Cosmetology Instructor


A person who desires a license to instruct in a school and is licensed as a cosmetologist, aesthetician, manicurist or natural hair stylist may be issued a license to teach. An instructor may only practice or teach the discipline in which he or she is licensed.

To maintain an active instructor's license, an instructor shall every two (2) years submit to the board satisfactory proof that the instructor has attended a board-approved instructor training program in cosmetology, manicuring, aesthetics or natural hair styling for a minimum of sixteen (16) hours. Persons obtaining an initial instructor's license shall attend a board-approved instructor training program after receiving licensure.


  • High school graduate, evidenced by a certificate or diploma or possess a general equivalency diploma (GED(R));
  • A valid cosmetologist, manicurist, aesthetician or natural hair stylist license issued by the board; and
  • Proof of completion and passage of a board-approved course in instructor training of at least three hundred (300) hours within a period of six (6) months as an instructor trainee or has served as a junior instructor for a minimum of one (1) year.

Applicants who have completed the requisite 300 hours of education in Tennessee are submitted for testing by the school where they completed the hours. State exams consist of a Theory and a Practical exam provided by PSI (the testing vendor for the State). Review candidate bulletin prior to scheduling exam.


Examination Fees: $140
Original License: $80
Renewal: $70
Late Fee: $25
Replacement or Correction of License: $25
Reciprocity: $100
License Certification: $50
Student Certification: $25
Name Change $10



Any licensee from another state or U.S. territory must complete an application for reciprocity. Only reciprocal applicants who meet the minimum Tennessee requirements for licensure will be considered.

Reciprocity Instructions


Those needing reinstatement of Tennessee Cosmetology Instructor Licensure expired for three (3) or more years, or who failed to take continued education, need to complete the application.

Grace Period

Grace period will only apply to the Cosmetologist or Barber portion of license. When renewing Instructor license must complete 16 hours of CE before renewal date.

If have not completed the CE, then will lose the instructor portion of license. Will have to take exams again for Instructor and then reapply for the Instructor portion of license. The board may grant up to one (1) additional year for submission of proof of sixteen (16) hours continuing education for show of good causes (illness, death, other hardship or emergency).