As a barber, you get to step back to a simpler time to create the classic barbershop experience for your clients in the tradition of masculine style and grooming. Maine is a great place to start your barbering career since the number of personal care service jobs in the state is expected to grow 11% between 2012 and 2022, according to the Maine Center for Workforce Research and Information. This means that there will be almost 300 job openings in the personal care service industry each year during this period in response to the growing demand for hair care and barbering service in Maine.
For guidance on how to become a limited barber or barber in Maine, follow the steps in this guide:
Before becoming part of Maine’s classic, barbering tradition, you will first need to register as a licensed barber with the Maine Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. This board regulates the exam and education license requirements for aestheticians, cosmetologists, nail technologists, limited barbers, and barbers throughout the state.
The Maine Board of Barbering and Cosmetology distinguishes between limited barbers and barbers. As a limited barber, you can perform haircutting and styling procedures, but you would not be allowed to perform any chemical services. As a barber, you would be allowed to perform more services, including chemical relaxing, texturing, and coloring.
Step 1. Graduate from a 1500-Hour Barber Training Program
Your first step toward a Maine barber license is completing a 1500-hour barber training program. The Maine Board requires that your training program include both theory and practical training that covers the following:
- Establishment/ Shop Management
- Maine Barbering and Cosmetology Laws
- Hair Piece and Wigs
- Hair Coloring
- Hair Cutting
- Trimming Beards and Moustaches
- Styling and Permanent Waving
A limited barber would train underneath all of the same subjects, excluding chemical services.
Step 2. Pass the D.L. Roope Practical and Written Licensing Examinations
After you complete barber training school, you will need to take and pass the license examinations provided by the testing vendor, D.L. Roope Administrations. To register for these exams, you may either apply online. Once you apply, you will be scheduled to take the two Maine barber licensing exams: the national written exam and the state practical exam.
National Limited Barber Written Exam
The national limited barber written exam is a multiple-choice exam that will take 90 minutes to complete. You will be tested on the following barber theory subjects:
- Infection Control
- Skin Histology
- Shaving Procedures
- Skin Disorders
- Hair and Scalp
- Electricity and Light
- Haircutting and Styling
- Facial Treatments
National Barber-Stylist Written Exam
The national written barber-stylist examination will also take 90 minutes to complete. For this exam, you will answer multiple-choice questions all of the above barber theory subjects, along with the following additional subject areas:
- Chemical Services
- Texture Services
- Hair Coloring
- Hair Lightening
State Limited Barber Practical Exam
The state limited barber practical exam will take three hours to complete. You will need to bring your own supply kit and mannequin head for this exam. You will be graded on your ability to physically perform the following barber services:
- Set Up and Client Protection
- Shaving with a Straight Razor
- Candidate Summary and Final Cleanup
State Barber-Stylist Practical Exam
The barber-stylist practical examination is also a physical exam, and will also take about three hours to complete. You will need to bring your own supply kit and mannequin head to perform all of the above barber services, including the following additional services:
- Chemical Waving
- Hair Lightening/Coloring
- Chemical Relaxing
Step 3. Submit an Application for a Barbering License in Maine
Once you have passed the Maine licensing exams, you will be able to submit your final application for a Maine barber license. Both limited barbers and full barbers will submit the same application. To do this, complete the following steps:
- Submit the Maine Application for License by Examination
- Attach Proof of Age
- Submit Copy of High School Diploma
- Include Affidavit of Barber Training Hours
- Send Official DL Roope Examination Results
- Pay $20.00 License Fee Payable to Treasurer, State of Maine
- Pay $21.00 Criminal Background Check Fee
Requirements for Licensure By Endorsement
If you hold a barber license in another state, you may be eligible to apply for a Maine barber license based on endorsement. To do this, you will need to submit all of the above information, along with the following information to the Maine Board:
- Application by Endorsement
- Work Experience Form (included in application)
- An Original Verification of Licensure From Previous Licensing State, including the following information:
- Proof of barber education
- Proof of passing barber licensing exams
- Current license and status of that license
You may submit all application materials to the Maine Board at the following mailing address:
State of Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation
Office of Professional and Occupational Regulation
35 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333
Once the Maine Board receives and approves your application, you will be issued a barber or limited barber license.
Step 4. Begin Working as a Licensed Barber in Maine
If you want to open your own barbershop, where you get to be your own boss, consider applying for a Maine establishment license. To do this, you will need to complete the following steps:
- Submit Maine Establishment Application
- Attach Directions to the Establishment
- Attach a Floor Plan
- Attain a Plumbing Permit
- Complete a Water Test
- Pay $20.00 License Fee
Once the Board approves your application, you will receive an establishment license! You will then be able to open your own barbershop.
If you would rather work for one of the top-rated barbershops in Maine, consider some of the following options in the Bangor, Westbrook and Portland areas:
- Cornerstone Barber Shop – Bangor
- Goodfellas Barbershop – Westbrook
- Forest Avenue Barber Shop – Portland
- The Clip Joint Barbers – Portsmouth
- Vintage Barber Shop – Bath
Step 5. Renew your Maine Barber License Annually
You will need to renew your barber license each year on October 31st. The Board will send you a renewal reminder 60 days before your license is set to expire. However, it is your responsibility to renew. To renew, all you need to do is fill out the online renewal application and submit the $20 renewal fee. If you miss the renewal date, you will be subject to a $50.00 late fee.
Barber Salaries in Maine
According to the Maine Department of Labor, there were 384 barbers employed throughout the state in 2012. By 2022, this number is expected to climb to 399. During this occupational projection period, barbers can anticipate roughly twelve job openings annually.
Given this limited employment growth trend, candidates for barber positions should prepare for a highly competitive job market. Contenders are encouraged to acquire post-secondary education, formal training, and/or experience to increase their marketability for potential employers.
The following local employers posted recent job advertisements requesting stylists and salon managers with a barber license in Maine:
SmartStyle Family Hair Salon
Salary and Wage Averages for Barbers in Maine
In 2013, the Maine Department of Labor reported that personal care and service workers, such as barbers, were earning an average salary of $18,280/yr. or average wage of $8.79.
Within this occupational group, professionals earning an average entry-level pay received $17,080/yr. or $8.21/hr. However, those earning an average experienced pay received closer to $18,880/yr. or $9.08.
Salary and Wage Considerations for Barbers in Maine
Barbers often receive generous monetary tips by customers, which are not included in government published wage statistics. As such, occupational income reports indicate base pay amounts rather than how much a barber actually makes in Maine.
Salary Earning Percentiles for Barbers in Maine
In 2013, the Maine Department of Labor found personal care and service workers, including barbers, earned in the following salary percentiles:
10th Percentile: $16,217/yr.
25th Percentile: $16,832/yr.
Median Percentile: $17,858/yr.
75th Percentile: $18,884/yr.
90th Percentile: $19,971/yr.
Geographic Salary and Wage Statistics for Barbers in Maine
Personal care and service workers, like barbers, frequently receive salary and wage variations depending on their geographic location of employment. These pay differences are expressed in the 2013 United States Bureau of Labor Statistics diagram provided below: