How to get a Barber License in Washington, DC
A report by the Office of Labor Market Research and Information at the District of Colombia Department for Employment Services showed that there were 141 barbershop employees that were licensed in the district in 2012.
The department estimates a 23% increase in the total number of licenses that will be issued in the district for a period of ten years which is from 2012 to 2022. The increase is expected to come as a result of a growing need for grooming services for men.
First Step: Completion of A Formal Barber Program that is Recognized by the Board
Before you can become a barber in Washington D.C, you must first complete a formal barber program successfully through a dedicated school of cosmetology or barber institution that contains a minimum of 1,500 study hours.
If you complete the required amount of study hours under a supervised apprenticeship program sponsor that is recognized, the board also recognizes that. A list of approved apprenticeship schools can be viewed.
Second Step: Application to Take the Barber Licensure Examinations
Once the necessary training and education have been completed by you, you must then apply to take a barber license examinations through Pearson VUE.
Your New License Application must contain two notarized passport photographs. You can only qualify for a barber license in Washington if you are a minimum of 18 years and you have never been convicted of any crime.
After your exam scheduling form is reviewed, you will receive an Authorization to Test notice to write the exam. This will contain instructions on how you can schedule your exam. If you do not receive the letter you must contact the DC test administration unit by phone.
N.B: The examination must be scheduled and sat for within a month of receiving the Authorization to Test letter.
Third Step: Taking and Passing the Mandatory Exam for Getting a Barber License
The written portion of the barber license exam has computerized exams which are done monthly. The practical exams can be written 4 times yearly.
The D.C. board uses the exams of the NIC (National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology). You can check their website for more info about the NIC.
Fourth Step: Renewing Your Barber License in Washington D.C.
All licenses expire on Sept. 30 of odd-numbered years. You will get a renewal notice about 90 days before the license expires. Apart from completing the application for renewal, at least six continuing education credits must be completed during every two-year licensure period.
Some of the topics of study you can select from to complete the continuing education credits requirements are:
- Infectious disease control
- Product knowledge
- Standards and ethics of professional practice
- District regulations and laws
The continuing education can be obtained through seminars, classroom instruction, university/college classes, lectures, online classes, trade shows etc. A lot of barbers who have plans to establish their own place are better suited for classes involving marketing and business management.
Fifth Step: Exploring a Barbing Career in Washington D.C.
As a barber in Washington, you can work as an employee of numerous resorts, salons, hotels and barbershops.
There are tons of options for ambitious new barbers looking to make a name for themselves in the nation’s capital. DC easily has one of the best scenes in the country and thanks to the large presence of politicians with limited time, but very good salaries, the sky’s the limit.
Sixth Step: How to Become a Barber Manager in Washington
In order to become a barber manager in Washington D.C and manage a barbershop, you must complete one of the options below successfully:
- 1500 hours of training from a school that is approved plus additional 2 years of uninterrupted work experience.
- 2000 hours of training from a school that is approved plus 2 years of uninterrupted work experience.
In order to become a barber manager without completing a minimum of 2 years of work experience, an additional 500 hours of barber training must be completed through a school of barbering that is approved.
Once the necessary experience/education is completed, you can step out into the Washington DC market as an officially licensed barber.