If you are interested in a new career, becoming a barber can provide you with a very rewarding professional life. If you enjoy being in an environment that is constantly filled with a different mix of people, working in a barbershop may be the perfect place for you.
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.
Traditional barber training will most certainly include cutting, styling, and dyeing of men’s hair, as well as shaving and trimming moustaches and beards. Barbershops today will often include services for women, and some barber schools will expand barber studies to include cosmetology, beauty and applications of makeup. But, generally, most barber training focuses exclusively on male grooming practices.
Licenses and Certifications
Training hours required for licensure vary by state and may range from 1500-2000. In addition, states vary on licensing requirements, including minimum age, prerequisite experience and educational experience. Candidates will need to complete the state application, pay the fee and take the written and practical examination of skills.
Career and Job
Employment of barbers is projected to have little or no increase in job growth, increasing 1% from 2006 to 2016 (1). Employment of personal appearance workers cutting both mens and womens 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.
As of September 2009, 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).