Becoming a Licensed Esthetician in Illinois

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All content in this blog is for informational purposes only. It is not medical or legal advice. Please consult with a lawyer or a medical professional.

With so much to see and do, Illinois is one of the cornerstones of the United States, which is why many people come from around to begin their careers in one of the major cities of this state. And one industry with tons of expected growth over the next few decades is cosmetic healthcare, where estheticians help patients and clients achieve their beauty goals.

So how do you become a licensed esthetician in Illinois? To become a licensed esthetician in Illinois, you first need to secure an Illinois esthetician license. Once you have your license, you are also required to have a minimum of 10 hours of continuing education necessary for the renewal of your license. 

Steps on How to Become an Esthetician in Illinois

To become an esthetician in Illinois, there are certain steps and procedures you must undergo as prescribed by the law and policies of the state, as well as examinations and training which will be elaborated on below.

1) Finish a State-Approved Esthetician Training Program

As the regulating body of estheticians in Illinois, the Illinois Board of Cosmetology requires an individual to finish an esthetician training program before obtaining an esthetician license. Those who want to become a licensed esthetician must first have a high school diploma or an equivalent and must not be younger than 16 years of age. 

Those who intend to have an esthetician license must complete a 750-hour esthetic training from a state-accredited esthetician school. The duration of the training should not be more than 4 years and not be less than 18 weeks. Esthetician programs focus on hands-on skills. This includes exfoliating, scrubs, facials, waxing, medical and chemical peels, enzyme treatments, injections, and makeup applications.

2) Prepare an Application for Examination and Licensure

In order to obtain an Illinois esthetician license, you can either apply through examination or by endorsement. Taking the examination is the common route to obtaining an Illinois license. 

There are three requirements in order to complete your application for examination and licensure. The first requirement is a fully filled out Illinois esthetician application for licensure and examination. The second requirement is the official school transcript from the esthetician school. The last requirement is the examination fee of $127. 

These requirements must be submitted to Continental Testing Services, either directly or online. The application documents will serve as the application for both the examination and licensure. 

If you already have an existing esthetician license issued by another state, you can also apply for an Illinois esthetician license through endorsement. The requirements include the following:

  • Fully filled-out application for a license by endorsement
  • Certification of licensure issued by the original licensing board
  • Verification of employment and experience
  • Official esthetician school transcript
  • A $45 application fee

You need to submit the aforementioned requirements to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

3) Pass the CTS National Exams

You will be able to schedule an examination once your application has been approved. It is your responsibility to schedule your Illinois licensing exams. The licensing exam that Illinois offers is the National Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology exam. 

The Continental Testing Services proctors the exams, which are administered and are available at Chicago and Springfield, Illinois testing centers. 

The licensing exams are divided into two parts – the written exam and the practical exam. The written exam is a ninety-minute exam that covers estheticians topics such as cells and microbiology, tissues and organs of the body, massage and manipulation, and different esthetician services. 

Meanwhile, the practical exam is a three-hour exam. The practical exam is designed to assess your skills in performing esthetician services. You will be asked to provide esthetician services to a mannequin. The esthetician services may include cleaning and steaming the face, massaging the face, facial mask and makeup, hair removal on eyebrows, and cleanup. 

After passing the licensure examination, you have one year to submit the remaining licensing fees and documents to the Board. You will also be required to submit the application for licensure and/or examination. You will receive your Illinois esthetician license once you complete the requirements. 

If you fail to achieve the following requirements within a year, you will be required to take the examination and submit the application and examination fees again. 

4) Jumpstart Your Career as an Esthetician in Illinois

After passing the CTS National Exams, you will now be able to jumpstart your esthetician career in Illinois. Once licensed, you will be qualified to apply in salons, medical offices, day spas, and wellness centers with jobs such as a professional skin care specialist and/or a make-up manufacturer representative. 

If you wanted to practice being an esthetician in a traditional setting, you can consider these top spas in Illinois: Body and Soul MedSpa, LLC in Woodridge, Earth Mama Esthetics in Plainfield, Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa in Algonquin, and Robert Gold Salon and Spa in Evanston. 

5) Continue your Education and Renew your License

To be able to continue to legally work as an esthetician in Illinois, you will need to complete your license renewal. This license renewal should happen before September 30th of every odd-numbered year. 

To renew, you must be able to complete no less than 10 hours of continuing education directly related to the esthetic topics and work, during the two previous years, according to Illinois law.

