Whether it’s a clean shave, short-trimmed stubble or a full, designed beard, every man faces the challenge of deciding what to do with his facial hair. Having well-styled facial hair is of the utmost importance for modern men’s style and sophistication.
New Jersey is the perfect place to start your career in the art of barbering, as the greater White Plains –Wayne areas of New Jersey have some of the highest levels of employment for barbers in the entire country.
For a guide on how to become a licensed barber in New Jersey, follow these steps:
Your first step toward becoming a professional barber is becoming licensed with the New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling. This Board regulates the different education and exam licensing requirements for cosmetologists, manicurists, skin care specialists, beauticians, and barbers. As a barber, you will specialize in the cutting and styling of men’s hair.
Step 1. Graduate from a 900-Hour Barber Training Program in New Jersey
Your first step toward attaining a New Jersey barber license is graduating from a New Jersey barbering school that provides you with at least 900 hours of training.
Those training hours must meet the following Board requirements for both theoretical and practical training:
- History of Hair and Barbering – 4 hours
- Professional Image, Hygiene, and Related Practices – 2 hours
- Decontamination and Infection Control – 20 hours
- Shampooing and Scalp Care – 20 hours
- Honing and Stropping – 4 hours
- Shaving – 125 hours
- Men’s Hair Cutting and Styling – 225 hours
- Beard and Moustache Trimming – 15 hours
- Women’s Hair Cutting and Styling – 70 hours
- Facials and Facial Massage – 15 hours
- Anatomy of Head, Neck, and Face – 5 hours
- Common Disorders of the Skin, Scalp, and Hair – 5 hours
- Electricity – 5 hours
- Men’s Hairpiece Services – 55 hours
- Chemistry and Chemical Related Services – 210 hours
- Hair Color and Lightening – 110 hours
- State Laws, Rules, and Regulations – 10 hours
Once you are a student, you must submit a Certification of Cosmetology and Hairstyling School form in order to become a registered barbering student with the New Jersey Board.
Step 2. Schedule and Pass the State Board Theory Exam
The New Jersey State Board requires you to pass two exams before you may obtain your license: the theory exam and the practical exam.
You will first need to take and pass the theory exam, and then you will be able to apply for and take the practical exam with the Board. You may take the theory exam while you are still in your barber training school, as long as you have completed at least 720 of the 900 required training hours. Otherwise, you will take this exam immediately upon graduation.
Theory Exam Scheduling
You are responsible for scheduling and taking the theory exam with Prometric testing services. To schedule your exam with Prometric, complete the following steps:
- Read the Candidate Information Bulletin for the State of New Jersey Barber Examination
- Fill Out the Exam Registration Form (on page 9)
- Register for the the Exam Online
- Schedule an Exam Appointment
- Pay the $45 Exam Fee
You may mail all application materials to Prometric at the following address:
7941 Corporate Drive
Nottingham, MD 21236
Theory Exam Content
The barber theory exam contains 110 questions, and you will be given 2 hours to complete it. The questions will concern barber subject matters, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Infection Control
- Shop Safety
- Hair and Scalp
- Scalp and Hair Care, Facials, and Shaving
- Chemical Services
- Hairstyling and Shaping
- New Jersey State Laws and Regulations
You must pass this exam with a score of 75% or higher. Once you pass, Prometric will notify the Board of your scores.
Step 3. Submit the Application for Practical Examination and Licensure
In order to be eligible to sit for the state board practical examination, you must be at least 17 years old, have completed high school, have completed the 900 necessary hours of barbering school, and have passed the theory exam. Once you are eligible, you may submit the application by completing the following steps:
- Submit Application
- Check “Barber” on Application
- Submit 2 passport photos
- Submit $50.00 filing fee
- Submit $60.00 licensing fee (if applying during the second year of a licensing cycle, submit $30 licensing fee)
- Submit certification of barber school
You may submit the application to the Board at the following address:
New Jersey Office of the Attorney General
Division of Consumer Affairs
New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling
124 Halsey Street, 6th Floor, P.O. Box 45003
Newark, New Jersey 07101
Step 4. Pass the State Board Licensing Practical Exam
Once you pass the theory exam and submit the application for examination and for licensure, you will be eligible to take the practical exam. The Board will send you a notice of the date, time, and location for your practical exam. The practical exam will require you to physically perform barbering services for the Board. You will perform services including, but not limited to, the following:
- Setting Up and Client Protection – Infection Control
- Shampooing, Cutting, Arranging, and Styling Hair
- Shaving and Trimming Facial Hair
- Applying Cosmetic Preparations, Lotions, or Creams
- Massaging, Cleansing, and Stimulating the Face and Neck
- Cutting, Fitting, or Styling Hairpieces or Wigs
You must pass this exam with a 75% or higher, as well, in order to receive your license. Once you complete and pass these exams, your New Jersey barber license will be issued to you!
Step 5. Start your Career as a Barber in New Jersey
As a barber in New Jersey, you have a few different options to consider:
- You may apply for jobs at barbershops
- You may apply for jobs at salons that hire barbers
- You may rent a chair
- You may work to open your own barbershop
Some barbers enjoy the community of working in a barbershop or salon, while others enjoy having the freedom to work for themselves. If you’re looking for a job with one of the top-rated barbershops and salons in New Jersey, consider some of the following options:
- Barbers & Songs – Succasunna
- Simply Hair-Hair Salon –
- Hairworks Urban Oasis – Clifton
- City Master Barbers – Freehold
- Danny’s Barber Shop – Riverside
- Paisano’s Barber Shop – Jackson
Step 6. Renew your New Jersey Barber License Biannually
You will need to renew your license every two years. The New Jersey Board will send you notification of renewal 60 days prior to the renewal date. All you will need to do is submit the renewal form and the $60 renewal fee to the Board.
Although the board does not require any continuing education in order to renew, completing continuing education courses is a great way to stay on the cutting edge of men’s fashion, style, and facial hair styling trends. Keeping up to date with men’s style is a great way to impress your clients, and keep them coming back again and again.
Barber Salaries in New Jersey
Barber salaries in New Jersey varied significantly, with experienced barbers in the 75th percentile earning 54.8% more than their less experienced colleagues in the 25th percentile, according to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Those in the 75th percentile earned $30,490 on average while barbers in the 25th percentile averaged $19,700 a year. The average barber salary in New Jersey was $24,340, while the median salary for these professionals was $22,670.
Since tipping is customary, it should be noted that the actual take home pay among these experts of style and elegance is likely to be higher than the values reported by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The official salary figures do not take gratuity into account.
Strong Job Growth for Barbers Throughout New Jersey
The number of barber jobs in New Jersey is expected to grow at a rate that is 27% faster than the national average between 2012 and 2022. The expected increase in the number of barber jobs in New Jersey is 16.5%, and this doesn’t include those that are self-employed.
Six of New Jersey’s counties should see an increase in barber jobs over this ten-year period:
Middlesex County – 3%
Hunterdon County – 2%
Essex County – 6%
Union County – 3%
Mercer County – 6%
Atlantic County – 7%
Barber Salaries by Region in New Jersey
Although the average barber salary in the Edison area was about the same as that for the state, experienced barbers earned slightly more than their colleagues in New Jersey as a whole. Edison barbers in the 75th percentile earned $32,670 on average.
The average barber salary in Edison was $24,530, while the median salary was $22,250 as of 2013. Barbers new to the field earned slightly less than the average for New Jersey as a whole at $18,670.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides additional detail on barber salaries in key metropolitan areas: