Barber Schools and License Requirements in Virginia

As a barber in Virginia, you will get to join the licensed professionals dedicated to expertise in men’s style and sophistication. Richmond, Virginia Beach, and Arlington are all home to contemporary-classic traditional barbershops. Parkside Barbershop and Grooming Lounge, voted Richmond’s best barbershop, has been in operation for over 20 years, offering services dedicated to creating the traditional, masculine grooming experience. Services include shoe shining, straight razor shaves, manicure and pedicures, massages, and even a complimentary beer or wine, just to name a few.

Before you can start your career as a barber in Virginia, you will first need to obtain a license from the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOF) after meeting requirements sets by the Virginia Board for Barbers and Cosmetology. The Board regulates the unique education and exam licensing standards for cosmetologists, nail technicians, tattoo artists, estheticians, and, of course barbers. As a barber, you will become an expert in the cutting, styling, and designing of men’s hair and facial hair.

For guidance on how to become a licensed barber in Virginia, simply follow these steps:

Complete a 1500-Hour Virginia Barber Training Program
Submit an Online Application for Examination and Licensure
Pass the Written and Practical Virginia Licensing Exams
Print and Mail Licensure Fee Notice to the Virginia Board
Begin your Career as a Barber in Virginia
Renew your Virginia Barber License



Step 1. Complete a 1500-Hour Virginia Barber Training Program

Your first step toward attaining a Virginia barber license is graduating from a Virginia licensed barber school. Your barber college must provide you with at least 1500 hours of barber training. This barber training must include both theoretical and practical subjects, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • State law, regulations and professional ethics
  • Business and shop management
  • Client consultation
  • Personal hygiene
  • Cutting the hair with a razor, clippers, shears
  • Tapering the hair
  • Thinning the hair
  • Shampooing the hair
  • Styling the hair with a hand hair dryer
  • Thermal waving
  • Permanent waving with chemicals
  • Shaving
  • Trimming a moustache or beard
  • Applying hair color
  • Lightening or toning the hair
  • Analyzing skin or scalp conditions
  • Giving scalp treatments
  • Board for Barbers and Cosmetology Regulations
  • Giving facial massage or treatment
  • Sanitizing and maintaining implements


Included in those 1500 hours, the Virginia Board requires the following minimum course-hour and training requirements:

  • Hair and scalp treatments – 10
  • Hair styling – 320
  • Tinting – 15
  • Bleaching and frosting – 10
  • Temporary rinses – 10
  • Semi-permanent color – 10
  • Cold permanent waving or chemical relaxing – 25
  • Hair shaping – 50
  • Wig care, styling, placing on model – 5
  • Finger waving and thermal waving – 30
  • Facials and waxing – 5

Once you have completed your barber training program, your barber school will provide proof of your completed training hours and refer you online to Ergometrics to apply for and take the Virginia licensing exams.

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Step 2. Submit an Online Application for Examination and Licensure

You may submit your application for the licensing and examinations as long as you are within 80 hours of completing your barber training program. You must make sure that you have completed the training program by the day you are scheduled to take the exam. Once your school refers you online, you will get a username and password that you may use to submit the online examination form. To complete the examination and the license application, follow these steps:

  • Submit an Online Examination Application to Ergometrics National Testing Network
  • Upload Passport-Sized Photograph for Exam Application
  • Submit $85 Written Exam Fee
  • Submit $85 Practical Exam Fee

Once you have completed this application, you will be able to take the Virginia licensing exams.



Step 3. Pass the Written and Practical Virginia Licensing Exams

Before you take the licensing exams, you will need to download and read the Virginia Barber Examination Candidate Information Bulletin. This bulletin will give you information on the two Virginia licensing exams: the written exam and the practical exam.

Once your application is approved, you will be able to schedule the exams. You may schedule both of these exams at any of the following Virginia locations:

  • Charlottesville Testing Center
  • Manassas Testing Center
  • Richmond Testing Center
  • Roanoke Testing Center
  • Virginia Beach Testing Center

When you arrive for your exams, make sure you arrive 30 minutes early with two forms of government-issued identification.

