Barber Schools and License Requirements in Missouri

The recent rise in demand for personalized men’s grooming has brought with it the desire for high quality hair and beard care. In response to this trend, barbershops have been enjoying a revival of sorts, the expert touch of a barber being sought after by many men.

By becoming a barber, you will have the opportunity to become a vital part of traditional male culture and provide expert hair care for a wide variety of clients. The Missouri Department of Economic Development has projected that there will be a steady increase in the number of barber jobs in the state between 2012 and 2022 to keep pace with the increased demand for men’s haircutting and styling services.

If you would like to become a barber in Missouri, follow these easy steps:

Complete a Board Approved Barber Program or Apprenticeship
Pass Missouri’s Barber Licensure Examination
Renew your Missouri Barbering License
Consider Opening your Own Barbershop

The Missouri Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners handles all licensing of barbers, barbershops, barber schools, and barber instructors throughout the state. Before you can work as a barber in Missouri, you must go through the licensing process set out by the Board. The Board is also responsible for providing and assessing the examinations that must be taken by all barbers before licensure.

There are two options for barber training in the state of Missouri:

 


 

Step 1. Complete a Board Approved Barber Program or Apprenticeship

One of the options that you have for learning the barbering trade is to enroll in a Board approved barber school.

In order to enroll in one of these barber colleges you must also submit a student enrollment application to the Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners that includes:

  • A copy of your birth certificate or drivers license
  • Copy of all education transcripts, high school and college (if any)
  • Two 2” x 2” photographs
  • Proof of a recent medical exam
  • A $25 enrollment fee

During your schooling, you must complete at least 1,000 hours of study, during a period not less than six months, under the supervision of a licensed instructor.

Apprentice Option

The second option that you have in training to become a barber in Missouri is to apprentice under a licensed barber supervisor outside of a barber school. If you pursue this option, you will be required to complete at least 2,000 apprentice hours with your supervisor. During your time as an apprentice you will be required to submit quarterly reports on your progress. Throughout your apprenticeship, you will be required to complete the following hourly instruction requirements:

  • Anatomy and Physiology – 10 hours
  • Bacteriology – 10 hours
  • Chemical Hair Relaxing and Soft Curl Permanents – 60 hours
  • Chemistry – 10 hours
  • Facial Massage and Treatments – 10 hours
  • Haircutting – 850 hours
  • Hairstyling – 650 hours
  • Hair Coloring – 60 hours
  • Hair Pieces – 10 hours
  • History – 10 hours
  • Implements, Tools, and Equipment – 30 hours
  • Mustache and Beard Design – 10 hours
  • Permanent Waving – 60 hours
  • Professional Image – 10 Hours
  • Properties and Disorders of the Skin – 30 hours
  • Salesmanship and Shop Management – 10 hours
  • Shaving – 70 hours
  • State Law – 20 hours
  • Sterilization and Sanitation – 40 hours
  • Treatment of Hair and Scalp – 40 hours

Both training options are mutually exclusive, meaning that if you decide to switch from a barber school to a direct apprenticeship, the hours you have completed during your schooling will not count for your apprenticeship and vice versa.


 

Step 2. Pass Missouri’s Barber Licensure Examination

Once you have completed your training, you will be required to take the licensure examination administered by the Missouri Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners. In order to take the exam, you must fulfill the following obligations:

  • Be at least 17 years of age
  • Be free of contagious or infectious diseases
  • Submit an application for licensure
  • Complete your training within the last five years

Examinations are offered on each Monday of a month, but the cities where tests are held vary.

  • 1st Monday – St. Louis
  • 2nd Monday – Kansas City
  • 3rd Monday – Jefferson City
  • 4th Monday – Springfield

The examination is composed of a theoretical and practical section, both of which are designed to test your knowledge in the:

  • Preparation of tools
  • Shaving
  • Haircutting
  • Diseases of the face and skin
  • State laws concerning barbers

 


 

Step 3. Renew your Missouri Barbering License

Once you have passed the licensure examination and have become a fully licensed barber in Missouri, you must pay a one-time $20 fee for a certificate of registration.

Licenses are renewed every odd year on September 30th. A renewal fee of $30 is due at this time.

There is currently no continuing education requirement for barbers in the state of Missouri.

 


 

Step 4. Consider Opening your Own Barbershop

One of the most exciting aspects of becoming a barber is the ability to open your own barbershop with your own distinct taste and style. Opening a barbershop will allow you to explore your creative side and take control of every aspect of your career.

In order to open your own shop, you must submit the following materials to the Board:


Barber Salaries in Missouri

Barbers are currently enjoying ample job opportunities and high salaries in Missouri. In 2013, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported these occupational highlights:

Missouri has the fifth highest concentration of barber jobs in the country
Kansas City is the fourth top-paying metropolitan area for barbers in the country
Louis is the fifth top paying metropolitan area for barbers in the country
It is important to note that barbers earn as much as 25% of their total income through gratuity. The figures shown here do not include tips, which are standard in the barbering industry.

Average Wage and Salary Expectancies for Barbers in Missouri

According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, there were roughly 520 barbers actively employed throughout the state in 2013. In that year, barbers were earning the following salary and wage averages:

Entry-Level: $10.03/hr. or $20,858/yr.
Average: $13.81/hr. or $28,729/yr.
Experienced: $15.70/hr. or $32,665/yr.
Occupational wage percentiles help capture current pay scales among barbers. In 2013, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics discovered that barbers in Missouri were earning within the following wage percentiles:

10th Percentile: $8.97/hr.
25th Percentile: $11.21/hr.
Median Percentile: $13.39/hr.
75th Percentile: $15.72/hr.
90th Percentile: $18.96/hr.
In 2013, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that barbers in Missouri were earning yearly salaries as shown here based on salary percentiles:

10th Percentile: $18,700/yr.
25th Percentile: $23,300/yr.
Median Percentile: $27,900/yr.
75th Percentile: $32,700/yr.
90th Percentile: $39,400/yr.

Regional Average Earnings for Barbers in Missouri

How much a barber makes in Missouri often varies according to geographic location of employment. To illustrate the regional pay differences among barbers in Missouri, refer to the following data table provided by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2013:

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Kansas City MO-KS
Estimate not released
29470
St. Louis MO-IL
Estimate not released
28940

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