Career Development

What Does a Barber Do?

Find out what a barber does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a barber.

Barbers are responsible for providing a wide range of personal grooming services, including cutting hair, trimming beards and mustaches, and shaving. They may also offer more general services such as shampooing or styling hair, applying temporary tattoos, or even giving facials.

Barbers commonly work in barber shops or salons, but they may also have their own independent businesses. In either case, they typically spend most of their time interacting with clients one-on-one.

Barber Job Duties

A barber typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Cutting hair, trimming beards, and giving shaves according to customers’ requests and preferences
  • Cleaning work stations, instruments, and equipment after each use
  • Cleaning up around the salon as needed, including sweeping and mopping floors, dusting shelves, and cleaning mirrors
  • Creating new haircuts, hairstyles, and facial hair styles based on customers’ requests
  • Performing basic shampooing and conditioning services, such as shampooing clients’ hair and scalp treatments
  • Providing other personal care services, such as shaving beards and mustaches, performing manicures and pedicures, and giving facials
  • Educating customers on proper hair care maintenance techniques, including shampooing instructions, hair care tips, and styling suggestions
  • Providing advice on product selection and using tools such as clippers and razors to cut hair

Barber Salary & Outlook

Barbers’ salaries vary depending on their level of experience, the type of barbering services they offer, and the location of their business.

  • Median Annual Salary: $52,500 ($25.24/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $80,500 ($38.7/hour)

The employment of barbers is expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade.

The need for barbers will stem from the large number of people who want to look their best and plan to visit a barber regularly. In addition, demand for barbershop services is expected to increase as more people recognize the benefits of group barbershop singing.

Related: In-Depth Barber Salary Guide

Barber Job Requirements

A barber needs to complete the following requirements to be able to work in the profession:

Education: Barbers need to complete a state-approved barber program. These programs typically last about six months and include both classroom and practical instruction. Students learn about topics such as hair cutting, shaving, shampooing, facials, manicures and pedicures.

Training & Experience: Most barbers complete their training in a barbering program. These programs typically last between nine months and two years and include both classroom instruction and hands-on training. Students will learn the basics of barbering, including how to cut hair, how to use the equipment and how to clean and disinfect the barber chair. They will also learn how to properly sterilize and disinfect the tools and equipment.

After completing a barbering program, many barbers will complete an apprenticeship. During an apprenticeship, a barber will work under a licensed barber. They will learn more advanced techniques, including shaving and styling, and will work with clients. Apprenticeships typically last between one and three years.

Certifications & Licenses: Licenses for barbers vary significantly from state to state. Before seeking employment or opening a barbering business, research the requirements in your area.

Barber Skills

Barber professionals need the following skills in order to be successful:

Listening: Barbering is a service industry, so it’s important for barbers to listen to their clients. This can help you understand what your client needs and how to provide it. For example, if a client says they want a specific hairstyle, you should listen to their description of the style and make sure you understand it before you begin cutting their hair.

Communication: Communication is the ability to convey information to others. Barbering requires excellent communication skills because you often work with customers who may not have experience with the barbering process. You can use your communication skills to explain the different barbering services, answer questions about the products you use and explain how to maintain the hairstyle they receive.

Time management: Barbering can be a fast-paced job, so it’s important to manage your time well. This can include keeping track of your schedule, staying on task and finishing your work on time. You can also use time management skills when working with customers to ensure you give them the attention they need.

Organization: Barbering requires a great deal of organization skills. You may need to schedule appointments, keep track of customer information and records, and organize your tools and station. Keeping your work area tidy can help you work efficiently and keep your customers happy.

Cutting: Cutting is the process of trimming or shaping hair. Barbering is a profession that requires you to be skilled in cutting hair. You can learn how to cut hair by practicing on a mannequin head or by observing a licensed barber.

Barber Work Environment

Barbers work in a variety of settings, including barber shops, salons, spas, and even in some retail stores. They typically work a full-time schedule, although some may work part-time. Many barbers also work evenings and weekends to accommodate their customers’ schedules. The work can be physically demanding, as barbers are on their feet for long periods of time and must be able to maneuver around their customers. The work environment is usually noisy and busy, and barbers must be able to handle customer requests and complaints in a professional manner.

Barber Trends

Here are three trends influencing how barbers work. Barbers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Rise of the Barber as a Celebrity

The rise of the barber as a celebrity is a trend that is quickly gaining popularity in the world of men’s grooming. As more and more people are looking for unique and creative hairstyles, barbers are becoming known for their skills in cutting and styling hair.

This trend is opening up new opportunities for barbers who are looking to build their own brands and become well-known for their work. In order to take advantage of this trend, barbers need to focus on developing their skills and creating a signature style that sets them apart from the competition.

More Men Are Getting Haircuts

Men are getting haircuts more often than they used to, which means that barbers are in high demand. This trend is likely to continue as men become more interested in personal grooming.

Barbers can capitalize on this trend by expanding their services to include other types of grooming, such as shaving and facial treatments. They can also develop relationships with other professionals in the industry, such as makeup artists and stylists, in order to provide a more comprehensive service.

A Focus on Health and Wellness

As health and wellness becomes more important to people all over the world, the barber industry is seeing a shift towards services that promote these values.

Barbers are now offering a wider range of services, such as massage therapy and skin care, in order to meet the needs of their customers. Additionally, they are focusing on providing a comfortable and relaxing environment for their clients, which can help them feel better both physically and emotionally.

How to Become a Barber

A career as a barber can be both rewarding and lucrative. It’s important to consider all the factors that will influence your success, including where you want to work, what hours you want to work, and what type of clientele you want to serve.

If you want to work in a traditional barbershop, you’ll need to become certified by the National Barbering Association (NBA). This certification requires completion of an accredited program and passing a national exam. You’ll also need to obtain a state license if required by your state.

If you want to work in a salon or spa, you may be able to get certified by the International Aesthetic Haircare Certification Board (IAHCC). This certification requires completion of an accredited program and passing a national exam.

Related: How to Write a Barber Resume

Advancement Prospects

After completing an accredited barber program and passing the state licensing exam, barbers can find entry-level positions in a variety of settings, such as barber shops, salons, spas, and resorts. Many barbers start their own businesses.

As barbers gain experience, they may advance to management positions or open their own barber shops. Some barbers may also teach in barber schools or become involved in product development or sales.

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