The education requirements to become licensed as a beautician are a high school diploma or GED, completion of a cosmetology program and passing a state-mandated exam. Each state has a specific number of training hours a beautician needs to complete, with the national average between 1500 to 2100 hours.
Cosmetology courses are offered through vocational schools and community colleges. Programs offer hands-on training with hair, nails and other beauty practices. Students either go through a comprehensive program that instructs them on all aspects of the beauty industry or pick a specialty, such as makeup, on which to focus. For beauticians that want to open up a salon, the Houston Chronicle recommends taking business management courses.
How long it takes to complete a cosmetology program depends on the required training hours and whether the student is enrolled part time or full time. Full cosmetology programs involve the most amount of time but can be completed within two years. However, speciality programs may be completed in as little as 6 months. After completing all the training hours required by the state, a beautician can take the state exam to become licensed to practice. Continuing education courses are available, and these may help beauticians keep up with new beauty trends.