What is cosmetology license reciprocity?

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Typically, when you earn your cosmetology license, you are only eligible to work in the state in which you are licensed. However, if you want to work in other states, you may have heard of cosmetology license reciprocity. Reciprocity is one way to work in a state other than your state you have licensure in without having to go through the educational requirements of the new state.

Although reciprocity allows you to work in a state with your license from another state, it  is not always available. To figure out if you are eligible for license reciprocity, you have to contact the Board of Cosmetology  in the state where you want to work. Some state boards may provide a list  of states that it accepts licenses from on its website. If a list is not readily available, you will need to contact the Board of Cosmetology directly to find out if reciprocity is an option.

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Do I need work experience to be eligible for reciprocity?

In addition to needing an active license from your state of licensure, some states will require you have completed a certain number of work experience hours before they award reciprocity. At minimum, you need an active cosmetology license from your state. At most, you need five or more years of cosmetology experience in your current state. Checking the requirements for the state you hope to work in can save you time and an application fee if you do not qualify.

In most cases, reciprocity is more likely to be an option when the education curriculum and licensure requirements are similar in your state of licensure and the state that you want to work in. If your state’s licensure requirements are much more relaxed than the requirements of the state you want to work in, reciprocity is less likely to be accepted. However, if your state of licensure has much more rigid requirements, reciprocity is more likely to be an option for you.

If you meet reciprocity requirements and you are ready to proceed, you can fill out the required application from the Board of Cosmetology in the state where you plan to work. You may also have to submit a copy of your licensure or certification from your current Board of Cosmetology. In many states, you also have to pay an application fee. If an examination is required, the Board of Cosmetology can tell you when your exam is and what you need to bring. After completing the application process, you should get a notice from the Board of Cosmetology that tells you if you can work in their state.

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