Barber Schools and License Requirements in Arizona

The Arizona Board of Barbers regulates and licenses barbers in the State of Arizona. The mission of the Board is to preserve the public welfare and health through rules and laws governing barbers and barbering and through the enforcement of sanitation procedures.

The Board recognizes barbers as licensed professionals that perform the following procedures to a person’s head, face, neck, or shoulders for cosmetic purposes:

  • Cutting, clipping, or trimming hair
  • Massaging, manipulating, cleansing, or applying oils, lotions or other preparations
  • Styling, dressing, waving, arranging, or curling hair
  • Dyeing, coloring, tinting, bleaching, or singeing the hair
  • Working with hair attachments, hairpieces, wigs, and extensions
  • Shaving or trimming the beard
  • Providing skincare

If you’re ready to start a career as a barber in Arizona, follow these steps to qualify for a license:

Complete a Program through a Licensed School of Barbering
Apply for Licensure as a Barber in Arizona
Take and Pass the Required Examinations for Licensure in Arizona
Keep your Barber License Current and Learn about Job Opportunities in Arizona



Step 1. Complete a Program through a Licensed School of Barbering

To become a barber in Arizona, you must successfully complete a program through a licensed school that meets the barber licensing requirements set forth by the Arizona Board of Barbers. You can view a list of approved Arizona barber schools here. The Board currently does not accept an apprenticeship as a route to licensure.

Approved barber schools in Arizona must include at least 1,500 hours of instruction in the following areas:

    • At least 250 hours in the study of:
      • Fundamentals of barbering
      • Hygiene
      • Bacteriology
      • Histology of the skin, hair, nerves, and muscles
      • Structure of the head, face and neck
      • Sterilization and antiseptics, diseases of the hair, skin, and glands


  • At least 1,250 hours in the study of:
    • Massaging and manipulating muscles of the scalp, face, and neck
    • Hair cutting
    • Shaving and chemical work related to permanent waves and hair straightening
    • Coloring and bleaching
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Step 2. Apply for Licensure as a Barber in Arizona

Once you have completed an approved program in barbering, you must apply for licensure with the Arizona Board of Barbers. To qualify to take the examinations for licensure, you must also furnish proof of the following to the Board:

  • A tenth grade education or higher
  • Graduation from a barber school
  • A valid Social Security number

In addition to a completed, signed, and notarized application, you must provide the Board with a $140 application fee, which also covers the cost of the examination.

You must request an application from the Board by calling them at 602-542-4498.

Upon receipt and review of your application for a barber license, the Board will notify you of your eligibility to sit for the required license examinations.



Step 3. Take and Pass the Required Examinations for Licensure in Arizona

The barber examination for licensure includes both written and practical demonstration sections. The practical examination is designed to test your knowledge of the following:

  • Sanitary practices and safety for all barbering procedures
  • Use of all instruments, equipment, or chemicals permitted in barbering
  • Haircutting, shampooing, scalp manipulation, shaving and the facial

The written examination consists of questions on subjects covered in general textbooks on barbering and on Arizona State laws.

You must score at least 75 percent on both the written and practical parts of the examination. Examinations are scheduled at least every 3 months in both Phoenix and Tucson. You can view a list of upcoming barber examination dates and locations here.

Once you have taken and passed both parts of the barber license examination, the Board will issue you an Arizona barber license.



Step 4. Keep your Barber License Current and Learn about Job Opportunities in Arizona

All barber licenses in Arizona must be renewed every two years. Your license will expire on your birthdate. To renew your barber license, you must complete a renewal form and pay the $80 renewal fee.

There are currently no continuing education requirements for barbers in Arizona, although the pursuit of courses, seminars, and trade shows is commonplace in this industry, as it is important to remain in the know about the latest trends and innovations in the field of barbering.

Job opportunities in barbering in Arizona are plentiful, as barbers may be employed in barber shops, salons, hotels, and resorts. Barbers may work in a cosmetology shop, provided the salon has a barber establishment license.

Further, licensed barbers in Arizona may transfer their license to a number of other states, if desired. Currently, Arizona has reciprocity with 28 other states.

There are many dedicated barbershops throughout Arizona where you could find a job or rent a chair. These are among the top shops in the state:

  • Crisp Cutz Barbershop, Tempe
  • Mike’s Barber Shops, Mesa
  • Angelo’s Barber Shop, Gilbert
  • Camelback Barbershop, Phoenix
  • Al’s Barbershop, Tucson
  • El Continental Barber Shop, Tucson

Barber Salaries in Arizona

The Arizona Office of Employment and Population Statistics (ADOA-EPS) expect the number of barbers in the state to increase by 13.2% between 2012 and 2022. Slightly more than two thirds of these new professionals will be generated by the need to replace barbers who will be entering retirement and selling their shops to the next generation of tonsorial artists.

Arizona barbers must be licensed by the state’s Board of Barbers to be a barber or an instructor. This involves taking written and practical exams. In fiscal year 2013, 333 people applied to become licensed barbers in Arizona. This board oversaw more than 6,000 barber and instructor licenses that year.

Barber salaries by city in Arizona:

Tucson – $34,000
Phoenix – $34,000
Tempe – $34,000

Barber Earnings in Arizona by Percentile

The average 2013 barber salary in Arizona was about the same as the national average at was $27,310. This is known to significantly underestimate the take home pay for these barbers, because it does not take tips into account, which add as much as 25%. Barbershop owners earn even more.

Barber salaries in Arizona varied by experience level. Professionals in the 90th percentile are typically highly experienced while those in the 10th percentile are generally entry-level.

Arizona barbers in the 90th percentile salary bracket earned $36,920, which was 2.1 times as much as barbers in the 10th percentile, which earned $17,306 on average.

Barber Salaries in Phoenix

Barbers in the Phoenix area earned salaries very similar to Arizona’s average ones for all of these salary brackets. These barbers had the tenth highest average metropolitan salary in the country according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The ADOA-EPS reported that the average Phoenix barber salary was $27,498 with those in the 90th percentile averaging $36,982. Barbers in the 10th percentile earned $17,326 on average.

The BLS provides additional 2013 salary detail for Phoenix area barbers:

Area name
Annual mean wage
Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale AZ
Estimate not released

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