Barbers are experts of masculine style who are able to tame and design the beard of even the most unkempt woodsman. New Hampshire is a great place to get started as a barber, with a community of licensed tonsorial professionals more than 500 barbers strong as of 2013. Further, the number of barber jobs throughout New Hampshire is expected to grow by 8.2% between the years 2012 and 2022, according to the New Hampshire Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau.
For a guide on how to become a barber and master barber in New Hampshire, follow these steps:
Oftentimes, barbers are able to open their own shops and be their own bosses. However, New Hampshire is also home to top-ranking salon and barber establishments, such as Preference Styling Salon, which hires both hairstylists and barbers, and which was rated one of the top 200 fastest growing salons in America by Salon Today & Modern Salon.
Becoming a professional barber in New Hampshire starts by getting licensed with the New Hampshire Board of Barbering, Cosmetology, and Esthetics. This Board oversees the different licensing standards for cosmetologists, estheticians, manicurists, professional barbers, and master barbers. As a barber or master barber, you will specialize in the art of trimming and styling men’s hair and beards.
Step 1. Graduate from an 800-Hour Barber Training School in New Hampshire
The first step toward attaining a license is graduating from barber training school. The New Hampshire Board requires that barbers complete formal education of at least 800 hours from a New Hampshire licensed school.
If you are training to obtain a master barber’s license, you will need to complete at least 1,500 hours of schooling.
In barbering schools like these, you will complete curriculum including, but not limited to, the following course subjects:
- History of Barbering
- Professional Image
- Infection Control
- Men’s Facial Massage and Treatment
- Shaving and Facial Hair Design
- State Board Preparation and Licensing Laws
- Barbershop Management and Insight
The New Hampshire Board also allows you to complete an apprenticeship. This means that you may supplement or replace formal education with on-the-job training from a licensed barber. The barber who is training you must have been actively working as a licensed barber for at least two years.
The Board requires that you complete 1,600 hours of apprenticeship training in order to replace the 800 hours of formal education. If you want to qualify for a master barber license through apprenticeship, you will need to train for at least 3,000 hours.
Step 2. Submit the New Hampshire State Board Examination Application
Now that you have graduated from barber schooling, you may submit an application for examination. The Board allows D.L. Roope Administrations to administer the state board exams, and you will apply directly with D.L. Roope. To apply, you will complete the following steps:
- Download New Hampshire Examination Application
- Submit Online Application
- Submit Application and Examination Fees
Once you have submitted your examination application to D.L. Roope, you will receive an admission letter with the date, time, and location of your practical exam. Along with this, you will also receive a pre-registration letter with instructions to schedule your written exam.
If you currently hold a license in another state, or if you completed barber school in another sate, you will need to submit a different application for examination. To submit an application to take a New Hampshire Board exam, you will need to provide the following information and documentation:
- Current mailing address and any name change documentation
- Copy of driver’s license
- Copy of high school diploma (or equivalent)
- 2 passport photos
- Completed and attached questionnaire
- Barber school transcripts
If you chose to complete an apprenticeship, you will need to send the above materials and a letter verifying your training to the Board. The letter must include the following information:
- The name of the agency and state where the apprenticeship took place and was completed
- The name of the applicant
- Apprenticeship enrollment and completion dates
- Total number of apprenticeship hours
- Signature and title of person writing the letter
- Board/agency seal
Applicants for reciprocity and apprenticeship may submit all application material to the Board at the following address:
New Hampshire Board Of Barbering,
Cosmetology, And Esthetics
121 South Fruit St
Concord NH 03301
Once the Board receives a reciprocity or apprenticeship application for examination, the Board members will review and accept the application. Upon acceptance, the Board will send you a Verification of Eligibility form and an examination application.
Step 3. Pass the State Board Practical, Written, and State Law Exams
To be licensed by the New Hampshire Board, you will need to pass three different licensing exams: the practical exam, the written exam, and the state law exam. The practical and written exams will be taken with D.L. Roope.
