Colorado Licensing Overview for a Barber

Licensing for a barber in Colorado is controlled by the Colorado Office of Barber and Cosmetologist Licensing.

General Guidelines for a Barber in Colorado

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?

50 credit hours or 1,800 clock hours training at barber school
Apprenticeship is not currently permitted for a barber license

What’s the state licensing site for a barber?

Colorado Office of Barber and Cosmetologist Licensing

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 annually.

What are fees associated with licensing?

Check with local governing body for updated details.

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 Colorado there are several steps that must be taken.

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


The completion of a formal barber program or apprenticeship

In Colorado there is only one method in which to gain the necessary qualifications to become a licensed barber: through a formal barbering program. When going the route of a formal barbering program, students are required to undertake a minimum of 1800 hours of registered coursework.

Colorado does not currently allow apprenticeships as a career path to become a barber.


Apply for registration in the state of Colorado

Following the completion of formal education via an institution, barbers are required to apply for registration with Colorado Office of Barber and Cosmetology Licensure. 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 Licensure by Examination Application
  • An application fee of $28 


Undertake state licensing exams

In Colorado, there are two licensing exams that must be completed: the theoretical exam and the practical exam. Barber examinations in Colorado are conducted by the state and are written independent of the NIC. They are however, conducted by the PSI services. There will be a $56 fee for the theoretical examination and a $71 fee for the 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 licensed to practice within the state of Colorado.


Ensure your license remains up to date

Licensed barbers are required to update their license on March 31 of even-numbered years. This can be done easily online Colorado State Board’s online license renewal portal. There is a $26 renewal fee for this license.

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