Are you about to complete your Florida Barber program? Congratulations! Before you know it you’ll be spending each day making sure your clients look and feel dapper.
But before you begin your career as a qualified barber, you’ll need to pass a Florida Department of Business and Professional Services (DBPS) Barber exam.
Does all this talk of exams sound overwhelming? Well, don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, we find that many of the students we speak to are a least a little worried about scheduling and sitting their Barber exam.
But, we have some good news! On this page, you’ll find everything you need to know about scheduling and preparing for your exam, answers to all the most common questions, and a free practice test to check you’re prepared.
The process of registering for (and passing!) your Florida DBPS Barber exam
In Florida, there are two possible exams that trainee Barbers may take:
- The Barber Examination OR
- The Restricted Barber Examination
The Barber examination allows passing students to apply for a full Barber license in the state of Florida. This means that they can offer services like:
- Cutting, shearing, and styling
- And they may also offer services that include the use of chemicals (like dyeing, perming, and relaxing their clients’ hair).
The Restricted Barber examination allows students to instead apply for a restricted Barber license. This means that they can cut, shear, and style hair. They cannot, however, apply chemicals when treating their clients.
But regardless of which exam you’re sitting, you might be feeling a little daunted, confused or even worried.
Don’t worry, we understand how important your barber exam is. And that’s why we’re here to walk you through the process step by step. Starting with…
Step 1: Check you’re eligible to take the Florida DBPS Barber or Restricted Barber exam
To be eligible to take either of the Barber exams set by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, you must have:
- Graduated from a Florida barber school AND
- Worked a minimum of 1000 practical hours OR
- Have held a Barber license in another state for a minimum of 1 year AND
- Not be eligible for a license by endorsement
If you meet these requirements, you can move on to the next step.
Step 2: Apply for an authorization notice
Before you can book your exams, you will need authorization from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. You can apply for this online here, or you can download an application form to send in the post here.
Once you have submitted your application, it will take up to 21 days for your authorization notice to be issued.
Step 3: Schedule your exam
Once you have received an authorization notice, it’s time to schedule your exams.
In Florida, the Barber exam and restricted Barber exam are sat inside Pearson Vue examination centers and you are expected to schedule your exams yourself.
The fees for sitting your Barber exam in Florida are paid directly to Pearson Vue, and it costs:
- $31.50 to sit the Barber exam OR
- $10.50 to sit the restricted Barber exam
You can find your nearest Pearson Vue center here, and you can book your test as far in advance as you like. However, as seats are allocated on a first come first serve basis, it is recommended that you book your test at least 5 days in advance.
To schedule your exams, either head to http://www.PearsonVUE.com to book online, or if you prefer, you can call to book by phone on 1-888-204-6289.
But, whether you schedule your exams online or by phone, you will need a few things with you.
Firstly, you’ll need your authorization notice.
Then, you will also need to provide:
- Your full name, address and a daytime telephone number
- Your candidate number (this can be found on your authorization notice.
- The location of your chosen Pearson Vue test center
- The name of the examination you want to take
- A method of payment (e.g. your credit card number)
Once you have booked your exam, be sure to make a note of the time and date so that you don’t miss your slot!
Step 4: Arrive at the exam center on exam day
When arriving at your exam location, you should aim to be there a minimum of 30 minutes before your scheduled examination time.
If you do arrive late, the test center manager will assess whether there is the capacity for you to take your test on the arranged day.
If there is no capacity to take your test later than your scheduled time slot, you will not be admitted and you will lose your registration fee.
Unfortunately, this means that you’ll have to rebook and pay your fee again.
If you are late because of an emergency that was out of your control, you may not lose your registration fee. However, you will need to provide some documentation that can prove why you were late.
Once you arrive at your test center, you will need to sign in. In order to do this, you must show the center manager the following:
- Two forms of valid signature identification, one of which is government-issued: driver’s license, state identification card, passport or military identification card. Both forms of ID must be in date, and the address must match what was submitted on your application.
