Becoming a barber in Alabama is a good idea as long as you don’t mind standing a lot, and are outgoing! The profession is in demand and there are a number of good schools. In fact, barber job growth for the 10 years starting in 2012 is projected to be almost 13% in the state. So let’s get started and see what the requirements are to become a licensed professional.

Approaching Mobile, AL
Approaching Mobile, AL

How Long Is Alabama Barber Schools or Apprenticeship?

You have a choice when you train to become a barber in AL. The first choice is to train in a school for 1000 hours. You will probably have more than one instructor and you will be interacting with other students too. The other choice is to be an apprentice in which case you will need to do 2000 hours of study and practice. If you follow that path you will have one main teacher and likely be the only apprentice depending on the size of the barber shop. In either case you will ideally learn the same things and be fully prepared to take the exams and get your license.

License Requirements

To become a licensed barber in Alabama you’ll need to pass the exams and be at least 16 years old and have completed grade ten.

The state board has contracted PSI to do all the testing.

You’ll need to pay fees to do the exams and pass both a theory/written exam. In the practical you will show that you have the hair cutting and styling skills but also that you follow safe work practices. In the written exam you’ll need to show that you’ve understood things like anatomy, potential diseases that may show up on the scalp, state laws and so on.


License renewal in Alabama is pretty strait forward. As long as you renew on time and pay the applicable fee you are good to go. There is no requirement for upgrading or maintaining your education. Of course that’s always a good idea! There is nothing wrong with keeping abreast of current practices especially if it has been a number of years since you graduated and became certified. Also, there are often part-time classes on weekends or nights if you only want to do a little upgrading.

Jobs & Career

There’s always the possibility that you can open your own barber shop/salon, but many newly minted barbers like to work for someone else for a few years to get their footing in the biz.

If you think you may want to be an entrepreneur and open your own business pay special attention when you are studying about that when you are in school!

To get an idea of what jobs are available take a look online or just ask around. And if one day you decide to switch locations (like to one of the bigger centers in California or New York) and move to another state you will be in a good position if you’ve done your schooling in AL since the curriculum is comprehensive.

Take a look at the tools you’ll need to be a professional barber

Fortis College- Cosmetology Campus – Fortis has been licensed by Alabama Board of Cosmetology & Barbering and accredited by National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Science so you know you are getting the training you need to be a professional in AL. 300 Azalea Rd, Mobile. Update: Fortis College is now permanently closed.

Alabama State College – Birmingham, AL – Alabama State College of Barber Styling has been around for more than 40 years. There is a reason they have survived and even prospered for so long… quality barber education and training that goes beyond just giving an decent haircut. Previously located at Roebuck Plaza Drive the college moved in 2010 to its present location at 753 Main Street in Gardendale. ASCBS has been accredited since 1990.

Other Alabama schools for makeup artists technicians, estheticians, cosmetologists and nail techs.

Did we miss any Alabama schools for barbering training? Please contact us to let us know.

A couple of school websites: