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Esthetician License Requirements and Training Schools in Missouri

As an esthetician, you will get to learn the secrets to young, beautiful, and glowing skin. Missouri is a wonderful place to begin your esthetician career, since the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that Missouri is in the top three states in terms of highest concentration of esthetician jobs. The top cities for estheticians in Missouri are Saint Louis, Kansas City, and the state capitol, Jefferson City.

The Saint Louis and Kansas City areas are home to over half of all estheticians licensed in the state. The BLA even indicates that Jefferson City is the third highest paying metropolitan area for estheticians in the entire US. If you’re looking for a stable and rewarding career as a skin care specialist, Missouri is the place to be!

You will begin your career as an esthetician in Missouri by earning a license through the Missouri Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners. The Board also issues licenses to cosmetologists, barbers and manicurists, and estheticians who specialize in skin care.

For guidance on how to become a licensed esthetician in Missouri, follow these simple steps:

Apply for a Missouri Student Permit
Graduate from a 750-Hour Esthetician Training Program
Apply for Examination and a Temporary Permit
Pass Theoretical and Practical Licensing Exams
Start Your Esthetician Career and Renew your License Biannually



Step 1. Apply for a Missouri Student Permit

As long as you are at least seventeen (17) years old and have completed tenth (10th) grade, you may apply for a student permit! Before you start your esthetician training program, you will need to obtain this student license from the Missouri Board.

Enter Zip:

To apply for a student license, complete the following steps:

  • Submit a Student Enrollment Application
  • Submit copy of birth certificate
  • Submit proof of tenth (10th) grade education
  • Attach two (2) photographs
  • Pay $25.00 application fee

You will need to submit this information to the Missouri Board at the following address:

Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners
3605 Missouri Blvd., P.O. Box 1062
Jefferson City, MO 65102

Once you are issued the student license, you may start your fun and exciting esthetician training program!



Step 2. Graduate from a 750-Hour Esthetician Training Program

The Board requires that your esthetician school provide at least seven hundred and fifty (750) hours of training. The Board requires that you complete licensing courses in the following esthetician subject areas:

  • Facials, Cleansing, Toning, Massaging
  • Makeup Application
  • Hair Removal
  • Body Treatments, Aromatherapy, Wraps
  • Reflexology
  • Cosmetic Sciences, Structure, Condition, Disorder
  • Cosmetic Chemistry, Products, and Ingredients
  • Salon Management and Salesmanship
  • Sanitation and Sterilization Safety
  • Missouri State Law

If you cannot attend beauty school, the Missouri Board allows you to complete an esthetician apprenticeship instead. You will need to enroll in an apprenticeship program with a licensed esthetician. If you choose this route, the Missouri Board requires for you to complete at least fifteen hundred (1500) hours of esthetician apprenticeship training. You will need to be trained in the same esthetician services that you would by attending an esthetician school. However, you will need to meet the following training hour requirements:

  • Facials, Cleansing, Toning, Massaging (240 hours)
  • Makeup Application (200 hours)
  • Hair Removal (60 hours)
  • Body Treatments, Aromatherapy, Wraps (240 hours)
  • Reflexology (70 hours)
  • Cosmetic Sciences, Structure, Condition, Disorder (170 hours)
  • Cosmetic Chemistry, Products, and Ingredients (150 hours)
  • Salon Management and Salesmanship (110 hours)
  • Sanitation and Sterilization Safety (90 hours)
  • Missouri State Law (20 hours)
  • Lectures and Test Review (150 hours)

As an apprentice, you will need to submit both weekly and monthly training reports completed by your instructor updating the Missouri Board on your training status and hours completed.



