How to Get a California Barber License

licensed barber in california

Do you have a passion for the latest trends in men’s hair grooming? Do you love to socialize and want a career instead of just a job? Start your training to become a barber today! Here is what you will need to do to get a barber license in California.

1. Find a Barber Program

Start with a list of all the schools that have been approved by the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. But then dive a little more deeply. Will that program be taught by seasoned professionals who also know about the latest and greatest in the industry? Will it teach you everything you need to know to become a professional barber, like hair cutting, coloring, and men’s grooming?

2. Finish the Class Hours for Your Licensure Exam

You need 1000 class hours to qualify to take your licensure exam. You cannot enter the examination until you have completed all the required hours. Included in those hours are:

  • 1,100 hours technical instruction and practical training for hair styling
  • 200 hours technical instruction and practical training for shaving
  • 200 hours technical instruction and practical training for health and safety

3. Sign Up for Your Barber Licensure Exam

It can take up to eight weeks to process the application for your exam. That’s why Salon Success Academy was instrumental years ago in creating a pre-application process for the State of California. It helps you get to the test—and work—sooner!

4. Prepare with a Mock Licensure Exam

Once have completed 1,200 instructional hours, at Salon Success Academy, we’ll administer a mock exam. You’ll get a better idea about the actual real exam and see how you do in practice. We’ll provide you with your results, along with important feedback that includes detailed notes. You’ll understand the areas you’ve mastered, and those that you need to continue to work on.

5. Take and Pass the California Barber Licensure Exam

The exam consists of two parts: a computer-based written test, and a practical section, both administered on the same day. The written portion of the exam has 100 questions that you must complete in 90 minutes. The whole exam covers all the material you learned in school, and what you’ll need to know to be a licensed barber in California.Make sure you study so you can pass the barber exam.


At Salon Success Academy, we teach you all you need to know—and more. Like how to practice what you learn on actual clients. And what you need to know to run the business side of barbering. We also help you prepare for the exam that will license you to practice your craft in the State of California.

If you’ve always dreamed of becoming a barber, what are you waiting for? Our barbering program provides you with the basics of hair anatomy and physiology, and proper sanitation procedures for salons and barber shops. You get hands-on instruction on the latest hair cutting, coloring, and grooming techniques, along with real-world experience in our school salon. Instructors will help prepare you for the State Board exam and teach you how to make the most out of your career by providing excellent customer service after you have passed the exam.