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How Long Does Cosmetology School Take? April 10, 2024

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In the vibrant world of beauty and aesthetics, aspiring cosmetologists find themselves embarking on a journey of learning, skill development, and self-discovery. However, for many prospective students, one burning question persists: How long does cosmetology school take?

The answer to this inquiry isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. The duration of cosmetology school varies depending on several factors, including program structure, state requirements, and individual learning pace. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the intricacies of cosmetology education, shedding light on the typical timelines of becoming a cosmetologist. 

Understanding Our Cosmetology School Programs

We offer two comprehensive programs designed to equip students with the skills, knowledge, and hands-on experience needed to thrive in the dynamic field of cosmetology: Cosmetology and Master Cosmetology.

Cosmetology Program:


  • Basic curriculum covering 30 chapters approved by the California State Board of Cosmetology.
  • Preparation for the state board exam.
  • Hands-on experience with clients to refine skills and techniques.
  • Comprehensive training in the 10 Steps of Service for delivering exceptional customer experiences.
  • Mentorship and coaching to support personal and professional growth.
  • Entrepreneurial skills development to prepare students for success in salon management or entrepreneurship.
  • Instruction in hair coloring, styling, and cutting techniques to create versatile looks and meet clients’ diverse needs.

Master Cosmetology Program:


  • Extends beyond the basic curriculum to include advanced techniques and specialized certifications.
  • Covers seven additional advanced haircutting techniques to expand students’ repertoire and creativity.
  • Advanced color training, including techniques such as Balayage and Mermaid, to master the art of hair coloring and achieve stunning results.
  • Certification in hair extensions, providing students with the skills to offer this popular service and meet clients’ desires for length and volume.
  • Training in lash extensions to enhance students’ expertise in eye beautification and meet the growing demand for eyelash enhancement services.
  • Certification in Brazilian Blowout, a popular smoothing treatment, to provide clients with sleek, frizz-free hair.
  • Additional certifications in brow lamination and tinting to offer comprehensive brow services and enhance clients’ facial features.
  • Business and sales certification to equip students with the knowledge and skills to excel in salon management, marketing, and client relations.

Program Duration at TSPA San Jose

Our Master Cosmetology program boasts an immersive 1500-hour training experience, meticulously designed to refine skills, deepen knowledge, and nurture creativity within the vibrant realm of beauty and aesthetics. Conversely, our Cosmetology program offers a comprehensive 1000-hour training regimen, focusing on foundational principles and practical skills essential for aspiring cosmetologists. Whether you opt for full-time or part-time study, the duration of your attendance varies accordingly. Full-time students can swiftly complete the course in as little as nine months, while part-time study allows for a more flexible pace. 

Additionally, the program you choose—Master Cosmetology or Cosmetology—impacts the duration and depth of your training, with each offering tailored curricula to suit diverse career aspirations and learning objectives.

Minimum Hour Requirements

Cosmetologists have to be licensed in every state. California requires 1,000 school hours for licensing as a cosmetologist. This was reduced in 2022. You cannot take the state examination until you have completed all of your hours, at which point you can take the written examination and get your license. You cannot transfer school hours to apprenticeship or vice versa.

However, some other states require 1,500 hours of training. Because of this, we recommend our Master Cosmetologist course if you think it likely that you will want to transfer to another state before getting your license. California does have reciprocity, meaning that if you have a license in another state, you can transfer it to California. This is not, however, necessarily the case for other states. Taking the Master Cosmetologist course helps ensure that you have all the hours you need as well as adding vital skills, especially if your goal is to open your own salon.

You will typically have to wait about six weeks to schedule your exam after your application is approved. Exams are scheduled at PSI locations throughout the state. You will get your license and be able to start work as soon as you pass the exam. Some employers will be willing to wait, but many students have a better chance finding work after they have their license in hand.

Again, you can’t even schedule the exam until you have the required school hours. We give you a head start by allowing you to work under supervision in our student salon and build the experience you need so that when you do have your license you can hit the ground running and get a job right away.

Ready To Get Started?

The duration of cosmetology school can vary depending on a multitude of factors, including program type, state requirements, individual commitment, and school schedule. Ultimately, cosmetology school is not just about meeting minimum training hours or completing a prescribed curriculum; it’s about embracing the journey of growth, discovery, and mastery in the art and science of beauty. By investing time, effort, and passion into your education, you’ll not only acquire the skills needed for a successful career but also lay the foundation for a lifelong pursuit of excellence in the dynamic world of cosmetology.

If you’re ready to get started, don’t hesitate to contact us to find out more about our programs, get detailed information about our curriculum, and find out about *financial aid possibilities.

*financial aid is only available to those who qualify

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(TSPA) in San Jose (TSPA) in San Jose
(TSPA) in San Jose
For Admissions, call: 669-215-4477
For Salon Services, call: 408-579-9111
For Financial Aid, call: 669-215-4476
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