Becoming a Barber: Education and Job Training Requirements for Becoming a Barber

Published Sep 01, 2009

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Barbers follow clients' instructions and preferences in order to trim, cut, shampoo and style their hair professionally. Barbers shave customers and trim mustaches or beards; some Barbers color or highlight hair while providing tips and suggestions on hair maintenance. After obtaining the needed vocational training, obtain a state license in order to start your career in hair care!

Barber Career Summary

Barbers provide hair care and beard care services in the form of shampoo, haircuts, shaves and styling, typically for male clients. They use tools like scissors, clippers, combs and blow driers. With knowledge of the latest styles and hair care techniques, Barbers work to ensure that a client's hair problems and questions are properly taken care of. According to O*Net,, Barbers must be able to order supplies correctly and record payment exchanges with customers. Throughout a shift, Barbers need to keep their work area clean along with sanitizing and maintaining their equipment.

Education Required to Become a Barber

High school diplomas or GEDs are often the bare minimum for Barbers to have. Extra training through a Barber school or cosmetology school is recommended. Barbering programs normally last for a 9-month period, sometimes providing an associate's degree to the student. These programs start with the basics of hair care and equipment maintenance then go on to complex tasks like hair dyeing. Career InfoNet,, notes that Barbers usually get training from a vocational school or obtain some job training from a business. Classes in interpersonal communication can be useful for Barbers looking to interact effectively with clients.

Job Training and Certifications Required to Become a Barber

Some states allow people to become Barbers by completing an apprenticeship of on-the-job training under a licensed Barber rather than by attending Barber school. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),, reports that newly hired Barbers may have some job training during the first few weeks of employment. Barbers must learn the specific techniques that each barbershop uses. Certifications can enhance a Barber's credentials, but a state license is a requirement for Barbers to work. State licensing requirements vary from state to state. Most states require the Barber to have a minimum of 1500 hours of study, pass the state Barber exam, pay the necessary fees and then await the results of the review board's decision.

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