How to get your cosmetology instructor license: School graduate

Licensing requirements

  • To get your instructor license, you must:
    • Graduate from a school approved and licensed by the Department of Licensing with the minimum required 500 classroom hours.
    • Have a current cosmetology, barber, manicure and/or esthetics license in Washington state.
    • Pass the state-approved written and performance examinations.
  • After you get your license, you must post it at your work station.

How to get your instructor license

  1. Get a Washington cosmetology, barber, manicure and/or esthetics license.
  2. Go to to schedule your exam and pay your exam fee.
    • You must schedule exams online. Walk-ins aren’t admitted to exams, and the testing centers can’t schedule you.
  3. After you pass the exams, apply for your license and pay the fee online at

For more details, see the NIC Exam Preparation Guide for instructors.

If you have a license in another state

If you apply for a Washington state license, it won’t affect your license in another state. To learn how to get a Washington license if you have a valid license in another state, see How to get your instructor license: Out-of-state license.

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