Frequently Asked Questions - Esthetics

Frequently asked questions about Esthetics License.
Frequently Asked Questions - Esthetics


What are the requirements to obtain a license for Esthetics?

If you are at least 17 years old, you may apply for an Esthetics license based on:


  1.  New York State Education and Examinations (eligible for temporary license)

You must complete a 600-hour approved course of study and pass both the New York State written and practical examinations to get a license to operate in New York state. As proof of successful completion of schooling the Affirmation of New York State Approved Schooling section of the esthetics application must be completed by your school director.

Effective June 17, 2020, all operator applicants qualifying based  on the completion of NYS education must complete a 1- hour course on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Awareness. Visit this page to complete the course before submitting your application.

After your application is reviewed and accepted, you will receive information that explains the exam process in detail.

  1. Education Outside of New York State (eligible for temporary license) The Department of State may waive the New York State schooling requirement if you can document an equivalent level of schooling from another state or country. You must submit all three of the following documents:
    1. a school certificate;
    2. a school transcript listing subjects and hours completed;
    3. a current, original Certification of Licensure from your state board or, if not licensed, a current Certification from your state's board verifying the hours claimed.

      After your application is reviewed and accepted, you will also be required to pass both the New York State written and practical examinations to obtain an Esthetics license in this state. You will receive information that explains the exam process in detail.
  2. Experience: 5 Years Outside of New York State
    Any individual having five years of legal experience in an occupation equivalent to Esthetics may apply for a New York State license by submitting satisfactory evidence of education and experience.

    Within the United States experience:
    1. An original certification from the licensing agency you were previously licensed with. 
    2. Two experience statements filled out by former employers, co-workers, clients, that can claim your experience in the state for at least five years.  These experience statements must include EXACT  dates (month and year of start of service and month and year of end of service), location(City, State, shop name), and specific services that you performed.             
    3. Copy of tax returns which indicate Esthetics as occupation

      Outside of the United States experience:
      Evidence may include but is not limited to:

1) Official certification from the licensing authority in your country or verification from the Consulate that a license is not required to practice this occupation in your country.

2) Detailed letters from employer(s) in your country specifying EXACT dates of employment, location and specific services that you performed.

3) Detailed letters from your client(s), or coworker(s), in your country specifying EXACT dates of service, location and specific services you performed.

4) Copy of passport which indicates Esthetics as occupation, drivers license, workbook with Esthetics experience, or any photo identification.

5) Copies of course curricula and diplomas/certificates for education completed in your country.

6) Copy of tax returns which indicate Esthetics as occupation.

After your application is reviewed and accepted, you may obtain a Esthetics license in New York State without examination or further education.

(4) Endorsement An applicant who holds an Esthetics license in another jurisdiction may obtain an Esthetics license in New York through endorsement without examination or further education. Refer to our website for an Esthetics endorsement list to determine if you qualify for licensure based on endorsement. An applicant must submit an original certification from the jurisdiction where s/he holds an equivalent license.

(5) Previous New York State Licensure An individual who fails to file an application and fee for renewal within five years of the expiration date cited on the individual’s license shall be ineligible for such license until he/she passes a written exam. Proof of previous licensure may be required.

What are the fees, terms of licensure?

What forms of payment does the Department of State accept?

You may pay by check or money order made payable to the Department of State or by American Express, MasterCard or Visa using a credit card authorization form. DO NOT SEND CASH. Application fees are nonrefundable. A $20 fee will be charged for any check returned by your bank.

What does the practice of Esthetics cover?

The practice of Esthetics means providing services for a fee or any other consideration to enhance the appearance of the face, neck, arms, legs, or shoulders of a human being by the use of compounds or procedures including makeup, eyelashes, depilatories, tonics, lotions, waxes, or sanding and tweezing. They may be performed by manual, mechanical, chemical or electrical means and instruments, but shall not include the practice of electrology.

Who must apply for an Esthetics license?

Any person practicing Esthetics is required by law to have an Esthetics license. An Esthetics license will not permit you to operate a business; a separate business application must be completed and a separate business license obtained.

Do I need a physical to be licensed?

Yes. You need to be examined by a physician, physician's assistant or nurse practitioner to apply for a license in Esthetics. The physician, physician's assistant or nurse practitioner must complete and date the Health Certification section of the application. You must submit your application within 30 days after the health certification is signed and dated.

Is there reciprocity?

No.  However we do hold endorsement agreements with other states.  Please click here to obtain the current list of endorsement agreements held with other states.