Step 3. Apply for Examination and a Temporary Permit

Once you have completed your Missouri esthetician education, you can now apply for examination and a temporary permit! Applying for examination will enable you to take the Missouri licensing exams, and applying for the temporary permit will allow you to work while you’re waiting to take and pass those exams. To apply for the examination and permit, follow these simple steps:

  • Submit Missouri Application for Exam and Permit
  • Submit proof of high school education
  • Submit proof of Missouri esthetician education
  • Application fee
  • Copy of student license

If you are an out-of-state applicant, you will need to submit the following information:

Once your application has been received, the Board will notify you of your approval to sit for the licensing exams. You may submit all of your application material to the following mailing address:

Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners
3605 Missouri Boulevard (UPS and FED EX Only)
P.O. Box 1062 (Postal Service Only)
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Telephone: 866-762-9432



Step 4. Pass Theoretical and Practical Licensing Exams

Once you have been approved by the Missouri Board to take the licensing exams, you can register with the testing vendor, Professional Credential Services (PCS). The licensing exam includes both a written and practical exam. To register for these exams, complete the following steps:

Once you register and submit the exam fee, you will receive specific instructions on how to schedule each exam.

Practical Exam

For the practical exam, you will receive an admission notice through email, which verifies the date, time, and location of your exam at least ten business days prior to the test date. You will need to bring a kit and model to the practical exam. The Missouri Board requires you to be tested on the following esthetician services:

  • Set Up and Client protection
  • Cleansing and Steaming the Face
  • Massaging the Face
  • Manual Extraction on the Forehead
  • Hair Removal of the Eyebrows
  • Facial Mask
  • Facial Makeup

You may take the Missouri practical exam in any of the following Missouri cities:

  • Saint Louis (offered on the first Monday of each month)
  • Kansas City (offered on the second Monday of each month)
  • Jefferson City (offered on the third Monday of each month)
  • Springfield (offered on the fourth Monday of each month)

Theory Exam

Once you are approved to take the theory exam, you will receive an authorization to test letter in your email. This letter will have instructions on how to schedule the exam. The written exam will assess your knowledge on the following esthetician services:

  • Sanitation and Infection Control
  • Human Anatomy
  • Skin Histology
  • Skin Disorders and Conditions
  • Chemistry
  • Cosmetic Ingredients
  • Factors that Affect the Skin
  • Dermatological Terms
  • Skin Analysis
  • Exfoliation Methods
  • Electricity
  • Hair Removal

You may take the theory exam at any of the following Missouri exam locations:

  • Southeast Missouri State University
  • University of Missouri – Columbia
  • University of Missouri – Kansas city
  • Kirksville Area Technical Center – Kirksville
  • Mineral Area College – Park Hills
  • Missouri University of Science and Technology – Rolla
  • Eldentity Services – St. Peters
  • State Fair Community College – Sedalia
  • Penmac – Springfield
  • Sylvan Learning – Springfield

Once the Missouri Board receives your passing exam scores, the Board will issue you your esthetician license!



Step 5. Start Your Esthetician Career and Renew your License Biannually

Now that you have received your license from the Missouri Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners, you are able to legally work as an esthetician in Missouri. As an esthetician, you are qualified to work with skin care, skin-care products, make up products, as a waxing specialist, or in a dermatology office.

If you are looking to secure a job at one of the local salons or spas, you will want to check out downtown Saint Louis, Kansas City, and Jefferson City. Check out some of the best-rated salons and spas in the downtown Saint Louis area:

  • Salon St. Louis – Grand Blvd
  • Illusions Color Spa – Chestnut Park Plaza
  • Philip Johnson Salon and Spa – Laclede Ave
  • Sound Stone Massage Spa – Watson Plaza
  • Vitality Unlimited Spa – Moody Avenue

Your Missouri esthetician license will expire on September 30th of each odd numbered year.

Esthetician Salaries and Job Prospects in Missouri

When Missourians are looking for rest, relaxation, and maybe a little bit of glam, they head to their favorite spa or salon to get a quick fix from their trusted esthetician. Whether you decide to become a waxing specialist in Rock Hill, a lash stylist in Lees Summit or a skin therapist in St. Louis, you can make over $60k a year here. And the nearly 11% increase in demand for skincare specialists throughout the state means that existing and new businesses will continue to entice skilled workers by offering premium salaries and other incentives.

