How to Become a Barber

Written by

George D. Baker


August 14, 2014


Personal appearance is a very important part of our society. Trained professionals are required to provide hair care and other services. Barbers are workers that provide services mostly to male clients.

What does a barber do?

Barbers provide a variety of personal care services to typically male clients such as haircuts, shampoos, and beard and mustache trims and shaves. They are typically licensed to color, highlight, or bleach hair and can provide permanent wave services. They also offer scalp and facial treatments and fit hairpieces. Some barbers offer nail and skin care treatments. They adapt to current styles and give the customer the services they request.

Barbers typically talk to their customers about their needs and then they shampoo, condition, cut, shape, dry, and style the hair. Many curl or straighten hair using special tools and equipment. Many use electric razors to cut hair to short lengths. Barbers typically keep cards on all their clients and take notes of the services provided, the products that were used, and the prices of the services. Barbers typically sell hair care products in their shops. They are also responsible for cleaning and sterilizing all equipment such as scissors, razors, and combs.

What kind of training does a barber need?

Barbers typically need at least high school diploma or GED. Most states require barbers to complete training at a barber school that is state-licensed. Most barber training programs take about 9 months to complete and lead to a certificate or associate degree. Many barbers attend conferences and seminars to stay up to date on the latest hairstyle trends. Many barbers learn additional skills through on the job training.

All states require barbers to be licensed. Licensing requirements vary by state, but candidates typically need at least a high school diploma or GED, be at least 16 years of age, have completed a state-licensed barber school, and pass a state licensing examination with a written and practical component.

What are the prospects for a career as a barber?

Employment of barbers is projected to have little or no increase in job growth, increasing 1% through 2016 (1). Employment of personal appearance workers cutting both men’s and women’s will create slow job growth for barbers.

Job prospects should be fair for barbers with extensive experience and to replace barbers who retire or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do barbers make?

Currently, the middle 50% of barbers earned annual salaries between $21,877 and $32,727. The highest 10% earned annual salaries of more than $37,782 (2).

A career as a barber is a great choice for people interesting in providing personal appearance services for male clients. Barbers must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and great customer service. They must keep a clean work environment and have a neat personal appearance. Good business skills are essential for barbers who own their own businesses.

Becoming a Barber Requires Skills & Training, Start Today

Are you serious about becoming a Barber? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the  College Mouse Course Search tool  to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!

Written by:  George D. Baker

George D. Baker is a long-time contributor to College Mouse. Now retired, Mr. Baker volunteers at adult education programs in his local community.

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  • I agree that barbers need to have great communication and interpersonal skills. I have always been interested in becoming a barber. I like working with people and socializing. Hopefully, barber school will be a good fit for me.