You should also keep track of the records of your continuing education including specific details such as dates, times, locations, courses, subjects and the number of hours received since the Board can conduct random audits and request these copies anytime. 

Notable Esthetician Programs in Illinois

If you have decided to pursue being an esthetician and are still undecided about which school to go to, you may check these state-accredited beauty schools and their respective locations that will surely provide you with the quality education and experience you need: 

  • A.B.C. School of Cosmetology and Nail Technology Inc. – Lake in the Hills
  • Cosmetology and Spa Academy ® – Crystal Lake & Schaumburg
  • G Skin & Beauty Institute – Chicago
  • International Training Academy – Schaumburg
  • Mr. John’s School of Cosmetology, Esthetics, & Nails – Decatur & Jacksonville
  • New Age Spa Institute – Des Plaines
  • The Paul Mitchell School – Tinley Park
  • Tricoci University of Beauty Culture – Bridgeview, Chicago, Elgin, Glendale Heights, Libertyville, Peoria, Rockford, Urbana
  • The University of Aesthetics & Cosmetology – Wicker Park & Downers Grove
  • University of Spa & Cosmetology Arts – Springfield

How Much Does Esthetician School Cost in Illinois?

Esthetician Schools may cost from a total of $9,000 up to around $15,000 which has an average of $10,994. This cost includes the tuition fees and kit costs needed for the program. These programs offer educational opportunities as well as scholarships to help you get through your esthetician career and education. 

How Long is Esthetician School in Illinois?

Some institutions offer 5-month programs, while some offer 6-month programs for the preliminary education needed. After obtaining your esthetician license, you are still expected to continue your education and further your experience to continue to legally practice being an esthetician and keep your license. 

Where Should I Get My Esthetician License in the City of Chicago, IL?

To start the process for your Illinois esthetician license, you may try to contact the Barber, Cosmetology, Esthetics, Hair Braiding, and Nail Technology Board of the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation. 

You may see below their address and contact information:

Illinois Dept. of Professional Regulation

Barber, Cosmetology, Esthetics, Hair Braiding, and Nail Technology Board

320 W. Washington Street

3rd floor

Springfield, IL 62786

Phone Number: 1-888-473-4858

Professional Licensing: 1-800-560-6420

Illinois Dept. of Professional Regulation

Barber, Cosmetology, Esthetics, Hair Braiding, and Nail Technology Board

320 W. Washington Street

3rd floor

Springfield, IL 62786

Phone Number: 1-888-473-4858

Professional Licensing: 1-800-560-6420


Illinois Dept. of Professional Regulation

Barber, Cosmetology, Esthetics, Hair Braiding, and Nail Technology Board

100 W. Randolph Street

9th floor

Chicago, IL 60601

3rd floor

Springfield, IL 62786

Phone Number: 1-888-473-4858

Professional Licensing: 1-800-560-6420

You may also send your email here.

How Hard To Obtain an Esthetician Job in IL: Insights on the Salary and Job Opportunities

It is projected that jobs will grow around 4% until 2026 and will generate more than 300 new jobs every year in the esthiology industry. This means bigger job markets and better chances of finding job offers for you. 

In terms of salary and wages, it can range from $8.85 – $27.09 for hourly wages and: $18,400 – $56,350 for an annual salary. 

Of course, if you have the capacity to relocate, looking for state areas with high-end spas and clinics is recommended. While most may choose Chicago, you may also look for opportunities in Springfield, Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Peoria, or Elgin where salaries at the top 10% can be up to almost $70,000. 

In the esthiology industry, experience can be a great factor in pursuing your career and for further job opportunities. Much in this business is advertised through word of mouth and building experience and reputation in your early years can help assure you of an established job and position in the industry.

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One who’s interested to be a licensed esthetician in Illinois must undergo several steps to achieve such a feat. These steps include finishing a state-approved esthetician training program, preparing an application for examination and licensure, passing the CTS National Exams, jumpstarting your career as an esthetician in Illinois, and continuing your education and renewing your License.

FACE Med Store offers quality products at an affordable price while striving to deliver excellent customer service. We aim to provide the high-quality medical supplies you need for your cosmetic and wellness practice at a very reasonable price, combined with comprehensive training modules to supplement your aesthetic needs. Contact us today to learn more about our products and training modules.

All content in this blog is for informational purposes only. It is not medical or legal advice. Please consult with lawyer or a medical professional.