Barber Programs

Barbering is a stable career choice with consistent demand. People will always need haircuts and grooming services, providing job security for skilled barbers.

Barbering can offer flexible work hours and the ability to work part-time or freelance, making it an attractive option for individuals seeking work-life balance.

Education & Training

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Catering to a mostly male clientele, barbers style hair and provide other grooming services. The career is a great choice for those who love socializing while giving style advice. Around 60,000 people in the United States rely upon barber jobs to make their living.

Associates usually work in barbershops, hotels, spas, or resorts. They need relatively quiet, well-lit areas in order to concentrate and best see what they are doing. Associates sometimes wear gloves or aprons to protect from stray hairs and chemicals that can cause skin damage.


Below are annual and hourly wages by state.

Area Name Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage(2)
Alabama $13.41 $27,890.00
Arizona $20.80 $43,260.00
California $22.17 $46,120.00
Colorado $18.82 $39,150.00
Connecticut $20.00 $41,590.00
District of Columbia $40.43 $84,100.00
Florida $16.24 $33,780.00
Georgia $15.24 $31,700.00
Indiana $15.44 $32,120.00
Iowa $20.07 $41,750.00
Kentucky $17.82 $37,070.00
Louisiana $19.60 $40,780.00
Maryland $17.03 $35,410.00
Massachusetts $15.30 $31,830.00
Mississippi $9.38 $19,510.00
Missouri $20.84 $43,340.00
Nebraska $17.83 $37,080.00
New Jersey $20.58 $42,800.00
New York $18.27 $38,000.00
North Carolina $20.59 $42,830.00
North Dakota $16.62 $34,570.00
Oregon $15.08 $31,360.00
Pennsylvania $17.36 $36,120.00
South Carolina $15.87 $33,010.00
South Dakota $18.62 $38,730.00
Tennessee $13.76 $28,610.00
Texas $17.95 $37,330.00
Utah $14.38 $29,910.00
Virginia $17.91 $37,250.00
Washington $30.36 $63,140.00
West Virginia $17.43 $36,250.00
Wisconsin $13.76 $28,620.00

Occupation:Barbers(SOC Code395011)

Typical employment benefits of barber jobs include:

  • Paid vacation
  • Healthcare coverage
  • 401(k) plans with company match
  • Competitive hourly pay rates
  • Time and a half while working overtime

Career Overview

What Do They Do?

While there are many similarities between barbers and male hairdressers, a few key differences separate the two. Barbering deals with shorter cuts, with services taking place in a barbershop. Hairdressers and stylists work in salons with hair of longer lengths, making less use of clippers. Also, while barbers typically see male clients, hairdressers must be experts in the stylings of both genders.

In many states, hairdressers must choose to become licensed as either barbers or cosmetologists. In these places, only barbers can perform straight razor shaves, while cosmetologists deal with chemical work and coloring. States with no legal definition between barbers and cosmetologists allow workers to use any tools and perform any procedures.

Job Duties

The obligations of a barber include the following:

  • Converse with patrons, ask about their desired styles and services
  • Comfortably drape cloths around the shoulders of clients
  • Follow customer directions to cut, trim, and taper hair, beards, and moustaches
  • Answer questions about haircuts
  • Keep workstation clean; sweep floors, sterilize combs, scissors, razors, and clippers
  • Follow health and safety laws to comply with sanitation standards
  • Resolutions involving money or services
  • Make note of services provided for each customer
  • Maintain client information in a digital database
  • Bill clients and operate cash registers
  • Keep track of inventory and order supplies
  • Manage detailed financial information
  • Pay bills associated with the business
  • Hire and supervise fire personnel

For barbers to provide the best service, they must consider many details. More specific haircutting duties include:

  • Apply lather to shave faces and necks
  • Curl or straighten hair using chemical solutions
  • Perform color treatments on hair and beards
  • Use scissors, razors, and clippers to trim or shape beards and moustaches
  • Shampoo, lather, rinse, and condition hair
  • Moisturize scalp
  • Promote and upsell products or services
  • Deliver scalp, face, and neck massages
  • Evaluate hair or scalp conditions
  • Advise treatments that may help with hair problems
  • Fit hairpieces; measure and groom wigs

Work Environment

Barbers work at other people’s convenience. Their shifts take place during days, evenings, and weekends.

While part-time barbering jobs are common, it is possible to find full-time employment with established companies or shops. Freelance barbers choose their own schedule but may have to endure long hours.

Throughout a typical day, employees use the following barber equipment:

  • Electric clippers
  • Scissors
  • Straight razors
  • Combs and brushes
  • Shaving cream
  • Beard oil
  • Talcum powder
  • Hair cream, gel, and pomade
  • Moustache wax
  • Blow-dryers

Barbers use special chairs that can have their heights adjusted depending on a client’s tallness. They also own custom tables and sprayers for washing hair. To keep guests entertained, many barbershops play TVs and offer magazines or newspapers.

Fine attention to detail and customer satisfaction will encourage word of mouth promotion. Here are a few other ways barbers advertise their services:

  • Outdoor signage and flyers
  • Social media pages, TV spots, and radio ads
  • Printed advertisements in local publications
  • Offering free or discounted haircuts

What Should Workers Expect?

