How to Become a Barber in 2024?

Show Your Creations and Learn How to Become a NYS Barber

Neighborhood barbershops have recently been increasing in popularity once again. With the pandemic having an effect on businesses, people took it into their own hands to craft their own DIY projects. From creating small businesses, doing DIY haircuts, and pursuing hobbies – it comes as no surprise that barbershops and hair salons have become one of those businesses that have flourished after the pandemic.

Many men and women are on trend to pursue barbering as a profession. To become a barber is an ideal industry for people who are interested in personal care services and haircutting/barbering. And while it may seem easy to start your career by cutting your family’s hair – there are steps one must take to become a barber. Your ultimate goal is to build your own barbershop. Keep reading for all the steps on how you can become a barber. If you want to own your own barbershop, read our other article for more information!

Table of Contents:

Step 1: Get the Necessary Training and Graduate from a NYS Barber School

What’s a barber without the expert craftsmanship and knowledge? The first step to become a barber and open your own barbershop is by having a comprehensive education, and concise training in haircutting, disease control, etc. to be able to get state licensure. And to do that, one must graduate from an approved NYS barber school and pass the exam.

An education in barbering is usually done through approved barber schools like us, Tribeca Barber and Beauty School. These schools consist of programs like the Master Barber Program and Express Barber Program that allow students to learn critical theory and practices in barbering. These include haircutting, sanitization, rules and regulations, etc.

Step 2: Apply for the NYS Barber Operator Application

Now that you have completed and graduated from a NYS approved barber school, you can finally submit your application to become a barber and take the NYS Barber Operator exam! This application also serves as your application for a Master Barber License. Submitting the application is easy and only takes a couple of steps:

Submit Completion of NYS Approved School

Complete Health Certification Form

Pay $40 Application Fee

It is a little different if you did not graduate from a barber school. If you completed an apprenticeship to become a barber, you will still need to apply for a license. Just like above, it only takes a few steps:

Submit Affirmation of Supervising Licensed Barber

Complete Health Certification Form

Pay $40 Application Fee

Step 3: Take and Pass the NYS Practical Licensing Exam

Once you have applied online and submitted everything, another email will be delivered serving as your notification of scheduling your practical exam. You will be directed to the NYS Center website where you will be able to schedule a time and pay the $15 exam fee.

Make sure to have a study guide to memorize all topics, and a checklist so you know what the bring the day of the exam such as an unexpired ID, and an exam confirmation. You must be in clean suitable attire, and require to bring your own supplies.

The exam is about 1 ½ hours long and will cover just about everything:

Professional Appearance, Preparation of Work Area & Client Preparation

Hair Cutting Techniques

Shampooing Techniques

Shaving – Facial Hair

Facial Massage

Clean Up of Work Area

Unfortunately, test results won’t be automatically given at the test center – so it is a matter of waiting. You will be notified by mail if you have passed by having a score of 70% or higher!

Step 4: Become a Barber and Start Your Career

Congratulations! You’ve passed and are now a fully licensed Barber Operator/Master Barber. Now that-that is out of the way, you can either open your own barbershop by applying for a barbershop owner license, or rent/secure a job with some other mature, established barbershops in NYC!

If you would like to know how to apply to own your own barbershop, read our other article to jumpstart your career.

Step 5: Maintain and Renew Your License

In the State of New York, barber licenses must need to be renewed every four years. Renewing is easy and requires you to just complete 20 hours of continuing education and pay the renewal fee. 

We recommend our Barber Refresher Program for this! You get 50 HRS of our program to help refresh and refine your barbering skills and craft. 


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Tribeca Barber & Beauty School is one of the top New York City schools to learn barbering, cosmetology, and beauty. If you are looking to start a new professional career to become a barber and expand your knowledge and skill set, you are in the right place. Schedule a free one-on-one school presentation tour with one of our teachers.

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