How to Become a Barber in 2 Simple Steps

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What is a Barber

Barbers are professionals that style, trim and cut beard and hair, mostly for male clients. In order to do their job they use tools like razors, scissors and clippers. They work at small barber shops where they provide their services to their clients. The average income for a barber is $25,410. Continue reading and learn how to become a barber.

Prior Education Requirements

The most common type of education available for a barber is a training program. The minimum requirement in order to get accepted to such a program is a high school diploma or an equivalent degree, like a GED.

For those who want to get an extra advantage there is the option to follow hair styling classes that are frequently offered by high schools in partnership with local community colleges.

Work or do an internship assisting a local barber

Before enrolling in a training program a good idea is to find a local barber and work along with him to get a good insight of the profession.

Of course you shouldn’t expect to cut clients hair or shave them. You will gain valuable experience and information on how to interact with customers, organize the shop, talk with suppliers, run miscellaneous errands, organize equipment and of course how to keep clean and hygienic the shop.

After your contract or internship is finished, you will have obtained not only a clear image of how a barber shop works, but also the knowledge of what to expect later in your career. Undoubtedly, this experience will make you more confident in your choice of becoming, or not, a barber.
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Becoming a Barber

There are two different degrees you can pursue if you want to become a barber. The first is a barber’s one and the second is a cosmetologist’s one. What is the meaning of this and why is it happening? To explain that we have to go a few years back…

The big influence of the hippie movement at people’s style in the 60’s with growing hair and beards, barbers popularity decreased significantly.

At that time barbering and cosmetology were two different licenses. Barbers focus was on doing military short style haircuts and hot lather shaves, while cosmetologists were focused on perming and dying longer hair.

By the time 70’s rolled around, the popularity of barbers had reached such a low point that most state licensing departments decided to combine cosmetologists and barbers licenses.

The low popularity of the barbers at that era resulted to a significant interest drop on barber schools attendance. It was economically unsustainable for colleges and schools to keep their barber programs running so they merged them with the cosmetology ones.

It hasn’t been a long time since barbering regained its long gone popularity and states started separating the licenses once more.

What is a Barber

Step 1: Get a Certificate or an Associate’s Degree

Barber Certificate Program 6 months to 1 year

Barber certificates are 32-75 credit programs, offered mostly in community colleges or private schools and can be completed in anything between 6 and 12 months. They consist of 1200 to 1500 hours of theory and practical training. Although you have the option to complete the theoretical classes online, you will have to go to the closest college’s facilities in order to take the practical classes.

We recommend finding an accredited program, which will cover the required areas in order to pass your state’s exam board. It is easy to get accepted in such a program as you only need a high school diploma or GED and be at least 18 years old.

A typical curriculum of a 1200 – 1500 hour barber training program, will look like:

Theoretical Courses (about 240 hours)

  • History and fundamentals of barbering
  • Professional Image
  • Barber implements
  • Elementary chemistry relating to sterilization, bacteriology, sanitation, and hygiene
  • Scalp, skin, and hair
  • Shaving
  • Hairpieces (sales and service)
  • Hairstyling, haircutting, and hair setting
  • Implements, Tools and Equipment
  • Math for Barbers
  • Manicure and nail care
  • Hair Structure and Chemistry
  • Makeup and skin care
  • Men’s Hair Replacement
  • Physiology, anatomy and structure of the neck, face and head, including nerves and muscles
  • Theory of message and facial treatment
  • Business management and salesmanship
  • Barber law
  • Disorders of the scalp, skin, and hair
  • Seeking employment preparation

Practical Courses (about 1260 hours)

  • Chemical Courses (About 360 hours)
    • Permanent waxing
    • Hair bleaching, coloring, , and toning
    • Hair relaxer
    • Manicures
  • Physical Courses (900 hours)
    • Hair and scalp care
    • Shampooing and rinses
    • Shaving (mustaches and beards)
    • Haircutting (male and female)
    • Hairstyling
    • Hairpiece-fitting
    • Manicures
    • Makeup and facials

 

The cost of a barber’s certificate program is relatively low, ranging between $3,000 and $15,000.

When deciding which college or university to attend, we strongly recommend contacting them for further information and details.

Click the button below to get free info about accredited certificate programs near you.
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Cosmetology Certificate Program 6 months to 1 year

Cosmetology certificates are 32-50 credit programs offered in community colleges or private schools and like the barber certificate, can be completed in anything between 6 and 12 months. It is also relatively easy to get accepted in such a program. The minimum requirements are a high school diploma or GED, a completed English course (which is subject to a test) and to be at least 18 years old.

A typical curriculum of a Cosmetology Certificate program will include courses like:
• Practicum
• Cosmetology Skills I
• Fundamentals of Cosmetology
• Cosmetology Skills Lab I
• Essentials of Human Biology 1
• Essentials of Human Biology 1
• Cosmetology Skills 2
• Cosmetology Skills Lab 2
• Aesthetics 2
• Introduction to Entrepreneurship
• Cosmetology Instructor I
• Orientation to the Instruction of Cosmetology
• Manicuring & Related Theory
• Principles of Skin Cares / Facials and Related Theory
• Artistry of Hair, Theory and Practice
• Chemical Reformation and Related Theory
• Advanced Cosmetology Techniques
• Salon Development
• The Principles of Hair Coloring
• Cosmetology Instructor II
• Cosmetology Instructor III
• Advanced Hair Design
• Cosmetology Instructor IV
• Instructional Theory and Clinic Operation
• Cosmetology I
• Cosmetology II
• Coloring / Scalp/Haircutting /Facials I
• Coloring / Scalp/Haircutting /Facials II
• Coloring / Scalp/Haircutting /Facials III
• Shampoo & Styling, Permanent Wave I
• Shampoo & Styling, Permanent Wave II
• Shampoo & Styling, Permanent Wave III
• Strop, Honing & Shaving
• Cosmetology III
• Personal Health Management

The cost of a cosmetology’s certificate program is relatively low and ranges from $4,500 to $12,000.
When deciding which college or university to attend, we strongly recommend contacting them for further information and details
Click the button below to get free info about accredited certificate programs near you.
Find a School

Associate’s Degree in Barbering 2 years

There are very few colleges offering this degree program, so there is not much information available. It will probably be very difficult to find an associate’s degree program in barbering near you. According to the limited information available, they are 60-75 credit hour programs with the acceptance requirements being quite easy. You will only need a high school diploma or GED.

