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How to Start Your Career as a Barber

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People nowadays love to do their haircare and skincare at home. They look online for hair care tips and apply them on their own. However, professionals can do a lot more than anyone can. Haircare professionals such as barbers not only style the hair but also use high-quality products.

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Additionally, they have passed the state board exam and got their license.

That’s right. Barbers also have a license, just like any other profession. If you want to know how to get a barber’s license, read on. This article will provide details on the requirements to take the barber state board exam. In addition to this, we’ll also discuss the skills needed for a successful barbering career.

Requirements for the Barber State Board Exam

Every state requires you to get a license before you can practice barbering legally. And to get this, you need to pass the barber state board exam.

The barbering state board test consists of written and practical examinations. On the written part of the exam, you’ll be tested on your knowledge about hair and hair care services. In addition to this, you also need to know about facial hair and skincare services. Lastly, it is also important to review the scientific concepts of cosmetology.

Each state has different regulations about licensing. However, generally, here are the following requirements before you can take the barber state board exam.

1. Education

A high school diploma or a GED is required for any barber or stylist to begin their career. For people who can’t get a standard high school diploma, the GED alternative is available.

You need this certificate to enroll in a cosmetology or barber school. It is also important in the future should you decide on running a business. It will provide you with basic knowledge of math and verbal skills needed for any business.

2. Apprenticeship

Internships are not common in the industry, even though many institutions provide courses at low prices. For this reason, most programs only have limited hands-on practice involving cutting hair on real models. Graduates will have to wait until they are employed to get work-related experience.

Apprenticeship Barber

Apprenticeships often span two to four years. If you learn more from one-on-one instruction, apprenticeship suits you well. These programs help you learn about business ethics and the safe use of sharp equipment. Aside from this, it’s an effective way to prepare you for the barber state board exams.

Alternatively, you can also take practice tests while you’re doing your apprenticeship. Practice tests like the PSI barber practice test provide you with questions from previous board exams. It’s also the best way to know if you’re prepared to take the state board exam.

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Continuing Education

Like most licenses, you need to renew them at a certain period. For barbers, most states only require you to pay a renewal fee and fill out some papers. However, some states like Washington require you to take a specific amount of time for continuing education.

If it’s not a requirement in your state, you can proceed to renew your license. However, you can also enroll in some programs and training if you want to improve your knowledge.

Similar to most cosmetology practices, barbering is an evolving practice. There are different techniques to learn almost all the time. That’s why continuing education is recommended. Before you enroll in a program, make sure that your instructor is a licensed cosmetologist or barber.

Your Career Path as a Licensed Barber

After passing the barber state board exam, you can decide on the career path of your choice. Most people head straight to working in a barbershop. However, you have the option to pursue a different career.

Barbering entails much more than simply cutting men’s hair. This means you can work in a different setting. Let’s take a look at some of the unique jobs you can choose with a barber’s license.

1. Self-Employed Barber

You can become a self-employed barber instead of working for someone’s salon or barbershop. You can open your barbershop, hire a booth at a salon, or even work from home. This gives you the freedom to choose your working hours and progress at your own pace.

Being a self-employed barber requires some business knowledge and marketing abilities. If this is what you plan, you should enroll in a barber school with some business courses.

2. Cosmetology or Barber School Teacher

Some barbers fell in love with the concepts of barbering. That’s why they choose to teach others the methods instead of practicing them.

You can achieve this by undergoing student instructor training. This way, you can refine all of your barbering talents and learn how to properly educate future barbers. As a teacher, you aim to assist students to pass their barber state board exam. Not only that but you are also required to help them gain the right experience for their future employment.

3. Hair Product Developer

During school, you’ll be taking basic chemistry courses to understand how hair products work. If by chance, you have an idea of how you can improve these products, you can try being a developer.

You can produce your line of hair products or even collaborate with other businesses. You’ll be able to use your talent and expertise with product development to good use.

This is ideal for those who have an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to create their own company. Getting a barber’s license will help you create your product line. You’re also expected to have industry knowledge and expertise.

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4. Personal Care Services

Barber school teaches you much more than simply how to trim a man’s hair. You’ll learn everything there is to know about different hair design procedures and treatments, including:

  • How to color hair
  • How to shave and design facial hair
  • How to massage hair
  • How to take care of wavy hair
  • How hair care and scalp care works

You can work as a personal care service provider after passing the barber license exam. You can provide different treatments at a salon, on your own, or as an add-on to your barbering services. You can also connect with other service providers in the area, which is a great way of growing your business.

5. Freelance Barber

If you’re a barber, you don’t need to work full-time. It can be a side hustle that provides an additional source of income. Working as a freelancer is one approach to dealing with this.

In most events, barbers are in high demand. You can work for theatrical shows, TV and film shoots, or special occasions such as weddings. However, marketing skills are needed to get these kinds of jobs.

You can do the marketing yourself, such as managing a social media account. Or, you can work with an agency to help you look for such opportunities.

Skills Required for a Successful Barbering Career

In cosmetology school, you’ll be trained with the different techniques for cutting hair. You’ll be learning how to cut, trim, and style hair. However, there are certain skills that you need to have to become a great barber. And these skills are usually not taught in schools.

Skills Required for a Successful Barbering Career Barber

Here are some of the skills you need to be successful in your barbering career.

1. Attention to Detail

Each client that you’ll be working with wants something different for their hair. To provide them with the best service, you need to know exactly what they want.

Now, barbers are not psychics, but you can do this by paying attention to some aspects. Being detail-oriented helps the consumer feel privileged and promotes loyalty to your store. Plus, it makes your job easier.

2. Customer Service

Customer service skills are essential whether you run a walk-in business or schedule appointments. If you provide your customers with the best customer service, they will more likely recommend your shop to others.

3. Communication Skills

Being a barber is a service-oriented career., which means that communication is essential. However, it’s not only about being able to express your ideas. It’s also about being able to understand your clients. Understanding their demands and describing the process saves you a significant amount of time. More importantly, it provides a great customer experience.

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4. Time Management Skills

Every barbershop owner wants a successful shop where more people are availing of their service. However, it can be stressful to manage the shop. In any professional situation, the value of time management should not be overlooked.

It’s the same with barbering. You need to provide each client enough attention while simultaneously cleaning and maintaining the shop. Some barbers even make house calls, which adds to the amount of time spent commuting. All of this is nearly hard to do without efficient time management skills.

Final Thoughts

A career in barbering is not exactly how most people expect it to be. It’s not only about cutting hair in a barbershop. It is an exciting career with different career paths for you to choose from.

In addition to this, you’ll also be able to choose when you work. It’s really fun to work as the boss of your career. Plus, it’s even possible to build your cosmetology or barber school.

However, it does take some time and effort to become a barber. But if you’re determined to become one, you should be able to pass the barber state board exam and get your license. All it takes is for you to take the essential steps and start building your pathway to a successful barbering career.

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