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Cosmetology apprenticeship program

Apprenticeship information

The Department of Labor and Industries oversees all apprenticeship programs for Washington State. For detailed information about apprenticeship programs, please visit Become an apprentice (Department of Labor and Industries).

Become an apprentice

The apprenticeship program is an alternative to attending a traditional cosmetology school. As an apprentice, you can get paid to earn hours in a licensed apprentice training salon. After completion of the required training, you will be referred for exams with our testing vendor. When you pass the written and practical exams for your profession, you may apply for a license.

You can search on the Department of Labor and Industries website for approved apprentice programs and their contact information. Contact the program directly to inquire if they are accepting applications

Apprenticeship type OJT hours RSI hours
Cosmetology 3,000 244
Hair design 2,000 144
Barber 2,000 144
Esthetics 2,000 144
Manicuring 2,000 144

The On the job training (OJT) hours must be completed in an approved salon or shop, under direct supervision of approved journey level trainers. The Related supplemental instruction (RSI) hours must be completed under supervision of a licensed instructor.

Become an apprentice training salon

To become approved as an apprentice program or registered training agent in Washington, you will need to contact the Department of Labor and Industries Apprenticeship Consultant for your region.

The best way to get started is by contacting the Department of Labor and Industries apprenticeship customer service line at 360.902.5320 and you will be referred to an apprenticeship consultant in your area. The apprenticeship consultant can help you:

  • Determine how a registered apprenticeship program could meet your needs
  • Complete your required documentation
  • Implement best practices for program administration
  • Work through the approval process

Once the Department of Labor and Industries begins the process, they will forward information to the Department of Licensing to verify licensure and trainer information. After being approved by both the Department of Labor and Industries and the Department of Licensing, an apprentice may begin earning hours and an account will be created with our testing vendor to record the hours.

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