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How to Become a Barber's Instructor

Learn how to become a barber's instructor. Research the education requirements, training and licensure information, and experience required for starting a career in barber instruction.

Do I Want to Be a Barber's Instructor?

Barber's instructors are licensed professionals who teach the practice of barbering, hair cutting, and styling primarily for male clients. They might teach in private and vocational schools or community colleges. The job entails preparing and teaching the material of a syllabus, mentoring and testing students, and grading students' work and exams. Barber's instructors may also be required to participate in school events and administrative meetings. These professionals work indoors in well-lit studios guiding students. Many hours may be spent standing next to or monitoring students, and protective measures may need to be taken when working with chemicals.

Job Requirements

Instructors are typically experienced barbers, many of whom have received additional training through a certified instructor training program and acquired state licensure. Prior teaching experience may be advantageous. The following table describes the common qualifications and requirements that employers listed in job postings for barber's instructors during October 2012:

Common Requirements
Degree Level Vocational training program, certificate program, or associate's degree program
Degree Field Cosmetology or barbering
Licensure Active barber license is mandatory, barber's instructor license may be required
Experience 3-5 years barber or salon industry experience; prior teaching experience preferred
Key Skills Teaching ability, communication, presentation skills, multi-tasking, interpersonal skills, organization
Computer Skills Word processing, data entry

Step 1: Attend a Barbering Training Program

Barber's instructors often begin their careers as barbers or stylists. A training program that fulfills state barber and cosmetology board requirements for licensing must first be completed. Such programs can be found at local community colleges and vocational training schools, and typically culminate in an associate's degree or certificate. Students receive instruction and hands-on experience with industry regulations and techniques, and they can also gain skills in barber shop management. In order to successfully complete a program, students must typically complete the number of required classroom contact hours for state licensing exam eligibility. The number of hours varies by state and is determined by the cosmetology licensing board.

Step 2: Pass a State Barber Licensing Exam

Once a barbering student has completed the required number of class hours at a community college or vocational school, he or she must pass a state examination to become licensed before seeking employment as a barber. The exam typically includes a written section as well as a practical exam where students must demonstrate their mastery of required skills.

Step 3: Gain Barber Shop Experience

Employers typically require barber's instructors to have 3-5 years of experience working as barbers or hairdressers, or in other related salon positions. For those who seek formal instructor education, barber's instructor training programs may also require a minimum amount of practical experience in the field prior to enrollment. Barbers will gain experience in cutting with clippers, trimming and styling hair, facial shaving, and scalp treatments. Some barbers also provide skin care and nail treatments. In addition to working with clients, maintaining a clean work area and sanitizing equipment is expected. Barbers may also actively sell hair care products and supplies and handle managerial duties.

Step 3: Complete Instructor Training School

In an instructor training program, participants acquire teaching skills through lecture and laboratory courses. Aspiring barber's instructors may be required to complete a course of study around 1,000 hours in length, depending upon the state. Students are taught the rules and regulations set by each state and acquire the knowledge needed to take the state exam. The training encompasses all phases of preparing to become an instructor.

Success Tip:

  • Gain basic computer skills. Though barbers may not be required to use computers as a condition of employment, instructors need basic computer skills for tracking students' progress and creating performance reports as required by school administration. Aspiring instructors can acquire basic word processing and data entry skills with software such as Microsoft Word and Excel.

Step 4: Pass the Licensure Examination

Barber's instructor licensure examination requirements vary depending upon the state. An application for the instructor examination must be submitted with the appropriate fee. Applicants need a high school diploma or GED and a valid barber or cosmetology license. Additionally, they must demonstrate hours of experience working as licensed barbers or cosmetologists. State exams for aspiring barber's instructors could include both written and practical elements.

Step 5: Earn Continuing Education Credits

Barber's instructors must keep a valid barber or cosmetology license at all times. Barber licenses and instructor licenses are usually only valid for 1-3 years. Both barber's instructor and barber licenses require continuing education. Barber's instructors must generally complete and submit a minimum number of continuing education credits per renewal period, depending upon the state.

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