Written Examination

The written exam will test your theoretical knowledge on barber subject areas and barber laws in Virginia. You will have 2 hours to complete this 110-question, multiple-choice exam, and it will be administered on a computer. The written exam will cover the following barber subject areas:

  • Virginia State General Laws, Rules, and Regulations – 29%
  • Safety, Sanitation, and Infection Control – 26%
  • Implements, Tools, and Equipment – 15%
  • Product Knowledge and Chemistry – 5%
  • Anatomy and Physiology – 6%
  • Barbering Services – 19%

Practical Examination

The practical exam will test your ability to perform barber services. You will need to bring your own kit with supplies and head mannequin on which to perform the barber services. You will perform the following barber services in the following time limits:

  • Disinfection and Setup – 10 minutes
  • Blood Spill Procedures Demonstration – 10 minutes
  • Facial Shave – 32 minutes
  • Taper Haircut with Neck and Outline Shave – 47 minutes
  • Blow Dry Demonstration – 12 minutes
  • Facial – 22 minutes
  • Disinfection and Cleanup – unlimited



Step 4. Print and Mail Licensure Fee Notice to the Virginia Board

Once you pass both exams, you will need to print and mail in a licensure fee notice to the Virginia board. So, immediately upon passing your exams, complete the following steps:

  • Log into your Ergometrics Account
  • Click “Licensure Fee Notice”
  • Complete Licensure Fee Notice Form
  • Mail the Notice and Payment to the Board (to the address on the form)

As soon as you complete these steps, the Virginia Board will issue your first Virginia barber license.



Step 5. Begin your Career as a Barber in Virginia

Once you have received your Virginia barber license, you may start looking to rent a chair in any of the state’s many barbershops, or you may even open your own shop. Richmond, Lynchburg, Alexandria, and Virginia Beach are just a few of the locations in the state with a thriving barbershop culture. If you want to open your own barbershop, you will need to obtain a barbershops license from the Virginia Board. To do this, you will need to submit the Salon/Shop/Spa/Parlor License Application form.

If you’re looking for a commissioned position or to rent a chair from one of the already established barbershops in Virginia, consider the following options:

  • Parkside Barbershop and Grooming Lounge – Richmond
  • The Barber Shop & Company – Fredericksburg
  • Choppers Barber Shop – Lynchburg
  • Best Barber Shop – Alexandria
  • Top Class Barber Shop – Falls church
  • The Ultimate Barber – Alexandria



Step 6. Renew your Virginia Barber License

When it comes time to renew your license, the Virginia Board will mail you a renewal card. You will need to make sure that you have your correct mailing address on file with the Board to receive this card. When you receive it, you will be able to mail back the renewal card and the $105 renewal fee. Make your check payable to the Treasurer of Virginia.

Mail your form and fee to the Board at the following mailing address:

Board for Barbers and Cosmetology
Department of Professional & Occupational Regulation
9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 400
Richmond, VA 23233

If you want to complete the renewal process online, you may submit your renewal form and fee online with the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. Make sure to renew your license promptly. If you are late, you will need to pay late fees and possibly even need to reinstate your license. To reinstate, you will need to pay a $210 reinstatement fee.

Barber Salaries in Virginia

Barbers in Virginia are licensed by the State Board of Barbers and Cosmetology which requires candidates to complete 1,500 hours of study and training at a licensed barber school after which they must pass the Board examination. There are licensed barber schools conveniently located in 33 different Virginia cities; there are 15 schools in Norfolk alone!

Salaries of Barbers in Virginia

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not have salary wage tables for barbers in Virginia; however, the following is their Virginia annual salary and hourly wage listings for “Personal Care and Service – all Others.”

Annual Salary
10th Percentile
25th Percentile
90th Percentile

Barber and other personal care service salaries are significantly affected by tips which generally average 15 to 20 percent of the cost of the service.

Barber Salaries in Different Virginia Cities/Metropolitan Area

According to labor market info published by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry, personal care service workers earn the following annual salaries statewide:

Entry Level – $17,000
Median – $19,905
Experienced – $28,435
The highest salaries are found in the Alexandria-Arlington-DC metropolitan area where the median annual salary for personal care workers is $23,182. The State lists median salaries in other major Virginian salaries as:

Charlottesville – $21,306
Harrisburg – $19,722
Richmond – $19,580
Winchester – $19,173
Roanoke – $19,133
Virginia Beach – $18,920
The following is a Bureau of Labor Statistics table of personal care worker salaries for large cities and metropolitan areas in Virginia.

Area name
Annual mean wage
Richmond VA
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News VA-NC
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division
Estimate not released

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