How Long Does IT Take to Graduate From Barber College?

Barber school helps prepare students for a career as a barber serving clients and their hair needs. It typically takes about a year to complete. Learn about other requirements for the job, like a barber license, and career details.

How Long is Barber School?

Barber school typically requires 1,500 hours, which takes about 10 months to complete. Students in these barbering programs take coursework in theory and receive hands-on training in hair-cutting techniques. The curriculum for barber school may include topics and training in areas like:

  • Haircutting
  • Shaving
  • Skincare
  • Business management
  • Hygiene
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Styling
  • Bacteriology

These programs usually award a barbering certificate. Certificates are different than diplomas in that they are usually shorter in length. Some barber programs may be available through colleges that also give students the option to work toward other wellness and beauty-related positions, such as becoming a nail technician or cosmetologist, which would take additional time.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Barber License?

All barbers must hold a state barber license to work in the field. State requirements may vary, but usually, a student can pursue their barber license if they are 16 years or older, hold a high school diploma, and graduate from a state-licensed barber program. Therefore, most students are eligible to obtain their barber license after 4 years in high school and a 10-month training program.

Some states may allow students to combine barber and cosmetology training and may require continuing education units for license renewals. There are also a few states that accept the training and licensure of barbers from some other states, but it is far more common for students to need to meet specific requirements for each state.

What Do Barbers Do?

Barbers typically cut and style hair for men. Barbers may also offer shaving services, hair coloring, facials, and more. Barbers need to protect their skin during these services from various chemicals, so they may wear gloves or other protective clothing. They are also trained to use a wide range of tools, including razors, clippers, scissors, and combs. Other job duties may include:

  • Shampooing hair
  • Fitting hairpieces
  • Recommending treatment for hair or scalp conditions
  • Maintaining a clean work area
  • Disinfecting tools
  • Accepting payments

Barbers typically work in a barbershop and need to be able to stand on their feet most of the day while working with clients' hair. These professionals may work full- or part-time and may make their schedules if they are self-employed.

How Much Do Barbers Make?

The average annual salary for a barber was $33,220 in May 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Many barbers worked in personal care services and made an average of $33,080, but barbers who worked in technical and trade schools made the highest average for 2018 at $39,070.

Salary also varied by state, with barbers in Washington making the highest average of $55,980. Other top-paying states for 2018, according to the BLS, included Massachusetts, Alabama, Illinois, and Maryland.

What Is the Job Outlook?

The BLS reported that the job outlook for barbers is 7% from 2018 to 2028. This equates to 88,400 new jobs during this period, which is thought to mostly be due to the growing population and the desire for various hair treatments, which has also increased over time.