Barber Schools and License Requirements in Oregon

Barbers are known as the experts of men’s hairstyling and beard designing. Barbers create a relaxing environment of style and sophistication that caters to men. The Oregon Board of Cosmetology classifies barbers as a subcategory within the field of cosmetologists. The State of Oregon Employment Department estimates that the number of jobs within this field is expected to grow 30.5% between 2012 and 2020. This means there will be more than 222 new barbers entering the field of tonsorial arts during these years.

Oregon is home to barbershops such as HairM in Portland, which was voted as one of “The Manliest Barbershops in America,” by Men’s Health Magazine for offering haircuts, wine and local beer, cigars, and LCD TVs at each cutting station. Even further, you will find The Barbers in Portland as well, which was voted the Best Barbershop in Town by The Columbian in 2008 and 2009. The Barbers is dedicated to bringing back the old-fashioned shop experience that all men will enjoy.

To start your career as a barber in Oregon, you will first need to be licensed by the Oregon Health Licensing Agency (OHLA) and Board of Cosmetology, which regulates the licensing requirements for barbers within the broader classification of cosmetology.

To learn how to become a licensed barber in Oregon, follow the steps in this guide:

Graduate from a 1350-Hour Oregon Barbering Program
Submit Oregon Examination and Practitioner Applications
Pass the Oregon Licensing Written Examination
Begin your Career as a Licensed Barber in Oregon
Renew your Oregon Barber License Biannually



Step 1. Graduate from a 1350-Hour Oregon Barbering Program

The very first step toward attaining an Oregon barber’s license is graduating from a barbering program. The Oregon Board requires that your Oregon Educational Institute offer at least 1,350 hours covering the following Oregon Board-required training requirements:

  • Safety and Infection Control – 150 Hours
  • Career Development – 150 Hours
  • Implements, tools, and Equipment – 25 Hours
  • Disorders of the Skin, Scalp, and Hair – 50 Hours
  • Draping, Shampooing, Rinsing, and Conditioning – 50 Hours
  • Facial Massage and Treatments – 10 hours
  • Hair Cutting – 600 Hours
  • Hair Styling – 150 Hours
  • Shaving, Mustache, and Beard Design – 50 Hours
  • Artificial Hair/Hairpieces – 5 Hours
  • Electricity, Light Therapy, Chemistry, and Anatomy – 25 Horus

You Oregon Educational Institute will finalize your graduation by having you complete a practical examination. Once you pass this practical exam, you will need to send your official school transcripts to the Oregon Board of Cosmetology. Once the Oregon Board receives information that you have passed your practical examination, you will then be allowed to apply for the written examination.

Enter Zip:


Step 2. Submit Oregon Examination and Practitioner Applications

After you graduate from an Oregon barbering school, you will be able to submit an application to take the licensing exam and an application for a license. To submit these applications, complete the following steps:


If you are credentialed as a barber in another state, you may apply for an Oregon license based on reciprocity. To do this, you will need to complete the following steps:

You may submit all of your application materials to the Oregon Board at the following address:

700 Summer Street NE, Suite 320
Salem, OR 97301-1287



Step 3. Pass the Oregon Licensing Written Examination

Once the Board approves your examination application, you will be approved to take the written exams, which are conducted on a walk-in basis. It is best for you to arrive as early as possible, since both exams take 1½ hour to complete. You will need to pass both a barbering written and a Oregon State Laws and Rules exam.

Barbering Written Exam

This written exam is conducted on a walk-in bases. You will want to arrive by 9am, and you are allowed 1½ hour to take the exam. The exam will have 100 questions concerning barbering theory. The questions will concern barbering theory, including the following subjects:

  • Diseases/Disorders – 27 questions
  • Hair Properties – 10 questions
  • Hair Cutting – 21 questions
  • Mustache – 8 questions
  • Equipment/ Implements – 4 questions
  • Beards – 4 questions
  • Shaving – 10 questions
  • Skin Properties – 16 questions

You can study for this exam by reading through the following barbering textbook:

  • Milady’s Standard Textbook of Professional Barbering, 2006

Oregon Laws and Rules Exam

After you take the barbering written exam, you will need to take the Oregon Laws and Rules exam. This exam is 90 questions, and you will also have 90 minutes to complete it. The questions will cover the following laws and rules:

  • Definitions – 21 questions
  • Facility Standards – 35 questions
  • Practice Standards – 6 questions
  • Facility Operations 6 questions
  • Examinations – 5 questions
  • Licensing/Certification – 9 questions
  • Chemicals – 8 questions

You will need to pass both exams with a score of 75% or higher. After you pass the exam, go to the front counter, pay the $25 certification fee, and your license will be issued immediately. If you choose to take the exam at OHLA in Salem, Oregon, you may leave that day with your license; otherwise, your license will be sent to you in the mail.



Step 4. Begin your Career as a Licensed Barber in Oregon

Oregon is home to some of the most unique barbershops. As a barber in Oregon, you can choose to work in an established barbershop, in a salon or say spa that hires barbers, or you may even choose to open your own barbershop. If you are looking for currently established barbershops in Oregon, consider some of the following best-rated options:

  • Oregon City Barber Shop – Oregon City
  • Bond Street Barber Shop – Bend
  • The Barbers – Hillsboro
  • The Modern Man – Portland
  • Bart’s Barber Shop – Portland

If you’re looking to advance your career and open your own barbershop, you will need to apply for an Oregon facility license. To obtain a facility license, you must be at least 18 years old, and complete the following steps:

  • Register your assumed business name with the Secretary of State
  • Complete, sign, and date the facility license application
  • Pay the facility license application fee



Step 5. Renew your Oregon Barber License Biannually

You will need to renew your license by the last day of the month in which you received it every two years. So, if you received your license in June of an even numbered year, you will need to renew again by June of the next even numbered year.

The Oregon Board of Cosmetology will mail you a renewal application 6 weeks before your license expires, and you will need to return the application with a $45 renewal fee. If you don’t want to mail the paper copy, you may renew online and submit a $40 renewal fee.

The Oregon Board does not require you to complete any continuing education in order to renew your license. However, taking advanced barbering courses is a great way to stay in the know on the latest in men’s hair and beard fashion, styling techniques and products.

Barber Salaries in Oregon

The average barber salary in Oregon was $25,492 in 2014 according to the State of Oregon Employment Department. However, these figures do not take tipping into account and thus are likely to substantially underestimate the actual take home pay of Oregon’s barbers.

The salaries of Oregon’s barbers differed dramatically depending on their level of experience. Those in the 90th percentile ($37,419) earned nearly twice as much as barbers in the 10th percentile ($19,094).

Barber salaries in Oregon by city:

Portland – $40,000
Eugene – $39,000
Salem – $40,000

Barber Salary Data According to County

Salaries among Oregon’s barbers differed by over $5,600 depending on their location, with the Lane region and thee Jackson/Josephine regions coming out on top:

Oregon Area
10th Percentile
90th Percentile
Gilliam/Hood River/Sherman/Wheeler/Wasco

Barber Job Growth Rates Throughout Oregon

The number of licensed barbers in Oregon is expected to increase by 19.6% in the ten-year period ending in 2022. Slightly more than 58% of these jobs should come from the need to replace barbers who will leave the field to retire.

Some of Oregon’s regions should see a much higher rate of increase in licensed barbers during this period. The rate of growth in the Clackamas region should be more than twice that of the state’s overall rate at 43%.

Three other regions should experience higher than average rates of growth:

Gilliam/Hood River/Sherman/Wheeler/Wasco – 2%
Marion/Polk/Yamhill – 9%

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