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Beauty Schools in New York with Course Descriptions

Research beauty and cosmetology programs in New York, which currently has roughly 50 colleges offering programs. Read an overview of degree programs, tuition info and program options for four of the largest public or private not-for-profit schools and decide which program is right for you.

Essential Information

Beauty schools in New York offer programs that train people to become cosmetologists, estheticians, nail specialists, or waxing specialists. There are different programs for each specialty. Cosmetology students must each complete a 1000-hour training program, esthetician students have to each finish a 600-hour program, nail specialist students a 250-hour program, and waxing specialist students a 75-hour coursework program. Training includes classroom lectures and hands-on learning. There are about 48 schools that offer beauty programs in New York, but only four of these are public or private not-for-profit schools.

Career Requirements

The New York Board of Cosmetology requires that aspiring beauty professionals complete their required training programs prior to taking licensure examinations. The licensing exams for cosmetologists, estheticians, and nail specialists include written and practical components, whereas waxing specialists only take a written exam. Beauty professionals must be at least 17 years of age before being granted licensure. All of the programs discussed below prepare graduates to take the respective state licensing exams.


Career School of New York

Staten Island's Career School of New York offers a 1,000-hour cosmetology training program. Students learn about hair straightening, coloring, analysis and styling, as well as makeup application, manicuring and skincare. In addition to the technical aspects of cosmetology, students learn about salon management, sanitation and tool sterilization. This program is available in a daytime, 29-week format or an evening, 50-week format. Alternatively, students can complete an esthetics program. In this 600-hour program, students learn about facial treatments, the structure and function of the skin and chemistry as it applies to cosmetics. Students also learn about electricity, machines and cosmetics, bacteriology and superfluous hair.

  • Programs Offered: Cosmetology Program,
    Esthetics Program
  • Tuition (2013): $10,345 (cosmetology program);
    $3,685 (esthetics program)*
  • School Type & Setting: < 2-year, private not-for-profit; large city

Erie 1 Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES)

Students at West Seneca's Erie 1 BOCES campus can complete a 2-year program of study in cosmetology that includes work experiences in the school's customer care clinic and internships. Students are trained in cosmetic services, such as ethnic permanent waxing, hair coloring, hair color correction and facial techniques. Students also learn about salon operation, sales and marketing before compiling a professional portfolio in their final term. Erie 1 BOCES helps students complete the 1,000 hours of education required to obtain a cosmetology license in New York. The school offers cosmetology programs to both high school students and adults.

For adults, Erie also offers a class in waxing to help students learn about hair removal from the face and body, as well as an esthetics program. The esthetics program is only offered full-time and includes study of basic skin care techniques. High school students can complete a spa specialty program to prepare for careers as estheticians and nail specialists. The spa specialty program includes study of hand, arm and foot massage techniques; gel nails and polish; client consultation; skin structure and function; and use of professional facial machines. Spa specialty students also gain experience through clinicals and internships.

  • Programs Offered: Technical Endorsement in Cosmetology,
    Technical Endorsement in Spa Specialties,
    Waxing Course
  • Tuition (2013): $7,000 (adult cosmetology program);
    $4,500 (esthetics program);
    $400 (waxing course) *
  • School Type & Setting: < 2-year, public; large suburb

Onondaga - Cortland - Madison (OCM) BOCES

At Liverpool -based OCM BOCES, students can explore careers in cosmetology through a 2-year program. The program includes theoretical instruction and opportunities for practical skill building through regular class sessions and hands-on clinics. In this cosmetology program, students learn about skin, hair and nail care. The 1,000-hour curriculum includes courses in hair reconstruction, styling, coloring, shaping and massage. Students can choose to customize their educational experience through elective courses in nail specialties or esthetics.

  • Program Offered: Cosmetology Program
  • Tuition & Supplies (2013): $8,000*
  • School Type & Setting: < 2-year, public; rural fringe

Western Suffolk BOCES

Wilson Tech, the technical and career division of the Western Suffolk BOCES in Northport, offers a variety of career enhancement courses and programs for adults and high school students. In the cosmetology program, students learn about safety and health, hair styling, nail care, skin care, hair analysis and hair coloring. High school students can earn a Technical Diploma in Cosmetology. In this 2-year program, students learn about light therapy, scalp and hair care, salon business practices and manicures and pedicures, among other topics. After graduating from high school, students who have not yet completed 1,000 hours would need to continue in the adult cosmetology program before they can become licensed; however, those who completed two years or 1,000 hours of the program are qualified to sit for the New York State Cosmetology Licensure Exam. The school also offers a 600-hour esthetics program for adults, which covers topics like makeup and color theory, bacteriology, sterilization, facial procedures and hair removal.

  • Programs Offered: Cosmetology Program,
    Esthetics Program,
    Technical Diploma in Cosmetology
  • Tuition (2013-2014): $9,515 (cosmetology program);
    $8,475 (esthetics program)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; large suburb

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Beauty Programs Offered Program Tuition
Career School of New York < 2-year, private not-for-profit; large city Cosmetology Program,
Esthetics Program
$10,345 (cosmetology program, 2013); $3,685 (esthetics program, 2013)*
Erie 1 BOCES < 2-year, public; large suburb Technical Endorsement in Cosmetology,
Technical Endorsement in Spa Specialties,
Waxing Course
$7,000 (adult cosmetology program, 2013); $4,500 (esthetics program, 2013); $400 (waxing course, 2013)*
Onondaga - Cortland - Madison BOCES < 2-year, public; rural fringe Cosmetology Program $8,000 (includes tuition, books, supplies and kit; 2013)*
Western Suffolk BOCES 2-year, public; large suburb Cosmetology Program,
Esthetics Program,
Technical Diploma in Cosmetology
$9,515 (cosmetology program, 2013); $8,475 (esthetics program, 2014)*

Source: *Schools' websites.

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