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State Board of Barber Examiners

The purpose of the Barber Guide is to provide transparency, inform applicants of expected timelines for receiving your license, and outline steps you can take to reduce mistakes and mitigate delays. To provide the greatest clarity on the licensing process from start to finish, we will break it down into three phases, providing estimated times for each stage of the process, and recommendations for how to reduce processing times.

A barber (BL) is someone who is licensed to provide the following services:

  • Cutting, shaping, trimming or blending the hair with proper tools or instruments designed for this purpose.
  • Giving facial and scalp massage, or facial and scalp treatment, with any preparations made for this purpose, either by hand or by mechanical or electrical appliances.
  • Shampooing the hair or applying any makes of hair cream, hair lotions or hair tonics.
  • Dyeing, coloring or bleaching the hair.
  • Styling and rendering hair straightening, hair processing, hair weaving, hair waving and curling, with methods such as: manual, mechanical, chemical or electrical with proper devices or proper chemical compounds developed and designed for this purpose.
  • Performing any service on a wig or hairpiece.
  • Shaping the eyebrows.
  • Shaving or trimming the beard.

Obtaining A Barber License by Examination

Obtaining a barber license by examination means that you have completed a minimum of 1,250 hours of instruction in barbering education within a period of at least 9 months or completed 1,250 hours of training in a Pennsylvania licensed barber shop. Applicants are eligible for a license by examination after passing both the barber practical and theory exams within a year of each other.

 Accordion ‭[3]‬

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Obtaining a Barber License by Reciprocity

To qualify for a Barber license by reciprocity, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you must meet the criteria and eligibility requirements indicated below, and then successfully complete the application process.


The criteria for a Barber License by Reciprocity in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are:

  • Must be the holder of a current (not expired) Barber license
  • License must be held in one of the states with which Pennsylvania has an understanding of reciprocity:
    • California
    • Delaware
    • Idaho
    • Kansas
    • Maine
    • Mississippi
    • Montana
    • New Mexico
    • New York
    • South Carolina
    • South Dakota
    • Virginia


To be eligible for a Barber License by Reciprocity, an applicant must:

  • Submit an application for licensure by reciprocity as a Barber via PALS
  • Pay the applicable application processing fee
  • Submit a LOGS (Letter of Good Standing) for all states in which a Barber license is held
  • Submit a Criminal History Record Check (CHRC) for every state in which the applicant lived or worked

 Accordion ‭[2]‬

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Obtaining A Barber Endorsement by Examination

Obtaining a barber license through endorsement by examination means that you have an active license from a state in which Pennsylvania does not have an understanding of reciprocity agreement. 

 Pennsylvania has an understanding of reciprocity only with the following states: California, Delaware, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, New York, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Virginia. 

 If your license is not from one of these states, then you should take the Barber Endorsement Examination. A person who is eligible for a license through endorsement by examination needs only take a theory examination. The exam must be completed within one year of applying for the endorsement examination or a new application and fees will be required.

 Accordion ‭[1]‬

Expand AllClick here for a more accessible version

Process Overview

How to Apply for a Professional License.


What Happens to My Application?


  1. Sign in or create account at

  2. Select the State Board of Barber Examiners to apply and plain-language questions will appear to help you get started

  3. Application appears – review checklist, upload required documents, follow prompts

  4. Review all information and edit as needed

  5. Pay the required fee and your application is submitted

  6. Keep an eye on your email or get real-time updates at


State Board of Barber Examiners
Phone - (717) 783-3402
Fax - (717) 705-5540