How to Become a Licensed Barber in CA

“How do I become a barber?”

“What is the process for becoming a barber?”

“How do I get a barbering license?”

These are questions we hear all the time. It’s no wonder people are asking; the job outlook for barbers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists is growing at a rate of 10% (faster than average), according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Each state has its own process when it comes to attaining a barbering license. Here is the process in California:

  1. Have a passion or drive.
  2. Get educated.
  3. Take your exams.
  4. Practice and build a clientele.

1. Have a Passion or Drive

Have you always been one with clippers? Are you always rocking a fresh fade? Are you looking to work with your hands and master a craft? Then you’ve probably considered barbering once before.

Barbering is a skilled profession that requires dedication, hard work, skill, talent, and the affinity for working with people. Don’t get stuck in a regular 9-5. Sitting at a desk is boring. Barbering can offer a creative escape from everyday life. It can also offer a way to provide for your family or future.

You’ve got drive. You’ve got heart. Now it’s time to do something with them. Barbering might be your perfect fit.

2. Get Educated

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To become a barber, one must have an education. The state of California requires 1500 hours of education in an approved institution to qualify for the state licensing exam. The education that you receive should cover the following:

  • Shaving
  • Hairstyling
  • Safety
  • Sanitation
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Hair coloring
  • Hair cutting
  • Chemical treatments

While this list does not cover everything you will need to know or learn to become a licensed barber, these areas should be covered.

In addition to a technical and theoretical education, some schools will also teach you marketing and business education for barbering.

3. Take Your Exams

You must take both a written and practical exam in order to become licensed. Before you sit for the exams, you must apply for licensure, as well as pay applicable fees. You can find the application here.

You must be 17 years of age or older, have a 10th grade education or equivalent, and have completed an education as outlined by the state.

barber in a modern barbershop giving a haircut

4. Practice and Build a Clientele

After you’ve taken and passed your examinations, you’re ready to rock and roll. Get started on building your clientele. If you don’t get out there and start creating a name for yourself as soon as you can, then you’re just a person with a barbering license, not a licensed barber.

A few places you may be able to work after licensure include:

  • Barber shops
  • Salons
  • Spas
  • Resorts
  • TV or movie sets

Interested in Becoming a Barber?

Have you already checked off step 1? Then we encourage you to move on to step two at Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy! Contact us today to learn more about our barbering program.

Want to Read More?

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in cosmetology instead of barbering, click below!
click here to read becoming a cosmetologist in CA

Click here to learn more about finding a career after barber school.