How to get a Barber License in California
California has to be reckoned as one of the states with most number of licensed barbers. According to a report from 4 years ago, the Employment Development Department reported an astonishing number of 5100 licensed barbers in California that year.
It was predicted that in the next 6 years there’ll be a rise of as much as 20%. To my surprise, this sum doesn’t include shop owners and barbers with their own startups.
According to this report, there’ll be 230 barber vacancies each year in California.
A barber is someone that can perfectly style and redefine men’s hair. Facial hair styling has also been setting new trends in the past years.
There couldn’t be a better time than this for you to pursue a career in the hair styling industry.Barbering is a growing profession these days.
A good barber should be good at grooming its client’s hair style, facial hair and taking care of the scalp.
All barber activities in California are governed by the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. It is responsible for all licensing and law making for barbers in the region. The following 4 step method shall be followed if you want to become a barber in California.
Step 1. Complete a Barber Program or Apprenticeship
California’s barber department accepts two methods towards attaining a barber license i-e an official barber graduate program or an apprenticeship.
To be eligible in attaining a license, you’ll have to go through a proper graduate program stretching to a time span of at least 1,500 hours, that also from a registered barber school. The second option is to go through an apprenticeship.
Approved Barber Program
You can complete your desired barber program from any reputed barber school that holds a degree issuing license. The program must also be approved by the California Board. You can see a list of approved barber schools here.
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According to the Board’s requirements, all barber schools should be covering the following areas of study:
- Technical teaching and hands on training of hair dressing
- Permanently reshaping hair
- Coloring or dying hair
- Hair cutting
- Preparation and performance
- Technical instruction in health and safety
- Barber laws
- Customer satisfaction
- Precautionary measures
- Disinfection and sanitation
- Physiology studies
Approved Apprenticeship Program
The California government offers upcoming barbers with an Apprenticeship program. Benefits of this program can be availed by anyone that is studying in barber school and wishes to earn a decent salary while studying.
For this you’ll have to be an apprentice to a licensed barber working in a legal salon or running his own barbershop. An agreeing document has to be signed before you start. Signatures are required from both the trainer and salon program sponsor.
Going through a barber apprenticeship would mean that you are willing to be enrolled for 3200 hours of work which includes 200 hours of classroom time as well. There are a few requirements for candidates that want to pursue the apprenticeship program:
- All candidates must be more than 16 years of age with schooling cleared till 10th grade.
- Have a valid social security card.
- Get in contact with a sponsor, you can get help from the Approved Apprenticeship Program Sponsors list
- Have a licensed establishments and trainer who is willing to train you
- Work for 39 hours in training to acquire an apprenticeship sponsor.
The first thing you need to do for becoming a barber’s apprentice in California is to find a sponsor nearby. The sponsor shall guide you through all the proceedings and documentation.
Step 2. Send Application for a California Barber License
After a candidate has completed his two year apprenticeship program, he’ll have to fill out and send the Barber Application for Examination to The Board before mentioned due date. A first step license fee of $125 has to be submitted alongside your application. The Board also allows candidates to apply through an online application.
After the board collects your documents from the mail and runs your stats through their eligibility criteria, you’ll soon be notified about your eligibility status. You’ll receive a letter stating details of your barber licensure and examinations.
Step 3. Clear the Required Barber Examinations
The only requirements for people to appear in a barber’s license examination in California are that they should be more than 17 years of age when they submit the application and must have a schooling certificate till 10th grade.
The Board will take a maximum of 2 months before they send you a reply about your examination schedule and other details. Exam centers are present both in the north and south. The northern exam center is located in Fairfield while the southern exam center is in Glendale.
Barber examination in the state of California is divided into two essential parts: one of them is a theoretical exam while the second one is a practical examination of your skills.
The examinations are carried out and governed by the National Interstate Council (NIC). Additional info on the NIC can be collected here. Details about both types of examination can be found at the information portal of practical examination and written examination.
After a candidate appears in and passes both these examinations. The Board sends a congratulatory letter to him that contains his California Barber License.
Step 4. Regularly Renew Your California Barber License and Find Job Opportunities
The barber licenses in California region require a renewal in each odd numbered year. All you have to do is to fill a simple renewal form and deposit a $50 fee for renewal. The renewing process can also be carried out online through BreEZe online system.
Barber’s do not have to continue studies related to this field to keep their licenses active. However barbers can avail new opportunities by attending seminars and conferences based on barber activities and styling techniques. Especially the events conducted by California Cosmetology Association, they are the best sources of knowledge for barbers.
You can enhance your resume by getting a degree in management or hospitality. This would give you an edge if you plan on opening your own barbershop or salon.