(WFXR) — It is becoming easier for aspiring barbers and cosmetologists in Virginia to become professionals.

On Monday, July 11, the Virginia Board for Barbers and Cosmetology voted to reduce the number of hours required to obtain a cosmetology license.

According to the Office of the Governor, the board — which is a regulatory board under the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) — reduced the hours by 33 percent, going from 1,500 hours to 1,000.

“Reducing regulatory obstacles that get in the way of both businesses and talented Virginians from entering the workforce has been a priority of mine since day one. Not only will this allow individuals to get to work sooner and help businesses find skilled workers, but it even reduces the amount of student loans a graduate will have to take on,” said Gov. Glenn Youngkin.

Reports say it takes nearly a year to complete the education required for a cosmetology license, with the cost averaging $16,000.

The new 1,000-hour requirement will have to go through various regulatory steps before becoming final, including public comment. While the previous 1,500-hour requirement — which was made in 1963 — is being reduced, the training program will have a greater focus on topics related to public protection like infection control and chemical safety.

“We’re taking a hard look at the requirements to get and keep a license. The right to earn a living without unnecessary government obstruction is a fundamental right. This is just the first step in reforming occupational licensing in Virginia and ensuring the government works for all citizens of the Commonwealth,” said Youngkin. “We are ensuring our licensing requirements are focused on protecting the public and provide opportunities for out-of-state skilled workers such as military spouses or dislocated workers, to get licensed in Virginia. These measures are common-sense solutions to strengthen our economy.”

A panel of advisors representing businesses, public schools, private career and technical schools, and subject matter expertise in infection control was assembled by the board to conduct a review of the Virginian education and training mandates, needed to obtain a cosmetologist license.

“Since day one we have been executing the governor’s commitment to reduce 25% of Virginia’s regulatory burdens on the 40 plus occupations and professions regulated by DPOR boards,” said Secretary of Labor Bryan Slater. “We obviously still have a lot of work ahead of us—Virginia’s workforce and businesses will benefit substantially by the elimination of unnecessary regulatory obstacles to jobs and economic opportunities.”

According to the Office of the Governor, DPOR oversees 18 regulatory boards, compromised of practitioners and citizens appointed by the governor, and is an executive branch agency under the Secretary of Labor. Policy boards create the standards of conduct for licensees and the minimum standards necessary to enter different professions.

On his first day in office, Youngkin signed Executive Directive One, directing agencies to reduce burdens produced by regulations by at least 25%.