How Tips, Commissions, and Sales Skills Can Maximize Your Income

The most successful estheticians learn to become masters of the sale. Aside from offering top-rate skincare services, they begin to excel at selling products. They know just what treatments their clients need and don’t hesitate to make recommendations. Through self promotion and stellar customer service they essentially sell themselves too, which is key to developing a long list of loyal clients. Take this approach and you can earn far more than basic salary reports reveal through tips, commissions, and upsells, which can really rev up that base pay.

The range of base salaries and hourly wages for Missouri’s estheticians looks like this, with experience and location having the biggest influence on how much you can expect to earn:

Hourly Wage

  • Low-End: $8.66
  • Mid-Range: $12.56
  • High-End: $27.74

Annual Salary

  • Low-End: $18,000
  • Mid-Range: $26,130
  • High-End: $57,700

Estheticians interested in more independence tend to ditch hourly wage paying jobs and instead rent out space at an existing salon or spa. This arrangement lets you essentially be your own boss, allowing you to build a client base of your own and set your own appointments. It also provides the best jumping off point to the possibility of owning your own spa one day too.

Comparing Salaries in Missouri’s Major Cities

Not all estheticians have the freedom to relocate for a job. But workers that have this flexibility are in luck, because salary potential does differ depending on your location. Some of the highest paying jobs right now are found in Columbia where expert skincare specialists can bring in over $63,000 while those in Kansas City earn closer to $47,000 at the high-end:


  • Low-End: $25,290
  • Mid-Range: $32,010
  • High-End: $63,650

Kansas City

  • Low-End: $18,140
  • Mid-Range: $23,970
  • High-End: $46,940

2017 salary data provided by the U.S. Department of Labor-Sponsored resource CareerOneStop – https://www.careeronestop.org/ExploreCareers/Plan/salaries.aspx. State and MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) data includes estheticians at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries. Employment conditions in your area may vary.  

2016 job growth data provided by the U.S. Department of Labor-Sponsored resource Projections Central – https://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm.

All data accessed June 2019.


10 Notable Esthetician Programs in Missouri

Between Kansas City on one side and St. Louis on the other, Missouri schools cover the gamut of esthetics training techniques and styles. At an average cost of $10,367 for the schools that made our list, esthetics programs in the state are not cheap, but many of Missouri’s schools offer scholarships or take veteran’s benefits to help defray costs. No matter how students pay, the education they get in a Missouri esthetics program is above average. Most programs in the state last longer and go more in-depth than elsewhere in the nation.

Here you’ll find our pick for the top esthetics schools in Missouri that offer programs that meet the requirements for esthetician licensure.

Academy of Cosmetology and Esthetics Redken Premier School - Nevada


  • Tuition: $3,674
  • Kit Cost: Included in tuition
  • Program Length: 6 months

The Academy of Cosmetology and Esthetics believes in teaching not just cutting-edge techniques in esthetics, but also in providing students with the critical business building skills necessary to work independently or to help manage operations. Business skills training include scheduling, communication, and running a front desk. This produces well-rounded graduates who benefit from the school’s career services department for job placements. One hundred percent of students graduate on time from this program, an extraordinary achievement for the lowest cost esthetics course on our list.

Academy of Hair Design - Springfield


  • Tuition: $8,475
  • Kit Cost: $525
  • Program Length: 5 months

It is often the case that the best esthetics schools were founded by salon owners who were frustrated at the quality of education in job candidates they were trying to hire. AHD is no different—two local Springfield salon owners decided they could do it better. With a strong, practical business skills education combined with traditional esthetics training, AHD achieves a 78 percent job placement rate among graduates. A career assistance program gives that extra little boost to help candidates find the right fit.

