The Delaware Board of Cosmetology and Barbering (part of the Division of Professional Regulation), is the state agency responsible for regulating and licensing barbers and defines the barber professional as a licensed person who:
- Shaves or trims the beard
- Cuts or dresses the hair
- Gives facial or scalp massages
- Treats beards or scalps
If you want to become a licensed barber in Delaware, you must be prepared to complete the following steps:
Step 1. Complete a Barber Program or Apprenticeship Approved by the Board
If you want to become a barber in Delaware, you must complete a course of training and/or formal education. Specifically, you must complete ONE of the following to qualify for licensure in Delaware:
- A minimum of 1,500 classroom hours of continuous training from a barber school
- A minimum of 3,000 hours in an apprenticeship
- A minimum of 600 classroom hours of concentrated coursework in barbering, along with an apprenticeship of at least 1,500 hours
To qualify for the merged instruction/apprenticeship option, you must be accepted into the 600-hour program that is based upon a practical examination that is administered by a licensed school of cosmetology in Delaware.
If you want to pursue your education/training through an apprenticeship, you must complete an Apprenticeship Application and submit it to the Board Office. Once approved, you will be required to complete your training under the supervision of an apprenticeship supervisor. Once you complete your apprenticeship, you must then submit an Apprenticeship Verification form to the Board office.
Step 2. Complete an Application with Professional Credential Services
Once you have successfully completed the education/training requirements set forth by the Delaware Board, you must complete an online Examination and License Application with Professional Credential Services (PCS), the company the Board has contracted with to handle the license examinations for barber licensure in Delaware.
In addition to completing an online application with PCS, you must also upload a 2×2 passport-style photograph to complete the application process. Once you have completed and submitted the application, you can review the barber licensure examination requirements by reading the Barber Candidate Handbook.
PCS will review your application and notify you of your eligibility to take the examinations after confirming with eligibility with the State Board Office. You can expect to receive a Theory Authorization to Test (ATT) letter.
Step 3. Take the Required Barber Examinations
To become a licensed barber in Delaware, you must take and pass a theory (written) examination and a practical examination. The Delaware Board utilizes the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC) examinations for both its written and practical examinations. You can read more about these national examinations here.
Upon receiving approval from PCS, you must first schedule to take your theory examination with PSI Testing. You can schedule your examination either online at www.psiexams.com or by phone at 1-800-733-9267.
PCS will then provide you with a scheduled date on which you will take the practical examination via a Practical Admission Notice. All practical examinations are held in Newark. The cost to take both examinations is $218.
You will receive an official score notice about 10 days after your examination date. You must score a minimum score of 75 on both the theory and practical examinations to pass.
Upon the successful completion of both examinations, you will receive a Notice of Completion from PCS. After PCS has notified the Board of your status, the Board will issue you a Delaware State barber license.
Step 4. Find Work and Keep your Delaware Barber License Current
Your Delaware barber license expires on March 31 of every even-numbered year. You can expect to receive a renewal notice a couple weeks before the expiration of your license, which will include information on how to access the online renewal application.
As a licensed barber in Delaware, you may work as a salon/barber shop employee or as an independent contractor, which typically involves renting booth space. Working as an independent contractor allows you to better control the direction of your career and how often/where you work. Many barbers also choose to eventually open their own barber shops and become business owners who control the culture and atmosphere of their own shop based on the types of clients they wish to serve.
Step 5. Become a Master Barber in Delaware
Master barbers in Delaware are permitted to perform all services of licensed barbers, in addition to the following:
- Permanent waving hair
- Singeing, braiding, and pressing hair
- Chemically bleaching or coloring hair
- Chemically straightening hair
To become a master barber in Delaware, you must first become a licensed barber. You must then complete an additional 600-hour apprenticeship for chemicals under a master barber or cosmetologist.
Barber Salaries in Delaware
One and twenty-one people had active licenses to practice as barbers in Delaware in November 2014 according to a search of the state’s Division of Professional Regulation site.
Barber salaries by city in Delaware:
Wilmington – $43,000
Dover – $45,000
Salaries for Experienced and Entry-Level Barbers in Delaware
Although the Delaware Department of Labor provides the salaries of barbers in the state, these figures are likely to be much lower than the level of take home pay for these professionals. Most customers tip when they are happy with their service, and this can add up to 25% to a barber’s level of income.
The salaries of barbers in Delaware were higher than those for most barbers in the rest of the country. The average salary for a barber in the state was $28,454. The median salary was $27,747–$2,737 more than the median salary for barbers in the country as a whole.
Experienced barbers are more skilled at providing services for their clients and earn higher salaries than those who are new to the profession. In Delaware, these barbers earned 1.64 times more than entry-level barbers.
The average salary for experienced barbers in Delaware was $32,698, while those who were new to the practice earned $19,926 on average.
Job Growth and Licensing of Barbers in Delaware
The field of men’s hair care and tonsorial artistry is growing nationally. This is also the case in Delaware. The number of jobs for barbers in Delaware is expected to increase by 1.3% a year during the ten-year period ending in 2022.
Barbers in the state must have a license from the Delaware Board of Cosmetology and Barbering to be able to practice there. These licenses are valid for two years and must be kept current for barbers to legally practice in Delaware.