Becoming a Barber
Step 1: Attend Barber School
Minnesota Statute 154.07 Subdivision 1 defines the requirements and course of study: "...No barber school shall be approved by the Board unless it requires, as a prerequisite to admission, ten grades of an approved school or its equivalent, as determined by an examination conducted by the Commissioner of Education, which shall issue a certificate that the student has passed the required examination, and unless it requires, as a prerequisite to graduation, a course of instruction of at least 1,500 hours, of not more than ten hours in any one working day. The course of instruction must include the following subjects: scientific fundamentals for barbering; hygiene; practical study of the hair, skin, muscles, and nerves; structure of the head, face, and neck; elementary chemistry relating to sterilization and antiseptics; diseases of the skin, hair, and glands; massaging and manipulating the muscles of the face and neck; hair cutting; shaving; trimming the beard; bleaching, tinting and dyeing the hair; and the chemical straightening of hair."
If you are a cosmetologist interested in becoming a barber: In Minnesota, there is no credit given between cosmetology and barber training; therefore, a cosmetologist must complete 1500 hours of barber school to become a barber, and a barber must complete 1550 hours of cosmetology school to become a cosmetologist.
There are five public barber schools available in Minnesota; four schools are located in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area and one in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Johnson
Minnesota School of Barbering
3615 East Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406 612-722-1996
Moler Barber School
4864 Central Avenue North East, Hilltop, MN 55421 763-710-9093
Moler Barber School of St. Paul
990 Payne Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55130 For information 612-469-2878
Moler Barber School of Minnesota
200 Waite Avenue S, Suites 218 & 220, St Cloud, MN 56301 For information 320-227-2177
Townsend Barber Institute
694 County Road B West, Roseville, MN 55113 651-330-9098
Step 2: Examinations and Registration
After completion of Barber School you will be required to take the Board registered barber examination to obtain your Barber Registration. The exams are given four times each year the first Monday of February, May, August and November. The exam consists of two parts: written and practical. A completed application to take the exam is due in the office by the 20th of the month prior to the exam (if the 20th falls on the weekend the application is due on the Friday before). A minimum score of 75% is required on all parts of the exam to pass.
A Barber Registration must be renewed annually and expires December 31 each year. Therefore your original registration may be valid for less than one year.
Becoming a Barber Instructor
Applicant must have a high school diploma or GED, be a Minnesota registered (master) barber for the past three years, complete instructor training from the Board approved instructor training program at Southwest Minnesota State University or complete specific courses at an accredited college or university, and pass the Board instructor examination. Barber instructors may teach in a registered/licensed Barber School ONLY. Minnesota does not permit student training in barbershops.
Reciprocity: Transferring a barber license/registration from another State or Country
Reciprocity is the process of transferring a barber registration/license between states or countries. Applications for reciprocity to Minnesota are evaluated on a case by case basis. The Board will review the education and experience of the applicant as provided in the application to determine eligibility for a Minnesota Barber registration/license. If the applicant's education and experience is determined to be substantially the same as the Minnesota requirements and the applicant has a current registration/license from another state or country that is in good standing, a registration/license may be issued. If these qualifications are not met, the applicant may be required to obtain additional training and/or take a Minnesota barber examination to become registered/licensed. See below for applications from another state or country requirements.
Applicant from another State requirements
To apply for a barber registration through reciprocity, complete the reciprocity application (click on "application forms" below, then the "barber reciprocity" link under "Other forms" to print out the application) and submit all required documentation with your application including:
- A copy of your current barber license/registration.
- Name, location, and contact information for the barber school attended.
- Transcript detailing the barber education.
- Contact the regulatory board where you are currently registered, certified, or licensed to request a letter of license verification from them sent directly to the Minnesota Board of Barber Examiners.
Moving to another State
If you are moving from Minnesota to another state, you should contact the state you are moving to for their requirements. The Board will send verification to the state upon receiving the request and payment of the verification request fee. The letter of verification will be sent directly to the state barber board you request on your form.
Currently Minnesota has reciprocity agreements with North Dakota, South Dakota, Arizona, and Kansas.
Foreign Country Application requirements
All Foreign Country applicants for barber registration in Minnesota are required to have their credentials verified by a Board-approved credentialing service, AEQUO International, prior to submitting the Minnesota Barber Reciprocity application (click on "application forms" below, then the "barber reciprocity" link under "Other forms" to print out the application).
The required documents are:
- secondary school transcript
- barber school transcript and certificate
- barber license
If documents were not issued in English, applicants must arrange for them to be translated into English and certified by a professional translator. After the Board reviews the foreign credential evaluation report and the reciprocity application, the applicant will be informed of the board's decision.
Contact AEQUO International at:
150 4th Avenue North, Suite 850
Nashville, TN 37219
Call: 844-882-3786 or
AEQUO International will provide a report to the Board.
You will also be required to submit a Minnesota barber reciprocity application with copies of the required documents to the Minnesota Board of Barber Examiners.
General Registration Information
All barbers must work in registered/licensed barbershops. Barber registrations expire annually on December 31 each year. Barbershop registrations expire annually on June 30 each year. The Board makes an effort to send a renewal notice to each barber and barbershop; however, it is the barber's and shop owner's responsibility to renew their registration/license on time. Failure to renew on time will result in late fees, and barbering without a current registration/license may result in additional penalties for the barber and barbershop owner. If your barber registration/license has been expired for more than four years, you will be required to retake the barber examination before being reinstated.