How Long is Barber School?

January 25th, 2024


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If you’re thinking about a career as a barber, you probably already know that you’ll need to attend barber school first. However, going back to school can be daunting, especially considering the time commitment. Luckily, the length of barber school won’t set your professional dreams back by much, and with an exciting, comprehensive curriculum, you’ll be living your dream career before you know it.

In this article, we’ll discuss how long barber school typically takes to complete, what you’ll learn during that time, factors that might impact your timeline, and how to overcome them so you can get this new phase of your career started.

How Long is Barber School?

The length of barber school will depend on a few factors, including your state’s licensure requirements and whether you’re taking classes full-time or part-time. On average, you need 1,500 hours of schooling to become a licensed barber, although this figure is lower in some states and higher in others. In Illinois, it’s 1,500.

A full-time barber student can clock those 1,500 hours in just 12 months, while a part-time barber student can expect to finish in about 20 months.

What Do You Learn in Barber School?

Regardless of whether you can commit to a full-time pace or need to take the courses as a part-time student, you’re in for a jam-packed 1,500 hours.

Barber school curriculum covers everything from the basics — barber history, types of hair, tools and their uses, infection control, physiology, and bacteriology — to haircutting, styling, coloring, shampooing, and more. Because beard and mustache grooming is a key part of what barbers do, you can also expect to learn how to shave, shape, and treat facial hair, as well as the skin around it. And, a quality barbering education wouldn’t be complete without coursework dedicated to developing barbershop management skills. Here, you’ll learn things like sales, marketing, customer service, client retention, equipment care, and safe work practices.

Barber school curriculum is typically broken up into two components: theory — via hands-on instruction, classroom learning, and digital resources like videos — and practical, which involves performing services on actual clients. This is where you gain vital firsthand experience while developing key soft skills barbers need, such as communication, good listening, decision-making, organization, time management, and more. Some schools, like Tricoci University, offer advanced curriculum alongside traditional barber school curriculum to help students stay up to date on current trends. At Tricoci, we are proud to offer this advanced curriculum in partnership with Reuzel University.

Factors That Can Impact Your Barber School Timeline

It’s important to keep in mind that while 12-20 months is the typical amount of time it takes to complete barber school, your journey may not fall within those parameters. Sometimes, circumstances come up that can extend your time in barber school longer than planned, such as finances or inflexible schedules.

Financing Barber School

Becoming a professional barber costs money, but this should be seen as a worthwhile investment for your future. Nonetheless, students sometimes find that funding this investment is more difficult than planned, delaying their schooling timelines. Thus, it’s important to evaluate your prospective school’s financing options before enrolling.

At Tricoci, we understand that committing to barber school might mean leaving the workforce or finding part-time work for the time being, impacting your income. As an NACCAS-accredited institution, federal financial aid, including loans and grants, can help pay for school. We also offer in-house scholarships to supplement tuition for qualifying students, as well as an interest-free payment plan option so payments can be made in smaller, easier-to-manage installments.

In short, we do our best to make it easy for you to follow your passion as an aspiring barber.

Fitting Barber School Into Your Schedule

Barber students range from individuals preparing to enter the workforce for the first time to those making a career pivot after years in another profession, and sometimes that means balancing barber school with other commitments. When institutions have inflexible, inconvenient class times, it forces students to delay or pause their learning until their schedules finally align with those times.

In order to complete your education in the standard 12-20 months, you should seek out a barber school with flexible class options that accommodate your schedule. At Tricoci, barber school sessions begin about 4 times a year, so even if you need a later start date, you won’t be delaying your timeline by much. You can take classes at various times to best suit your schedule so you can balance your other priorities and school without falling off track.

What Comes After Barber School?

After completing school, the only thing standing between you and your barbering career is licensing. Specific licensure requirements differ by state, but passing a two-part exam consisting of written and practical components is typically required across the board. In Illinois, the state exam is only written.

For this, some states design their own exams, some use a national exam provided by the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC), and others use a combination of both. After passing your licensure exam and pay the necessary fee to the state, you are officially licensed in your chosen state and can begin working professionally on clients.

Get Your Barber Career Started at Tricoci

At Tricoci University, your future as a professional barber can begin in as little as a year. We’re here to support you with a high-quality, robust education, as well as financial aid options and flexible class schedules. Contact us now to learn more about our barber programs, and schedule a virtual tour at our Bridgeview or Norwood Park campus today.

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