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A Guide to Become a Professional Barber in California

If you love the idea of creating a snappy haircut and shave for customers and want to build a rewarding career, then, becoming a professional barber is the perfect career for you! Professional barbers help their customers look and feel their best and is a fun and rewarding career for both men and women.   Becoming a  professional barber does have some requirements you’ll need to meet but you can be assured of a fun and truly rewarding career in the field. Here is everything you need to know about becoming a professional barber in California

Before You Start – Requirements

Before you begin your journey to becoming a barber, make sure you are eligible. You need to meet a few requirements to be a barber in California: – You must have completed your high school diploma or GED,  so you are eligible to enroll in an accredited program.  You must possess a valid California driver’s license. – You must check with BBC first if you have any felony convictions. 

Find an Accredited Program

Before picking any school, be sure that it is accredited. California requires future barbers to complete set course hours and training in an approved California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology Board program. Once you’ve decided on your career path, you’ll want to search for a school that meets the mandated guidelines. A quick Google search in your area is a great way to compare schools and programs. Also, don’t hesitate to call and ask questions beforehand or schedule a tour of schools in your area.

Complete Your Barbering Program

Barbers are licensed professionals and, as such, are regulated by the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. To be a professional barber in California, you must complete your approved program before licensure. Most barbering programs can be completed in less than 7 months. Students learn the required techniques such as cutting, styling, shaving, laws and regulations, and health and safety. Be prepared for both theoretical and hands-on training.

Submit Your Application to the State for Testing

After you have finished your program and graduated, you must submit your application for licensing to the state through the Board of Barbering & Cosmetology, along with licensing fees.  It’s important to note that you should submit your application for licensing as soon as possible after graduation,  but it can take several  weeks for the Board to process your application. You will be notified when the next available exam dates are available by mail.


Becoming a barber is a rewarding career path that allows you to work in a creative, social environment and interact with a wide variety of people every day. Start with an accredited program, complete the required coursework, submit your application for licensing to the state, and take the required state exam. With these requirements out of the way, all that is left is to hone your skills as a barber and wait for customers to come in and ask for a fresh new look from you!

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