New York – Esthetician

New York Division of Licensing Services Esthetician exams: Free practice test, and everything you need to know

Fashion-forward New Yorkers understand that if they want to look good, the first thing they need is flawless skin.

Luckily, New York is home to some of the best salons in the world.

And that means that there’s plenty of opportunities for New York-based Estheticians to make it big.

In fact, from luxury retreats to buzzing metropolitan super-salons, your career options in this state are vast.

But before you can really make a start on your new career, you’ll need an Esthetician license. And that means you need to pass the New York Division of Licencing Services exams.

Now, don’t worry if the thought of scheduling exams fills you with dread. On this page, you’ll find everything you need to know about scheduling and preparing for your exam, answers to all the most common questions, and a free practice test to check you’re prepared!

Go straight to the practice test

Table of Contents:

The process of registering for (and passing!) your New York Division of Licencing Services Esthetician exams

Congratulations! You completed all 600 hours of Esthetician school.

Now you’re an expert at facials, and your muscles are bulging from long hours practicing your massage techniques. All that’s left to do is to pass your written and practical exams and get your license.

Easy, right?

Well, not according to the students we speak to every day.

You see, even though you know you’ll be a great Esthetician, the process of scheduling (and passing!) your exams can feel overwhelming…

But, don’t worry: we’ll walk you through the process step by step. Starting with…

Step 1: Check you’re eligible to take the New York Division of Licencing Services Esthetician exams

According to the ny.gov website, Estheticians in New York are licensed to offer:

 “Services to enhance the appearance of the face, neck, arms, legs, and shoulders of a human being by the use of compounds or procedures including makeup, eyelashes, depilatories, tonics, lotions, waxes, sanding and tweezing, whether performed by manual, mechanical, chemical or electrical means and instruments but shall not include the practice of electrology.”

But in order to offer these highly specialist services, new Estheticians must pass two exams to prove their knowledge and ability.

And, in order to be eligible to sit these exams, you must:

  • Be at least 17 years old AND
  • Have completed a 600-hour approved Esthetician course AND
  • Have the Affirmation of New York State Approved Schooling section of the application completed by your school director

Or, if you have studied outside of New York State, you must:

  • Be at least 17 years old AND
  • Provide the following documentation:
    • A school certificate
    • A school transcript listing subjects and hours completed
    • A current, original Certification of Licensure from your state board or, if not licensed, a current certification from your state’s board verifying the hours claimed.

OK, so you’ve checked that you’re eligible. So, what’s next?

Step 2: Submit an Esthetician License application with the New York Division of Licensing Services.

In order to schedule your exams, you need to start your license application. And to do that, you’ll need to create an NY.gov account.

You can create your account here and a step by step guide for applying for your license can be found here.

The application fee for an Esthetician license is $40. However, in New York, you don’t need to wait until you’ve passed your exams to begin working on clients. If you opt to pay an additional $10 for a temporary license, you can get started as soon as you finish school!

Your temporary license is valid for 6 months, which gives you plenty of time to pass both your written and practical examinations.

But don’t worry if it takes you longer than anticipated to pass your tests. As long as you have successfully completed one of your exams, you can apply for a second temporary license, giving you another 6 months in which you can continue working in a salon. (an additional fee of $10 will be required).

Step 3: Schedule your written exam

Once your application has been processed by the New York Division of Licensing Services, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for scheduling your exams.

It doesn’t matter which exam you choose to sit first, but for the sake of this guide, we’re going to assume you’re taking your written exam first.

So, to book your written exam, you’ll need to:

  1. Log into your NY.gov account
  2. Click on ‘Records’ (your status should read ‘Eligible for exam’ once you have received your confirmation email)
  3. Click the ‘Record Number’ link to open the record details
  4. Scroll down until you see ‘Examinations’ and click the triangle to select
  5. Select your exam in your language of choice ’
  6. Choose your exam slot and center then click ‘continue’
  7. Pay your exam fee of $15

After you have completed this process, you will receive a confirmation email. Keep this safe as you will need it later.

Once you have booked your exam, be sure to make a note of the time and date so that you don’t miss your slot!

Step 4: Arrive at the exam center on exam day

You should arrive at the test center in good time to allow time to sign in and familiarize yourself with the exam process.

Once there, you’ll need to sign in using a current ID from the following list:

  • driver’s license
  • state-issued identification (ex. non-driver ID)
  • IDNYC Card (NYC Identification Card)
  • military ID
  • United States Passport
  • Employment Authorization Card (issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services)
  • United States INS issued ID
  • Certificate of US citizenship
  • Foreign Passport
  • Brazilian, Mexican, Honduran, and Ecuadorian Consular ID

You will also need to show a copy of your examination confirmation, which should include all of your examination information, including your candidate number.

During your exam, you must ensure that all electronic devices are switched off (including your cell phone). And you must not bring any of the following items into the test with you:

  • Large bags
  • Books (including dictionaries)
  • Other reference material
  • Food or drink

Bear in mind that there are no lockers or storage facilities at the test centers, and if you are found to have any of these banned items with you during the exam, you will be asked to leave.

So, it’s best to travel light, and don’t be tempted to bring exam notes to read whilst you wait with you.

Step 5: Take the written exam

The written exam is comprised of multiple-choice questions covering all the topics you learned at Beauty School – so make sure you revise!

When it is time to begin your written test, a representative from the exam center will issue instructions and will show you to your seat.

You will have 2 ½  hours to complete your test, and your allotted time starts as soon as you’ve received your instructions.

Step 6: Get your results

Once your time is up, you will be informed of whether you have passed or failed your exam.

However, you will not be able to see your score straight away.

Instead, you will receive an email when your numerical score is available to view via your NY.gov account.

If you have failed your written examination, you’ll need to schedule a new test. But try not to be discouraged. With the help of our Esthetician Exam Preparation Package, you can ensure that you are prepared to try again.

Step 7: Schedule your practical exam

To schedule your practical exam, you will need to follow the instructions set out in Step 3 and pay another fee of $15.

Step 8: Arrive at the test center

On the day of your practical exam, you should arrive at the test center early. This will ensure you have enough time to sign in and familiarize yourself with the exam process.

Once there, you’ll need to sign in using a current ID from the following list:

  • driver’s license
  • state-issued identification (ex. non-driver ID)
  • IDNYC Card (NYC Identification Card)
  • military ID
  • United States Passport
  • Employment Authorization Card (issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services)
  • United States INS issued ID
  • Certificate of US citizenship
  • Foreign Passport
  • Brazilian, Mexican, Honduran, and Ecuadorian Consular ID

You will also need to show a copy of your examination confirmation, which should include all of your examination information, including your candidate number.

When you take the practical exam, you are expected to dress in professional wear. And according to the New York Division of Licensing Services, this means:

  • A clean uniform
  • lab coat
  • scrub top, or smock (with ¾ sleeves or less; no long sleeves)
  • A hair accessory to pull back hair if necessary
  • Closed-toe shoes
  • No hand or arm jewelry
  • No gum chewing, cell phone use, or other technological devices are permitted.
  • Hands washed with soap and water prior to your arrival.
  • And you must have clean, short nails; no polish

And you will also need to bring a model and supplies along to the test center with you.

It doesn’t matter whether your chosen model is male or female, but they must be:

  • Be over 16 years old
  • Agree to receive all exam procedures
  • Have clean skin, free of makeup and obvious disease or disorder
  • And not wear any jewelry (except a wedding ring)

A full list of the supplies you will need during your exam can be found here.

Step 9: Take your practical exam

The Esthetician practical examination consists of a series of different tasks, all designed to test your skills as an Esthetician.

The full exam will last for 2 hours, and the procedures you will be scored on are:

  • Preparation of Work Area & Model (15 minutes)
  • Removal of Superfluous Hair (15 minutes)
  • Facial (60 minutes)
  • Make-Up Application (20 minutes)
  • And Clean-Up (10 minutes)

A more detailed break down of what each task entails can be found here.

Step 10: Get your results

When your results are available to view online, you will receive an email from ny.gov. You need a score of at least 70% to pass your practical exam.

If you have failed your practical exam, you will need to schedule a re-sit. But if you’ve passed, you are ready to get your license.

Step 11: Get your New York Esthetician license!

Congratulations! Now you’ve passed both your Esthetician exams, it’s time to get your license.

And that means waiting for the post to arrive.

But don’t worry. As long as you paid for a temporary license, you don’t need to wait for your license to arrive before you treat clients.

So, go ahead and celebrate… You’ve earned it!

Don’t forget, the most common reason for not getting your license is failing your written exams: However, students who use our Esthetician Exam Preparation Package has a pass rate of 98.5%!

Frequently asked questions about the New York Esthetician exams

How do I apply for the New York Esthetician examinations?

Before you can take your exams, you’ll need to apply for your license. And to do that, you’ll create an NY.gov account.

You can create your account here and a step by step guide for applying for your license can be found here.

Once your application has been processed, you will receive an email instructing you on how to schedule your exams.

I can’t make the date/time of my examination. What should I do?

If you need to reschedule your examination, you must give at least 6 days’ notice. If you don’t give a minimum of 6 days’ notice, you may forfeit your exam fees.

How much does it cost to take the New York Esthetician exams?

  • Written Test – $15
  • Practical Test – $15

Where do the examinations take place?

The written exam may be taken at test centers that can be found in the following locations:

  • Albany
  • Binghamton
  • Buffalo
  • Franklin Square
  • Hauppauge
  • New York City
  • Newburgh
  • Rochester
  • Syracuse
  • Utica
  • Plattsburgh

The practical exam can be taken in:

  • Albany
  • Binghamton
  • Brooklyn
  • Cheektowaga
  • Fairport
  • Goshen
  • Manhattan
  • Oakdale
  • Olean
  • Plattsburgh
  • Sanborn
  • Syracuse
  • Watertown
  • Westbury
  • Yonkers

How many hours of practical work do I need to qualify for the New York Esthetician examinations?

You must complete 600 hours of training before taking your Esthetician examinations.

Can I complete my hours through an apprenticeship instead of attending an Esthetician school in New York?

No, you must complete your training hours through an approved Esthetician School.

Do I need a physical to get my New York Esthetician License?

Yes. You need to be examined by a physician, physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner to apply for your New York Esthetician License.

Can I take the New York Division of Licensing Services Esthetician examinations before I’ve completed the required hours?

No, you must complete all 600 hours before taking your Esthetician exams.

How long is the Esthetician written examination in New York?

You will have 2 ½ hours to complete your written examination.

What’s the format of the written examination?

Your written exam will be comprised of multiple-choice questions.

If you want to familiarize yourself with the testing format, try out our practice tests [here].

How long is the Esthetician practical examination in New York?

The Esthetician practical examination lasts for 2 hours.

What’s the format of the practical examination?

You will be given a set amount of time to demonstrate a range of different techniques you will need to work as a professional Esthetician.

A full breakdown of what the exam includes can be found here.

What scores do I need to pass both portions of the Esthetician exam in New York?

  • Written Exam – 70%
  • Practical Exam -70%

Check if you’re on track to pass your exam by taking our free esthetician practice test.

Can I take my Esthetician examinations again if I fail?

Yes, but you will need to pay for each resit separately ($15).

How long does Esthetician school take in New York?

The time it takes to complete an Esthetician school varies depending on your school. However, it is possible to graduate in 7-13 months.

Can I transfer my Esthetician license to New York?

New York does not have any reciprocity agreements with other states for Estheticians. However, if you meet certain requirements, you will be able to transfer your Esthetician license to New York through an application for endorsement (this means that you won’t need to retake any exams).

A list of the states eligible for endorsement can be found here.

How do I get my Esthetician license in New York?

To get your Esthetician license in New York, you need to graduate from Esthetician school having completed 600 hours of practical experience and pass two examinations (written and practical).

Once you have met all of these requirements, you will be issued with a license.

How do I renew my Esthetician license in New York?

You must renew your Esthetician license every 4 years.

3 months before your license renewal is due, you will receive an email that will lead you step-by-step through the application process for renewal.

How should I study for the New York Esthetician written exam?

The most common reason for not getting your license is failing your written exam. So, it’s a good idea to use our Esthetician Exam Preparation Package to learn everything you need to pass the written exam.

  • Our package includes a study guide that’s structured to help you learn the RIGHT information rather than ALL the information, which can help you cut your preparation/revision time in half.
  • Then use our simulated exams to practice for the written exam under test conditions. This part is really important: it’s the key to helping you succeed!

New York esthetician state board exam practice test

  • Get your results!

  • You must enter this in order to see which questions you got right and wrong