Barber Schools in Iowa

Iowa could be a wonderful place to attend barber school, as the state not only requires barber skills training but also a well-rounded business education. Browse our directory of barber schools in Iowa, or skip ahead to learn about the state's barber license requirements and job outlook.

Browse Barber Schools in Iowa

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Clippernomics Academy of Hairstyling – Accredited

6007 Southwest 9th Street
Des Moines, IA 50315

CTC Barber Academy – Accredited

137 Lynn Avenue Suite 208
Ames, IA 50014

The Salon Professional Academy - Cedar Falls – Accredited

1350 College Square Mall
Cedar Falls, IA 50613
Accredited School

You must attend a school that meets any licensure requirements as defined by your state. Most states require that you graduate from an accredited or state-approved school.

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How to Become a Barber in Iowa

Iowa Barber Careers At a Glance
  • 2,100 education hours or 2,380 apprenticeship hours are required to become licensed.
  • You must renew your license every 2 years.
  • 3 continuing education hours are required to renew your license.
  • The average salary for barbers in Iowa is $41,750.
  • There is a predicted 19% job increase between 2020-2030.

To become a barber in Iowa you must have a 10th grade education, complete training in a or as an apprentice, pass the NIC barber theory and practical exams, complete an online application, and pay the initial $72 licensing fee.

What to Expect from a Barber Program in Iowa

2,100 Education Hours

Required to earn a barber license

Barber schools consist of 2,100 hours of instruction and training to be completed over no less than ten months. Specifically, you can expect:

1,675 hours of supervised practical instruction in these areas:

  • Artificial nails
  • Facials, massages, and packs
  • Fitting of hairpieces
  • Hair coloring and hair body processing
  • Hair cutting
  • Hair relaxing
  • Hair tonics
  • Hairstyling
  • Honing and stropping
  • Manicuring
  • Scalp care and shampooing
  • Science of hair structure
  • Shaving
  • Waxing

380 hours of demonstration and lectures on these topics:

  • Anatomy
  • Bacteriology
  • Barber law, ethics, economics, and history
  • Chemistry and pharmacology
  • Cleanliness and first aid
  • Facials, massages, and packs
  • Hair relaxing
  • Hair tonics
  • Haircutting
  • Honing and stropping
  • Instruments and products
  • Nails
  • Relevant electricity
  • Scalp care
  • Science of hair structure
  • Shaving
  • Skin, scalp, hair, and disorders
  • Waxing

You must also attend 45 hours of special lectures on tax consulting, advertising, insurance, business management, salesmanship, and barbering.

Iowa Barber Licensing Requirements

To earn your barber’s license in Iowa you must complete training, pass a written theory exam and a practical exam, pay a fee, and apply for your license.

You can register for your barber licensing exams online once you’ve completed your barber training. It costs $83 to register for the theory exam and $108 to register for the practical exam.

The written theory exam has 60 questions, which you have 90 minutes to answer.

Thirty-five percent of the test is about scientific concepts like infection control, human anatomy and physiology, and signs and symptoms of skin diseases. 10 % focuses on how to use barbering tools and equipment. Forty percent covers hair services including hair care, hair design, head shaving, and chemical hair services. The final 15% covers facial hair and skin care services like draping for facial hair and skincare services, shaving safety principles, and electrotherapy.

For the practical exam, you're expected to perform the following:

  • Work area and client preparation
  • Hair cutting
  • Second client preparation
  • Straight razor shaving
  • Blood exposure procedure
  • Chemical waving
  • Predisposition and strand tests with a simulated product
  • Chemical relaxer
  • Hair color

You need a minimum score of 70% to pass each exam. You receive your unofficial results upon completion of your exam, and official results are mailed to you a week later.

If you fail one or both of your exams, don’t worry: you can retake them as many times as you like.

Can I Apprentice as a Barber in Iowa?

2,380 Apprenticeship Hours

Required to earn a barber license

Yes! You can become a barber in Iowa by completing an apprenticeship.

2,000 hours of your Iowa barber apprentice training is in-person hands-on training. You must take 380 hours of online instruction through Milady Barbering Curriculum.

You’re expected to complete your training in about 12 to 14 months. You must pay $500 at the start of your apprenticeship, but keep in mind that you receive hourly wages.

Iowa Barber License Reciprocity

You can earn your Iowa barber’s license by endorsement if you’re licensed in a state with similar requirements. You must also:

  • Have practiced as a barber for 12 months within the last 24 months
  • Apply to the Iowa board
  • Pay a $60 licensing fee
  • Complete one hour of Iowa barbering laws and administrative rules and sanitation
  • Pass the NIC written and practical exams if you haven't done so

Barber License Renewal in Iowa

2 Years

License renewal period

3 Hours

Continuing education required

You must renew your Iowa barber’s license every two years, by June 30th of even-numbered years, and earn three hours of continuing education to renew your Iowa barber’s license. One of those hours must be about Iowa barber laws and administration.

Barber Salary and Projected Job Growth in Iowa


Average yearly salary for barbers in Iowa

Barbers in Iowa earn an average yearly salary of $41,750, or $20.07 per hour, and the number of jobs is expected to grow by 19% between 2020 and 2030. As of 2022, salaries in the state range from $28,480 to $62,200. Location, years working in the field, additional training, and other factors can affect pay level.

Contact the Iowa Board of Barbering and Cosmetology Arts & Sciences

Iowa Board of Barbering and Cosmetology Arts & Sciences

Resources for Barbers in Iowa

New apprenticeship information
The apprenticeship licensure option is relatively new in Iowa. Read more about it here.

Cosmetologists and Barbers of Iowa, Inc (CIB)
This is Iowa’s largest non-profit association of salon professionals.

CIB Facebook Group
Join to read announcements concerning law updates, networking events, and continuing education opportunities.


How to Become a Barber in Your State

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