They often say variety is the spice of life. Well, the Midwest doesn’t get any spicer than the state of Illinois. In the heart of Illinois lies the city Chicago, and it is a broad base for ethnically diverse and vibrant cultures. As a diverse hub that supports almost 13 million people, by 2019 census, having a career in cosmetology can be lucrative if you know your way around it. Before we get into that, here are some interesting tidbits about The Prairie State:

  • Illinois was a pacesetter when it came to abolishing slavery. Back in 1865, they were the first state to accept the 13th amendment officially.
  • Chicago’s public library is one of the world’s largest public libraries, holding over 2 million books.
  • There’s never a shortage of pumpkins during Halloween, as the state produces the most considerable amount of pumpkins in the country.

Now that we’ve learned a little about the Lincoln state, let’s dive right into how you can make the most of having a career in cosmetology.

Cosmetology Licensure Renewal

Cosmetology in the state of Illinois is run by the Department of Financial & Professional Regulation. Hence, you have to renew your license with the body when it is close to its expiration date. To do that, you’ll have to log on to their website. However, the option to renew your license won’t appear until 2-3 months till its expiration time.   So you should be able to renew your license from around May, as cosmetology licenses expire on September 30th of even-numbered years.

Both cosmetologists and cosmetology instructors must provide proof that shows completion of a minimum of 14 and 24 continuing education hours, respectively. These hours must be during the two years of your valid license. That means you must take the course before your license expires as well.

Initial license fee: $45

Renewal fee (to be paid every two years before expiration): $50

Late renewal fee: $200

There’s no need to apply for reinstatement, should your license has expired. Unlike other states, you can pay the current renewal fee and the ones that have elapsed. However, the amount will not be higher than $200.

How to transfer my cosmetology license to Illinois from another State?

As highlighted in the fun facts I dropped earlier, there are perks to living and practicing cosmetology in Illinois. If you’ve decided to move your business over there, you’ll need to know the rules regarding reciprocity.

While the state makes provisions for transfer (known as applying for license by endorsement), you will only be allowed to bypass the State’s exam by meeting specific requirements. The first of which is showing proof that you have a current cosmetology license. Of course, it’s better for your home state sends this proof of certification. So if you’re thinking of moving permanently, you’ll want to sort things out from that end first. Although having a license is not enough, you must show proof that your state’s education standards match those of Illinois’s, which is 1500 hours. You’ll also need proof of work experience and a fee of $50 payable to the state of Illinois. Once you have all of this, you can present it to the Illinois Department of Federal and Professional Regulation.

How to change name/address on cosmetology license

For whatever reason you decide to change your name or address, the department overseeing cosmetology must be aware. Your records must reflect the most recent and up to date information about you.

I’ll start with a change of name, as the processes are similar but still different. You can’t change your name online, because you are required to submit a written document. This document must also include an official one such as a court order or divorce decree that reflects the change. Send these documents to the department with an added fee of $20.

On the other hand, changing your address is much simpler. If you already have an account on the department’s official website, you can log in to your profile and change it. Be aware that this will attract a fee of $150 and an additional $50 for inspection.

Requirements for cosmetology instructor’s license

Being a cosmetologist is great; being a cosmetologist instructor is better. Apart from practicing, you get to guide your students in their career paths. Your area of instruction could be through theoretical courses or clinic sessions. So what do you have to do to achieve that?

  • You should already have a current cosmetology license
  • Finish at least 500 hours of a teacher training course
  • Fill an application form indicating the method by which you would like to apply

This method can be either through examination, endorsement, acceptance, or restoration. I’ve taken the liberty of including the instructions here.

Cosmetology examination requirements

The next thing to get your license is to pass the exam. Illinois runs only a written exam, which is conducted by Continental Testing Services. The requirements are as follows:

  • Complete your training course of 1500 hours
  • Read the study guide
  • Fill and submit an application
  • Schedule your examination with PSI testing after CTS approves your application.

When you have passed, you can present your score with an application for licensure.

Cosmetology in Illinois can be hitch-free if you keep these processes at the back of your mind. To see how other states do it, check out more articles I’ve written here.