Some people are not well-suited to the tasks of caring for others. And these individuals aren’t likely to exhibit the bedside manner necessary to be a great barber. Since a large part of catering to the grooming needs of customers revolves around making them feel relaxed and pampered, a certain disposition is needed to be successful in the barbering trade. However, you’ll need more than the right personality to work as a licensed barber. Although being a good listener, having a gentle touch, and exhibiting a soothing demeanor will certainly help, you’ll have to meet a few other requirements before you’ll be legally allowed to take a straight razor to a man’s beard, trim a client’s hair, perform coloring or other chemical treatments, or groom people’s nails. But if you’re interested in this service-industry occupation, the process might not be quite as intensive as you suspect. Here are the requirements to become a licensed barber.
First you should know that requirements for certification vary by state, so you’ll have to check with your state’s board of barbering and cosmetology if you want to make sure that you understand all of the requirements to practice barbering in your location. In most cases you’ll have to attend proper schooling to learn your trade, although both barbering and cosmetology school (or some combination thereof) may apply towards your mandatory education. Some states don’t even ask that you complete high school or earn your diploma in order to undertake certification, but it’s probably not a bad idea to obtain your high school diploma or equivalent first.
Once you’ve found a suitable school you can begin racking up the required hours, which often include both instruction in the many aspects of barbering, including cutting, dyeing, and styling hair, trimming and shaving beards and mustaches, applying face and scalp treatments, grooming nails, and so on, as well as practice on volunteers. You’ll need to make sure the school you choose is a registered institution so that your hours spent learning and practicing will count towards your licensure requirements. After you have completed your hours you’ll have to apply for certification, pay fees, and take any exams associated with your licensure. Once you’ve passed your exams you’ll receive a barber license and you can begin plying your trade for money.
Of course, you’ll probably have to renew your license periodically. And you may have to test for more than one license if you want to offer all of the services barbers generally provide. In some cases you can take a specific test that allows you to become a technician. This will limit the tasks you’re allowed to perform, but give you the opportunity to get hired in a barbershop and continue learning from a skilled and experienced barber before you obtain full-fledged licensure. Whether you decide you want to attend a barber school in Brownsville Texas or another locale, or you opt to start slowly and apprentice under a practicing barber, you will have to meet state requirements for licensure if you want to operate as a licensed barber at some point. Luckily there are many resources available to the would-be barbers out there. And when you start with the right disposition and talents for the job, obtaining your license should be more of a formality than a trial.