Certified Barber: Certification and Career Facts

Continue reading to learn more about educational programs and regulations for prospective barbers. Find out what you could earn and explore the career prospects for this profession. Schools offering Nail Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Becoming a barber requires enrolling in a state-approved cosmetology or barber program that will teach you everything from hair cutting to proper hair and scalp treatments. This program enables you to enter an entry-level position with the skills needed to excel in this field.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, to work as a barber you must also obtain a license (rather than certification) from your state's licensing board. Obtaining such licensure could require you to pass both a written and practical test. Once you start working as a barber, you must earn continuing education units through continued training and updating of your skills to maintain your license.

Schools Barber and cosmetology schools are available. In-person and distance learning are offered, depending upon the school.
Licensing Requirements vary per state; however, every potential barber must pass a state exam in order to practice.
Salary (2017) $25,650 (Median annual wage)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Virginia Barber School, The Barber School'

What Will I Study in a Certificate Program?

In a certificate program, you'll learn about different subjects, including:

  • Anatomy and physiology of the scalp
  • Skin care
  • Facial massage
  • Hair cutting
  • Shaving
  • Dying
  • Styling

Courses in sanitation, disinfectants, chemical safety and state laws can help you prepare for state examinations.

You can also study business management and communications through certificate programs in barber or cosmetologist management. Barber or cosmetologist instructor programs can include courses in student assessment, lesson-plan development and student management.

What About Degree and Diploma Programs?

Associate degree and diploma programs in cosmetology commonly include the barbering coursework that certificate programs offer, as well as courses in make-up application, safety and sanitary measures for manicuring and pedicuring, nail shaping and decorating, skin diseases and chemical application. You might also take courses in sales and management.

Although they can take up to two years to complete, associate degree and diploma programs in cosmetology commonly offer a more diverse array of courses, preparing you for work in manicuring, pedicuring, make-up application and skin care, as well as barbering. Both of these programs commonly qualify you for the state-licensing process and include practice hours as part of the curriculum. If you're interested in owning and operating your own salon, you may benefit from an associate degree program in cosmetology.

How Can I Pick a School?

You may benefit from enrolling in schools that have barbering and hair-styling facilities on campus for the appropriate experiential training. Because of the hands-on nature of barbering, programs with distance-education options don't commonly exist. You may find online certificate programs in barbering instruction due to the largely academic quality of subject matter.

You should consider your professional goals, whether they include the practice of additional cosmetology techniques or management, before enrolling in a program. You should always ensure that the curriculum of a prospective program meets state-licensing prerequisites. This applies to barbering, instruction, management and all other cosmetic professions.

What Can I Expect to Earn?

Barbers earned a median annual wage of $25,650 as of 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). This hourly wage can be expected if you solely focus on barbering, a career which was anticipated to see a 13% employment growth between 2016 and 2026. You may increase your wages if you become licensed and work as a manicurist, pedicurist or skincare specialist in addition to a barber.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Fortis College

    Fortis College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Fortis College:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Pensacola
  • Cortiva Institute

    Cortiva Institute responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Cortiva Institute:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Maitland, Pinellas Park
  • Empire Beauty School

    Empire Beauty School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Empire Beauty School:

    • Certificates

    Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Maryland: Owings Mills
    • Pennsylvania: Owings Mills, Hanover
  • Southern Careers Institute

    Southern Careers Institute responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern Careers Institute:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: Brownsville, Corpus Christi
  • World A Cuts Barber Institute

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: York
  • Winston Salem Barber School

    Campus Locations:

    • North Carolina: Winston Salem
  • Westside Tech

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Winter Garden
  • Pearl River Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Mississippi: Poplarville
  • West Michigan College of Barbering and Beauty

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: Kalamazoo