Barbershops are traditionally known as the epitome of manhood. As a barber, you get to provide clients with the classic barbershop experience so many men long for. As of 2010, Kansas was home to almost 500 employed barbers according to the Kansas Labor Information Center – not including those who own their own shops as independent proprietors.
Kansas is home to one of the “Manliest Barbershops in America,” according to Men’s Health Magazine. The Gents Place: Men’s Fine Grooming in Leawood offers a full bar, pool tables, fireplaces, steam showers, flat screen TVs, and so much more. Clearly, Kansas is home to barbershops that truly know how to provide an environment of class, style, and sophistication.
For guidance on how to become a licensed barber in Kansas, follow the steps in this simple guide:
If you’re ready to become part of the culture of masculine sophistication in Kansas, you will first need to be licensed by the Kansas Board of Barbering. This Board maintains the education and exam standards for barbers licensed throughout the state.
Step 1. Complete a Minimum of 1500-Hours of Barber Training
When enrolling in barber school, you will need to register for a student license by submitting the online student license application and paying the $55 student license application fee. Your licensed barber school will submit reports on your progress each month to the Kansas Board. When you graduate from your barber college, your school will notify the Board.
In accordance with Kansas Board of Barbering requirements, your barber training program is required to provide you with 1500 hours of both theoretical and practical training in the following subject areas:
- Scalp Care and Shampooing
- Honing and Stropping
- Massages and Packs
- Hair Styling
- Hair Tonics and Singeing
- Arranging, Coloring, and Bleaching Hair
- Tinting and Dyeing Hair
Demonstrations and Lectures
- Scientific fundamentals of barbering
- General Hygiene
- Histology of the Hair and Skin
- Hair Styling
- Elementary Chemistry (relating to sterilization and antiseptics)
- Kansas Law, Ethics, Economics, Equipment
- Shop Management
- History of Barbering
- Sanitation, Sterilization, Personal Hygiene
- First aid
Upon graduation, you will be eligible to take the Kansas barber license examination.
Step 2. Submit Kansas’s Examination and License Application
Once you have graduated, you must submit an application for the exam and pay the exam and license fee in order to register for this examination. Your school will provide you with a paper examination application. If you want to submit online, you may do so by completing the following steps:
- Submit Online Barber License and Examination Application
- Attach Barber College Transcripts
- Submit $180 Barber License and Examination Fee
You may submit this material online, or you may mail your school’s provided application to the Board at the following mailing address:
Kansas Board of Barbering
700 SW Jackson, Ste 1002
Topeka, KS 66603-3434
Step 3. Pass Kansas’s Practical, Written, and State Law Licensing Examinations
Once you are approved for examination, you will need to pass three Kansas licensing exams: the practical exam, and two written exams, including the national barber-styling written exam and the Kansas rules and regulations exam. As soon as you pass all three exams, the Kansas Board will issue you your Kansas barber license.
These exams are administered by the Board, and are offered 3-4 times per year in the following locations:
You will be given 1-hour and 45 minutes to complete all barber services included in this exam. You will need to bring two live models with you to this examination, and on these models, you will perform the following barber services:
- Tapered Cut Preparation
- Straight Razor Shave
- Scalp Manipulation
- Perform Tapered Cut
- Trend Cut
- Style Hair
You must pass this exam with a score of 80% or higher in order to be eligible for a Kansas barber license.
You will be given 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete both portions of the written exam. You must pass both of these exams with a score of 80% or higher.
National Barber-Styling Exam – This exam is based on the NIC national barber-stylist written examination. This will be a multiple-choice exam, where you answer questions concerning all barber theory subjects, including the following:
- Infection Control and Sanitation
- Draping Procedures for Facial Services
- Client Consultation
- Chemical Hair Services
- Shaving and Facial Hair Design
Kansas Rules and Regulations Exam – This exam covers the Kansa sanitary regulations, which may be found at the Board website.
Step 4. Get Started as a Professional Barber in Kansas
With your license in hand, you are eligible to apply for openings at barbershops throughout Kansas. Some of the options available to you include these top-rated shops:
- Purple Label Luxury Barber Shop – Overland Park
- Downtown Barber Shop – Lawrence
- Twice As Nice Barber Shop LLC – Wichita
- Rick’s Barber Shop – Shawnee Mission
- Endicott Barber and Salon – Kansas City
If you’re ready to start your own barbershop business, you will need to apply for a Kansas barbershop license. To do this, all you need to do is complete the following steps:
- Submit Online Barber Shop License Application
- Pay $80 Application Fee
Step 5. Keep your Kansas Barber License Current
Your barber and shop licenses must be renewed annually. You will renew your license based on the first letter of your last name. Check the following list to see when your renewal period falls:
- First Quarter – January 1 through March 31: A, B, C, M, N, O
- Second Quarter – April 1 through June 30: D, E, F, P, Q, R
- Third Quarter – July 1 through September 30: G, H, I, S, T, U
- Fourth Quarter – October 1 through December 31: J, K, L, V, W, X, Y, Z
The Board offers online renewal, so make sure to renew online and submit the $80 renewal fee by the appropriate date. Although the Kansas Board does not require you to complete continuing education credits to renew, taking advanced courses is always beneficial. Continuing education courses will keep you in the know on the latest in men’s style and barbering services.
Barber Salaries in Kansas
Barbers in Kansas City had particularly high salaries in 2013. They were the fourth highest of any metropolitan area in the country according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Salary Levels for Kansas Barbers With and Without Experience
Salary levels for barbers in Kansas from 2014 are provided by the Kansas Department of Labor. These barbers actually had higher incomes than these figures indicate, because they do not include tips. Customers usually tip their barbers 10-25%, so their actual take-home pay will be much higher.
The average salary for a barber in Kansas was $24,760. The salaries for individual barbers varied widely depending on their level of experience. Since experienced barbers tend to be more skilled, they usually earn higher salaries.
Barbers in Kansas with experience earned 1.7 times more than their colleagues who were new to the field. The average salary for an experienced barber in Kansas was $27,780, while entry-level barbers earned an average of $16,720.
Employment Level and Job Growth Rate for Barbers in Kansas
One hundred and twenty-nine nine barbers were employed in Kansas in 2012. This is likely to underestimate the number of barbers in the state, because a large number of barbers are self-employed. These barbers either rent chairs in establishments or are barbershop owners and are not counted in the state’s employment estimates.
The numbers of barbers in Kansas should increase by 0.4% a year during the ten-year period ending in 2022. Three jobs a year should become available on average each year through this time frame. Most of them will be generated by the need to fill the jobs vacated by barbers who will stop practicing in Kansas.
The BLS provides detail on the salaries for barbers in Kansas City in 2013: