Today, more people are familiar with hair salons than barber shops. However, barbering has never really faded from communities, big and small, across the country. Training opportunities to learn the craft exist in all 50 states at cosmetology schools, vocational programs and even some community colleges. Aspiring barbers learn the trade by taking classes and participating in internships for a set number of hours according to state regulations. Successful graduates typically earn a certification of completion and must pass a test to obtain a state license to practice on their own. So what should those learning the barbering trade expect with regard to how much they might make? Here are three factors to consider that affect how much a barber might earn.
Salary is most often affected by one’s work location. Regionally, barbers are likely to make larger salaries in cities and their suburbs than in smaller, rural communities. However, it should be noted that for many rural areas, barbers are still the preferred way for male clients to receive periodic grooming care. Therefore, barbers might want to consider job possibilities in smaller towns where less pay balances out due to a lower cost of living for the area.
Job experience is a key factor that affects salary. Nationwide, median pay for all barbers, full- and part-time, is around $29,000 per year with bonuses (tips and commissions on product sales) included. Full-time barbers with more experience can command higher rates of pay for their services, especially if they open their own business. Specialized training and continuing education in the field also increases earning potential for barbering professionals.
In large part, barbering is a career that is built on customer satisfaction. For those just starting out in the profession, they will begin at entry-level positions while they build a client list of their own. As a barber gains experience and his clientele grows, salary levels will also rise as loyal customers return for services. Satisfied customers are also likely to recommend a barber to others and follow a barber to new locations, so a good reputation in the community also contributes to salary growth.
Barbering is still a viable profession that is popular in many communities nationwide. By considering geographical location, bolstering job experience and demonstrating strong work ethics, professional barbers can increase their salary potential while enjoying their livelihood.