Barber Training Programs and Requirements

In barber certification programs, students learn grooming and cutting techniques, business operations and how to interact with clients, preparing them for state licensure.

Essential Information

Barbers, like other cosmetologists, attend special training schools to learn the trade. Barber certificate programs prepare students for state licensure through lectures and demonstrations on hair cutting, facial grooming, shampooing and styling techniques for men, women and children. Enrollees also learn how to use chemical dyes, scissors, razors, combs and clippers. Outside of fundamentals, curriculum covers a variety of necessary topics including hygiene, sanitation and sterilization, bacteria, chemistry, ethics, skin disorders and facial treatments. These programs are offered by barber schools and some community colleges, and can be completed in 20 months. The principal admission prerequisite is age. At most institutions, the minimum applicant age is 16; at others it's 18 or 21.

  • Prerequisites: Be 16 years of age. In some cases, you must be 18 or 21.
  • Program Length: 20 months

Certificate of Completion in Barbering

Barber certificate programs include classes on business principles in addition to trade-related courses, for those who are interested in operating their own establishment. 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 shop 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 1,500-2,000. 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.

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