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Barber Schools in Washington DC

Anyone who’s ever had a haircut knows that it’s not as simple as just trimming the ends. A good haircut takes time, skill, and experience. If you’re looking for a new barber or are interested in becoming a barber yourself, then Washington DC is the place to be. There are several great barber schools located in the district, and each one offers its own unique curriculum.

Finding the right barber school for you can be tricky, but it’s worth taking the time to find one that fits your needs. Below you will find a list of accredited barber schools in Washington DC.

State Requirements for Barber Licensing­ in Washington DC

To become a barber in Washington DC, you will need to complete the following steps:

  • Apply for a barber school
  • Complete 1,500 hours of education
  • Pass the Washington D.C. barber practical exam and written barber exams
  • Complete 6 hours of continuing education
  • Renew your license every two years

Estimated Cost

The estimated cost of tuition for barber schools in Oregon is between $5,000 and $12,000. Price differences are typically a result of whether the school provides a state-minimum level of education or if they exceed the state’s requirements.

Students will also need to pay for a barber textbook, a workbook, and exam review materials. They will also need to purchase a barber kit, basic barbering supplies, and pay for any necessary fees associated with barber school program applications and barber exam applications.

Most barber school students qualify for financial aid, which can take the form of Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), scholarships offered by your barber school, Pell Grants, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, VA benefits and direct subsidized loans. These options can greatly reduce the overall cost of tuition at barber schools. For more information on how you may qualify for these opportunities contact your barber school’s financial aid office.

Required Skills and Classes

Barber schools in Washington DC must provide a minimum of 1,500 study hours during the duration of the program. These programs typically can be completed within a year.

Most of your time will be spent in a practical learning environment, where you demonstrate skill on real customers, volunteers, and mannequins.

The board requires that barber schools provide education on the following subject areas with minimum hour requirements:

Shaving/Beard Trimming100
Permanent Wave150
Wet Curls100
Scalp Treatments25
Dye and Bleach100
Chemical Straightening225
Personal Hygiene50
Ethics, Salesmanship25
Courtesy, Conduct D.C. Law50
Anatomy, Physiology, Bacteriology, Pathology, Chemistry, Electricity150
Shop Management50
Total hours1,500

Cosmetology License Holders

If you have an active cosmetology license in Washington DC, you can obtain a barber license by completing 500 hours of education through an accredited barber school.

State Licensing Exams

Barber exams in Washington DC are administered by PSI Exams. Candidates must schedule an exam on their website. The barber exam consists of a practical exam as well as a barber theory exam. Candidates must score at least 70% on both portions of the exam.

Practical Exam

The practical exam requires applicants to demonstrate barbering skills on live models or mannequins. There is a time limit for the exam and the skills must be performed in front of one or more test administrators.

Barber Theory Exam

The barber theory exam consists of questions that test your knowledge of concepts learned during barber school. The exam must be completed within a 90 minute window of time, and the test is usually completed on a computer.


The average salary for barbers in Washington DC is $34,180 per year or $16.44 an hour.

Continuing Education Requirements

Barbers practicing in Washington DC must complete 6 hours of continuing education before renewing their licenses. This must be completed once every two years.

How Do I Renew My Washington DC License?

Barber licenses every odd numbered year on September 30. Barbers must renew their licenses online using the Access DC website. There is a $110 renewal fee that must be paid when renewing your license. Late renewals require paying an additional $50 fee.

Out of state barbers

License by reciprocity is allowed for out of state barbers. Barbers will need to have obtained their license from a state that has at least equivalent requirements for barbers and actively hold their barber license. There is also an application fee for licensure by reciprocity in Washington DC.

Contact Information for Licensing Board

District of Columbia State Board of Barber and Cosmetology


Email: [email protected]

Phone: (202) 442-4320

Fax: (202) 698-4329

Address: 1100 – 4th Street SW Suite E500 Washington, DC 20024