There is a growing demand throughout the United States for expert male hair and beard care, a need that is reflected in the projected growth for the barber profession between 2012 and 2022. The Nebraska Department of Labor has projected a growth rate of about 3% in the field during this ten-year period. By becoming a barber, you will have the opportunity to work in a creative environment, open your own shop, and provide men with high quality hair and beard care.
The Nebraska Board of Barber Examiners handles licensing for barbers, barbershops, barber instructors, and barber schools. If you would like to become a licensed barber in Nebraska, you must fulfill all the requirements set by the board as described in these steps:
|Complete your Education at a Board Approved Barber School|
|Pass the Barber Examination|
|Begin your Career and Consider Opening a Shop|
|Maintain your Barber License by Renewing it Every Other Year|
Step 1. Complete your Education at a Board Approved Barber School
The initial step that you must take in becoming a barber in Nebraska is to enroll in and compete your education at a state approved barber college. Before enrolling in college, it is required that you are at least 17 years old and have a minimum of a high school diploma or GED equivalency certificate.
During your education you must complete at least 2,100 hours of instruction and practical training. This instruction must take place over the course of at least one year and instruction days cannot exceed 10-hours.
Your training and education must cover the following topics:
- Fundamentals of barbering
Credit for your college education can be earned in high school if you are enrolled in a high school accredited by the University of Nebraska or the Nebraska State Board of Education.
Step 2. Pass the Barber Examination
After completing your education, you can apply to take the barber examination administered by the Nebraska Board of Barber Examiners. To take this exam you must submit an application for examination that includes:
- A copy of your high school diploma or GED certificate
- A copy of your barer school diploma
- Two photographs, no larger than 3” x 5”
- A $190 examination fee
- This fee includes a $90, two year licensing fee
The barber examination is offered four times a year, in January, April, July, and October. In order to sit for your exam, you must file your exam application at least 15 days before the test day. Precise exam dates are set by the Board and subject to change.
Your exam will have two parts, written and practical. The written exam has a three-hour time limit and will cover the fundamentals of barbering and the barbering laws of Nebraska. The practical exam will cover:
- Hair bleaching
- Hair coloring
- Hair relaxing
- Long style haircut
- Perm rod rolling
- Personal appearance and cleanliness
- Sanitation procedures
- Tapered haircut
- Face and head
You must provide your own model for the practical examination, which will take place in front of at least two members of the Board. You must score at least a 75% on both portions of the exam in order to qualify for licensure.
Step 3. Begin your Career and Consider Opening a Shop
Once you are a licensed barber in Nebraska, you will be free to choose the direction you wish your career to take. Barbers can work in barbershops, salons as employees, or by renting a chair in the establishment. Renting a chair in another establishment does not make you an employee; rather, you are a self-employed barber renting space from another business. Another option that barbers have is opening their own barbershop.
Creating a business purely from scratch, down to the floor plan, décor, and hours, is a challenge that many people find to be the best part of the barber profession.
If you are interested in opening your own barbershop, you will have to file an application with the Nebraska Board of Barber Examiners that includes:
- Your shop name
- Hours of operation
- Floor plan
- There are separate forms for commercial and residential floor plans
- $200 inspection and license issuance fee
Applications for new barbershops must be filed at least 15 days before the scheduled opening day of the barbershop.
Step 4. Maintain your Barber License by Renewing it Every Other Year
The last thing that you must do to remain a licensed barber in Nebraska is to renew your license. Licenses for individual barbers are to be renewed by June 30th of every even numbered year. The renewal fee for individual barbers is $90.
Barbershop and booth rental licenses must also be renewed every two years for a fee of $100. You have the option to renew your license(s) online, through the Nebraska Board of Barber Examiners.
Barber Salaries in Nebraska
According to the Nebraska Department of Labor, as of the third quarter of 2014, the average entry-level salary for barbers employed statewide was $11.55/hr or $24,032/yr. The median wage was $15.49/hr or $32,224/yr. In that same year, more experienced barbers received closer to $17.28/hr, which comes to $35,939 per year.
The total income a barber in Nebraska actually takes home is largely dependent on customer added gratuity. However, since government published reports do not account for client tips, wage statistics should be viewed as merely base pay rates.
An Analysis of Earnings for Barbers in Nebraska
Recent online job postings advertising for personal care and service professionals, such as barbers, in Nebraska offered the following wage rates as of December 2014:
Entry Level: $7.27/hr. or $15,118/yr.
Median: $10.00/hr. or $20,800/yr.
Experienced: $16.73/hr. or $34,790/yr.
Potential employers often ask job candidates to state their preferred salary ranges to determined if salary expectations match intended salary offers. In December 2014, the Nebraska Department of Labor found that recently licensed barbers hoped to earn the following:
Not Specified: 29%
In 2013, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics found barbers in Nebraska were actually earning the wages shown here by earning percentile:
10th Percentile: $8.98/hr.
25th Percentile: $13.01/hr.
Median Percentile: $15.17/hr.
75th Percentile: $17.12/hr.
90th Percentile: $18.28/hr.
Full-time barbers often receive annual salaries. In 2013, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported barbers in Nebraska earned the salaries shown here organized by earning percentile:
10th Percentile: $18,700/yr.
25th Percentile: $27,100/yr.
Median Percentile: $31,600/yr.
75th Percentile: $35,600/yr.
90th Percentile: $38,000/yr.
Region-Specific Pay Averages for Barbers in Nebraska
In 2013, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics produced the following data table to display the pay received by personal care and service workers, including barbers, working in the Omaha-Council Bluff, NE-IA metropolitan area: