Barber Certification and Diploma Program Overviews

Explore the curriculum for both a diploma and certificate program in barbering, as well as how to earn certification. Also, see the salary and employment projections for this field.

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Essential Information

Barbers are typically required to complete state-approved training programs, such as certificate or diploma programs. These programs are open to high school graduates and are often completed in one year. In meeting state licensing requirements, the curriculum typically concentrates on topics like sanitation, hair styling and barber tools through classroom and hands-on practice.


Certificate of Training in Barbering

Barber certificate programs provide students with basic, career-focused training. Students are trained in haircutting, waving, skin care, shaving and shampooing. Additionally, barber certificate programs address safety and sanitation techniques, often covering state and federal sanitation laws. Most certificate programs in barbering require applicants to possess high school diplomas or equivalent.

Program Coursework

Students in barber certificate programs learn about the many techniques that will be required of them in their profession. Coursework may include the following:

  • Hair styling
  • Shaving
  • Barbering and styling tools
  • Skin and scalp care
  • Safety and sanitation

Technical Diploma in Barbering

Diploma programs in barbering provide students with classroom-based and practical, hands-on training in the skills required to become barbers. In the classroom, students learn about safety, management and sales. Significant time is spent in a supervised barbershop or salon setting where students practice performing haircuts and hair coloring. These programs typically take one year to complete and are designed to meet state licensing requirements. Most barber diploma programs have no specific course prerequisites, though applicants are required to possess high school diplomas or the equivalent.

Program Coursework

Courses in barber diploma programs cover a wide spectrum of hair care practices and skills. Students gain career-focused training through courses such as the following:

  • Barber tools
  • Shampooing
  • Safety and sanitation
  • Haircutting
  • Hair styling
  • Shaving
  • Skin and scalp care
  • Barbershop management

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Over 712,000 barbers, hairdressers and cosmetologists were employed in 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov). Nearly 50% of barbers were self-employed, with the remainder working primarily for beauty salons and spas as employees. The BLS expected job opportunities for barbers to grow 7% from 2010-2020; this growth was an anticipated result of a growing population and the demand for advanced hair treatments, including hair coloring, among both young people and baby boomers. The median hourly wages for barbers were $12.06, as of May 2012, reported the BLS.

Continuing Education and Certification Information

Barbers are required to be licensed, though requirements vary by state. Typically, barber certification steps include completing an approved training program followed by an exam with practical and oral components. While no advanced degree programs for barbers exist, those looking for advancement in management positions may pursue associate degrees in barber management or business.

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Puerto Rico (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at D'Mart Institute include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Cosmetology and Related Services
        • Aesthetician and Skin Care
        • Barber and Hair Cutting Services
        • Hair Design
        • Nail Technician - Manicurist
        • Permanent Cosmetics and Tattooing
  • School locations:
    • Mississippi (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Pearl River Community College include:
      • Non-Degree: Coursework, Diploma
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Cosmetology and Related Services
        • Barber and Hair Cutting Services
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Informatics and Illustration
      • Medical Residency Programs
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Dental
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Public Health and Safety
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Ethics and Bioethics
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Medical Ethics and Bioethics
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Public Health and Safety
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Georgetown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Optometric and Ophthalmic Services
      • Public Health and Safety
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Vanderbilt University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Public Health and Safety

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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