Apply for an Instructor or Specialty Instructor License

Current Cosmetology License

All applicants for an instructor license, or specialty instructor license must hold a current and active cosmetology operator license in good standing.

To apply for a specialty instructor license (e.g. esthetician, manicure, eyelash, etc.), you must hold a current and active esthetician, manicure, esthetician/manicure or eyelash extension license, respectively.


Instructor Qualification

There are three different methods in which you may qualify for an instructor license:

Method 1 – 750 Hours Coursework

Under this method, you must complete 750 hours of vocational coursework in methods of teaching from a licensed private beauty school or a vocational training program in a publicly financed postsecondary institution.

Method 2 – 500 Hours Coursework and One Year Experience

Under this method, you must have a combination of vocational coursework and relevant work experience:

  • Complete 500 hours of instruction in cosmetology in an approved training program, AND
  • One year of relevant experience:
    • Operator Instructor License – One year of experience as a licensed operator
    • Specialty Instructor License – One year of experience in the specialty applied for

Method 3 – College Education

Under this method, you must have a combination of academic coursework and relevant work experience:

  • You hold a degree in education from an accredited college or university, OR
  • You have completed 15 semester hours in education courses through an accredited college or university within the 10 years before the date of application

Additionally, you must have one year of verifiable and relevant work experience:

  • Operator Instructor License – One year of experience as a licensed operator
  • Specialty Instructor License – One year of experience in the specialty applied for

Examinations

You must pass written and practical licensing exams to obtain a Texas cosmetology instructor license.

After completing all qualification requirements, you will become eligible to take the written and practical exams. Our third-party vendor (PSI) will send you an email confirmation with instructions for scheduling an appointment to take the examination.

Please see the exam information page for complete details.


Application and Fee

Submit a completed application form along with the non-refundable fee of $60.

You must be at least 17 years old to apply.

Instructor licenses are valid for two years from the date of issue.

Method Online Application PDF Application Fee
License by 750 or 500 Hour Qualification Apply Online Apply by Mail $60
License by College Education Apply by Mail $60

 


Applicants with Criminal Convictions

If you have ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor (other than a minor traffic violation) or pleaded guilty or no contest (resulting in a deferred adjudication) to any in-state, out-of-state or federal criminal offense, you must provide a completed Criminal History Questionnaire (PDF) along with your application materials.

The department will conduct a criminal history background check on all persons who apply for a license. Criminal convictions are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Licenses may be denied based on the nature of the conviction and how long prior to the application the conviction occurred. Depending on your criminal history, a review can take from one to six weeks to complete.

Individuals may request TDLR review their criminal background before actually applying for a license. TDLR uses the same process for this pre-application evaluation as the process described below. See the Criminal History Evaluation Letter page for more information.

Please see the Guidelines for License Applicants with Criminal Convictions, which describe the process that TDLR uses to determine whether a criminal conviction renders an applicant an unsuitable candidate for the license, or whether a conviction warrants revocation or suspension of a license previously granted.