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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 eight 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; haircutting; shaving; trimming the beard; bleaching, tinting and dyeing the hair; and the chemical straightening of hair."

There will soon be four public barber schools available in Minnesota; three schools are located in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area and one in St. Cloud Minnesota will be opening soon.

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 763-710-9093

Moler Barber School of St. Cloud (Coming Soon)

200 Waite Avenue S, Suites 218 & 220, St Cloud MN 56301   For information 763-710-9093

Step 2: Apprentice Examinations and Registration

After completion of Barber School you will be required to take the Board apprentice examination to obtain your Apprentice Barber Registration. The exams are given four times each year the first Monday of February, May, August and November. The exam consists of three parts: written, oral, and practical. Completed application to take the exam is due to the office by the 20th of the month prior to the exam (if the 20th falls on the week-end the application is due on the Friday before). A minimum score of 70% is required on all parts of the exam to pass.

An Apprentice Barber Registration must be renewed annually and expire December 31 each year. Therefore your original registration may be valid for less than one year. Barbers are eligible to be apprentice barbers for four (4) years. You must prepare for and take the Registered (Master) Barber examination during the four (4) year period.

To be eligible for the Registered Barber examination an Apprentice must work for one year and accumulate a minimum of 1500 hours of experience under the direct supervision of a current Registered (Master) Barber in a Registered Barbershop. Per MN statute § 154.14 registrations must be posted. Apprentice barbers are required to inform the Board of their employment and hours accumulated by submitting a Form 1 to report employment and Form 2 to report hours.

Step 3: Registered (Master) Exam and Registration

The Registered (Master) Barber Examination is given four times each year the first Monday of February, May, August and November. The exam consists of three parts: written, oral, and practical. Application to take the exam is due to the office by the 20th of the month prior to the exam (if the 20th falls on the week-end the application is due the Friday before the 20th). A minimum score of 75% is required on all parts of the exam to pass. To prepare for the written portion of the examination it is required that the applicant purchase a Home Study Course. The fee for the Home Study Course is $75.00. This document is designed to assist the applicant in preparation for the written portion of the examination. In addition candidates should have knowledge of the Minnesota Barber statues and Minnesota Administrative Rules related to barbering in preparing for the oral portion. General review of your barber school materials is also recommended. 

Becoming a Barber Instructor

Applicant must have a high school diploma or GED, be a Minnesota registered (master) barber for the past three yeas, complete instructor training from a Board approved instructor training program 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 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. 

To apply for a barber registration through reciprocity complete the reciprocity 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.
  • A letter of verification from the regulatory board where you are currently registered, certified, or licensed submitted directly to the Minnesota Board of Barber Examiners. 
If the jurisdiction you are moving from does not issue barber licenses or you have not attended barber school the Board may consider other factors such as experience.  Applicants requiring consideration of experience without barber school education and/or a current out of state license are required to appear before the Board. The Board does not consider practicing barbering without a license in a jurisdiction that requires a license as acceptable evidence of experience.

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 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. License Verification  

Currently Minnesota has reciprocity agreements with North Dakota, South Dakota, Arizona, and Kansas.

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 renewal notice to each barber and barbershop, however; it is the barber'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/licence has been expired for more than four years you will be required to retake the barber examination before being reinstated.

Application Forms

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