While licensing requirements for barbers vary from state to state, they often require the person be at least 16 years old, have a high school diploma or its equivalent, and have graduated from an accredited barber school. Licensing tests often include a written portion and sometimes a styling test.
Each state requires that barbers complete training at a licensed school. Such schools often instruct students on skin care, hairstyling and personal appearance services. In most cases, programs can be completed in nine months and sometimes award students with an associate degree. In order to keep up with hairstyling trends, barbers often choose to take advanced courses.
Several states allow barbers to credit their training towards a cosmetology license, and there are some states that allows individuals to earn both licenses at once. Depending on the state, a barber may be required to periodically renew his license. A barber who decides to move to another state may not have to complete additional training to become licensed in his new state, but this is quite rare. Barbers should research individual state requirements before moving.
In addition to a traditional barber license, some states offer licenses that allow barbers to bleach, color and highlight hair, as well as give clients permanent waves.