A typical curriculum of an Associate’s Degree in Barbering will look like

General Education:

  • English Composition I
  • Public Speaking
  • Business Computer Applications
  • Business Math
  • Introduction to Humanities
  • General Psychology

Major Courses:

  • Theory I
  • Facials
  • Shampoos, Rinses, Scalp Treatments
  • Hair Cutting and Beard Trimming
  • Chemical Restructuring/Perms
  • 160 Theory II
  • Sterilization and Sanitation
  • Hairstyling
  • Theory III
  • Clinical Practicum
  • Hair Coloring/Bleaching
  • Personal and Community Health
  • Introduction to Business

The cost of a barber’s associate’s degree program is relatively low and ranges from $6,000 to $19,000.

When deciding which college or university to attend, we strongly recommend contacting them for further information and details.

Click the button below to get free info about accredited certificate programs near you.
Find a School

Associate’s Degree in Cosmetology 2 years

Because it will be fairly difficult to find an associate’s degree in barbering near you, the next best thing, and more relevant, is an associate’s degree in cosmetology. The acceptance requirements are the same as the associate’s degree in barbering programs. A high school diploma or GED and the completion require 48-75 credit hours.

An Associate’s degree program in cosmetology will include courses like:

Required Courses:

  • Cosmetology Concepts I
  • Salon I
  • Computerized Salon Operations
  • Introduction to Interpersonal Communication
  • Cosmetology Concepts II
  • Salon II
  • Cosmetology Concepts III
  • Salon III
  • Cosmetology Concepts IV
  • Salon IV
  • Writing and Inquiry
  • Professional Research and Reporting Credits: 3
  • Math Measurement & Literacy Credits: 3
  • Tinting I
  • Tinting II
  • Intermediate Cosmetology Lab I
  • Intermediate Cosmetology Lab II

Cosmetology Electives:

  • Contemporary Hair Coloring
  • Trichology and Chemistry
  • Contemporary Design
  • Introduction to Cosmetology
  • Introduction to Hair Coloring and Styling
  • Intermediate Hair Coloring and Styling
  • Advanced Hair Coloring and Styling
  • Contemporary Hair Styling

General Electives:

  • Introduction to Business
  • Business Law I
  • Business Math
  • Principles of Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Employment Laws and Regulations
  • Small Business Management
  • Training and Development
  • Business Communication
  • REAL Small Business

The cost of an associate’s degree program in cosmetology is relatively low and ranges from $6,000 to $26,000.

When deciding which college or university to attend, we strongly recommend contacting them for further information and details.

Click the button below to get free info about accredited certificate programs near you.
Find a School

Step 2 : Get Barber Licensing

In order to become a barber you are required to obtain a license. It is similar to the certification of other professions. In order to get the license, candidates have to pass a barber examination that can be either state or national designed by (NIC) National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology.

Requirements

The requirements for taking the examination are similar amongst the states. You are required to have completed at least 1250 to 1500 hours of training in an accredited program in barbering or in cosmetology.

State boards consider accredited schools those that offer certain courses at their training programs. These courses differ from state to state so you have to check your state’s board requirements and find a school that covers these areas. Some courses that are common amongst all states are:

  • Hygiene
  • Bacteriology
  • Honing and stropping
  • Sanitation and sterilization
  • Straight razors
  • Shampoo and scalp massage
  • Physiology
  • Scalp and skin diseases
  • State barber laws, rules, and regulations

Examination

The examination process amongst all states is almost the same and it is divided in two examinations. The theoretical (written) and the practical.

The theoretical examination of the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology covers the following areas:

  • Hair and scalp
  • Electricity and light
  • Infection control and practice
  • Skin histology
  • Chemistry
  • Tools, implements, and equipment
  • Facial and shaving services
  • Hair care services
  • Chemical services

There are two practical exams issued by the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology depending on each state’s board requirements. One that allows the use of chemicals and one that doesn’t.

Barber Exam (use of chemicals allowed)

  • Shaving with a straight razor
  • Set up and client protection
  • Chemical waving
  • Haircutting
  • Chemical relaxing
  • Hair lightening/coloring

Barber Exam (use of chemicals not allowed)

  • Shaving with a straight razor
  • Set up and client protection
  • Haircutting

At some states you will also get examined at the following areas:

  • Blow drying
  • Basic facial
  • Thermal curling

Cost: $30

 How Long Does it take to Become a Barber and How Much it Costs?

Option 1: Certificate Program

DegreeTime Cost
Certificate (offline-online)6 months – 12 months$3,000 - $15, 000
Total6 months – 12 months$3,000 - $15, 000
Degree Time Cost
Certificate (offline-online)6 months – 12 months$3,000 - $15, 000
Certification 1 month$30
Total 7 months – 13 months $3,030 - $15,030

 Option 2 Associate’s Degree

DegreeTime Cost
Associates Degree (online- offline)2 years$6,000 - $26,000
Total2 years$6,000 to $26,000
Degree Time Cost
Associates Degree (online-offline)2 years$6,000 to $26,000
Certification 1 month $30
Total 2 years & 1 month $6,030 - $26,030
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