Barber Training Programs and Requirements

Barber certification programs prepare students for careers to work as licensed barbers. Grooming and cutting techniques, business operations and learning to interact with clients are some of things you can expect to learn.

Essential Information

Barber certificate programs prepare students for state licensure. These programs are offered by barber schools and some community colleges, and training lasts anywhere from 9-20 months, depending on the school. The primary prerequisite for barber certification is age: students must be at least 16 years old. For some states, the minimum age is 18 or 21.

Certificate of Completion in Barbering

Full-time, part-time, daytime and evening options may be available, depending on the school. A diploma or certificate of completion may be awarded at the end of the program. Through lectures and demonstrations, students learn to work with chemical dyes, scissors, razors, combs and clippers, as well as styling hair for children and women. The course curriculum often discusses hygiene, sanitation, chemistry, ethics, sterilization, bacteria, skin disorders and facial treatments. Because many barbers intend to start their own business, some industry themes discussed are:

  • Accounting
  • Networking
  • Customer service
  • Consultation
  • Management
  • Business development

Popular Careers

Regardless of the skill level, most graduates begin at the entry level and often work part-time, performing rudimentary tasks, like shampooing, cleaning instruments, washing towels and sweeping. These commission-based professionals often work weekends and typically build clientele through word-of-mouth and other marketing efforts. Most employers seek graduates who are reliable, have great communications skills and excellent hand-eye coordination.

Continuing Education

Licensure requirements, including minimum age and prerequisite work and educational experience, vary by state. Expected training hours range from 1,000-2,000, according to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools. Candidates have to pay a state application fee and pass written and practical examinations. Continuing education courses, seminars and workshops help professionals stay abreast of trends, styling techniques and new products. Some state governmental offices host complimentary monthly seminars to teach about issues, such as sanitation and license violations. Instructional videos and online classes are available for barbers to use for educational purposes.

The typical barber certification program is completed within 20 months. In it, you will learn the fundamental techniques required to provide barber services, and you'll prepare to earn the state licensure necessary to begin your career.

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