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How to Become a Licensed Esthetician in Tennessee

Since 1925, Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry has aired on Friday and Saturday nights. It is the longest continuously running live radio program in the world. You too can find long-term success and enjoyment in the state of Tenessee as a licensed esthetician. These beauty professionals are in high demand in Tennessee, working in places such as

  • Resorts
  • Hotels
  • Spas
  • Salons
  • Medical offices
  • Film industry
  • Music industry
  • Politicians.

If you are interested in a career as a licensed esthetician in the state of Tennessee, keep reading this article to find out what you need to do to make it happen.

Esthetician License Requirements and Training Schools in Tennessee

Step 1: Complete a State Approved Esthetics Program

The Tennessee Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners oversees estheticians in the state. In order to become a licensed esthetician in Tenessee, you must be at least 16 years of age and complete a 750-hour esthetician training program at a state-approved school.

Your 750 hours of esthetics training must follow these guidelines set forth by the Tennessee State Board:

General (150 hours)

  • Sterilization
  • Sanitation
  • Bacteriology
  • Professional Ethics
  • Salesmanship
  • State Law

Chemical (150 hours)

  • Skin Conditions
  • Disorders
  • Nutrition
  • Aging Factors
  • Product Ingredients
  • Waxing
  • Lash and Brow Tinting

Physical (450 hours)

  • Massage Movements and Manipulation
  • Masks and Packs
  • Facial Treatments with Machines
  • Skin Analysis and Consultation
  • Application of all Products
  • Color Psychology
  • Makeup and Corrective Makeup

Upon successful completion of your esthetician training, your school will electronically notify PSI Services, the company contracted with the state to administer the esthetician licensing exams.

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: Schedule Your Licensing Exams

Once you graduate from esthetician school, you must pass the licensing exams within three (3) years of the date of your graduation. Once you pass both the written (theory) exam and the practical exam, you must apply for your esthetician license within six (6) months. Otherwise, you will risk having to take both exams all over again and having to pay the re-examination fees.

Once PSI Services has given you approval to sit for the exams, you will receive further instructions in an email. You will need to create an account on the PSI website, pay a $70 fee for each exam and schedule your testing dates online or by phone. The fee to retake each exam is also $70.


Registering and Scheduling Your Exams

Once you have received email notification from PSI giving you approval to sit for the exams, it is your responsibility to set up an appointment to take your exams. 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 “Tennessee” from the Jurisdiction drop down menu (you may need to scroll down the menu).
  3. Select “TN Cosmetology” from the Select Account drop down menu.
  4. Click the “TN Aesthetician – 1030” link in the Classification menu (also available in Spanish and 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.


Step 3: Take and Pass the Written and Practical Esthetician Examinations

Both the written and practical esthetics exams are administered by PSI Services. PSI has 9 different test centers scattered across Tennessee, located in the cities listed below.

  • Chattanooga
  • Jackson
  • Johnson City
  • Knoxville
  • Memphis
  • Nashville

For your convenience, we’ve mapped out each exam location here.


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

Make arrangements to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled testing time. This will give you enough time to sign in and complete the identification verification procedure.

You will need to make sure you bring the following items to your exams:

In addition to the items listed above, you will need to bring the following to the practical exam:

  • A live model (models must show their own identification)
  • Proper attire, including pants (no jeans), close-toed shoes, your school uniform or smock
  • Your supply kit (see page 8 of the Candidate Information Bulletin)

Remember, you are required to bring a live model to perform esthetic services on during the practical exam. Mannequin heads are not allowed. Models who are under the age of 18 are required to bring a signed parental consent form with them to the examination site.


The Written Esthetics Exam

You will have 90 minutes to complete 75 multiple-choice questions on the written exam.

