Do you need to take the State Board esthetician exams in New Jersey? 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!
The process of registering for (and passing!) your New Jersey Esthetician exam
If you’re just about ready to graduate from your esthetics program, then congratulations! You’re almost ready to start your dream career as a skin-beautifying esthetician!
The only thing left to do now is pass the exams set by the New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling.
Just a quick note, New Jersey doesn’t technically have “estheticians.” Instead, they’re called “skin care specialists.” The scope of practice is essentially the same as an esthetician, but a more detailed definition can be found on page 5 of this PDF.
So, the exam and requirements we’ll be focusing on in this article are for New Jersey Skin Care Specialists.
And if you’re like a lot of people we talk to, this process sounds scarier than it actually is. Scheduling and taking your exams seems like a daunting, confusing and exhausting ordeal. 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 Jersey State Board Skin Care Specialist Exam
To be eligible to take the skin care specialist exam set by the New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling, you must:
- Complete 600-hour course of skin care specialty AND
- Be 17 years or older AND
- Hold a high school diploma or equivalent
You’ll be able to take the test early if you’ve completed 480 hours of instruction.
Step 2: Apply for the New Jersey Skin Care Specialist examination
New Jersey is one of those states that has both a written portion and a hands-on portion of their skin care exam.
You are required to complete the written portion first before you are allowed to take the practical portion.
The application process is different for both and can be a little confusing. So, let’s break it down into the two parts.
The first exam you’ll need to apply for is the theory – or written – part of the exam.
This part is easy because you shouldn’t have to do this alone. Your school will help you gather all the necessary information for the application.
Even better, they’ll electronically send the necessary information to the testing company, PSI, after you’ve completed your required schooling hours. You’ll get an email confirmation immediately after you’ve been submitted.
You need to pass the written portion of the exam before you can apply to take the practical exam. So, as you can assume, these won’t take place on the same day.
When you’re ready to apply, you have to fill out an application and send it in to the State Board with all the necessary documentation and fees.
The first step is to download and print out the application, which can be found here, and then fill it out.
Then you need to get it notarized by a Notary Public, which you can find at most UPS stores as well as local banks. They do tend to charge a small fee, which you’ll need to pay up front.
To pay the testing fees (which are listed on the first page of the application), you’ll have to send a check or Money Order made out to the “State of New Jersey.” You can mail it to:
New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling
P.O. Box 45003
Newark, NJ 07101
You may be required to submit official transcripts or results from your written exam. If so, you’ll have to arrange for your school or testing facility (PSI) to send the documents directly to the Board. They won’t accept copies or any documents sent directly from the applicant (you).
It’s also worth noting that your fees must be paid in full. If they aren’t, the process can be significantly delayed.
If you have any other questions regarding the practical exam application, call the State Board directly at (973) 504-6400.
Step 3: Schedule your exam
You’ll be scheduling your written exam first, since you must complete that before you’re able to take the practical exam. Below we’ve covered everything you need to know for scheduling both exams.
After you’ve been submitted to the testing company by your school and received your email confirmation from PSI, you can schedule your written exam. There are two ways to do this:
- By phone
The best way is to just go online and create an account on PSI’s website. You’ll have to enter your email address and name, which must match exactly with the information your school provided them.
You’ll also want to make sure that you check the box next to “Check here to attempt to locate existing records.” That way the system will know that your information should already be in there.
Then, you’ll be asked to pick the exam you’re going to take and enter your social security number.
After your records have been located, you’ll be able to pay the $39 exam fee – which is non-refundable – and schedule your exam.
If you get stuck because the system can’t locate your information, you should call PSI at (800) 733- 9267.
To schedule your exam, enter your ZIP code and a list of test sites that are closest to you will pop up. Pick the location you want, and then you’ll be able to choose from a list of available test dates and times.
Just remember that you’ll have one year from the date of payment to be able to complete your exams.
And if you would rather schedule your exam by phone, all you have to do is call (800) 733-9267 during their business hours.
They’re open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
Once you’ve sent in all the necessary information to the State Board and paid the required fees, your practical exam will be scheduled for you within 6-8 weeks.
It is recommended that you give the State Board a call within a week or so after you’ve sent in your application to ensure that they’ve received everything and you’re in the process of being scheduled. You can reach them during business hours at (973) 504-6400.
Step 4: Arrive at the exam center on exam day
You should arrive to your exams at least 30 minutes early to ensure you have enough time to complete any required check-in procedures.
If you’re late, you’ll have to give up your exam fee and you reschedule your test – you won’t be let in.
For the written portion of the exam, you’ll be taking it at a PSI testing site. You’ll need to provide two forms of identification, one primary and one secondary.
Acceptable forms of primary identification (one with a photo) are:
- State-issued driver’s license or nondriver’s ID card
- U.S. passport
- Military ID card
- I-551 Permanent Resident Card
- I-571 Refugee Travel Document
- I-688 Temporary Resident Card
- I-688A Employment Authorization Card
- I-688B Employment Authorization Document
- I-766 Employment Authorization Card
Acceptable forms of secondary identification (one without a photo) are:
- State-issued driver’s license or nondriver’s ID card
- Utility or credit card bill issued in the past 90 days that has your name and current address (cannot be a PO Box number)
- Checking or savings account statement from a bank or credit union, issued within the past 60 days
- Original lease or rental agreement showing your name as the lease or renter
- Property tax bill, statement, or receipt from the past year
- Any letter or correspondence received from the IRS or state tax office in the last year
- First-class mail received from any federal, state, or local government agency in the past six months
Also remember that they will not allow any personal belongings in the testing room itself, but they should offer storage on-site.
Step 5: Take the exam
For the written portion of the exam, you’ll be taking it at a PSI testing site. The exam is in a multiple choice format and is done entirely on the computer.
Before your test actually begins, you’ll have a brief tutorial that will help you get used to the computer software. You have up to 15 minutes to familiarize yourself and ask the proctor any questions before your test begins.
After that, you will have two hours to complete 105 questions. Out of those, 105 are scored, and 10 of them are pretest questions that do not count towards your score.
These are the topics that you’ll be asked about during your test:
- Safety, Sanitation and Disinfection – 25 questions
- Client Consultation and Professional Conduct – 5 questions
- Skin Structure and Physiology – 20 items
- Skin Treatments – 25 items
- Hair Removal – 10 items
- Makeup – 15 items
- New Jersey Laws and Regulations – 5 items
And if you want a more in-depth look at what each section entails, check out PSI’s Theory Exam Bulletin.
For the practical exam, you will have about one hour and thirty minutes to complete the exam. Although they state that they aren’t overly strict about the time limit, and usually give you a few extra minutes to complete anything you need to.
You’ll be given more information about the practical exam after passing the written portion.
Step 6: Get your results
For the written exam, you will get your results immediately on screen. You must get 75% or more correct in order to pass. You’ll also get an official score report printed on-site after your exam.
If you didn’t pass, you’ll get a notification on screen that will indicate your strengths and weaknesses, which will help you know where to study for next time.
You must also pass your practical exam with a score of 75 or higher in order to receive your license.
Step 7: Get your New Jersey Skin Care Specialist license!
After you’ve passed both your written and then your practical exam, then congrats – you’re officially licensed!
After you pass the practical exam, you’ll immediately be issued a license number, which you can find online.
They’ll also print your license and mail it to you, which you should receive within two weeks of passing.
If you didn’t pass either portion of your exam, you’ll have to repay the fee, reschedule, and try again.
While failing your written exam is hard news to hear, it’s not as uncommon as you might think: the national pass rate is only 50%! However, students who use our Esthetician Exam Preparation Package have a pass rate of 98.5%!
Frequently asked questions about the New Jersey Skin Care Specialist exam
How do I apply for the New Jersey Skin Care Specialist examination?
You can apply to take the New Jersey State Board written exam by working with your school to collect all the necessary information.
Your school will then send all your information electronically to the testing entity PSI. You’ll receive a confirmation email once your information has been entered into the system.
For the practical exam, you’ll have to download and print an application, which can be found here.
You’ll have to fill it out, get it notarized, and pay all the required fees. You also might need to have PSI or your school send in official documentation to the State Board.
