Examination

Individuals interested in becoming a Cosmetologist or cosmetology-related professional by examination will take a two part examination for licensure in South Carolina (theory and practical).

The examination is administered by Professional Credential Services and they can be reached at (888) 822-3272 or you may visit www.pcshq.com for more information and a candidate handbook.

Applicants must obtain a passing score of 75% on the NIC Examination (theory and practical) for Cosmetology, Nail Technology and Esthetics. A score of 80% is needed for instructor licensure.

Requirements & Exam Registration

More information can be found on the testing service provider’s website at www.pcshq.com

Cosmetologist

  1. Be at least 16 years old
  2. Possess at least a 10th grade education or equivalency by tests used in the public schools or tests approved by the Board
  3. Successfully complete 1,500 hours in a cosmetology school approved by the Board or be licensed as a master hair care specialist for a period of five years
  4. Pass the NIC written and practical exam
  5. Submit an application
  6. Pay the prescribed fee

Nail Technician

  1. Be at least 16 years old
  2. Possess at least a 10th grade education or equivalency by tests used in the public schools or tests approved by the Board
  3. Successfully complete 300 hours of class work in a nail technician school approved by the Board or comparable training approved by the board
  4. Pass the NIC written and practical exam
  5. Submit an application
  6. Pay the prescribed fee

Esthetician

  1. Be at least 16 years old
  2. Possess at least a 10th grade education or equivalency by tests used in the public schools or tests approved by the Board
  3. Successfully complete 450 hours in classes in skin care at a school approved by the Board or comparable training approved by the board
  4. Pass the NIC written and practical exam
  5. Submit an application
  6. Pay the prescribed fee
Fee Information

All candidates pay examination fees directly to PCS (PCS sets the fee schedule for examinations).

Study Materials

The study materials can be found within the PCS handbook at www.pcshq.com.

FAQ

FAQ

Additional Information

Examination Requirements for those licensed in another state who have not passed the NIC examination; and those who are not licensed, but seeking examination

As of June 2010 the SC Board of Cosmetology requires licensure applicants to pass a nationally recognized examination. The Board's position is that the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology testing is the only testing that is acceptable for South Carolina licensure. Therefore, all out-of-state applicants who have not passed the NIC theory and practical examination must do so through the established testing provider. The examinees are not allowed to have interpreters during examination. The testing service provider will expect following from each candidate:

(1) Review the most recent candidate information bulletin found on the testing service provider's web site.

(2) Complete the online application. Include a copy of two forms of identification with one being a photographic ID. (Social Security Card and Valid Driver's License or Identification Card)

(3) You will be required to take and pass the written and practical Registered Cosmetologist/Nail Technician/Esthetician examination prior to being issued a license to work in South Carolina. No temporary work permits are issued.

(4) If you are licensed in another state, but you have not passed the NIC examinations-Verification of licensure must be submitted to this Board by your State Board (you are not required to go back to school to obtain additional hours).

(5) If you have never been licensed in any other state, you must provide proof of 10th grade or greater education. In addition, you will be required to submit an original certified transcript of school hours earned within 24 months of graduation (Registered Cosmetologist- 1500 school hours; Nail Technician- 300 school hours; and Esthetician 450 school hours). All school hours greater than 24 months are null and void if you have not passed both NIC exams (theory and practical).

(6) Foreign applicants educated outside the United States MUST provide proof from the credentialing service listed below of high school and cosmetology education prior to seeking approval for examination: Aequo International: (844) 882-3786.

For more information and/or assistance with the application process, please contact Professional Credential Services, Inc. (PCS) at:

NOTE:
Incomplete applications will not be considered for testing and PCS will request missing items from you in order to move forward with the testing process. This office does not make requests regarding refunds for missed exam appointments or any other matter as you must seek resolution from the testing service provider. PCS will notify you by email of your examination date and your examination results. Your application will not be considered for licensing until the entire packet is sent to this office from PCS.