Ohio Licensing Overview for a Barber

Licensing for a barber in Ohio is controlled by the Ohio Board of Barber Examiners.

General Guidelines for a Barber in Ohio

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 License – 1,800 hours of training

What’s the state licensing site for a barber?

Ohio Board of Barber Examiners

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?


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 Ohio 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 Ohio State Barber Board
  4. Ensure your license remains up to date


The completion of a formal barber program or apprenticeship

In Ohio, 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 1,800 hours of registered coursework at a barber college. This will be sufficient to practice as a barber following examinations.

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


Apply for registration in the State of Ohio

Following the completion of formal education via an institution, barbers are required to apply for registration with the Ohio State Barber Board. 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 17 years of age or older
  • An application fee of $120
  • A barber diploma
  • A copy of a driver’s license or birth certificate 


Undertake state licensing exams

In Ohio there are two licensing exams that must be completed: the theoretical exam and the practical exam. Barber examinations in Ohio are conducted independently by the State Board. 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

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 Ohio.


Ensure your license remains up to date

Licensed barbers are required to update their license in even-numbered years on August 31. This can be done easily online through the Ohio State Board’s online license renewal portal. There is a $110 renewal fee.

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