With the growing trend of men who desire high quality, expert hair and beard care, barbers have become a valuable commodity to any area. Minnesota is home to many fashionable areas, the largest being the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan region, which are perfect places for a progressive and innovative barber to set up shop.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has projected that there will be an increase of nearly 7% in the number of barber jobs throughout Minnesota between the years of 2012 and 2022 to keep pace with the demand for their services.
Before you can work as a barber in Minnesota, you must be licensed by the Minnesota Board of Barber Examiners. The Board is responsible for licensing apprentice barbers, registered barbers, barber schools, and barbershops in Minnesota, as well administering the apprentice and registered barber examinations.
In order to become a licensed barber in Minnesota, follow these steps:
Step 1. Complete a Barber Program from a Board Approved Minnesota
Your first step towards becoming a licensed barber in Minnesota is to complete a barber program from an approved barber school in Minnesota. There are three such schools in Minnesota, all located in Minneapolis:
- Moler Barber School
- Minneapolis Community Technical College
- Minnesota School of Barbering
The Board requires that you complete at least 1,500 hours of class instruction, with no more than eight hours completed during one working day. During your training, you will be instructed on:
- Bleaching, tinting, and dyeing hair
- Chemical straightening of hair
- Diseases of skin, hair, and glands
- Elementary Chemistry of sterilization and antiseptics
- Massaging and manipulating muscles of the face and neck
- Practical study of hair, skin, muscles, and nerves
- Scientific fundamentals for barbering
- Trimming the beard
Step 2. Pass Your Apprentice Examination and Register as an Apprentice Barber
After graduating from an approved barber program, you will be eligible to take Apprentice Barber Examination. This exam is an oral, practical, and written test of your competency as an apprentice barber. The minimum passing grade for each section of the exam is a 70%.
The Minnesota Board of Barber Examiners offers the Apprentice Barber Examination four times a year on the first Mondays of February, May, August, and November.
You must submit the following items to the Board by the 20th of the month previous to your test date in order to be eligible to take this exam:
- An examination application
- Application fee of $88
- A certification of completion for your 1,500 education hours
After passing the exam, you will have four years to become a registered, or master, barber. You cannot be certified as an apprentice barber for a fifth year. Within 30 days of finding employment under a registered (master) barber, you must submit a form 1 to the Board that will enter you into their records as a working apprentice and begin the accumulation of your experience hours.
The following outline should give you an idea of what will be on the apprentice barber examination:
- 100 question, multiple choice questions in the written examination
- 10 Oral questions covering the Minnesota statutes and laws governing barbers
- A practical examination that covers a perm, haircut, shave, facial, and answering questions during the practical exam
- You must provide your own model and tools for the practical exam
Step 3. Pass the Registered (Master) Barber Examination and Register as a
You must complete at least 1,500 apprentice hours under a master barber before you can apply to take the Registered (Master) Barber Examination. The exam is made up of oral, practical, and written portions, and you must pass each section with at least a 75% to pass the entire exam. Before taking the exam, the Minnesota Board of Barber Examiners requires that you purchase a Home Study Course for $75 to assist your preparation for the written portion of the test.
The Minnesota Board of Barber Examiners offers the Registered (Master) Barber Examination four times a year on the first Mondays of February, May, August, and November.
In order to be able to take the exam, you must submit the following materials by the 20th of the month previous to your test date:
- The form 2 to the Board that certifies your 1,500 hours and 12 months of apprenticeship experience
- A $93.50 application fee
- The examination application
The Registered (Master) Barber Examination is in the same format as the apprentice exam, except there are 12 oral questions in that section of the exam.
Step 4. Renew Your Barber’s License Annually
Barber licenses expire on December 31st of each year. In order to renew a license you must submit either an apprentice barber renewal application or a registered (master) barber renewal application, depending on your status. Apprentice barbers must submit a $77 renewal fee with their application, while registered (master) barbers must submit an $88 renewal fee.
You can renew your license in three ways. You can renew online (note: a credit card processing fee will apply), or by mail or in person to this address:
University Park Plaza Building
2829 University Avenue South East Suite 425
Minneapolis, MN 55414
There is currently no continuing education requirement for barbers in Minnesota.
Step 5. Opening Your Own Barbershop
If you want to explore your own unique vision of a barbershop, you have the opportunity to open your own barbershop, provided you complete some basic requirements:
- Submit a barber shop application
- Requires a notary for final signature
- Pay a $93.50 application fee
- Provide a shop layout diagram (attached to application form)
- A completed zoning compliance form (attached to application form)
Barbershop registration expires on June 30 of each year and is the owner’s responsibility to renew. The renewal fee for barbershops is $93.50 and should be turned in with a barbershop renewal form.
These forms are all found on this page: http://mn.gov/health-licensing-boards/barber-examiners/formsandfaqs/forms.jsp
- Apprentice application
- Apprentice form 1
- Apprentice form 2
- Apprentice renewal form
- Barber shop application
- Barber shop renewal form
- Home study course application
- Registered Barber application
- Registered Barber renewal
Barber Salaries in Minnesota
Statistics compiled by the Department of Employment and Economic Development indicates there were 1,751 barbers working throughout the state in 2012. By 2022, the rising need for barbers is expected to push this number to 1,872. According to this occupational trend, barbers will experience a 6.9% employment growth rate through 2022.
The regional employment growth rates for barbers from 2012 to 2022 in Minnesota are as follows:
Seven County Mpls-St. Paul, MN: 1%
Central Minnesota: 7%
Northeast Minnesota: 3%
Northwest Minnesota: 8%
Southwest Minnesota: 5%
Average Salary Percentiles Among Barbers in Minnesota
In 2013, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the following salary percentiles found among barbers employed in Minnesota:
10th Percentile: $35,500/yr.
25th Percentile: $39,600/yr.
Median Percentile: $42,400/yr.
75th Percentile: $45,300/yr.
90th Percentile: $47,000/yr.
Average Wage Percentiles Among Barbers in Minnesota
In 2013, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics released these wage percentiles for barbers employed in Minnesota:
10th Percentile: $17.07/hr.
25th Percentile: $19.03/hr.
Median Percentile: $20.40/hr.
75th Percentile: $21.77/hr.
90th Percentile: $22.60/hr.
Geographic Salary Differences Among Barbers in Minnesota
According the Minnesota Department of Employment, barbers working in Seven County Mpls-St. Paul during the First Quarter of 2014 earned an average wage of $20.08/hr. During this time, an average low wage was $18.50/hr. and an average high wage was $22.78/hr.
Additional wage percentiles are as follows:
10th Percentile: $18.50/hr.
25th Percentile: $19.30/hr.
Median Percentile: $20.64/hr.
75th Percentile: $21.98/hr.
90th Percentile: $22.78/hr.
To find how much barbers working in the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington (MN-WI) area earned during 2013, please refer to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics data table featured below: