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A barber cuts, shapes (styles) and shampoos hair, massages face and scalp, applies skin and hair conditioners and may shave faces or dye hair.

Licensing Requirements

All persons seeking to become licensed to practice barbering in New York State must submit an application to the New York State Secretary of State. The latest information and requirements for becoming a New York State-licensed barber are available on the website of the New York State Department of State at:

The Practice of Barbering License Law, Article 28 of the General Business Law of New York State is available at:

Age Requirement

Applicants seeking to become a licensed barber in New York State must be at least 17 years of age.

Fees: (as of August 1, 2012)

  • $15 -- Practical exam, non-refundable
  • $20 -- Apprentice license
  • $40 -- Operator license (2-year term)

Examination Description

The Barber Practical Examination includes a practical demonstration of haircutting, which must be done using both shears and clippers. This practical exam will also include shampooing, shaving, massaging, honing and stropping. The prospective barber applicant being tested must bring all tools and equipment needed for the examination, a passport sized photo (2" x 2" maximum), and a check or money order (no cash accepted) for the $15 examination fee.

Note: Failure to appear for a scheduled barber practical examination may result in forfeiture of the applicant's application and fee.

Licenses Issued and Active

From January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011, there were 7,437 licenses issued for this occupation.
As of June 25, 2012, there were 15,290 active licenses outstanding for this occupation.

Licensing Authority

New York State Department of State
Division of Licensing Services
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 22001
Albany, New York 12201-2001
Phone: (518) 474-4429
Fax: (518) 473-6648

Standard Occupational Classification

39-5011 - Barbers
To learn more about this occupation search the Occupational Information Network (O*Net)


Fees stated and other information contained in this report are subject to change. Please contact the licensing authority listed above for the most current information.

This page was last updated on 8/6/12.

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