How to Become a Barber in California (Steps, Skills, FAQs)

Being a barber is a career path that is far more beneficial than it seems.

To become a barber in California, you must learn the steps it takes to achieve this, and also, knowing what this profession is all about can help you determine if it’s a career that is suitable for you.

Read on to find out how to become a barber in California and other tips that you will find helpful as an aspiring barber.

Who is a Barber?

A barber is someone whose primary vocation involves cutting, dressing, grooming, styling, and shaving hair or beards for males, including both men and boys.

These individuals advise customers on their best hairstyle, counsel them on what to do with their beards, and render neck massage services in some settings.

Is Being A Barber A Good Career Path?

Yes, it is. Barber is a promising career. This profession allows you to express your creative abilities and is an excellent choice for anyone who loves to relate with people.

You get to be your own boss and set your own hours as a barber. Barbering can be a side hustle to augment your income, and barbering jobs tend to be stable.

Barbers, especially those who work alone, have high job prospects. With practice and regular customers, barbers can increase their earnings thanks to the constant need for their services.

Being a barber may be lucrative if you approach it with the appropriate mindset and work ethic.

How Much Do Barbers Make in California?

According to research, the average salary of a barber in California is about $30,000 per annum.

However, the salary range for barbers in California varies according to experience, skill, and, to some extent, the location of the barbershop.

How To Become a Barber in California And Get a License

1. Complete a Barber Program:

In California, being a barber requires completing an approved barbering training program or apprenticeship.

Before graduation, there should be no less than 1,500 hours of instruction time spent in a barbering program.

Your education will cover a wide range of topics, including but not limited to hairstyling, haircutting, shaving, hair coloring, performing, and more.

You will also receive lessons on technical instruction in health and safety as regards the barber profession.

2. Complete an Apprenticeship Program:

The California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology Apprenticeship is the body responsible for accrediting barber programs and apprenticeships in California.

It stipulates that all apprenticeships must be completed under the supervision of a board-licensed barber.

To enroll in the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology Apprenticeship program, you must be up to the age of 16 and above, finish 10th grade, and have a valid social security number.

Also, you must have a program sponsor, secure the services of a professional trainer, and complete a 39-hour pre-apprenticeship program from an accredited program sponsor.

Completing an apprenticeship program takes about two years (3,200 hours of learning).

3. Obtain a California Barber License:

Complete a barber license application, including a signature and first payment of $125, as soon as possible after finishing an approved barber training program or apprenticeship.

If your application is successful, the Board will notify you of when and how you will take the barber examinations and the documents you must submit to get the Californian barber license.

4. Pass the California Barber Licensure Examinations:

To become a barber in California, you must pass the California barber licensure examinations. This exam is only open to those under 17 years old who have completed up to 10th grade in high school.

It takes the Board between six and twelve weeks to evaluate every application before releasing details of the following exam dates to those waiting in the wings to take the exam.

California barber examination occurs at the Exam Location North, Fairfield, or Exam Location South, Glendale. The exam is made up of two parts: practical and theoretical.

The Board offers the exams through the National Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC).

NB: A barbing license is only awarded to those who earn a passing score in the exam’s practical and theoretical parts.

5. Maintain the License:

A California Barber License must be renewed every odd-numbered year to remain valid after its holder.

To do so, fill out the Personal License Renewal form and submit it along with the $50 renewal cost.

You don’t need to complete an advanced education program to apply for a renewal, which is typical for most Californian certifications.

6. Go For More Advanced Courses:

If you feel an advanced course will boost your skills, you can sign up for one that offers lessons on trending knowledge in this line of work.

If you’re interested in the latest innovations in the beauty industry, joining the California Barbers Association and the California Cosmetology Association is a good idea.

On the other hand, if you want to open your own barber shop in California, you should study business management.

How To Be A Successful Barber

1. Time management:

Effective time management is the deliberate organization and administration of one’s waking hours to maximize efficiency, effectiveness, and production.

Regardless of the number of customers, a barber’s ability to efficiently and effectively manage their time is essential to their success.

This is a crucial ability for every barber to have.

When performing your job, avoid focusing too much attention on any one individual. Keep up the tradition of cleaning the store each morning before opening for business.

2. Organization:

Being organized can keep you from working on tasks that will result in no gains. Ensure all your tools are in the best working conditions before you commence business.

If your customers observe that you don’t always put things in order, they can avoid coming to your shop altogether, which will be bad for you.

3. Customer Interest:

As a barber, you must understand that what your customers desire should always come first.

Satisfying their desires will always make them come back another time and even refer you for free to their friends and loved ones.

4. Communication:

Successful barbers put their customers first and use their comments to improve their services. In addition, if you are a good listener, your customers will enjoy their haircut appointments at the salon even more.

5. Stamina:

Stamina refers to an individual’s capacity to maintain physical and mental exertion over an extended period.

Having stamina as a barber is essential since this job involves standing for long hours while delivering services. You can keep fit by working out consistently.

6. Hand-to-eye coordination:

Hand-eye coordination refers to the synchronized motor control between eye and hand movements and the cognitive processing of visual information to facilitate reaching and grasping.

This coordination also involves the utilization of proprioception in the hands to guide visual attention, a form of multisensory integration.

Barbers need excellent manual dexterity and focus. This ability allows them to provide a high level of service while juggling other tasks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on How to Become a Barber in California

How much does it cost to become a barber in California?

Enrolling in a barber program in California costs between $10,000 and $20,000.

What is the average income of a barber in the United States?

The median annual salary of a barber in the US is just about $36,000.

Which states in the US pay barbers the best salaries?

Illinois, West Virginia, Minnesota, and Washington are states in the US that pay barbers better than any other state in the US.

What is the cost of launching a barbing saloon in the US?

Launching a professional barbing saloon in the US costs between $50,000 and $150,000.


Barber is a satisfying career path that comes with so many benefits. You must take specific steps to jump into this career path in a state like California.

This post has provided the steps you must take to become a barber in California. However, cultivating the skills listed above in your career will enable you to find success in this profession.

Awesome one; I hope this article answers your question.

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Abasiofon Fidelis
Abasiofon Fidelis

Abasiofon Fidelis is a professional writer who loves to write about college life and college applications. He has been writing articles for over 3 years. He is the Content Manager at School and Travel.

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