Becoming a barber is not only an excellent career choice, it’s a profession that offers job security, a flexible schedule and limitless income opportunity. With the original barber school opening in Chicago, IL dating back to 1893, there are now currently hundreds of barber schools accepting students throughout the U.S. Determining the differences among them and setting out to become a barber is a fairly straight-forward process. Barber school teaches students everything they need to know in order to become successful barbers. From meaningful education to preparing students for licensing requirements, attending barber school will allow professionals to be in a career with high job demand and responding salary opportunities. Barbering, for many is just the beginning. Possessing barbering skills allows individuals to work in various community settings, for the state or federal government, as sales representatives and ultimately as administrative service managers, with incomes north of $80,000 annually.
Directory of Barbering Schools by state:
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Directory of Barbering Schools by city:
- San Diego
- Los Angeles
- San Antonio
- Las Vegas
What You Learn in Barber School
Barber school curriculum varies slightly depending on trade school, university program or privately funded school. Students learn in-depth about safety and sanitation, different hair types, hair and scalp conditions and how to help clients maintain good-looking, healthy hair. Extra barber touches including steam-facials, massage techniques and foam shaves are also taught. Presently, trendy razor-style cutting, permanent waving, professional coloring and blow drying are also skills acquired through attending barber school. In addition to gaining hair-specific skills, students are also taught administrative business skills crucial in managing the business aspect of becoming a successful barber. Requirements for enrolling in barber school are different from state to state, so prospective students may end up selecting a school primarily based on acceptance prerequisites.
The educational requirements to become a barber differ from state to state, but primarily require students to hold either a high school diploma or GED along with a completion certificate from an accredited barber training program. Barber school programs may be either independent or apprentice based and consist of a minimum amount of both practical and educational hours which range anywhere from 1,500 to 1,800 hours of instruction.
Barber Licensing Requirements
The licensing requirements to become a barber are state-based and established by each state’s board of barbering and cosmetology. For instance, in the state of Idaho, to obtain a barber stylist license, students must complete 1800 hours of education. A barber license requires 900 hours, respectively. In addition to completing requisite training and education, students must then pass both a written and oral test covering barber procedures. Finally, some students also must complete a practical exam which involves cutting hair on a live model. Once a license is granted, it must be renewed annually. In some states, maintaining a current license also involves participating in continuing education training as well. Barbers who wish to work in additional states may do so after adequately fulfilling a license reciprocity “transfer”.
Job Demand for Barbers
The high job demand that barbers enjoy is one of the top reasons for seeking this appealing profession. With an annual growth rate for barbers at 12%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics continues to report increasing job demand for barbers. The barbering profession is as dynamic as it is iconic. Those educated in barbering may not only pursue jobs as such, professionals can apply their skills to advanced barbering and cosmetology techniques, opening their own barber shops and salons and taking advantage of the many, many income-earning opportunities. Successful barbers can count on earning a lucrative, consistent living over the years along with increased earning potential upon gaining a strong customer base and expanding their services.
Barbers make a decent living with the potential to do quite well. Over the years, salary trends for barbers have indicated that income is dependent upon many factors including:
- Salon size
- Experience; and
- Education level
In the U.S., median barber salaries are currently reported at, or just under, $29,000 annually. Newer barbers, fresh out of barber school can expect to be in the 10% range with beginning compensation around $18,000, including tips. Like other professions, barbering income ranges and can either lack or include incentives like bonus, perks and benefits. Some of the different settings that barbers work in like military, for example will offer salary that commensurates with time of service. Larger salons, and salons located in prestigious areas like Los Angeles and New York host high-end clientele and even celebrities. Barbers whom cut the hair of the rich and famous can expect to be paid rather handsomely. The more experienced the barber, the more opportunities they have for styling and cutting hair, worthy of higher pricing. Barbers can also compete in trade show competitions and attend continuing education courses that are uniquely appealing to them so that they can effectively provide customers with a multitude of services. Finally, those with advanced education often earn higher salaries for their business savvy and ability to identify additional income generating opportunities.
Barbering schools provide students with the career opportunity of a life time. Barbering is a profession that can be taken anywhere an individual wishes to go. On top of that, it is a truly dynamic position that will not become tiresome since clientele varies from day to day. Working with the public is enjoyable because of the variety, but more so because of the earning potential and rewarding aspects of improving the community. Barbers are often the quintessential key figure of small towns and close knit communities because there is a character and ambiance about spending time in a barbershop that simply cannot be duplicated in other aspects of life. Maintaining the old-fashioned barber reputation means developing long-lasting clientele relationships. Barbers are confidants, and more often than not, a friend. In today’s busy society, barbering remains a unique profession because of this appealing generalization. Barbers are traditional, and gaining a traditional profession is both meaningful and gratifying.