Before taking the practical exam, you should download and read the New Hampshire Practical Exam Candidate Information Bulletin. This will give you extra information on scheduling, requirements, admission, instructions, and more.
You will need to bring your own mannequin head and supplies to this practical exam. The exam will last about 2 hours, and you will be tested on your ability to perform the following barber services:
- Set Up and Client Protection
- Basic Facial
- Shaving with a Straight Razor
- Summary and Cleanup
The written exam is a 90-minute, computer-based exam. Before taking this exam, download and read the New Hampshire Written Exam Candidate Information Bulletin. It will test your knowledge on barber subjects including, but not limited to, the following:
- Infection Control
- Skin Histology
- Hair and Scalp
- Facial Treatments
- Shaving Services
- Shaving Procedures
- Facial Hair Design
- Haircutting and Styling
State Law Exam
The New Hampshire Board provides a State Law Exam Study Guide on their website. Although it is a rough study guide, it should prepare you fully for the state law exam. For further preparation, read through the following documents:
You must receive a 75% or higher on these exams in order to qualify for a license. Within 3 to 10 days of taking the exam, the D.L. Roope website will post a message concerning test score posting. They will then post the exam scores, which will only be available on the online system for 2 weeks. Your original passing score will be mailed to the New Hampshire State Board.
Once the Board receives your final examination scores, a final request for license, and a final license fee, the Board will issue your barbering license.
Step 4. Begin Your Barber Career in New Hampshire
If you’re looking for a job at quality barbershops or salons who hire barbers, consider some of the following top-rated barbershops and salons in New Hampshire:
- Colonial Barber Shop – West Lebanon
- Chuck’s Barber Shop – Nashua
- Ryan’s Hill Barber Shop- Derry
- Depot Barber Shop – Salem
- Woodman – East Wakefield
- Thomas Roberts – Plymouth
- Preference Styling Salon – Bedford
Many barbers even consider opening their own barbershop. In order to do so, New Hampshire only requires that you submit the following information:
- Barbershop Application
- Questionnaire for owner and manager
- Application fee of $60.00 (money order or check payable to Treasurer, State of NH)
- Certificate of Occupancy
Step 5. Renew your Barber License Biannually
Your license will expire in your birthday month on odd years. The Board will send you a renewal form 60 days before your barber or master barber license expires. You will need to submit the form renewal form back to the Board, accompanied by the following information and materials:
- $40.00 renewal fee for barbers and master barbers (money order or check payable to Treasurer, State of NH)
- One 2×2 passport photo
- Copy of the expired license
- Social security number
- Completed and signed renewal questionnaire
- Name change documentation
The Board does not require you to complete continuing education unless you are licensed as a barber instructor. If you are an instructor, you will need to provide the Board with proof of 28 hours of continued education. You may send course completion certifications for proof, but they must show the course title and number of hours completed.
Barber Salaries in New Hampshire
The number of barbers practicing in New Hampshire is expected to increase by 8.2% between 2012 and 2022 according to the state’s Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau. This level of growth should generate 17 barber jobs in New Hampshire every year on average, and this doesn’t take self-employed barbers into account.
Barber salaries in New Hampshire varied depending on the degree of experience of the barbers. Those with experience earned an average of $9,340 a year more than those new to the field.
These salaries typically underestimate the barbers’ take home pay, because they do not take tipping into account:
The average 2014 barber salary in New Hampshire was $23,234
Those with experience earned $26,354 a year on average
New barbers averaged $17,014 a year
Barber Salaries in New Hampshire’s Two Largest Cities
Barber salaries in New Hampshire’s major metropolitan areas were fairly similar with the exception of those new to the field. Entry-level barbers in the Manchester area earned nearly $1,900 more a year than their colleagues in the Portsmouth area. These salaries were $18,845 and $16,973 respectively.
The average salaries in these areas were virtually identical. The average barber salary in the Manchester area was $21,445, while those in the Portsmouth area earned $21,154 on average.
Experienced Portsmouth barbers earned $500 more than those in the Manchester area, at $23,234 versus $22,734.