All across the country, there are certain set requirements that must be met in order to become a hair stylist or a barber. However, while the requirements necessary to obtain these two licenses are very similar, they will vary at least slightly in various regards, including the amount of hours you must complete, the tests you need to pass and the training required. As for the training, it is important to keep in mind that whatever beauty school you choose to attend must be approved by your state’s cosmetology board. So, be careful when choosing an institution, and make sure to do some research before you invest crucial hours in a program that is not approved by your state. After the hairstylist or barber license requirements for education are fulfilled and you meet the prerequisites established by your state for age and previous education, you can move on to the next portion of the process, which is filling out the required comsmetology application and paying the necessary fees. Once you have filed the application to become a professional hairdresser or barber, you can also take the time to consider any specialties. Certain states offer specific registrations for hair braiding or wrapping, for instance, and these can be used to increase your career opportunities. But the only way that you will be able to obtain any type of hair stylist license is to find an approved facility that will offer you the required education, and the best way to find a facility that interests you is to examine the sections below and go online to the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences website to find a nearby location.
Prerequisites for Hairstylist and Barber Education
Regardless of your state of residence, there are several prerequisites that you will have to meet in order to obtain hairstylist or barber licensing. These requirements are typically divided into a few different categories, including applicant age (typically, applicants must be at least 16 years of age), previous education (a high school or GED is generally required) and training hours. Only if you meet all of the aforementioned prerequisites will you be able to enroll in a school of barbering and hair, fill out the necessary application and pay the fees required by your state’s board of cosmetology.
Hairstylist and Barber Coursework
One of the most important things to keep in mind when you are considering a career as a hair colorist, a barber or any other sort of professional that deals with hair is the coursework hours requirement for education. Each state board of cosmetologists has its own set amount of hours that must be completed in a state-approved institution in order for a prospective professional to obtain the necessary cosmetology license. Whereas the Florida Board of Cosmetology and the Barber’s Board of Florida only require hair stylist applicants to complete 1,200 credit hours, the state of New York sets the bar slightly lower at just 1,000 credit hours. Still, certain states have even higher requirements for the necessary amount of stylist and barber training hours.
Furthermore, if your state of residence offers a specialty program, such as hair wrapping or hair braiding, and you would also like to receive these professional credentials, then you will have to complete additional hair stylist training. Fortunately, these specialty programs are not extensive or lengthy and are typically completed in a few days, depending on your state’s board requirements. Keeping the state board in mind, it is also important to remember that your state’s cosmetology department must approve the courses that you take in order to obtain a specialty hairdresser license.
The next step that you must take, now that you are familiar with the hour requirements and all of the other prerequisites of barber and hair salon schools visit the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences website and search for a facility near you that offers the programs you are interested in. By providing some personal information, you will be able to find out the physical addresses, available programs, required hours and more from this website.
Hairstylist and Barber On the Job
After the education requirements are complete, the next big step is to take the necessary hair stylist exam. Once that is done, you will receive a notification from the state’s cosmetology board letting you know that you now have the credentials required to practice in a professional setting. But, if you don’t take the time to practice your career before you become a professional, you may find it difficult to find a job. That is why you should definitely consider applying for internships while you are still in the process of becoming a barber or a hair stylist. To engage in this process, simply follow these steps:
- Make a resume and obtain your school transcript – In order to be serious about your internship prospects, you must be able to show your professionalism and qualifications.
- Consider the different internships available for hair stylists and barbers – Before going into a job that you may not like, it is important to consider the pros and cons of various settings and internship positions.
- Do a job search – It does not matter whether you prefer to look online or in person, there are plenty of career opportunities available for a student in cosmetology.
- Make sure your school approves of your internship – If you are working to get practical experience for your education program, you must get school approval in order to receive credit hours.
- Serve your hairstyling internship – The last thing for you to do is carry out your work, network with fellow cosmetologists and get the valuable experience you need.
How to Pay for Hairstylist and Barber Education
One of the most common questions that a prospective cosmetologist asks concerns the cost to become a hair stylist or a barber in their state. However, when it comes to tuition amounts, it is important to keep in mind that they vary from one state to the next, costing anywhere from $5,000 in rural areas to $10,000 in big city environments. There is no set amount of money that you will have to pay in order to get the proper hair stylist training. This is because price depends on the specific school that you enroll in, as well as any special licenses that you want to pursue. In any case, there is no need to be too concerned about hefty costs, because regardless of your state of residence, there are hair dresser scholarships available. Additionally, if you do not qualify for a scholarship in your program, you may be eligible to receive financial aid for barber school. As for their typical annual salaries, barbers make about $30,000 per year, while hairdressers in the United States get paid slightly less than $33,000 per year.
Beyond salary and tuition, there are quite a few other questions that you should ask yourself before you enter into hair stylist school. They are as follows:
- What is the typical cost of a beauty salon school?
- Does my school offer scholarships?
- How can I get financial aid from my beauty school?
- How much interest will I have to pay on a student loan?
- How long will it take me to pay off a beauty school loan?
- Will I be able to support myself as a barber or hairdresser and pay off my loans?
Furthermore, in addition to the cost of hair stylist schooling, it is also important for you to keep a few other fees in mind. For instance, the application and exam you must take in order to obtain a barber license comes with a state-set fee. Additionally, there are fees that have to be paid when you need to renew your hair stylist license, replace your credentials, update them and more.