West Virginia is a great place to learn to be a barber. While barber programs have fallen out of fashion to be replaced by trendy salons, West Virginia is home to several classic modern barber shops, and great schools to teach you everything you need to know about the industry. If you’re interested in the career, West Virginia requires licensing as part of your career path.

Training Requirements for WV Barbers

To become licensed in West Virginia, you’ll need to complete your high school diploma, or GED. Next, find a 1200-hour college program. It should include at least 750 hours of practical training, in treatment of hair and scalp, men’s hair replacement, barber tool use and shaving techniques. Your course will also cover infection control, anatomy and physiology, and chemistry, among other theoretical training courses. Find the schools closest to you by using our app below:


Once you’ve completed your program, you can apply for your licensing exams. You must provide a photo ID and pay the exam fee as part of your application. The first exam is a written exam, which takes 90 minutes, and covers the scientific concepts you have learned, as well as the West Virginia Barber and Cosmetology laws, rules, and regulations.

Finally, you will finish your practical exam, where you will be tested on prep, cleanup, sanitation, and safety, along with shaving, cutting and hair treatment. You are expected to bring your own kit and mannequin to your practical exam. You must achieve a 70% or higher on all exams to be licensed. Your exam scores will be posted 7-10 business days after you’ve completed the exam.

Once you’ve achieved your passing exam scores, you will need to submit a final application for your official license. You’ll need to prove your education, your high school equivalency, and include a copy of your TB health certificate and photo ID.

From Out-Of-State?

If you hold a current valid license to practice barbering in another state, you will still need to take the West Virginia state law exam to work in West Virginia. You must also have your license certification sent to the West Virginia board from your home state’s Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists. Depending on your home state’s requirements, the request can take 4-6 weeks, so be sure to leave yourself enough time to complete the process.


Once you have a license, it’s your job to keep it up to date. You will need to renew your license by January 1st of each year. You will need to complete at least 4 hours of continuing education each year in order to renew. You should keep these hours carefully documented, as the Board can audit you at any time.

Some Barber Schools in West Virginia

Charleston School of Beauty Culture – 210 Capitol Street, Charleston 25301

Carver Career and Technical Education Center – 4799 Midland Drive, Charleston 25306

International Beauty School – 201-3211 West King Street, Martinsburg 25401

Art & Science Institute of Cosmetology and Massage – 33 Corey Rd, Fairmont 26554


Most working barbers in West Virginia begin by renting their own booth. You need to submit a booth or chair rental registration form and pay an application fee. Once you have been approved, you can rent your own chair in an established shop. As your career progresses, you may choose to apply for a shop license, to open your own barbershop. Starting your new career is as easy as finding that first job.

Did we miss any WV barber colleges? Please contact us to let us know. Board website.

Some school websites: