Everything You Need to Know to Become a Master Barber

Working as a barber can be a rewarding and lucrative career choice. And the first step towards getting customers in your chair is acquiring your barber’s license. Here is what you need to know to jumpstart your beauty and wellness career as a barber.

What are Typical Barber Duties? 

Barbers are required to have a barber license in all 50 states. This is because professions in the health and beauty industry, including barbering, are directly related to public health. Barber licenses can vary from state to state in the services they allow you to provide. However, barbers are typically licensed for the following services:

  • Cutting, trimming, and shaving hair
  • Chemically straightening or waving hair
  • Cutting, measuring, and fitting hairpieces, wigs, and head caps
  • Shaving and trimming the beard or mustache
  • Singeing, shampooing, and arranging hair
  • Coloring or bleaching hair
  • Giving scalp and facial massages
  • Applying cosmetic powders, oils, antiseptics, and lotions to the face, neck, or scalp

Requirements for a Barber License

To ensure that all barbers know the proper techniques to successfully and safely serve customers, there are specific requirements everyone must meet in order to obtain a license and work in their chosen state. Requirements for a barber license include the following:

Attend An Accredited Program

For people who wish to become barbers, the first step is to enroll in an accredited institution that offers a barber training program. The duration of the program will vary from school to school, and there may be flexible options that allow you to take classes at night or on the weekends. These particular programs may take longer to complete than a standard full-time course, due to the limited amount of class time each week. However, these classes may be helpful to those who continue to work a full-time job or have other commitments while in school. No matter the course length, it is important to make sure the course you choose is fully accredited. Otherwise, you may be wasting valuable time and money.

The number of hours required also varies by state. However, between 1,500 and 1,800 hours is typically necessary to qualify for a barber license. In school, you will take classes on a variety of topics and also receive hands-on training. Topics covered in barbering school include:

  • Traditional and modern barbering techniques
  • Skincare
  • Shaving
  • Haircutting
  • Hairstyling
  • Business management
  • Employee preparation
  • History of barbering

A Passing Score on the License Exam

Once you have successfully completed an accredited barber program, it is time to take the barber’s license examination for your state. This exam typically consists of a written test and a hands-on test. Every state has study material available to help candidates prepare ahead of time to pass the test.

Additional State Requirements

Apart from education and exam requirements, students must be a certain age to qualify for a barber license. This age typically ranges from 15-18 years old, depending on the state. Many states require candidates to have a high school diploma or GED to qualify. A criminal background check and medical physical may also be required. The state of Tennessee requires master barbers to be at least 17 and have either completed high school or a minimum of 1,500 hours in a registered barber school.

Endless Career Opportunities

After you have received your barber license, there is still plenty you can learn to advance your career as a barber. By taking classes in marketing, sales, or business, you can gain the tools you need to open your own business. There is also plenty to learn about the trade at barbering and hairstyling seminars, exhibitions, and conferences. These events can help you stay current on popular styles and trends as well as help you learn new skills to expand your client base.

If you don’t want to open your own business, there are tons of other career opportunities out there for barbers. Whether it is a small salon, large hotel and spa, cruise ship, or even a personal stylist for a celebrity, the options are endless in this industry. To find out whether this career is right for you, take the Barbering Training Readiness Quiz, and apply to Genesis Career College’s Master Barber School today.


Campus Tours Now Available!

By submitting this form, I am allowing Genesis Career College to contact me regarding education programs and services via email, telephone, automated technology, direct mail, or text message at the email address, address, and phone number provided. Data and text message rates may apply. I understand that my consent is not required before enrolling in or attending any educational programs facilitated by Genesis Career College. Read our full privacy policy here.