The school has a below-average tuition rate and accepts VA benefits. AHD also takes community involvement and altruism to a new level through an affiliate program that is helping a beauty school in Rwanda offer free services to locals who have suffered through that country’s recent tragedies. All this comes with a tuition cost below the state average, making AHD a great value as well as the top school in the state!

Crave Beauty Academy - Wichita


  • Tuition: $9,700
  • Kit Cost: $1,760
  • Program Length: 5 months

Crave Beauty Academy is an affordable place to put a new face on your future. With tuition below the state average, students don’t have to break the bank to learn the latest in advance skin care treatment, microdermabrasion techniques, and micro-zone treatments. A clean, bright, well-organized salon space greets esthetics students when they show up each morning. The school provides business skills training over and above the state minimum requirements for licensing. Finally, VA benefits are accepted from qualified veterans.

Independence College of Cosmetology - Independence


  • Tuition: $13,950
  • Kit Cost: $1,445
  • Program Length: 11 months

As a locally-owned beauty school in its second generation still run by the same family that founded it, you might expect that Independence College has strong community ties, and you would be right! Students benefit from the active role the college plays in the local community. A career assistance program helps graduates locate positions after completing the esthetics course. The school accepts G.I. Bill benefits from qualified veterans.

Merrell University of Beauty Arts & Science - Jefferson City


  • Tuition: $11,790
  • Kit Cost: Included in tuition
  • Program Length: 9 months

Merrell provides a number of different scholarship opportunities for students hoping to attend their top-notch esthetics program. The Merrell University High School Scholarship is available to local high school graduates, while the A+ Recognition scholarship is available to any first year student completing the Missouri A+ program. The school also accepts VA benefits toward tuition. Graduates of Merrell’s esthetics program enjoy a 97 percent job placement rate.

Missouri College of Cosmetology - Springfield


  • Tuition: $9,100
  • Kit Cost: $1,050
  • Program Length: 7 months

MCC is another very affordable esthetics program in Missouri, and it shows in the very low levels of outstanding debt that students have at graduation. The graduation rate is high, too, with 77 percent completing the program on time. There is no question about the quality of training and education offered at MCC. A sleek, high-tech salon floor incorporates a digital screen at every workstation.

National Academy of Beauty Arts - St. Louis


  • Tuition: $11,700
  • Kit Cost: $800
  • Program Length: 5 months

NABA is another beauty school that believes in strong community involvement. Through the Cardinal Glennon toy drive they have donated over 40,000 books and toys for children. An annual summer food drive helps feed hungry local families. And the salon donates services to military veterans and first responders. The giving doesn’t only reach outside the school, either; generous scholarships are made available to deserving students. Job placement assistance is offered to all graduates. Finally, the school provides extra business instruction, helping students build a solid base for independent practice and eventual salon management or ownership positions.

Paul Mitchell School - Columbia


  • Tuition: $10,200
  • Kit Cost: $1,500
  • Program Length: 10 months

Paul Mitchell is a national chain that is better known for hair care and cosmetology services than esthetics, but the Columbia location has a surprisingly comprehensive skin care program as well. The tuition is below the state average, and a wide array of scholarships are available nationally. The school also maintains strong ties to the local community, participating in charity fundraising events through the FUNraiser campaign each year.

The Salon Professional Academy - St. Louis


  • Tuition: $12,097
  • Kit Cost: $1,098
  • Program Length: 6 months

TSPA students enjoy a high on-time completion rate, with 76 percent completing the program within the 6-month term. They leave with a solid understanding of the advanced science of skin care, knowledge of aromatherapy and phytotherapy techniques, and the usual array of body care and waxing techniques.

Skin Institute LLC - St. Louis


  • Tuition: $12,990
  • Kit Cost: $825
  • Program Length: 7 months

The Skin Institute specializes in advanced training and medical esthetics programs, providing well-trained professional estheticians ready to work in clinics and spas throughout the St. Louis area. One hundred percent of students graduate on time and a career services department helps to place 98 percent of them in positions in the field as soon as they pass the state licensing exams. The school offers scholarships to deserving students.

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