How To Get Barber License

Many people might wonder how to get a barber license. You walk past the shop and see someone gabbing away to their client and you think, I wonder, ‘how did that person got there?’.

Well, every country has a different licensing process. In some countries, there are options through the government to be an apprentice, such as in Canada. That means that the government might offer to pay for some of the schooling. However, the first thing that apprentice needs to do is find an employer who will hire them on and start training them. Then, that employer can sponsor the candidate to attend government apprentice training at the designated hair school. Usually these programs are condensed from the paid programs. The apprentice will have to go back for several periods. They must pass their practical and written exam before going back to their salon and advancing towards the next phase.

The Apprentice

An apprentice will need to complete a lot of hours on the floor, usually 1 and a half to 2 years of full time training in total. After all the schooling, the apprentice must pass a written exam and a government practical exam to obtain a license. At this point, the candidate can also apply for a Red Seal, which will allow the barber to work nationwide.

We also want to tell you about the paid schooling route. These programs are usually longer. The foundation program can take at least 9 months of schooling. Sometimes, people will go to schools that also teach make-up such as the Blanche MacDonald in British Columbia. This school will take the candidate around two years of schooling. What they learn there is more advanced, such as how to do specialized cuts for movies, and hair tattoos. These schools are usually for people who want to be top earners and innovators in the trade.

The Cost

The cost of paid schooling is usually around $10 000 dollars. This might seem to you like a lot, but you also have to remember that the tools of this trade cost a lot of money. A good pair of scissors can set the user back a couple hundred. There are also the mannequin heads and stands that the students practice on daily. Also, the school must be equipped with chairs and stations for each student, and uses a lot of utilities when the students clean the mannequin heads daily, sometimes multiple times in a day.

Also, the students must learn the academic side to hair and hair salons, so the topics range. There is biology and there is also business. A good hair school will want the students to obtain mastery in both areas.

Many barber apprentices go on to open their own salons, so they often refer back to their textbooks when they need to answer questions for themselves.

Even after the student goes to paid school, the student must go through an apprenticeship in order to become a journeyman and get the license. This will be at least another year of full time training. This is completed in order to give the student some supervised time in a real shop.


You might still have questions regarding beauty school. The truth is, most people learn a lot in school, but the majority of people gain comfort and skills on the job. It can be nerve wracking for a student to cut their first hair cut on a real person. But they need to start somewhere, and that is why there is so much invested into the training.

After the basics are mastered, the styles still change throughout the years, especially when it comes to barbering. A barber will often take classes to learn the new haircuts, or sometimes, the barber will learn from colleagues. There is a free trade of knowledge that goes on in many shops because the management is ultimately responsible for quality control. If a manager does not know how to fix someone’s mistake, then the shop will ultimately not do very well in the end.

The above processes, whether government apprenticing or paying for hair school, are the ways that a barber will get a license to cut hair. So if you wonder how to get a barber license, this is how!

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