The examination outline is as follows:

I. Sanitation, Disinfection, and Safety 20% (15 questions)

  • Cleaning and Disinfecting of Implements and Equipment
  • Cleaning and Disinfecting of Work Environment
  • Determining Client Allergies
  • Sanitary Procedures and Pathogens

II. Client Consultation and Analysis 10% (8 questions)

  • Communication with Client
  • Evaluation of Skin
  • Human Physiology

III. Basic Facial Treatments 20% (15 questions)

  • Facial Massage
  • Extraction
  • Steam Facials
  • Masks
  • Products
  • Exfoliation

IV. Advanced Facial Treatments 20% (15 questions)

  • Chemical and Enzyme Peels
  • High-Frequency Machine
  • Other Electrical Skin Care Devices (galvanic currents, vacuuming, brushing)

V. Hair Removal 10% (7 questions)

  • Shaping Eyebrows
  • Waxing
  • Depilatories
  • Tweezing

VI. Facial Makeup 10% (7 questions)

  • Cosmetics
  • Eyelashes
  • Pigment Inhibitors

VII. Licensing 10% (8 questions)

  • Meeting Licensure Requirements/Licensed Duties
  • Renewal
  • Board Responsibilities and Disciplinary Actions
  • Displaying the License
  • Salon Owner and Manager Responsibilities
  • Change of Address

You must score at least 70% in order to pass the written exam.


The Practical Esthetics Exam

You are allotted 2 hours and 5 minutes to complete this hands-on exam.

Practical component weights are as follows:

Pre-Exam Set Up and Disinfection

  • Safety Criteria (8%)

Skin Cleansing

  • Procedure Criteria (12%)
  • Safety Criteria (7%)

Face Steaming

  • Procedure Criteria (6%)
  • Safety Criteria (5%)

Facial Treatment

  • Procedure Criteria (14%)
  • Safety Criteria (7%)

Face Massaging

  • Procedure Criteria (6%)

Mask and Moisturizing

  • Procedure Criteria (4%)
  • Safety Criteria (7%)

Eyebrow Arch Using Tweezers

  • Procedure Criteria (5%)

Eyebrow Arch Using Mock Cold Wax

  • Procedure Criteria (10%)
  • Safety Criteria (7%)

End of Exam Disinfection

  • Safety Criteria (4%)

You will need to score 70% or higher in order to pass the practical exam.


The Tennessee Law Exam

In addition to the practical and written (theory) exams, some candidates will be required to take the Tennessee Law Exam.

You will be required to take this exam if you:

  • Have a license that has been expired for at least three years and you want to reactivate it
  • Are applying for licensure by reciprocity
  • If you are over 65 years of age and want to have your retired license reactivated

This short exam contains 25 questions. You are given 40 minutes to take the exam.

There are five questions on sanitation, safety, and disinfection as well as 20 questions about the following topics:

  • Licensing requirements and renewals
  • Responsibilities of the Board
  • Displaying a License
  • Responsibilities of a Salon Owner/Manager
  • Change of Address

You need to score at least 70% in order to pass the Tennessee Law Exam. Be sure to review the laws and rules materials before taking the exam.


Step 4: Renew Your TN Esthetician License Every Two Years

Your Tennessee esthetician license will expire every two years. At that point, you will need to pay a $50 fee and submit a renewal application online using the TDCI Online Licensing System.

No continuing education is required for esthetician licensing renewals in the state of Tennessee.


Esthetician License Reciprocity in Tennessee

If you have a current esthetician  license in another state, you may be able to obtain a Tennessee license by reciprocity. The Tennessee Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners has issued the following reciprocity requirements:

  • Completion of 750 hours of in an esthetician school


  • Proof of five years of work experience as an esthetician immediately prior to applying for your license

If you meet either of the above requirements, you may apply for a license by completing the following steps:

  1. Complete the Tennessee Esthetician Reciprocity Application
  2. Get your application notarized by a Notary Public
  3. Submit a photocopy of your esthetician school diploma
  4. Submit a photocopy of your driver’s license
  5. Attach a color 2″ x 2″ passport-type photograph
  6. Pay the non-refundable $50 application fee (check or money order)
  7. Obtain a License Certification from the State Board where your current license is held

Make your check or money order payable to the “State Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners”.

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

State Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners
500 James Robertson Pkwy
Nashville, TN 37243

Once the State Board has approved your reciprocity application, you will receive your license in the mail.


Tennessee State Board of Cosmetology Contact Information

Tenessee Department of Commerce and Insurance
Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners
500 James Robertson Pkwy
Nashville, TN 37243
Phone: (615) 741-3449


Tennessee Written and Practical Exam Locations

Below is a map showing the locations of the written and practical 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 and Practical Exam Locations in Tennessee

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