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Barbering Schools and Programs

BeautySchools.com can help you find the right training to become a professional barber. Whether you want a program that focuses solely on barbering, or a cosmetology program that can give you a wider range of skills, use our site to narrow your search. You can get started right away by entering your zip code and selecting your preferred program to the right. Or you can choose your state below to get specific information about barbering in your state.

“Being a barber is about taking care of people.” – Anthony Hamilton

Below, you’ll find information on what a barber does, education and training required, and how to get licensed. So continue reading to learn more. We recommend contacting 2-3 schools to make sure you compare the benefits of each program. It’s also a good idea to write down several questions you have to make sure you weigh your options according to your aspirations.

Use the map below to learn more about barbering education and careers in your state!

What Does Barbering Include?

Barbers cut and style hair for a mostly male clientele. They may also color hair, fit hairpieces and shave and shape facial hair. Barbers usually work in barbershops, but some are employed in resorts, spas or hotels. A few barbers travel to their clients’ homes. Many barbers lease space in a shop owned by someone else, while others own their own shops. Most barbers work full-time, with evenings and weekends being their busiest days. Many barbers work more than 40 hours a week. However, you can set your own goals and pursue a career as a barber that fits your life. Many barbers are independent and work by appointment only. This can give you greater flexibility to work around your schedule and other responsibilities. Becoming a barber may require training through an accredited cosmetology program then passing state licensing exams. Even if your state does not offer a barbering specific program, a cosmetology program can prepare you with the right skills.

Choosing Barber Schools and Programs

Every state requires that barbers complete training programs at cosmetology schools or barbering schools licensed by the state. Please click into each state to view licensing information by state – we’ve provided that information as well!

Barbering programs are available at privately-owned schools and at public community colleges and vocational schools.  A full-time barbering student usually takes six months to one year to complete the course of study; students who attend part-time may go to school for two years or more. Some public high schools offer barber training programs that allow students to earn their high school diplomas and complete their barbering training at the same time.

Students in barber school learn the basics of cutting and styling hair, including coloring. They learn necessary safety and sanitation procedures. Beginning students practice on mannequins or each other, then move on to real clients in the school’s clinic. Most schools provide the basic tools of the trade – scissors, clippers and razors – and include the cost in the tuition. Since many barbers own their own shops, some schools include courses in managing a small business.

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Barbering License Requirements

Requirements vary from state to state, but all states require that barbers hold a license. Most states say barbers must be at least 16 years old, and high school graduation is a requirement in some states. After graduating from barber training, the aspiring barber pays a fee to the state and takes a written examination of barbering knowledge. Some states require a practical demonstration of hair cutting skills. Other states require an oral examination. The barber must renew the license periodically and, in some states, barbers must complete professional development or continuing education courses to maintain their licenses. A few states have reciprocity agreements in which they will accept each other’s licenses without additional testing, but most do not.  The National Association of Barber Boards of America currently has over 100 members, and is recognized as one of the top barbering organizations in the United States.

Career Outlook for Barbers

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that employment of barbers would grow by 7 percent from 2010-2020, slower than average for all occupations. The BLS said most job openings would occur as barbers retired or left the profession. Competition for jobs at upscale shops can be tough, the BLS noted. However, that can prove the advantage of going through proper training. Plus, many barbering schools have placement services that help new graduates and alumni find jobs. The BLS said the median annual salary for barbers was $24,190 in May 2011, with half making between $19,380 and $33,420.

Locate schools that can help you train to become a professional barber. Even if your state doesn’t have schools dedicated to barbering, consider the benefits of a complete cosmetology program! You can develop a broader range of skills and pursue a career as a barber after you graduate. Plus, you can have more opportunities available to you, including hair styling, nail technician, and esthestician roles.