New hires shouldn’t expect to make a ton of money right out of the gate. Upon entering the workforce, it often takes time to gain client trust and build a good reputation. Searching for barber job vacancies at established shops can be a way to overcome this hurdle.

More money and opportunity will become available upon gaining experience. When a few repeat clients swear by your work, word-of-mouth recommendations can boost patronage. To increase profits, avoid dissatisfaction at all costs. Maintain an eye for detail and carefully follow each customer’s instructions.

The most successful barbers have excellent people skills. They engage in conversation with clients, learning about their lives and giving advice or feedback. Associates should make suggestions to patrons without coming off as rude or condescending.

Fruitful barbers keep up with popular trends, learning how to execute the latest beard and hairstyles. This requires a creative mindset and an ability to adapt to the customer’s desires.

What Are Useful Skills for People in This Field?

  • Strong verbal and communication skills
  • Arm steadiness and hand dexterity
  • The ability to focus with near vision at close details
  • Physical stamina, as workers spend most of the day on their feet
  • Capability to bend over, twist, reach, pull, and remain active for long hours
  • Time management skills to provide services efficiently and schedule appointments correctly
  • Enthusiasm about catering to customers and their unique needs

Those with barber jobs should be friendly and engaging. They must also be attentive and carry out detailed customer instructions. Knowing when and when not to give style advice is a skill that comes with time. Barbers must always keep clients feeling comfortable.

Barbers provide customers with advice on how to maintain their beards, moustaches, and hairstyles at home. They describe the benefits of products sold at the barbershop, including shampoos and beard oils. Oftentimes, employees make commission from the sale of these items.

While barbers often work with men and boys, they may encounter the occasional female client who prefers shorter hairstyles. A skilled barber is creative and versatile, and able to adapt their craft around the taste of their clients.

Entrepreneurial skills are helpful for those wanting to open a barbershop business. Accounting abilities aid with money management and taxation purposes.

What Are the Requirements for Barbering Jobs?

Becoming a barber is different depending on where you live, as each state has unique license requirements. All candidates need to complete state-sanctioned training from a barber trade school. Students receive non-degree awards after passing stringent exams.

Barber classes usually last 9 to 12 months, awarding graduates with certifications. The majority of states ask barbers to undergo the same number of training time as cosmetologists. This number often falls somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 hours.

Barbering license applicants must be at least 16 with a high school diploma or GED. The required tests include a written portion and a practical evaluation of styling abilities. Some states allow felons to apply for licenses.

Securing a barbering certification usually requires an application cost. Upon completion, annual renewal fees may be mandatory to keep licenses active.

Where Else Can They Work Besides Barber Shops?

A traditional barbershop is far from the only place prospects can practice their trade. Jobs exist in the television and film industries, as models and actors always need grooming before appearing in front of cameras.

Similarly, fashion photographers have their subjects pampered before conducting photo shoots.

To find work in uncommon settings, think of places where groups of guys gather for extended periods. Try putting yourself in situations where people may need haircuts, but barbers are hard to find.

Hopefuls can take the following routes to find barbering jobs through nontraditional means:

  • Sports programs – Some teams hire barbers to cut their roster’s hair at regular intervals.
  • Military posts – Anywhere troops are stationed there is a need for barbers to keep them clean-cut.
  • Prisons – If you thrive in unpredictable environments, over $70,000 can be earned annually as a prison barber.
  • Summer camps and vacation areas – With a bit of luck, there could be an untapped market at places like leisure spots or day camps.
  • Senior citizen care centers – Aging members of the population need haircuts just as much as anyone else.
  • Farmers markets and community events – Attend gatherings like these to raise money for charity and spread awareness of your services.

Can You Work Remotely?

It is common for barbers to work from home and make house calls. Some clients prefer these settings to attending a standard barbershop or salon. Doing business like this is a good way to get to know people and build strong customer bases. If you plan to work remotely, it’s especially important to have some sort of business education to make sure all of your financial bases are covered.

Should You Consider Becoming A Trichologist?

Trichologists focus solely on treatments of the hair and scalp. They help clients address issues like hair loss or scalp conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. While they aren’t medically qualified, trichologists are relied upon for sound advice by those with scalp diseases or hair issues.

Here are a few other duties of those who make a living in trichology:

  • Give advice on hair texture issues, dandruff, and scalp inflammation
  • Prescribe medicated shampoos or creams for clinical or home use
  • Plan or perform hair transplants
  • Provide guidance with wigs, weaves, and hair extensions

Job Outlook

The barbering business has seen an increase in recent years, even throughout recessions. The industry has projected future expansion, partly due to society’s acceptance of beards and diverse men’s styling. Many jobs are expected to open as aging workers leave the profession.

There is renewed public interest in shaving “the old way” with straight razors. This trend provides job security, as few besides barbers have the credentials to perform this routine. Enthusiasts of the method cite these advantages over disposable razors:

  • There’s less trash generated, as straight razors last much longer than disposables.
  • Razors are more accurate, allowing for precise lines and fine detail.
  • Disposables constantly clog with hair, which doesn’t happen with classic-style razors.
  • Straight razors allow for a closer shave with less irritation and fewer bumps.

Men and women across the world visit barbers every day in order to look their best. A skilled hairdresser can transform a person’s appearance from shaggy to sleek with little effort. Some people visit barbers for routine beard and hair maintenance, while others seek full transformations in style.