Beauty Schools in Florida with Course and Program Summaries

Aug 01, 2019

Florida has more than 120 colleges that offer beauty programs. Learn about the programs, tuition info and program options for ten of the largest schools to make an informed education decision.

Essential Information

Combining theory with lab experience, Florida's beauty school programs share an emphasis on developing students' techniques in various cosmetic services, from hair and nails to make-up application and skincare. While the majority of Florida's beauty school certificate programs are in the broad field of cosmetology, many of the 2- and 4-year colleges also provide certificate programs in specialized areas, such as skincare and nails. It is important to note that a licensed cosmetologist would not need to earn additional qualifications in these specialty areas. Students may have flexible scheduling options and they could gain hands-on experience through internships. Programs are offered in:

  • Cosmetology
  • Nail Specialty
  • Facial Specialty
  • Advanced Esthetics

Career Requirements

To become registered as a nail specialist in the state of Florida, one must complete 240 hours of education and submit an application. Registration as a facial specialist requires 260 hours of education and an application. All of the nail and facial specialty programs discussed below meet these education requirements. Each of the ten Florida schools also provide cosmetology students with the 1,200 contact hours required to take the state's cosmetology licensing exam.


Eastern Florida State College

Eastern Florida State College, formerly Brevard Community College, is located in Cocoa and offers a Post-Secondary Adult Vocational Certificate in Cosmetology. Within this program, students learn techniques in styling, cutting, coloring, and highlighting hair; applying scalp treatments; and performing make-up, nail, and facial services.

Students may also opt to pursue a Post-Secondary Adult Vocational Certificate in Nails Specialty. This program's curriculum emphasizes manicure and pedicure services, nail artistry, and removing artificial nails. The school also offers a Post-Secondary Adult Vocational Certificate in Facial Specialty. Students in this program learn about aromatherapy facials, facial massage, waxing, and make-up application.

Chipola College

Marianna-based Chipola College offers a Workforce Development Certificate in Cosmetology. Along with training in hair, nail, and facial treatments, this program also familiarizes students with state and industry rules and fosters the development of safe, hygienic work practices. An emphasis is placed on the growth of students' leadership and communication skills when working with clients and prospective employers.

Daytona State College

Located in Daytona Beach, Daytona State College offers a Vocational Certificate in Cosmetology. This program features coursework that emphasizes training in cosmetic services as well as salon management and cosmetology law. This program offers flexibility to students with both day and evening classes available. Possible career opportunities for graduating students include hair styling, make-up artistry, nail technology, and skin care.

Florida Gateway College

Florida Gateway College is located in Lake City and offers an Occupational Certificate in Cosmetology. Throughout this program, students have the opportunity to learn about numerous hair treatments and services, including coloring and bleaching, styling, cutting, and scalp treatments. Additional courses in manicures and pedicures and esthetics and skin care are also available. Prior to graduation, students must complete a preparation course for the state board examination. This course provides an overview of previously covered material, highlighting services, salon management, and cosmetology law.

The college also offers an Occupational Certificate in Facial Specialty. In addition to analyzing facial anatomy and physiology, students in this program develop techniques in applying make-up and perform tinting on eyebrows and lashes. Students also have the opportunity to pursue an Occupational Certificate in Nail Specialty. Along with developing students' manicuring and pedicuring skills, this program emphasizes safety measures that are required within the industry.

Indian River State College

Fort Pierce-based Indian River State College offers a cosmetology certificate program. The program highlights the scientific aspects behind cosmetology with courses in the chemistry of haircoloring, chemistry of chemical processes of hair, and anatomy and physiology for cosmetology. Students gain hands-on experience through additional courses in hairstyling, haircutting, facials, and manicuring and pedicuring. As part of their certificate requirements, students must complete a final course that prepares them for the state board exam and includes instruction in job preparation and Florida law.

For those students interested in nail services, a cosmetology specialist certificate program in nails is also available. The first course in this program is designed to develop basic manicure and pedicure skills as well as educate students on safety and sanitation procedures and cosmetology laws. The second course focuses on training students in advanced nail techniques as well as state laws and employment in the industry. Students interested in skincare can pursue a certificate in facials, which features a course in esthetics.

Manatee Technical College

Located in Bradenton, Manatee Technical College offers a cosmetology program. This certificate program combines theory and hands-on experience to develop students' understandings of hair, nail, and skincare services. In addition to providing training in salon management and safety, the program teaches students how to perform various services, such as scalp and hair treatments, lash and brow tinting, hair removal, facials, make-up application, and hair coloring and lightening. Following the completion of this program, students have the option to earn a certificate in barbering through a shorter, 300-hour training program.

A facials specialty certificate is also offered by the institute. Students have the opportunity to develop cosmetic skills through clinical courses in facial cleansing and hair removal. Additional coursework highlights skin and hair disorders, massage, lash and brow tinting, salon management, and Florida law. Both evening and daytime programs are available. Facial skin care specialists who would like to expand their knowledge may enroll in the advanced esthetics program. This program includes courses in advanced skin care, business practices and facial treatments and includes an internship.

