How to become a licensed barber in Pennsylvania
Barbershops are what men look to whenever they need a makeover or even slight touch ups with a clearly masculine touch.
The old tradition of barbering has been transformed into a more modern and hip manly culture. The high demand has given birth to more room in the men’s style and grooming industry for barber jobs.
In Pennsylvania, the barbershop industry is ranked in the top 50 income and jobs generating industries.
There are around 4500 barbershops which have resulted in the employment of close to 26K stylists across the industry.
In other words, if you’re looking to become a barber in Pennsylvania, there hasn’t been a time as good as the present to jump in with both feet.
If you have an interest in taking barbering follow these simple steps to get hold of your barber license, approved by the barber board of Pennsylvania.
Step 1. Complete a 1,250-Hour Barbering Program
You have to be more than 16 years in age and must have completed education than 8th standard before you become eligible to get admission in a registered barber school.
According to the board’s requirement, you must be registered in a licensed school which teaches the following areas over a time span of 1250 hours:
- Straightening and perming – 25 Hours
- Basic shaving – 240 Hours
- Hair styling and artificial hair – 535 Hours
- Hair washing and massages– 25 Hours
- Hair dying– 25 Hours
- Facial relaxation services – 25 Hours
- Hair removal – 25 Hours
- Scalp issues and cures – 50 Hours
- State rules and regulations – 50 Hours
- Cleanliness and germ control – 50 Hours
- Sanitation – 25 Hours
- Bacteria – 25 Hours
- Electric hazards – 25 hours
- Work ethics – 25 hours
- Management and shop development – 50 Hours
You can also start working towards your license by training at a barbershop. For this you’ll have to fill a barber student’s form and work directly under the supervision of an experienced barber to get initial training of the art.
Step 2. Submit the Pennsylvania Licensure by Examination Application
After you clear your barber school studies, you are supposed to apply for the exams taken out by Pearson VUE department. The examination procedure has been outsourced to this organization. Follow these simple set of steps:
- Study the Pennsylvania Barber Candidate Handbook
- Fill & send Application for Professional Licensure by Examination
- Attach original certificate given from the barber school
- School education certificate
- A total of $160 has to be paid in exam fees.
Post all the documents to the following address:
Pearson VUE c/o Dasher, Inc.
PO Box 1652
Harrisburg, PA 17105-1652
The barber board in Pennsylvania also offers reciprocity to the barbers working in other states of the country. The only requirement is that these states must have a similar education procedure. Here are a few states you can get your license transferred from:
- New Mexico
- New York
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
In case you are from a state other than those mentioned in the list above. You’ll have to apply through a regular channel like ordinary aspirants by:
- Send a regular application orApply Online
- Give proof of old licensure
- Submit $55 transfer fee
All the documents from other states shall be sent to this address:
State Board of Barber Examiners
PO Box 2649
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649
Step 3. Pass the Pennsylvania Practical and Theory Licensing Exams
After the procedure of exam application completes, you are sent a test letter from the Pearson VUE services stating the details about your examination. Credentials are provided for your concerned examination schedule manager so that you can schedule according to your ease.
Practical Skills Examination
The practical exam covers a time of 120 minutes and invigilators are allowed to ask you arbitrary questions about barbering skills and check your ability. You’ll have to bring the live model with you upon which you’ll be displaying your art. The skills tested are:
- Germ control
- Precautionary measures
- Basic shaves
- Skin treatments
- Hair trimming, cutting, styling
- Hair dying and coloring
- Chemical services
Theory Skills Examination
An exam consisting of 130 questions where you need to pick the best choice. You are allowed a time of 175 minutes for this examination:
- Laws and safety measures (25-30%)
- Hair and skin care (5-10%)
- Shaving/Beard Design (6-10%)
- Hair dressing (25-30%)
- Chemical treatments (20-25%)
- Skin treatments (4-8%)
The examination can be attempted on any one of these locations throughout the state.
- Pittsburgh (East and West)
The scores are provided without delay and on the same date by the Pearson VUE officials. If your scores state that you have cleared the exam, you can collect your license from the board
Step 4. Start Working as a Licensed Barber in Pennsylvania
Finding work once you have your license in your hand isn’t much of a question if you’re good at what you do. There are several in-demand barbershops in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh that are on a constant look-out for hot new talent.
A few years into your career you can open your own barbershop in the vicinity and not only earn more but raise the standards of hair styling for the good. To have your own barbershop, follow the steps:
- Fill and send the shop licensing application
- Proof of $110 fee payment
- Get an inspection done
- Have enough equipment
Step 5. Renew Your Pennsylvania Barber License Every two years
All the barber licenses in the state of Pennsylvania go void on the last day of April every two years. The license will expire every two years if you do not pay the $109 renewal fee each year before the date arrives. All barbers are notified individually before the date arrives.