Becoming a licensed cosmetologist, esthiology, barber, massage therapist or hairstylist in Colorado requires three steps:

  1. Enroll in a program approved by the Office of Barber and Cosmetology Licensure.
  2. Complete the required clock hours for your program.
  3. Pass the state license exam for your program.

Once you’ve completed these steps you are officially licensed to practice in the state of Colorado! Sounds easy, right? There’s a lot that goes into each of these three steps, so we’ll break it down for you.

Download our full infographic to see at a glance how you can become a licensed beauty professional in Colorado!

Download Our Infographic

Man getting a beard shave

Choosing a Beauty School

Beauty school takes dedication and hard work, but when you attend the right school, it can be a great experience! Being successful after graduation requires sharp skills and hard work. You want to make sure you select a beauty school that provides both the program you want and the support you need to be successful after graduation. Make sure the schools you look at offer the required hours to be eligible for state licensure. Also look for ways that the school goes above and beyond for their students.

A good example is the Aveda Institute Denver. Not only do we help our students meet the program hour requirements to take the licensing exam, we also provide extracurricular opportunities to help give our students get an edge on their careers.

woman getting her hair washed in a salon sink

We take some of our students to Fashion Week in London and New York, the North American Hairstyling Awards competition, and even study abroad experiences in places like India! We also provide financial aid to those who qualify. Look for things like this in your beauty school program to get the most out of your educational experience!

Complete Your Program

Depending on the program you’re interested in, you may need to fulfill different program hour requirements. The number of clock hours you need to fulfill can vary depending on the program you’re interested in, and also by state! Check to make sure the program you plan to attend can provide enough clock hours to meet the requirements of the state you want to work in. Here are the requirements for the licenses available in Colorado:

The licenses above are all of the ones available in Colorado, and Aveda Institute Denver offers courses for cosmetology, barbering, hairstyling, esthiology, and massage therapy.

woman getting eyelash extensions

You can look at your school’s program catalog to see a breakdown of how your program hours are distributed. The 1500 hours for cosmetology aren’t just hours you spend in the building, it’s the time you have to put towards advancing your professional skills, and your school will help with that along the way! You’ll need to meet your minimum number of clock hours, which are the total number of hours per week you spend attending class or other instructional activities that count towards completing the program.

The number of months it takes to finish one of these programs can vary. If you are on a full-time schedule, you can often finish certain programs in several months, while part-time programs can take a year or more depending on the requirements. Consult with an admissions representative to find a schedule that works best for your needs!

Take the Licensing Exam

The last step in your journey to become a licensed beauty professional is to sit for the licensing exam for your chosen program. Your school should help you prepare for the exam and help you with steps like scheduling a time and place. In Colorado, licensing exams are administered by PSI. You can visit PSI’s website for test prep, reference materials, and to register for an exam.

Woman studying with books at a table

Many people can feel anxious about taking standardized tests like this, so it’s important to find out how your beauty school can help you prepare for the exam. Inspire Greatness Aveda Institutes works closely with students to give them instruction and training to help them be prepared and can offer additional review or tutoring sessions!

If you pass the boards and once you have your license, you can work in your new career at nearly any salon or spa throughout the state!

Learn With Inspire Greatness Aveda Institutes

At Aveda Institute Denver, we know that education means much more than simply meeting state licensing requirements. We want our students to feel comfortable with taking the licensure exam, and we also want our students to become incredibly talented cosmetologists, esthiologists, and beauty specialists!

Contact us at our Denver location, or any of our locations in Phoenix, Tucson, or Provo to learn more about how you can build a career in beauty at Inspire Greatness Aveda Institutes!