Students may also opt to pursue a nails specialty certificate. Offering both daytime and evening courses, this program emphasizes training in manicuring and pedicuring, nail art, artificial nails, nail disorders, and massage. Additional coursework focuses on salon management, Florida law, and safety.

Palm Beach State College

Palm Beach State College is located in Lake Worth and offers a Post-Secondary Adult Vocational Certificate in Cosmetology. Comprising ten courses, this program advances students' knowledge and training in cosmetic services, such as haircoloring, hairstyling and cutting, facials, manicuring, pedicuring, and nail extensions. Along with a salon management course, this degree program also features salon practice labs to further develop students' skills. Students may opt to take evening or daytime courses at the college's Lake Worth or Belle Glade campuses.

Pensacola State College

Located in Pensacola, Pensacola State College offers a Career and Technical Certificate in Cosmetology. In addition to various levels of design clinics, students must complete courses in haircutting, haircoloring, permanent waving and chemical relaxing, and specialty services. The program also includes a state board preparation course to help students review the skills and concepts needed to pass the state licensing exam.

For students with a particular interest in skin care, a Career and Technical Certificate in Facials Specialty is also offered by the college. This specialist program lasts for one semester and provides training for students seeking careers as estheticians. Along with educating students on business practices and state laws, this program provides courses in facials, skin care, make-up, and specialty services. Those who already work as facial skin care specialists can enroll in a Career and Technical Certificate in Advanced Esthetics program. This program builds upon the concepts learned in the facials specialty program and requires an internship as well as courses in advanced skin care and facial treatments.

Students with an interest in nail services may opt to pursue a Career and Technical Certificate in Nails Specialty. The program lasts one semester and only offers evening classes.

Sheridan Technical College

Located in Hollywood, Sheridan Technical College offers an Occupational Certificate in Cosmetology. In addition to focusing on state laws and sanitation, this program's curriculum emphasizes a variety of cosmetic services, including facials, shampoo and rinses, hair coloring, hair extensions, and nail services.

An Occupational Certificate in Facials Specialty/Esthetician Training is also offered by the center. Designed for students interested in careers in skin care, facial massage, or make-up artistry, this program's curriculum focuses on tweezing and waxing, eyebrow and lash tinting, basic make-up application, and machine and manual facials. An emphasis is also placed on hygiene, state laws, and entrepreneurship. This full-time program lasts for nine weeks.

South Florida State College

Avon Park-based South Florida State College offers an Occupational Certificate in Cosmetology. This program begins with students performing cosmetic services on mannequins and one another, then later advancing to working on local citizens and students outside the program. Course topics include hair design, manicuring, pedicuring, facials, nail extensions, and make-up application.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Beauty Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)*
Chipola College 4-year, primarily associate's, public; distant town Workforce Development Certificate in Cosmetology $3,120 (in-state)
$8,950 (out-of-state)
Daytona State College 4-year, primarily associate's, public; small city Vocational Certificate in Cosmetology $3,104 (in-state)
$11,993 (out-of-state)
Eastern Florida State College 2-year, public; large suburb Post-Secondary Adult Vocational Certificate in Cosmetology,
Post-Secondary Adult Vocational Certificate in Facial Specialty,
Post-Secondary Adult Vocational Certificate in Nails Specialty
$2,496 (in-state)
$9,739 (out-of-state)
Florida Gateway College 4-year, primarily associate's, public; distant town Occupational Certificate in Cosmetology,
Occupational Certificate in Facial Specialty,
Occupational Certificate in Nail Specialty
$3,100 (in-state)
$11,747 (out-of-state)
Indian River State College 4-year, primarily associate's, public; large suburb Certificate in Cosmetology,
Certificate in Cosmetology Specialist - Nails,
Certificate in Cosmetology Specialist - Facials
$2,764 (in-state)
$10,201 (out-of-state)
Manatee Technical College 2-year, public; large suburb Certificate in Cosmetology,
Certificate in Facials Specialty,
Certificate in Nails Specialty,
Certificate in Advanced Esthetics
$5,486
Palm Beach State College 4-year, primarily associate's, public; large suburb Post-Secondary Adult Vocational Certificate in Cosmetology $2,444 (in-state)
$8,732 (out-of-state)
Pensacola State College 4-year, primarily associate's, public; small city Career and Technical Certificate in Cosmetology,
Career and Technical Certificate in Facials Specialty,
Career and Technical Certificate in Nails Specialty,
Career and Technical Certificate in Advanced Esthetics
$2,704 (in-state)
$10,875 (out-of-state)
Sheridan Technical College 2-year, public; large suburb Occupational Certificate in Cosmetology,
Occupational Certificate in Facials Specialty/Esthetician Training
$3,961
South Florida State College 4-year, primarily associate's, public; distant town Occupational Certificate in Cosmetology $3,165 (in-state)
$11,859 (out-of-state)

Sources: *NCES College Navigator.

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