Alabama Licensing Overview for a Barber

Licensing for a barber in Alabama is controlled by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology.

General Guidelines for a Barber in Alabama

Specific requirements to perform barber services can generally be used as a guideline, but make sure to check with your local governing rules and regulations.

Who’s allowed to perform these services?

Anyone holding a barber license

General requirements for a barber license?

1,500 training hours at barber school
3,000 hours apprenticeship in a barber shop

What’s the state licensing site for a barber?

Alabama Board of Cosmetology

What are some training programs available for a barber?

See training programs

How long is a license good for and when do I need to renew?

Renews every 2 years.

What are fees associated with licensing?


Barber Licensing

A barber is a professional who specializes in the cutting, styling, and grooming of men and boy’s hair and beards. This profession has a long-standing history filled with tradition and is an important subsection of the beauty industry. Many of the techniques and tools of barbering are as old as the profession itself. This includes the tools, techniques and overall aesthetic of the barbershop itself. Barbers are experts in their field. A barber’s job is primarily in customer satisfaction, which revolves around the customer service, friendliness, and communication of the barber.

To become a licensed barber in Alabama there are several steps that must be taken.

  1. The completion of a formal barber program or apprenticeship
  2. Apply for registration with the Alabama Board of Cosmetology and Barbering
  3. Undertake state licensing exams
  4. Ensure your license remains up to date


The completion of a formal barber program or apprenticeship

In Alabama there are two methods in which to gain the necessary qualifications to become a licensed barber: through a formal barbering program or through a barbering apprenticeship. When going the route of a formal barbering program, students are required to undertake a minimum of 1000 hours of registered coursework.

To become a licensed barber through an apprenticeship, students are required to undertake a minimum of 2,000 hours of training under the direct supervision of a fully licensed barber. This fully licensed barber must a minimum of 5 years of experience as a barber and have worked in a licensed barbershop for a minimum of 2 years.


Apply for registration in the State of Alabama

Following the completion of formal education, either via an institution or apprenticeship, barbers are required to apply for initial registration with Alabama Board of Cosmetology and Barbering. Barbers are required to be at least 16 years of age and have completed grade 10 of high school. Once this application has been processed, barbers are then able to apply for the licensing examinations. In order to have this application processed, applicants are required to submit:

  • The initial application registration form
  • A copy of their current driver’s license
  • A copy of their Social Security card
  • A passport photograph
  • An application fee of $40


Undertake state licensing exams

In Alabama, there are two licensing exams that must be completed: the theoretical exam and the practical exam. Barber examinations in Alabama are conducted by PSI Services LLC, who utilizes the examinations of the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC). Alabama requires barbers to successfully complete their theoretical examination before they undertake their practical examination.

The main concepts that will be covered in the theory exam may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Scientific concepts
  • Hair services
  • Facial hair services
  • Skin care and facial services

The main concepts that are covered in the practical examination may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Set up and client protection
  • Haircutting
  • Shaving with a straight razor
  • Chemical Waving
  • Virgin hair lightening
  • Chemical Relaxing

Barbers will be sent an official notice from the Board detailing their results from both examinations. If successful, barbers will be issued with a licensing fee of $75. Once received, barbers will be licensed to practice within the state of Alabama.


Ensure your license remains up to date

Licensed barbers are required to update their licenses every two years during their month of birth. There is a fee of $80 for this renewal. This can be done easily online through

There is currently no ongoing education need for barbers during their licensing period in Alabama. However, many barbers may choose to undertake ongoing education to further their career opportunities and stay up to date in current fashions and trends.