Barber Schools and License Requirements in Colorado

The Colorado Office of Barber and Cosmetology Licensure defines the art of barbering as encompassing practices that are done on the upper part of the human body for cosmetic purposes, including:

  • Shaving or trimming the beard
  • Cutting the hair
  • Giving facial or scalp massage or treatment
  • Dyeing the hair or applying hair tonic
  • Applying cosmetic preparations, oils, clays, lotions, or antiseptics to the face, scalp, neck or shoulders

The Office of Barber and Cosmetology Licensure regulates and licenses barbers in the State of Colorado. To become a barber in Colorado, you must qualify for a license through the Office of Barber and Cosmetology Licensure:

Complete an Approved Barber Program
Apply for a Colorado Barber License
Schedule and Take the Barber Licensure Examinations through PSI
Begin your Career and Keep your Barber License Current



Step 1. Complete an Approved Barber Program

To become a barber in Colorado, you must first complete a formal barber college training program of at least 50 credit hours. A barber program may be found through a dedicated barbering school or through a school of cosmetology.

Regardless of which program you choose, an approved barber program must include the follow minimum number of credit hours:

  • Treatment of hair and scalp: 2 credit hours
  • Facial massage and treatments: 3
  • Shaving: 3
  • Haircutting: 9
  • Hairstyling: 9
  • Permanent waving and chemical hair relaxing: 8
  • Hair coloring: 8
  • Laws, rules, and regulations: 1
  • Management, ethics, interpersonal skills, and salesmanship: 1
  • Disinfection, cleaning, and safe work practices: 6
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Step 2. Apply for a Colorado Barber License

Upon the successful completion of an approved program of barbering, you must complete the Licensure by Examination Application or the Licensure by Examination Online Application through the Colorado Office of Cosmetology Licensure. The completed application and $28 application fee must be sent to:

Colorado Barber Cosmetology Program
Post Office Box 887
Wheat Ridge, CO 80034

You can direct any questions regarding the application process to [email protected] or 1-855-229-9302.

Within 48 hours of receiving your application PSI will notify you, via email, if your application has been approved.



Step 3. Schedule and Take the Barber Licensure Examinations through PSI

Once your application for barber licensure has been approved, you will receive a confirmation notice, which will include instructions on how to pay for and schedule your practical examination. You must pass the barber practical examination before you can pay for and schedule the barber written examination.

PSI serves as the vendor for the barber examinations; therefore, you must schedule your examinations through them at or at 1-800-733-9267.

The practical examination takes about 145 minutes to complete, and the written examination takes about 120 minutes to complete. The cost of the practical examination is $71, and the cost of the written examination is $56.

You may take the practical and written barber examinations at the following locations:

  • Denver (Centennial): written only
  • Denver (Wheat Ridge): practical and written
  • Fort Collins: practical and written
  • Pueblo: written only
  • Colorado Springs: practical and written
  • Grand Junction: practical and written
  • Durango: practical and written
  • Albuquerque: written only
  • Farmington: written only
  • Las Cruces: written only
  • Roswell: written only
  • Santa Fe: written only
  • Hurricane (St. George): written only
  • North Orem (Provo): written only
  • North Salt Lake City: written only
  • Sunset (Ogden): written only

Once you have successfully passed both the written and practical portion of the barber licensure examination, you will immediately receive a notification from the Office, along with a photo-bearing pocket card and a wall license.



Step 4. Begin your Career and Keep your Barber License Current

Your opportunities for a successful career in barbering in Colorado could start at one of the many barbershops, salons, and resorts/hotels where barbers find traditional employment, commissioned positions, or rent a chair:

  • The Caveman Barber Shop, Colorado Springs
  • Rock Barbers, Louisville
  • The Gentlemen’s Barber, Dillon
  • Topnotch Barbershop, Colorado Springs
  • Johnstown Barber Shop, Johnstown

All barber licenses in Colorado expire on March 31 of even-numbered years. You must renew your barber license through the Colorado Office of Barber and Cosmetology Licensure to continue practicing legally.

Barber Salaries in Colorado

The salaries for barbers in Colorado in 2013 were much higher than what barbers earned nationwide on average. In fact, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that barbers in Colorado earned the third highest income in the field as compared to the entire country.

Barber salaries by city in Colorado:

Denver – $39,000
Aurora – $39,000
Colorado Springs – $32,000

Salaries of Experienced and Entry-level Barbers in Colorado

Colorado’s Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) provides salary information for barbers in the state. These figures dramatically underestimate the level of take home pay, because they do not factor in tips from customers or earnings for shop owners.

The average salary for barbers in Colorado was more than $13,000 higher than the national average for this profession. Barbers earned $40,724 on average in Colorado.

Experienced barbers earned even higher salaries. The top earners in the 90th percentile bracket earned $68,453, which was more than 50% greater than what experienced barbers earned on average in the U.S. as a whole

These experienced Colorado barbers earned salaries that were more than three times higher than what entry-level barbers earned. The average salary for entry-level barbers in Colorado was $22,679. This figure is much higher than the national average for barbers who are new to the profession.

Employment Levels for Barbers in Colorado

The CDLE expects the number of barbers in Colorado to grow dramatically between 2013 and 2023. Their numbers should increase by 27.77% over this ten-year period. The rate of annual increase should be 2.48%.

Colorado barbers must have a license from the Office of Barber and Cosmetology Licensure to practice in the state. In November 2014, there were 2,217 barbers with active licenses in Colorado according to the roster of the state’s Department of Regulatory Agencies Division of Professions and Occupations.

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