The following forms of ID are not accepted:
- Student or employment I.D. cards
- credit cards
The following items may not be brought into the exam room with you:
- Cameras, computers, or tape recorders
- Pagers, electronic transmitting devices, or telephones (watches with alarms or beepers should be set so that they will NOT sound or go off during the examination administration)
- Any bound or loose-leaf reference materials and notes
- Dictionary, thesaurus, or other spelling aids
- Canisters of mace, pepper spray, or other personal defense items
- Purses, briefcases, portfolios, fanny packs, or backpacks
However, there will be lockers available to store your purse and other personal items on-site.
Once you have signed in and your ID has been checked, one of the center managers will take your photograph and escort you to your seat.
Your exam will take place entirely on a computer. Once you sit down, you will be given 15 minutes to work through a tutorial that will explain how the exam works. Feel free to use the entire 15 minutes, as this time will not be taken off your test.
If you have any questions at this point, the center manager will be available to assist you.
Then, it’s time to take your exams!
Step 5: Take the exams
If you are sitting the full Barber examination, you will have 3 hours to answer 100 multiple choice questions, covering areas like:
- Safety, Sanitation, and Sterilization
- Florida Barber Rules and Laws
- Hair Cutting and Hair Styling
- Chemical Procedures
- Hair Structure and Chemistry
- Shaving, Beard, and Mustache Trimming
If you are sitting the restricted Barber exam, you will have 1 hour to complete 30 questions that cover Florida state’s rules and legislation for Barbers.
Step 6: Get your results
As soon as you complete your exam, you will receive an official report detailing your final score. This report will show whether you have passed or failed.
Your exam report will include your personal details and your photo. It’s essential that you check these details before you leave the center, as mistakes may not be rectified after.
Step 7: Get your Florida DBPS Barber license!
Once you have passed your exam, it’s time to apply for your license!
In Florida, barber licenses are issued by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
To receive your license, you will need to submit:
- Proof of graduation from Barber school (section III of the application form, which is completed by an official from your school)
- Proof of passing your exams (the official reports issued at the test center)
- And proof that you have completed an approved HIV/Aids course with a duration of at least 2 hours. Please note that this course is different from the one sat by cosmetologists, and they are non-transferable.
You will also need to pay a licensing fee of:
- For Barber licenses: $223.50 fee if applying between April 1st of even years through July 31st of odd years OR $173.50 if applying between August 1st of odd years through March 31st of even years.
- For Restricted Barber licenses: $244.50 fee if applying between April 1st of even years through July 31st of odd years OR $194.50 if applying between August 1st of odd years through March 31st of even years.
To complete your application for a license, you will need an account with the DBPR. If you don’t already have an account, you can create one here.
Once you have completed the application and have uploaded your documents, you will receive your license within 48 hours!.
The most common reason for not getting your license is failing your written exams: the pass rate in Florida is only 78% for the theory exam and 66% for the clinical exam! However, students who use our Cosmetology Exam Preparation Package has a pass rate of 98.5%!
Frequently asked questions about the Florida Barber exams
How do I apply for the Florida Barber examinations?
Once you have received your authorization notice and candidate number, you will need to book your exam.
To do this, head over to http://www.PearsonVUE.com. Or if you prefer, you can call Pearson Vue to arrange your examinations on 1-888-204-6289
I can’t make the date/time of my examination. What should I do?
If you find that you need to reschedule your examination, you must give a minimum of 2 days’ notice. If you cancel or attempt to reschedule with less than 48 hours notice, you may forfeit your exam fees.
However, if you need to cancel or rearrange your exam for any of the following reasons, you may not be charged:
- Your illness or that of an immediate family member
- Death in the immediate family
- Disabling traffic accident
- Court appearance or jury duty
- Military duty
However, if you cancel your exam for any of these reasons, you will be required to submit proof within four days of your missed appointment.
Which examination program does the Florida Department of Business and Professional Services use?
Unlike many states, Florida does not use the National-Interstate Council of Board of Cosmetology (NIC) exam.
Instead, Florida has its own Barber exams and its own registration process.
How much does it cost to take the Florida cosmetology exams?
- Barber exam- $31.50
- Restricted Barber exam- $10.50
Where do the examinations take place?
The Florida Barber exams take place in Pearson Vue test centers.
