Cosmetology and Esthetics

Professions & Occupations

What would you like to do?

What you need to know


You must hold a current Nebraska license to practice in Nebraska.

Nebraska license types:

  • A cosmetologist works with hair, skin, and nails.
  • A cosmetology instructor teaches in a cosmetology school.
  • An esthetician works with the skin (top layer only).
  • An esthetic instructor teaches esthetics in a school of cosmetology or school of esthetics.
  • A temporary license may be issued to a graduate of a Nebraska cosmetology or esthetics school who is waiting to take the national exam. The temporary licensee must work under a supervisor.

You do NOT need a Nebraska license to do:

  • Airbrush tanning
  • Apply makeup
  • Pierce earlobes 
  • Manicure or pedicure the natural nail
  • Braid natural hair
  • Threading to remove hair
  • Sale of cosmetics or beauty/nail products


Please read the application instructions carefully. They provide more information on the requirements to obtain a license.



To reinstate from either inactive or expired status, you must:

  • Meet the continuing education requirement - eight hours within the prior 24 months
  • Submit a complete reinstatement application and renewal/reinstatement fees as shown on the reinstatement application. Hours taken to reinstate your license can also be used to renew your license at the end of that renewal period, so you are not required to earn additional hours for renewal.

Reinstatement Applications

Salons and schools cannot reinstate a license that has expired. Submission and approval of a new complete application is required before the business may operate.

Renewal Requirements & Continuing Education

Renewal dates and number of CE hours:

12/31 of even years
Eight hours

Cosmetology Instructor
Instructors must complete at least four hours of teaching methodology classes. Eight hours may be obtained through these hours.
12/31 of even years
Eight hours 

Cosmetology Salon
9/30 of odd years
no CE hours

Cosmetology School
12/31 of odd years
no CE hours

9/30 of even years
Eight hours 

Esthetic Instructor
Instructors must complete at least four hours of teaching methodology classes. All eight hours may be obtained through these hours.
9/30 of even years
Eight hours

Online Jurisprudence Examination

Nebraska offers a free, 50-question, open book online examination relating to cosmetology and esthetic practice. The exam counts for two hours of continuing education. Click here for the examination.

Review materials:

Requesting Continuing Education Program Approval

The Board no longer reviews and approves continuing education programs. To renew, a licensee must have completed at least eight hours of continuing education; four hours must be learning how to perform the skills or services of your profession. 

Salon & School Applications, Requirements & Fees



Please see the statutes and regulations for details on requirements for licensing

All services (cosmetology, nail, and esthetic) can be provided under the same establishment license; a separate license is not required for each type of service. Massage therapy services can also be provided under a cosmetology salon license without obtaining a separate establishment license.



Office of Behavioral Health & Consumer Services
Department of Health & Human Services/Public Health/Licensure Unit
Phone Number
(402) 471-2117
Fax Number
(402) 742-1106
Mailing & Physical Addresses

DHHS Licensure Unit

Attn: Cosmetology
PO Box 94986
Lincoln NE 68509-4986


Nebraska State Office Building
301 Centennial Mall South
14th & M Streets, 3rd Floor

Lincoln NE 68508

Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Closed on federal holidays.