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Online Education developed by the most experienced and trusted team in the industry.


Cosmetologist Licensing & Exam Prep

If you wish to make a living in Illinois doing hair, nails, or skincare, you must first obtain a license. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) is the body responsible for regulating cosmetologist and barber licenses. The board requires cosmetologist to obtain formal training from an apprenticeship or school as well as pass two exams. See the sections below for more information on the requirements and how to apply.

Once it comes time to study for the exam, we have everything you need to get started. We offer online exam prep designed to help you pass your test the first time, and is backed with our no pass, no pay policy. All of our courses are available from almost any device, any time. We hope that you will make RocketCert your home to help you obtain your Illinois Cosmetology License.

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    Exam Prep
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Individual studying for the Illinois Cosmetology Exam online with RocketCert
Scope of work

What type of work can be done with this license?

Licensed Cosmetologist in Illinois
  • Cosmetology License

    The practice of cosmetology encompasses various beautifying treatments, such as hair styling, facial hair grooming, nail care, skin treatments, makeup application, hair removal, and more. It excludes electrology services. Nail technology falls within cosmetology, limited to nail and skin care. Cosmetologists cannot affect the living layers of the skin or provide medical advice. Cosmetics vendors can demonstrate products without a license.


What are the requirements to getting a license?

Requirements IconIllinois Cosmetology License Requirements
  • Must be at least 16 years of age
  • Is beyond the age of compulsory school attendance or has received a certificate of graduation from a school providing secondary education, or the recognized equivalent of that certificate
  • Complete a department approved 1,500 hour training program extending over a period of at least 8 months and no more than 7 years
    • A school of cosmetology may, at its discretion, accept up to 1,000 hours of barber school training at a recognized barber school toward the 1,500 hour program requirement of cosmetology
    • Time spent in such study under the laws of another state or territory of the United States or of a foreign country or province shall be credited toward the period of study required
  • Pass the written cosmetology exam (no practical exam is required)

How do I obtain a license?

To apply for your license, contact the Illinois State Board of Barbering & Cosmetology at 1-800-952-5210 or visit their website.

The state of Illinois has reciprocity agreements for equivalent licenses with most state boards. To obtain your license via reciprocity, you must submit a reciprocity application, pay all fees, and have proof of your license sent to the Illinois Board of Barbering and Cosmetology by your current licensing board.

With RocketCert, our education is written by a combination of professional educators and industry experts. Our exam prep is guaranteed to help you pass the exam, and is backed with our no pass, no pay policy. We pride ourselves on providing industry leading customer service. Also, if you find a better original price on any online course that we offer, we will beat it by 10%.

Licensed cosmetologist performing skin care work.
Licensed cosmetologist coloring hair.
Cool picture of a salon / spa
Cosmetology School or Apprenticeship

The first step towards obtaining your cosmetology license is to complete either an apprenticeship program or to attend a cosmetology school. Once you have completed one of these programs, you will be ready to apply for the exam.

Submit your application

Be sure to attach copies of all the necessary documents such as your diploma, transcript or GED; government ID; social security card. Once your application is approved, you can schedule your exam on continentaltesting.net or by calling 800-359-1313.

Pass the State Exams

Preparing to pass the State exam is a critical part of the licensing process. Failing the exam can result in substantial delays before you are able to work under your license. We offer industry leading exam prep and all of the references at an unbeatable price.


Which exam do I need to take?

The Illinois State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology only requires applicants to pass one exam.

To schedule your exam, visit continentaltesting.net or call 800-359-1313.

It’s the exam! Illinois 011 – Licensed Cosmetologist Exam

  • Passing Score: 75% correct
  • Time: 90 minutes

Topics & Weight:

  • Salon Safety and Sanitation (32%)
  • Analyze & Treat Scalp, Hair, Skin & Nails (11%)
  • Cut & Style Hair (13%)
  • Waving & Relaxing (13%)
  • Hair Coloring & Lightening (13%)
  • Nail Services (9%)
  • Skin Services (9%)
Exam Prep, & Books

How do I pass the exam?

The Illinois cosmetology exam is based on the following references:

Milady Standard Cosmetology

See Details

Salon Fundamentals

See Details

Pivot Point Fundamentals: Cosmetology

See Details

About Us

Why should I choose RocketCert?

At RocketCert, we strive to be the best (while having fun in the process). This means having not only the best quality of education, but also industry leading technology. Best yet, we are here for you 7 days a week. Have a question or comment? Give us a call or contact us to send us a message. Ready to begin? Select from the training below and start immediately. Of course, you can resume later!


Why pay for something knowing your time with it is limited? At RocketCert, we believe in offering lifetime access to your training, even though it will not be needed.


Our education is written industry experts. We believe in helping you with your career, and that help begins with offering best in class education.


We are here for you. Have a question? Need support? Our team is available 7 days a week for technical support. We pride ourselves in taking care of you.


Our training is available 24/7, and you can start and stop as needed. With our mobile ready courses, you can take from nearly any device at any location.