How many hours of practical work do I need to qualify for the Florida State Barber examinations?
Whether sitting the Barber exam, or the Restricted Barber exam, applicants need to have completed 1,000 hours of practical hours in order to gain their license.
Can I complete my hours through an apprenticeship instead of attending cosmetology school in Florida?
No, although some states allow you to qualify for a Barber license in this way, the state of Florida doesn’t currently recognize apprenticeships in this area.
Can I take the State Board examinations before I’ve completed the required hours?
No, you’ll need to complete the required hours first.
How long are the barber examinations?
When you arrive at your exam center, you will have 15 minutes to complete a tutorial explaining how to sit your exam.
Then, if you are taking the Barber exam, you will have 3 hours to complete your test.
But, if you are taking the Restricted Barber exam, you will have 1 hour to complete your test.
What’s the format of the written examination?
The written examinations are computer-based, multiple-choice tests. There are 100 questions for the Barber exam, and 30 for the Restricted Barber examination.
A breakdown of what each test includes can be found here.
Will I have to sit a practical examination?
No, the state of Florida does not require that you sit a practical examination to qualify as a barber.
What scores do I need to pass the Florida Barber exam?
In order to receive a pass mark, you must answer 75% of the questions correctly.
What scores do I need to pass the Florida Restricted Barber exam?
The pass mark for the Restricted Barber exam is 75%.
What’s the pass rate for Florida’s Barber exams?
This is better than the national average, which is only around 50%.
What’s the pass rate for Florida’s Restricted Barber exams?
Can I take my Barber examination again if I fail?
Yes, in Florida you are able to apply to resit the barber examinations if you fail.
How do I transfer my Barber’s license to Florida?
If you meet certain requirements, you will be able to transfer a Barber license obtained in another state to Florida. This is done through an application for endorsement (which means that you won’t need to retake any exams).
In order to be eligible for endorsement, you must:
- Hold a valid license from a state whose licensing laws are comparable to or more stringent than Florida’s AND
- Have completed a minimum of 1,200 hours practical training as part of your studies AND
- Have completed a written examination in order to gain your license
You must also:
- Be over the age of 16 and hold a GED or high school diploma
- Complete an approved 2-hour AIDS/HIV course
- And pay a registration fee
If you meet the requirements, you will need to complete an application with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Services.
To do this, you will need to set up an account here and complete the online application process.
Once your application has been received, it will be reviewed and you’ll be notified of the outcome within 21 days.
What is the difference between a Barber’s license and a Restricted Barber’s license in Florida?
In the state of Florida, a Barber license allows you to cut, shear, and style your clients’ hair, as well as applying treatments that require chemicals.
A Restricted Barber’s license allows you to cut, shear, and style your clients’ hair, but does not allow you to apply chemical treatments.
How do I get my Barber license in Florida?
To get your Barber license in Florida, you will need to graduate from Barber school having completed 1000 hours of practical experience, pass a 3-hour written examination, and complete a 2-hour AIDS/HIV course. Once you’ve met all of these requirements, you will be issued with a license.
How do I get my Restricted Barber’s license in Florida?
To get your Restricted Barber license in Florida, you will need to graduate from Barber school having completed 1000 hours of practical experience, pass a 1-hour written examination, and complete a 2-hour AIDS/HIV course. Once you’ve met all of these requirements, you will be issued with a license.
How do I renew my Barber license in Florida?
In Florida, you must renew your Barber license by the 30th of November, every other year.
But, before you can renew, you must complete a 2 hour HIV/AIDS Continuing Education course. These courses are available to complete online.
Once you have completed your Continuing Education training, you can apply to renew your license via the DBPS portal. The cost of renewing your license is currently set at:
- $105 for Barber’s licenses
- $25 for Restricted Barber’s licenses
How should I study for my Florida Barber exam?
Use our Barber Exam Preparation Package to learn everything you need to pass the written exam.
- Our package includes a study guide that’s structured to help you learn the RIGHT information rather than ALL the information, which can help you cut your preparation/revision time in half.
- Then use our simulated exams to practice for the written exam under test conditions. This part is really important: it’s the key to helping you succeed!