Barbers train in hair care and facial hair trimming for men. Though in the age of trendy unisex salons, a barber might seem old fashioned. But many men prefer the special care and community atmosphere of the local barbershop and employees well trained in a reputable school.

If this appeals to you at all, the life of a barber might be the right choice for you. If you’re living in Canada’s prairie provinces, Alberta’s colleges can help you get the education you need for a rewarding career.

Alberta (wild rose country) a great place to study to be a barber
Wild rose country

School Requirements

Alberta does not have a license specific to barbers. You will need to get a hairstyling license through a training program.

Alberta does have a few colleges which specialize in shaping and treating men’s hair and skin. The Alberta Barber Academy, Mr. Barber School, and similar schools can teach you the skills you need, while also getting you the education you need to be certified as a hairstylist.

While you’re in the program, you’ll learn the techniques to succeed in your apprenticeship. These may include shaving, hot shaving treatments, beard shaping, scalp treatments for men, barber tool use and similar.


To become a certified barber, you must have at least graduated high school. If you’re still in high school, you may work at a barber shop to gain apprenticeship credits, but you can’t be certified officially until after your graduation.

Your apprenticeship should last at least two years. To apply for an apprenticeship, you’ll need to complete an entry-level exam, and find an employer ready to train you.

During your on-the-job training, you will earn at least minimum wage. By partnering with a hairstylist or barber college, you can get the 10 hours per year you need in practical training, and ensure that you meet all your education requirements. Once you’ve completed your program, you can apply for your trade certificate.

If you are not interested in the long training requirements you can always dabble in some free online barber courses.

How To Renew

Alberta hairstylists and barbers are certified with a compulsory license.

Once you’ve completed your apprenticeship hours and educational requirements and applied for your hairstylist license, you will need to keep your license current.

You must prove at least 1600 hours of work per year, as well as updating your education by 10 hours per year, through safety training, trade show attendance and upgraded training programs.

Working Out of Province

If you complete your Alberta trade certification for barbers and hairstylists, you may also choose to get your Red Seal certification. Red Seal certification is an interprovincial certification that allows you to work as a tradesperson in all other provinces. You can also get your certification in other provinces. Anyone with Red Seal certification as a hairstylist is free to work in Alberta.


If you’re working as a barber in Alberta, you will most likely end up working freelance by renting a chair in an established salon or opening your own shop.

The work you do as part of your mandatory apprenticeship will help you build contacts and experience, and you will earn more when your apprenticeship has been completed. Many barbershops hire right out of high school or hire from apprenticeship up. Check out an Alberta job site for opportunities to begin your new career.

Check out our essential tools page to get an idea of what you’ll be dealing with as a barber.

Some Barber Schools in Alberta

The Alberta Barber Academy – 10702 101 Street NW, Edmonton T5H 2S3

Aveda Institute – 225 8 Avenue SW, Calgary T2P 1B7

Del Mar College of Hair and Esthetics – 5915 1a Street SW, Calgary T2H 0G4

Mr. Barbershop – 10526 Jasper Avenue #101, Edmonton T5J 1Z7

Did we miss any Alberta barber training schools? Please contact us to let us know.

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