I can’t make the date/time of my examination. What should I do?
To reschedule your exam, you have to contact PSI by calling them at 1-800-733-9267.
Their business hours are Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
All exams must be rescheduled at least 48 hours in advance.
Which examination program does New Jersey use?
New Jersey uses the PSI Exam testing program for its Skin Care Specialist exam.
How much does it cost to take the New Jersey Skin Care Specialist exam?
Entry to the New Jersey Skin Care Specialist written exam costs $39, and the fee is non-refundable.
Where does the examination take place?
The exam takes place at one of the many PSI testing facilities. Those locations can be found on page 3 this testing guide.
How many hours of practical work do I need to qualify for the New Jersey Skin Care Specialist examination?
Skin Care Specialist in New Jersey need a 600-hour course in skin care specialty to qualify for the exam and be eligible for immediate licensure.
If you’ve completed 480 hours of schooling, then you are eligible to take the early examination. However, you won’t get your license until after you’ve completed the full number of hours required.
Can I take the New Jersey Skin Care Specialist examination before I’ve completed the required hours?
Yes, you can take the exam early if you’ve completed 480 hours of schooling.
How long is the Skin Care Specialist written examination in New Jersey?
The New Jersey Skin Care Specialist written exam is 2 hours long.
What’s the format of the written examination?
The written examination is a computer-based, multiple-choice examination.
To know the breakdown of topics you’ll be questioned on, check out page 8 of their Test Bulletin.
If you want to familiarize yourself with the testing format, try out our practice test here.
How long is the Skin Care Specialist practical examination?
The practical exam in New Jersey is one-and-a-half hours long.
What’s the format of the practical examination?
The practical exam will be a series of hands-on tasks that you’ll be asked to perform in front of a proctor.
What scores do I need to pass the Skin Care Specialist exam in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, to pass your written exam, you must get a score of 75% or higher.
For the practical exam, you must get a score of 75 or higher in order to pass.
You’ll get the results the same day for both portoins, whether you pass or fail.
What’s the pass rate for the New Jersey Skin Care Specialist exam?
New Jersey doesn’t publish an individual pass rate, but the national average pass rate for the written portion is only about 50%.
Check if you’re on track to pass your exam by taking our free esthetician practice test.
How many times can I re-take the New Jersey Skin Care Specialist examination if I fail?
In New Jersey, you can retake the Skin Care Specialist exam three times without having to do anything else.
You’ll need to wait 15 days from the date of your exam to reschedule, and you’ll need to reschedule and pay the fee each time you retake the test.
How long does the Skin Care Specialist course take in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, there are no time requirements. So, it all depends on whether or not you go to school full time or part time.
Generally, if you go to school full time, you can finish your hours in about a year. However, if you’re only going part-time, it might take you anywhere from 2-3 years to complete.
How do I transfer my Skin Care Specialist licence to New Jersey?
To transfer your license to New Jersey, you must contact the State Board where you’re currently licensed. They must submit a certification of your current, active license directly to New Jersey’s State Board.
After you’ve done that, you’ll want to contact New Jersey’s State Board at (973) 504-6400 to make sure they’ve received the certification.
Someone will review your certification to determine if you qualify for an endorsement or if you have to take the exams.
Generally, if your home state’s requirements were similar (or surpassed) New Jersey’s requirements, you won’t have to take the exam. However, if your state did not require a practical exam, you will be required to take the exams.
The State Board, after reviewing your certification, will direct you to the application you must fill out and return to them.
How do I get my Skin Care Specialist license in New Jersey?
To get your Skin Care Specialist license in New Jersey, you’ll be required to complete a 600-hour course in skin care specialty and pass both a theory and practical examination at a PSI testing facility.
You’ll have to pass the written examination first. Then you’ll need to fill out an application for the practical portion, which is available online. You’ll generally be scheduled within 6-8 weeks following the acceptance of your application, documents, and fees.
Once you pass both of the exams, you’ll get your Skin Care Specialist license in the mail!
How do I renew my Skin Care Specialist license in New Jersey?
Skin Care Specialist licenses are valid for two years. You can renew it online and pay the fee.