Cosmetology in Iowa City? Peek Into the Journey

So you want to be a cosmetologist? You want to journey into a world of beauty and hair and nails and everything in between? No matter if you have held this desire for years, or if it is a new passion that took you by surprise, gaining your license is one of the first steps to becoming a cosmetologist in Iowa.

Luckily for the budding stylist locked inside of you, that journey is easier than you think. With the right school, supportive educators, and the in-depth curriculum that cosmetology schools offer, you could build the skills you need for the career you want!

Here at The Salon Professional Academy(TSPA), Iowa City we strive to create just that atmosphere and education system. We are passionate about assisting our students to succeed in reaching their dreams, and the first step to dancing among the stars is understanding what awaits you.

Here are the education and licensing requirements for Cosmetologists in Iowa.

From school courses, to technical skills, to testing and licensing, we want you to understand what the journey of a cosmetology student in Iowa looks like to help you make the most of your education and experience.

Education Requirements

Woman teaching cosmetology to studentUnlike many other states, Iowa has a wide array of beauty principles that are required to be taught in cosmetology programs. Everything from nails, to hair, to skin is required, which opens up a wide array of career possibilities! Teaching so many different branches of beauty helps you, as a student, make the most of your education investment.

Iowa has an hour requirement of 2100 practical and technical work. This means that the student must complete 2100 hours in both practical classroom work and in the Student Salon Training Area working with clients.

Some of the courses that are taught in Iowa, and included in the cosmetology program at TSPA Iowa City are:

  1. Hair and Scalp Treatments
  2. Hair Coloring
  3. Hair Cutting and Blow Out Styling
  4. Chemical Waving and Relaxing
  5. Hair Removal
  6. Facial Treatments
  7. Nail Care
  8. Natural and Acrylic Nail Treatments
  9. Makeup Application

Learning the technical skills is just the beginning of becoming a talented cosmetologist, however. There is a greater depth of knowledge that you should develop to help you not only prepare for your future, but understand what is required of you in this field.

While much of this is required by the state of Iowa for you to sit for the state board, at The Salon Professional Academy, Iowa City, we strive to include a greater depth of knowledge in things like business skills and client growth.

Our education includes the following courses to help develop those skills:

  1. Iowa Law
  2. Personal Development
  3. Safety and Sanitation
  4. Business and Career Management
  5. Client Relations

State Testing

Woman being tested in hair skillsIn Iowa, all cosmetology applicants must sit for the National-Interstate Council Cosmetology Exam (NIC exam). Commonly known as “the state boards”, this tests the student on many areas of both principle and skill so as to asses that all professionals entering the field are competent and ready for a career.

Some of the skills that must be properly detailed on your exam include:

  1. Set up & Sanitation
  2. Haircutting and Styling
  3. Chemical Waving and Coloring
  4. Thermal Curling and Drying


Successful woman in salonOnce you have completed your cosmetology education and passed the state board with the required score you are ready to apply for licensure. This simple process includes an application and submission of details of your testing and education.

If you are transferring your license from another state, Iowa requires proof of education completion as well as 12 months of work over the past two years in order to be considered.

Once you have submitted your application and been granted your license you are ready to begin your work! The next step to achieving your dream is here!

Are you ready to find your stars?

At TSPA Iowa City we are ready to help you to do just that. Schedule a visit today and visit our facility, learn more about our program, our educators, and the future that could be years. We are dedicated to your success, and to the passion inside of you – just waiting to get out.