing date.


Registering and Scheduling Your Written Exam

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

  1. Select “Government/State Licensing Agencies” from the Select Organization drop-down menu.
  2. Select “North Dakota” from the Select Jurisdiction drop down menu (you may need to scroll down the menu).
  3. Select “ND Cosmetology” from the Select Account drop down menu.
  4. Click the “ND Esthetician Examination” link in the Classification menu.
  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.

The practical exam is developed by the National Interstate Council and administered by the North Dakota Board of Cosmetology. You can find more information about the exam and procedures in the State Candidate Information Brochure.


Applying for the Practical Exam

To apply for the esthetics practical exam, you will need to:

  1. Complete and submit the Esthetics Exam Application located on this page
  2. Submit payment for the $50 application fee with a check or money order made payable to “ND State Board of Cosmetology”
  3. Make sure you mail your application so that the State Board receives it at least 1 week prior to the testing date (check the practical exam schedule located on this page for examination dates)

Please note that if you are enrolled in a school outside of North Dakota, you must submit an official transcript, certificate of completion, a copy of your birth certificate, and a copy of your high school diploma or GED along with your application.

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

ND State Board of Cosmetology
1102 S. Washington Street
Suite 200
P.O. Box 2177
Bismarck, ND 58502-2177

Once your application has been processed and approved, you will be sent an Authorization To Test (ATT) letter containing the location, time, and date of your practical exam.


Step 3: Take and Pass the Exams for State Licensure

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:


Arriving at the Exam Site

On the day of your scheduled exam, you should arrange to arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled start time to allow enough time for registration. Late candidates will be denied admission and will forfeit their exam fees.


What to Bring to the Exam

You will need to bring the following items with you to both exam sites:

For the practical exam, you will also need to bring:

  • Your Authorization To Test (ATT) letter
  • Proof that you have completed a 600-hour esthetician program
  • A live model to perform esthetician services on
  • A simulated wax product such as toothpaste or cholesterol cream
  • A supply kit (see items listed on pages 14-16 of the Candidate Information Bulletin)


The Esthetics Written Exam

The NIC esthetics written exam should take you about 90 minutes to complete. The exam will follow cover the following subjects in multiple choice form:

1. Scientific Concepts (55%)

  • Infection control procedures
  • Basic knowledge of human physiology and anatomy
  • Histology and physiology of the skin

2. Skin Care and Services (45%)

  • Client consultation and documentation
  • Skin analysis
  • Client records
  • Treatment protocol
  • Cleansing procedures
  • Steaming procedures
  • Exfoliation procedures
  • Extraction procedures
  • Massage movements and effects
  • Use of masks
  • Hair removal methods
  • Makeup application
  • Electrical equipment during skin services
  • Basic knowledge of other services such as body treatments and eyelash extensions

You must score 75% or better in order to pass the exam. You will be notified of your test results immediately after the exam.


The North Dakota State Law and Sanitation Exam

You will also be required to take the North Dakota Law and Sanitation exam which is also administered by PSI Services. The fee for this exam is $60 and can be paid when you register with PSI. This is a computer-based written exam that you will take at the same test center where you take the written exam.

This exam will focus on the North Dakota laws, rules, and regulations that are directly related to cosmetology and esthetician services. You will want to study the North Dakota Cosmetology Rules and Regulations in order to pass the exam.


The Esthetics Practical Exam

Your practical skills and procedural knowledge will be individually tested during this exam.

The esthetics practical exam covers 9 core sections:

  1. Work area and client preparation and set up of universal supplies
  2. Cleansing of the face with product
  3. Exfoliating the face with product, using facial brush, including towel steaming
  4. Massaging the face with product
  5. Work area and new client preparation, and set-up of supplies
  6. Hair removal of the eyebrows by tweezing and using simulated soft wax
  7. Facial mask and conclusion of facial service
  8. Facial makeup
  9. Blood exposure procedure

You will receive your examination results in the mail. Once you have successfully passed all three exams, the State will issue you your North Dakota esthetician license.


Step 4: Renew Your ND Esthetician License Every Year

You must renew your esthetician license each year in order to continue practicing legally. The fee for renewing your North Dakota esthetician license is $20.

You can renew your license either by mail or online. If you renew your esthetician license online, you will need to pay the license renewal fee using a credit card or debit card. You will also be charged a $3.00 processing fee. You should receive your new license in the mail within 2 to 3 weeks.

If you choose to renew your esthetician license through the mail, you will need to complete the Application for Renewal of License which can be downloaded here.

You will need to complete the following steps to renew your license by mail:

  1. Complete and print the Application for Renewal of License in its entirety
  2. Pay the $20 license renewal fee using a check or money order made payable to the North Dakota State Board of Cosmetology
  3. Make sure your submission will be postmarked no later that December 31st
  4. If your submission will be postmarked after December 31st, you will be required to pay an additional $50 late fee

Mail your completed application and check or money order to:

ND State Board of Cosmetology
1102 S. Washington Street
Suite 200
P.O. Box 2177
Bismarck, ND 58502-2177

It will take the State Board 2 to 4 weeks to process your application. Once your applicartion has been processed, they will mail you your new esthetician license.

In the state of North Dakota, estheticians are not required to have continuing education credits in order to renew their license.


Esthetician License Reciprocity in North Dakota

If you hold an active and valid license in another state, you may be able to qualify for a North Dakota esthetician license via reciprocity.

In order to do so you will need to download and submit the Reciprocity Application, along with:

• A copy of your birth certificate or valid U.S. passport
• A copy of your high school diploma or GED certificate
• A copy of your current photo identification (valid driver’s license)
• A notarized affidavit of work experience (if applicable)
• Proof of training (you must have successfully completed 600 curriculum hours in a cosmetology school or esthetician program)
• Proof of current licensure which can only be submitted by the state where your license originates from

Mail your completed and signed application along with the required documents to:

ND State Board of Cosmetology
P.O. Box 2177
1102 S. Washington Street
Suite 200
Bismarck, ND 58502-2177

The State Board will contact you to inform you if you qualify for licensure via reciprocity. If you do, you will also need to take the North Dakota Laws, Rules & Regulations test through PSI Services. The fee for this test is $60. Your license by reciprocity will have a fee of $105 in addition to the original licensing fee.


North Dakota State Board of Cosmetology Contact Information

North Dakota State Board of Cosmetology
1102 S. Washington Street
Suite 200
P.O. Box 2177
Bismarck, ND 58502-2177
Phone: 701-224-9800
Fax: 701-222-8756


North Dakota State Licensure Exam Locations

Below is a map showing the locations of the state licensure exams. The written and North Dakota state law exams are 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.

The practical exams are administered by the North Dakota State Board of Cosmetology. Be sure to contact the State Board by calling 701-224-9800 in order to confirm the test center’s current address and hours of operation before you arrive at the examination site.


Map of State Licensure Exam Locations in North Dakota

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