Jun 19, 2012
I've heard that you need a license to practice as a MUA in some states, and I was hoping to see if I could freelance as a mua during college to get some experience. Do I need this license? Any advice?
go to (your state) board of cosmetology it should tell you online weather you need a license or not
Jun 20, 2012
Depends on the state you live in. Like Amanda suggestion, go to your state's Board of Cosmetology site and look that info up.
I checked it out and there seems so be a reciprocity issue.. like what if im licensed in CA but I move to NY?
Let's say you're licensed in CA as a cosmetologist you will need to transfer your license to NY if you plan on practicing cosmetology there. If I were licensed in one state and moving to another I'd make sure to keep my license valid in my old state if there was a chance of going back to that state OR transferring it to my new state if I don't plan on returning to my previous state. No sense in throwing away all that money to go to school in the first place or the cost to take the exams.
That said, I'm not 100% sure but I don't think in NY you need a MUA license but double check with that.
I've done some checking and it seems to me that in CA it's alright to freelance unless you do bridal or work in a salon. That being said, I've also read that there are plenty of NY MUAs' who practice without a license, and that supposedly in MD the licensing law for MUAs' was in the process of being overturned (but I may have to re-check - the Model Mayhem and Spektra threads are dated 2008). The only thing that I understand such licenses are supposed to protect you in case you get sued, but I suppose I could always specialize in theatre work and join a union?
Regardless of what state you live in, it is always helpful to at least have an estheticican's license. Not only are you educating yourself about your canvass, but it never hurts to have more education about what you are working with. On top of that, you should always have liability insurance to protect yourself and your clients, and most polices will not cover you if you are not licensed in the state that you are working in.
There is no licensing to be a Makeup Artist, only a Certification/Diploma. (They hold the same level) Licensing is for Cosmo/Esthetics/Nail Techs/Massage Therapists. It can vary by state if you are able to practice with out a Certfication but either way I recommend you do go to school for this. You need to know the education of skin and sanitation especially. Hope that helps a little.
Let me clarify something. ALL MUAs MUST BE LICENSED but the license is NOT the same as a professional license that cosmetologists have. There are different licenses - professional license (as a cosmetology, doctor, dentist and in some states tattoo artists) must have showing they went to school and passed the state exams.
Then you have a state BUSINESS license which the state requires all businesses to have especially if you sell ANY product. The state wants their share of your money after all.
At the local level you have a city or county license so you can work within that city or county.
In my state you don't need a professional license to be a MUA BUT you DO need to have a BUSINESS license with the state AND with the city. In my town you can actually go to jail without having a city business license and because my area is made up of three towns I have to have a mobile business license in all three.
So the answer is you will need some type of BUSINESS license if you plan on becoming a MUA but it is NOT the same as a professional license or a certification or diploma. It's something from the state and/or city so they can collect their fair share of taxes. My recommendation to anyone who wants to start their own business as a MUA is to look into your local laws as well as state laws for BUSINESS license requirements. It tends to be overlooked.
This is a moot point if you work on a movie set, photoshoot for another company as they take care of all that. It only applies to those who are working independently for themselves.
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