Before you continue your search for barber schools, take a step back and read through these FAQ’s. These are great starters to discuss topics like: the difference between barber school and barbering programs at cosmetology schools. After that, you should review the courses and learning outcomes that most barber schools apply to their programs. Trust us, you’ll do a lot more than just cut men’s hair in these programs and jobs! To make complicated topics simple, we break down the typical barber school requirements, cost, and average length of a barbering program for you.



01. About
Thinking about barber school?

If you are considering enrolling in barber school, you are probably curious about how much the program costs, how long it will take to complete, and what you will learn in barber school. Perfect—because we have answers.

Why should you trust Beauty Schools Directory more than other options for information about barber careers and education?

  • You can find tons of common FAQ’s about cost, duration, and curriculum for these programs right here.
  • Our resources can help you determine the right kind of program – and connect you with barber schools in your area.
  • You can contact us with any questions you have, and we’ll do our best to help you.
  • We even offer a scholarship that barbering students can use towards their education expenses!

If you think training to become a men's stylist and barber sounds like the right fit for you, just enter your zip code in the box to the right. Choose "Barbering" as your program to find schools near you that offer this program.

What is the difference between a barber school and a barbering program at a cosmetology school?

Did you know that it is a common myth that barbering and cosmetology are the same thing? Yes, in many ways, they are quite similar. In fact program length, cost and curriculum may even overlap, but they are two separate licenses and there are some distinct differences between these two professions.

What makes barbering different?

  • Primarily teach the study of men's hair and short hair styles and techniques
  • Men’s shaving and grooming included – but not in most cosmetology programs
  • Advanced skills, such as coloring, permanent waves, and other techniques may be learned, but it’s not essential
  • Barbering clientele are overwhelmingly male, while cosmetology clientele skew female
  • It is a myth that only men are barbers--in fact, nearly half of licensed barbers are women who have mastered the tonsorial arts

Lastly, the next major difference between barbering and cosmetology is the services each type of licensee can legally perform.

Cosmetology curricula includes men’s cuts, but not shaving and grooming. Students in cosmetology programs also learn:

  • Women’s hair cutting and styling
  • Nails
  • Makeup

In fact, in some states it's up for debate whether a salon can have a barber pole outside their business if there is not a licensed barber on staff. If you know that you want to work with men, you will likely want to seek out barbering schools to start

How Do I Find The Best Barbering School Near Me?

The best way to choose a barber school is always to research the barbering colleges you're considering and ask a lot of questions when you talk to the admissions representatives.

Here are some quick tips for contacting barbering programs and comparing your options:

  • Compare at least three schools before making a final decision.
  • Cost is the most important factor, and so is financial planning. Make sure your school can help you map a strategy for paying for school.
  • Does the program meet your state license requirements?
  • Are the classes taught by experienced barbers?
  • Do they have career services to help you transition to the workplace?

Regardless of which school you choose, a good barbering school should teach you how to cultivate your strengths in cutting and styling men's hair and short hair, as well as the art of a good shave. The best barber programs will also prepare you with all the theory, practical and hands-on training hours you need to sit for your state's board exam.

Getting a solid education is a necessary first step to getting gainful employment in any barbershop.

For a checklist of questions to ask your admissions representatives and a list of things you should consider when choosing a school, check out this article about how to choose a barber school.

If you’re ready to make your move, contact barber schools today


02. Courses | Course Length
Additional Barbering Skills You Can Learn in School

Figuring out how to properly manage each hair type is one of the most rewarding parts of barbershop school and barbering in general. As part of the barbering curriculum - which may vary slightly from state to state - you will also learn about:

  • Hair and scalp conditions
  • Safety & sanitation
  • Blood Borne Pathogens
  • State-specific barbering regulations

Remember-- for barbering, the hair must be healthy for it to reach its full potential. Clients count on you to keep an eye out for potential problems and to help them maintain healthy, good-looking hair.

What Do You Learn In Barber School?

Barber schools teach barbering students both traditional and modern, cutting edge skills to cut men's hair. Courses typically cover the following topics:

  • Cutting and trimming
  • Men’s grooming and shaving services
  • Scalp treatments
  • Adjusting of wigs, toupees, or artificial hair
  • Coloring, permanent waves and treatments

Because barbering is such a traditional niche, and a popular independent business path, some barber schools go so far as to teach business management and marketing skills to get ahead in the industry. Safety and sanitation is also an important component of barbering school.

How do I become a barber, and how long does it take?

In order to become a barber, you usually must be at least 16 years old and have either a high school diploma or GED in order to be allowed to enroll. You will then need to complete an approved training program in a valid beauty or barber school and pass a state exam in order to be given a license, although a handful of states allow apprenticeship to get the required training hours instead (usually twice as many hours as would be required if you went to barber school).

How long it will take to become a licensed barber depends on a variety of factors. The time to complete the program depends on whether you are in full-time or part-time training in barber school, or if you've decided to apprentice. The amount of hours required to become a barber varies by state, but the average is between 1500 and 2000 training hours. For those who decide to do apprenticeship instead of going to school, it usually takes twice as many hours. Finally, the time required to become a licensed barber will also be affected by how long it takes you to pass the licensing exam, which typically consists of a written portion and a practical hands-on portion. Most people complete a training program at a school in 12 to 24 months, depending your state's minimum requirements. Be sure to discuss all of these factors with an admissions advisor at the barber schools you're considering so you can plan accordingly.

03. Requirements
What are the requirements to enroll in barber school?


Barber school enrollment requirements are typically the same in every state, with some variation between states. The bare minimum requirements to enroll in barbering school usually include:

  • High school diploma or a GED prior to enrollment
  • At least 16 years old
  • Pass background check & application process

Many have asked whether you are eligible to receive a barber license with a felony conviction. Once again, this depends on your state's requirements and laws, and it also depends on the crime you have been convicted for. Most states will allow you to get licensed if you have a felony or misdemeanor conviction on your record, depending on the conviction, but it's absolutely essential that you do not lie about it on your application.

04. Cost
How much does barber school cost to attend?

Many barbering courses are offered on either a full-time or part-time basis, and some states allow apprenticeship hours that count toward your education. So, the cost of barbering school can vary based on a number of different factors such as:

  • Is the school is a large chain or a local shop?
  • What area is the school in?
  • How many hours does your state require to become licensed?
  • What's included in the cost?

The best thing to do is to request information from the barbering schools you are considering.

This will help you discover how much each individual school costs.

Our survey of beauty schools has found that the cost of barber college typically averages between $10,000 on the low end and $20,000 on the high end. One thing to consider, though, is that some schools include the cost of the student kit, mannequins, frocks, supplies and textbooks. Other schools do not. So when comparing the cost of different schools to become a barber, be sure to ask the admissions representatives what's included in that cost of tuition.


Other frequently asked question topics