Training to be a Barber
A once-thriving business that suffered a decline towards the end of the 20th century, barbering is once again one of the fastest-growing career segments, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It could be that the need for men to reconnect with one another in a neighborhood setting is driving the business but, whatever the reason, choosing a career as a barber will most likely set you on a life-long career path.
Training to be a barber is a bit different than training in a cosmetology school. While cosmetology students learn the full range of beauty care including shampooing, cutting, styling, and affixing permanent waves to hair, doing manicures and pedicures, as well as sometimes doing skin care, barbers usually only learn the basics of shampooing, cutting, and styling hair while in barber shop training. The majority of a barber’s clients are male, and barbers will also learn to perform shaves, affix hairpieces, and sometimes they learn the basics of cleaning and clipping nails.
What Are the Requirements for Training to Be a Barber?
Training to be a barber can take up to nine months when attending a barber shop training program full time. In barbershop training, you can either earn a certificate, diploma, or an associate’s degree, depending on the school.
In a certificate program with an accredited barber training school, you most likely will be able to complete your training within a nine-month period. You can expect a barbershop training school to require you to have a high school diploma or GED and do a personal interview upon entering. Once you complete barber school, you will most likely need to take a state exam to gain your barber’s license. If you are a licensed cosmetologist, you can also earn a technical certificate, which allows you to learn the aspects of barbering to fit your career as a cosmetologist.
Diplomas in a barbershop training school may take up to five semesters and an associate’s degree at a training school may take up to two years to complete.
What to Expect While Training to Be a Barber
You can expect to have instruction in shampooing, hair cutting, and maybe some basics of applying permanent and straightening solution for the hair; giving facials and shaves; as well as affixing hair pieces and doing scalp treatments. You will also be shown the basics of nail cleaning and trimming. When you are in barbershop training, you will most likely be expected to work in the school’s barbershop, under the supervision of your licensed instructors. This may or may not fulfill the state requirement for an apprenticeship. Your barbershop training program will also include preparation for your state’s board licensing exam.
Continuing education courses in barbering fulfill renewal requirements, and they help barbers stay current about new trends and policies. By understanding modern trends, a barber can meet the hairstyle demands of customers or make recommendations based on a customer’s hair.
To quickly recap, aspiring barbers must complete the educational and training requirements necessary to receive licensure in their state. This usually requires finishing an approved barber program, gaining experience, and passing an exam. Click here to get started on a career in Barbering.