Illinois Cosmetology Schools with Training Program Overviews

Illinois has nearly 100 schools that offer cosmetology programs. Learn about the degree and certificate programs, tuition info and program options for ten of the largest schools to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

Currently, there are 96 schools that offer cosmetology training in the state. This article features brief overviews of the ten largest public and private non-profit institutions that have cosmetology certificate and degree programs designed to prepare students for the state licensing exam. Programs often lead to the award of a certificate or an associate's degree; degree-seeking students will additionally need to complete general education requirements. Programs concentrate on the hands-on development of skills and often include practicum or work experience requirements.

A table comparing school program info and tuition follows the overviews of the ten largest schools in Illinois to offer cosmetology programs.

Carl Sandburg College

Galesburg's Carl Sandburg College offers a cosmetology program that results in a certificate. This program utilizes training materials, such as DVDs, slides and filmstrips, to teach cosmetology concepts and techniques, like hair cutting, styling and coloring. Admission requirements include satisfactory placement exam scores or completion of prerequisite coursework.

College of DuPage

The College of DuPage offers a cosmetology program at the school's Naperville and Addison locations. Completing this program leads to a certificate or an associate degree. The associate program includes 18 credits of general education courses, while the certificate program only focuses on core cosmetology classes. Students can complete the certificate program in two years. Courses are offered most days of the week in the evening.

Highland Community College

Freeport's Highland Community College offers a cosmetology certificate program that can be completed in 14 months, provided students enroll in an 8-week summer term. The program covers cosmetology fundamentals, such as salon operations, hair techniques, esthetics and nail technology. Students also receive practical experience through the school's salon. In addition, Highland Community College offers a cosmetology instructor training program that prepares students for instructor licensing, along with a nail technician certificate program.

Illinois Eastern Community Colleges - Olney Central College

Situated in Olney, this public college has cosmetology and cosmetology instructor programs. The 1,500-hour cosmetology program covers topics such as cosmetic chemistry, hair coloring, hairstyling, manicuring, facials, shampoos, scalp massage, financial management and ethics. Cosmetology courses include both lecture and laboratory components. The cosmetology teacher program also requires 1,500 hours and includes courses in cosmetology instruction, business and educational psychology. Both programs require students to attend classes for 40 hours each week.

John A. Logan College

John A. Logan College is located in Carterville and has associate and certificate programs in cosmetology, as well as semester-long cosmetology instructor certificate program. The 63-credit associate program takes two years to finish and includes general education coursework. The 39-credit certificate program shares the same cosmetology curriculum as the degree program.

Kaskaskia College

Located in Centralia, Kaskaskia College has a cosmetology certificate program, along with nail technician and cosmetology instructor certificate programs. The cosmetology program takes 11 months to complete and offers daytime courses on a full-time basis. Students complete 50 credit hours, including coursework in salon business practices and beauty techniques, to qualify for the state licensing exam.

The college has an on-campus salon that provides services performed by supervised cosmetology students. Admission requirements for both the cosmetology and cosmetology instructor programs include placement exams and high school transcripts; the instructor program also requires candidates to be licensed cosmetologists.

Lake Land College

Mattoon's Lake Land College has certificate programs in cosmetology, cosmetology instruction and esthetics/skin care. The college also features a full-service salon that offers beauty services, like manicures, pedicures, hair coloring and waxing; this gives students the opportunity to work with actual clients in a professional salon environment. The cosmetology and esthetics programs are offered on select weekdays during daytime hours.

Rend Lake College

Rend Lake College is located in Ina and offers cosmetology associates degrees, certificates, and instructor programs, along with standalone professional development courses. Certificate programs take around one year to complete and result in a certificate. The cosmetology program includes hands-on training and can be completed during evening hours. Professional development courses are open to licensed cosmetologists seeking to fulfill continuing education requirements for licensure; topics include men's haircutting techniques and advanced coloring.

Shawnee Community College

Located in Ullin, Shawnee Community College has cosmetology and cosmetology instructor programs that award certificates. The traditional 1-year cosmetology program requires completion of 36 credit hours, while the instructor program takes 24 credit hours to finish. Aspiring cosmetology students need to be high school graduates and take a placement exam prior to enrollment.

Southeastern Illinois College

Southeastern Illinois College is based in Harrisburg and has cosmetology and cosmetology teacher certificate programs. The final semester of the cosmetology program includes an internship opportunity. The college also offers a cosmetology refresher continuing education course. In addition, student technicians have the opportunity to practice skills on actual customers at the school's cosmetology and nail tech clinics.

Career Requirements

To work as a cosmetologist in Illinois, individuals need a state license. Licenses are issued and regulated through the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Aspiring cosmetologists need to complete a 1,500-hour training program from an approved school and successfully pass the licensing exam to obtain state licensure.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Cosmetology Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)
Carl Sandburg College 2-year, public; fringe rural* Cosmetology Certificate $4,250 (in-district); $6,014 (in-state); $7,078 (out-of-state)*
College of DuPage 2-year, public; large suburb* Cosmetology Certificate,
Associate in Applied Science in Cosmetology
$5,275 (in-district); $10,885 (in-state); $12,985 (out-of-state)*
Highland Community College 2-year, public; distant town* Cosmetology Certificate,
Nail Technician Certificate,
Teacher Training
$3,423 (in-district); $5,199 (in-state); $5,415 (out-of-state)*
Illinois Eastern Community Colleges - Olney Central College 2-year, public; remote town* Cosmetology Certificate,
Cosmetology Teacher Certificate
$3,146 (in-district); $9,079 (in-state); $11,070 (out-of-state)*
John A. Logan College 2-year, public; small suburb* Cosmetology Certificate,
Associate in Applied Science in Cosmetology,
Cosmetology Instructor Certificate
$3,270 (in-district); $10,752 (in-state); $12,002 (out-of-state)*
Kaskaskia College 2-year, public; fringe rural* Cosmetology Career and Technical Certificate,
Nail Technology Certificate,
Cosmetology Teaching Career and Technical Certificate
$4,192 (in-district); $7,456 (in-state); $13,152 (out-of-state)*
Lake Land College 2-year, public; distant town* Cosmetology Certificate,
Esthetics/Skin Care Certificate,
Cosmetology Teacher Certificate
$3,459 (in-district); $7,282 (in-state); $13,084 (out-of-state)*
Rend Lake College 2-year, public; distant rural* Cosmetology Associates Degree,
Cosmetology Certificate,
Cosmetology Teacher Certificate
$3,000 (in-district); $4,605 (in-state); $4,650 (out-of-state)*
Shawnee Community College 2-year, public; distant rural* Cosmetology Certificate,
Cosmetology Instructor Training Certificate
$3,264 (in-district); $5,344 (in-state); $5,408 (out-of-state)*
Southeastern Illinois College 2-year, public; distant rural* Cosmetology Certificate,
Cosmetology Teacher Certificate
$3,120 (in-district); $4,800 (in-state); $5,040 (out-of-state)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

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