How much does cosmetology school cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does cosmetology school cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does cosmetology school cost?

$5,000 – $20,000average tuition cost
$1,000 – $3,000cosmetology kit cost

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$5,000 – $20,000 average tuition cost

$1,000 – $3,000 cosmetology kit cost

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Jennifer Carlson
Written by
Jennifer Carlson
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Average cost of cosmetology school

Cosmetology school costs $5,000 to $20,000 on average for tuition, plus $1,000 to $3,000 for a cosmetology supply kit and $20 to $150 for licensing. The final cost depends on the school, location, course length, and whether you qualify for any scholarships or financial aid.

Average cost of cosmetology classes - Chart
Average cost of cosmetology classes - Chart
Average cost of cosmetology classes
National Average Cost $12,500
Minimum Cost $4,900
Maximum Cost $26,600
Average Range $5,000 to $20,000*

*Not including supplies or licensing

Get free estimates from cosmetology classes near you.

Cosmetology school cost factors

On top of tuition, you’ll have to pay for a cosmetology kit and licensing:

Cosmetology school cost factors
Factor Average total cost
Tuition $5,000 – $20,000
Cosmetology kit $1,000 – $3,000
Licensing $20 – $150
Total average cost $6,020 – $23,150

The following factors affect the total cost of cosmetology classes:

  • School – Smaller, lesser-known schools typically cost less than respected schools such as Aveda Institute, Paul Mitchell, or Sassoon Academy.

  • Payment method – You can pay for cosmetology school through a payment plan, family help, grants, loans, or scholarships.

  • Course length – Most cosmetology programs last 45 weeks, 1,500 hours, or 10 to 12 months. Most schools offer part-time evening courses as well, which last 18 to 24 months.

  • Location – Schools in urban areas or cities like New York and Los Angeles tend to cost more than cosmetology schools in smaller cities and towns.

  • Specialties – Some schools offer advanced or specialized courses that focus on specific aspects like hair, makeup, nails, or massage therapy.

  • Kit upgrade – Some cosmetology kits are generic and don’t cater to your specialization. If you want to focus on hair or makeup, for example, you may want to invest in better-quality scissors or makeup brushes.

Instructor demonstrating hair cutting and styling techniques to students
Instructor demonstrating hair cutting and styling techniques to students


The average cost of cosmetology school tuition is $5,000 to $20,000, depending on the school you choose to attend. Some schools also charge small application or enrollment fees like traditional universities. Ask an advisor about fees before enrolling or during a school tour.

Cosmetology kit

On top of tuition, your school will charge about $1,000 to $3,000 for a cosmetology kit that has all the necessary tools for you to learn skills hands-on. Most kits have tools like:

  • Mannequin heads

  • Cutting shears

  • An apron

  • A blow dryer

  • Hair clips

  • A curling iron

  • A straightening iron

  • Combs

  • Brushes

  • Capes

  • Perm rods

  • Textbooks or a tablet

Licensing fee

Once you finish the program, you’ll have to pass your state’s licensing requirements. This usually consists of both a written and practical exam to test your knowledge and skills, followed by a $20 to $150 licensing fee.

Instructor demonstrating cosmetics application to students
Instructor demonstrating cosmetics application to students

Cosmetology school FAQs

What is cosmetology school?

Cosmetology school, also called beauty school, is where people learn and practice the skills needed for cosmetology, esthetics, nails, hair removal, barbering, or massage therapy. Some schools refer to themselves as barbering schools if they’re known for that specialty.

Comprehensive programs typically cover hair styling, nail care, skin-care, and make-up.

What are the requirements for cosmetology schools?

Most cosmetology schools require applicants to have a high school diploma or GED and be at least 16 years old. Some also look for character traits like friendliness, creativity, dependability, and drive.

Can you get a degree from a cosmetology school?

Instead of a degree, cosmetology schools offer a pathway to state licensing. This enables students to enter the career field at an accelerated rate instead of studying for a four-year degree.

How long does cosmetology school take?

According to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools, most cosmetology programs take 45 weeks, 10 to 12 months, or 1,500 hours total. However, the total length will depend on the specific program you choose.

A nail tech course only takes 300 hours on average, while esthetics takes 650 hours. Cosmetology and barbering take 1,400 to 1,600 hours.

Finding and choosing a cosmetology school

Before enrolling in cosmetology classes near you, follow these steps:

  • Choose an experienced, accredited school.

  • Ask how many years of experience the instructors have.

  • Read reviews on Lessons and Google.

  • Compare 3+ tuition rates from different schools.

  • Ask friends, family, or local professionals for recommendations.

  • Make sure you enroll on time for your desired semester, if applicable.

  • Ask what financial aid options are available.

Questions to ask cosmetology schools

Ask these questions when deciding which cosmetology school to attend:

  • How much experience do your instructors have?

  • What equipment comes in your cosmetology kits?

  • Can I see a list of required courses?

  • What financial aid or scholarships do you offer?

  • What are your enrollment requirements?

  • When is the enrollment deadline?

  • Can you help me choose classes that will fit my schedule?

  • How long will the course take? Are there any accelerated options?