Hairstylist Apprenticeship 2021 - Registration Deadline March 31, 2021

Hairstyling is a Red Seal Designated Trade. When an Apprentice completes the hairstyling apprenticeship, that individual is then eligible to become Red Seal Certified and is also eligible to be Licensed with the Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia, to practise Cosmetology.

Apprenticeship is a proven method of training with a solid structure that supports and ensures the most current trends and techniques are taught. It provides an innovative and flexible approach to the training of hairstylists.

Apprenticeship supports a pathway for:

  • Apprentices from other jurisdictions to complete their education in Nova Scotia.
  • Newcomers to Nova Scotia who have some skills as a hairstylist but not all the skills required for certification to become licensed.
  • Individuals to enter the industry who (for example):
    • are living in remote areas of NS,
    • may not be able to pay the cost of a full tuition up front,
    • need greater flexibility to accommodate family responsibility,
    • need to earn a wage while learning - preventing loss of income during study, or
    • are a member of an underrepresented group who may consider pursuing hairdressing as a trade.

Salon Owners:

  • First step is to interview and hire an apprentice who is keen and interested.
  • Apprentice then registers with NS Apprenticeship Agency with chosen salon as the employer.
  • Master Hairstylist (Mentor) teaches Apprentice exceptional skillsets in hairstyling over a 2-year period.
  • The Association's Instructor guides Apprentices through 360 hours of online theory training and 4 weeks of blended in-class practical and theory review (spring 2022 and spring 2023).
  • Employers/Salon Owners are eligible for financial incentives (i.e.: Apprenticeship START Funding - between $10,000 and $15,000 as apprentices, register, progress and complete the pilot.)
  • Apprenticeship on the job training has been proven to benefit the Salon, Mentor, and Clients. The one-on-one skill development means the apprentice reflects the professionalism and the unique culture of your salon. A salon can have more than one mentor as long as all mentors are Master Stylists.
  • Apprenticeship makes an investment in the future; protects your business from current or future skill shortages through building strong, capable, loyal in-house talent.

NSAA – Denise DeLong at 902-476-6439 (after hours - text) or denise.delong@novascotia.ca
For information about apprentice and employer financial supports, please visit:


  • Responsible for finding a salon that is interested in hiring an Apprentice for a minimum of 32 hours per week (required to register with NSAA).
  • Meet with an Industry Training Consultant for advice/support on programing and financial support.
  • Earn and learn while working (learn under a Master Hairstylist) and receive hourly apprenticeship wages (no less than minimum wage).
  • Train through a combination of practical and relevant on-the-job learning (3600 blended hours) that includes a self-paced, online hairstylist learning program.
  • Can apply for up to $3000 in Government grants, apply for Canada Student Loans (for up to $4000 per year), and apply for Employment Insurance while they are taking the 8 weeks of in-class training.
  • While in class, Apprentices will practice learned skills while being supported by an experienced licensed Master Cosmetology Instructor (Hairdressing); 8 weeks in class training (4 weeks, twice a year).
  • Upon completion, will become a Red Seal Certified Hairstylist and be eligible for a CANS Hairstylist Licence to Practice in Nova Scotia.
  • Aim is to be retained and re–hired by the Salon Owner after certification and licensing.

NSAA – Denise DeLong at 902-476-6439 (after hours - text) or denise.delong@novascotia.ca
For information about apprentice and employer financial supports, please visit:


Apprenticeship Pilot for Hairstylist Trade Update - August 2020 update

The Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia (CANS) and the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency (Agency) plan to continue with the Hairstylist Apprenticeship Pilot and accept the second cohort of apprentices. Our goal is to build on the success achieved to date and further determine the interest of salon owners and potential apprentices in an apprentice training model across the Province that more closely mirrors the apprenticeship experience.

As you may be aware, CANS and the Agency partnered to deliver an Apprenticeship Pilot Program commencing in March 2018 that began with 11 salons and 11 apprentices. Currently, there are 7 apprentices working in 7 salons, who are now very close to completion of an apprenticeship in the Hairstylist trade. CANS and the Agency have conducted evaluations of the salon owners, mentors, and the apprentices in this inaugural cohort group with very positive and encouraging results. In addition, throughout the Apprenticeship Pilot, there has been increased interest and requests from potential salon owners and apprentices in various locations across Nova Scotia to partake in the apprenticeship.

For information about apprentice and employer financial supports, please visit: https://nsapprenticeship.ca/agency/forms-publications 

For further information on the Hairstylist Apprenticeship Pilot or to register please contact the Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia at 902-468-6477, extension 207.

Apprenticeship Pilot for Hairstylist Trade Update - October 2018 AGM Update

 -  click here

The Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia (CANS) and the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency (NSAA) have been working together to develop, plan, implement, and evaluate a blended direct-entry pathway for the Hairstylist trade. The Pilot Project was formally announced at the CANS Annual General Meeting on September 17, 2017. To date, we have confirmed 11 participants/apprentices and 10 salons (11 mentors.)

The development of the Hairstyling Apprenticeship Pilot is in response to an identified and expressed need of the industry for an alternative training pathway, as a value-add to the existing method of training Hairstylists. The purpose of the Pilot is to determine the level of engagement of salon owners to train apprentices on-the-job; identify the level of individual interest of those pursuing Hairstyling as a career through this training pathway, and provide a pathway for those who may not be able to access Hairstylist as a career due to various barriers.

The Pilot involves salon owners registering employees as apprentices who will learn the trade of Hairstylist through a combination of on-the-job learning via a mentor Master Hairstylist in the salon over a two-year period (3,600 hours,) during which apprentices will complete two levels of technical training. Each level will consist of the equivalent to ten weeks' technical training (six weeks online and four weeks in-class/lab.) Apprentices will challenge the Red Seal certification examination and be licensed by CANS upon completion of the required skills, hours of learning, and technical training.

Please click here for more information on Apprenticeship programs available in Nova Scotia.

Schedule of Apprenticeship Activities
Pilot Project Discussed at AGM

Project Partnership Formed

Project Announced at AGM

Salon Owner Meeting

Private Training Provider Meeting

Recruitment Meeting

Meeting with Salon Owners
and Potential Apprentices

Apprenticeship Registration

Pilot Start Date

Technical Training                                    

Pilot Evaluations

Communications to CANS Members
Oct. 2016

May 3, 2017

Sept. 2017

Nov. 28, 2017

Oct. 27, 2017

Feb. 8, 2018                                           

Mar. 19, 2018

Mar. 26, 2018

 Mar. 26, 2018

Apr. 1, 2018 (online);
February 2019 (in class)

Quarterly (Jun, Sept, Dec, Mar.)

Quarterly (Jul, Oct, Jan, Apr.)
Cosmetology Association (NS)
126 Chain Lake Drive
Halifax, NS  B3S 1A2

Hours of Operation
Monday 8:30 - 4:30
Tuesday 8:30 - 4:30
Wednesday 8:30 - 4:30
Thursday 8:30 - 4:30
Friday 8:30 - 3:00

*Holiday or Weather closures/cancellations will be noted in the Calendar
Office: (902)468-6477
Fax: (902)468-7147
Toll Free: (800)765-8757

General Inquiries

Provincial Exam Information

Executive Director
Dana Sharkey, CAE



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