District of Columbia Licensing Overview for a Barber
Licensing for a barber in the District of Columbia is controlled by the D.C. Board of Barber and Cosmetology.
General Guidelines for a Barber in District of Columbia
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?
100 hours of approved training
What’s the state licensing site for a barber?
What are some training programs available for a barber?
How long is a license good for and when do I need to renew?
Renews April 15 in even-numbered years.
What are fees associated with 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 Washington DC there are several steps that must be taken.
- The completion of a formal barber program or apprenticeship
- Apply for registration with the D.C. Board of Barber and Cosmetology
- Undertake state licensing exams
- Ensure your license remains up to date
The completion of a formal barber program or apprenticeship
In Washington DC, there is only one method in which to gain the necessary qualifications to become a licensed barber: a formal barbering program. Students are required to undertake a minimum of 1500 hours of registered coursework at a barber college. This will be sufficient to practice as a barber following examinations.
Washington DC does not currently allow apprenticeships as a career path to become a barber.
Apply for registration in the state of Washington DC
Following the completion of formal education via an institution, barbers are required to apply for registration with the D.C. Board of Barber and Cosmetology. 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 completed application
- Be 18 years of age
- A barber diploma
- A copy of a driver’s license or birth certificate
- A $230 application fee
Undertake state licensing exams
In Washington DC there are two licensing exams that must be completed: the theoretical exam and the practical exam. Barber examinations in Washington DC are conducted by Pearson VUE and utilize the examinations of the National-interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC) barber examinations.
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
- 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 eligible and licensed to practice within Washington DC.
Ensure your license remains up to date
Licensed barbers are required to update their license in even-numbered years by September 30. This can be done easily online through the Washington DC Board’s online license renewal portal. There is a $230 renewal fee.
Barbers are required to undertake a minimum of 6 units of continuing education during their licensing period in Washington DC. Many barbers may choose to undertake ongoing education beyond these hours in order to further their career opportunities and stay up to date in current fashions and trends.