Barber Exam

Barber License Exam ChairIf you’re one of the many people that are currently pursuing a career as a barber, the  hurdle that you will have to clear after attending barber school is preparing for, taking and passing your state’s barber license exam. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the exam process.

Is a barber license the same thing as a cosmetology license?

In a word, no. Some states do have guidelines and laws for both barbers and cosmetologists that are exactly the same, such as New Jersey. But many states have a separate set of guidelines and licensing procedures that pertain to each profession. In some states, cosmetologists are not allowed to use razors or do shaves, only barbers!

How many institution hours are needed in order to qualify for a state barbering exam?

That depends on the license requirements in your state. Most states require the same amount of training hours for a barber license as they do for a cosmetology license. Check out our list of barber licensing requirements by state to find out how many hours are required to qualify for your state’s barber test.

What does the barber exam involve?

Barber license applicants are asked to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of every facet of being a professional barber, from knowing the names of facial and neck muscles to the correct angles that you should use in regards to the equipment and your posture. You will also need to be well versed in bacteriology as is pertains to hair, skin conditions and the basics of keeping your site clean and bacteria-free. The test is split in two main parts; a written exam and a practical, hands-on exam.

What happens if I fail the exam?

Many states allow you to retake the test as many times as you need to until you pass. The average cost for a barber exam retake is $60 to $80, though. So study up and be confident in your knowledge and skills!

What can I do to make sure that I pass the exam?

Several online companies have popped up that provide additional preparation and assistance for taking the barber exam for one-time fee, but the best way to put yourself in a position to pass is to pay excellent attention to your instructor during barber school and soak up as much information as you can. Asking questions of  teachers or established barbering professionals is an excellent way to sort out anything you’re confused or uncertain about. Nothing compares to the knowledge you will get in barber school through the use of textbooks, in-class lecture and hands-on learning in a student barber shop.

How much does the exam cost?

The cost of the barber exam varies from state to state. For example, in California the cost is currently $125 for your first barber exam, whereas Texas only charges $70 to get your barber license.

Is my barber license valid if I move to a different state? 

In most cases, yes. Roughly two-thirds of the states in the United States have determined that their requirements for professional barbers are substantially similar and will grant folks licenses or license reciprocity without requiring any additional training. However, some states have different training requirements and so they may require you to take their state’s barber exam to transfer your license. Before you make the move be sure to look up the barber license requirements of your new locale.

Considering a career in barbering? Find a barber school now.