Illinois Licensing Overview for a Barber

Licensing for a barber in Illinois is controlled by the Illinois Dept. of Financial & Professional Regulation.

General Guidelines for a Barber in Illinois

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?

Barber – 1,500 Hours
Barber Instructor – Barber License + 1,000 Hours

What’s the state licensing site for a barber?

Illinois Dept. of Financial & Professional Regulation

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?

Every 2 years

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 in conjunction with the execution of a sharp and precise hair cut that barbers are famous for.

To become a barber, there is a set lot of requirements that is individual to each state across America. The following pages look at the detailed information on individual state licensing to help give you the best advice as you move forward in your career path.

To become a licensed barber in the state of Illinois there are several steps that must be taken.

  1. The completion of a formal barber program or apprenticeship
  2. Undertake state licensing exams
  3. Apply for registration with the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation Board of Barbering
  4. Ensure your license remains up to date


The completion of a formal barber program or apprenticeship

In the state of Illinois, there is currently only one method in which to gain the necessary qualifications to become a licensed barber: a formal barbering program. The first option is for students 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.

The state of Illinois does not currently allow apprenticeships as a career path to become a barber.


Undertake state licensing exams

In the state of Illinois there is only one licensing exam that must be completed: the theoretical exam. Barbers are required to register for this exam prior to completion. Barber examinations in Illinois are conducted by PSI examinations. There will be a fee for these 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
  • State laws and regulations

Barbers will be sent an official notice from the Board detailing their results from both examinations. If successful, barbers will be eligible to practice within the state of Illinois. 


Apply for registration in the state of Illinois

Following the completion of formal education via an institution, barbers are required to apply for registration with the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation Board of Barbering. 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
  • An application fee
  • A high school diploma
  • A barber diploma
  • Other specified documentation


Ensure your license remains up to date

Licensed barbers are required to update their license on July 31 in odd-numbered years. This can be done easily online through the Illinois State Board’s online license renewal portal. There is a renewal fee for this license.

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