Manly men need their hair cut too. Maybe not highlighted, maybe not flat-ironed (or maybe so), but cut and styled at least! As much as they hate to admit it, even the most rugged of men still want to look good. That’s why in today’s metro-sexual world, barber shops still flourish.
You know the kind …It smells like shaving cream and hums with the drone of electric shavers. It’s got televisions tuned to the big game. Its employees probably won’t try to sell you a $60 styling product for your buzz cut. And it’s run by a trained, professional barber. Ever wonder what it would be like to have his job? Here’s a hint. Awesome. Find out more about this stable, flexible, and hands-on career choice!
What exactly does a barber do?
Barbers cut, trim, shampoo, and style hair – mostly for male clients. They are generally also trained to fit hairpieces and offer scalp treatments and facial shaving. Plus, they can do most everything else that cosmetologists can, including hair coloring, permanent waves, and facials.
What do barbers earn, and what kind of advancement opportunities do they have?
Median hourly earnings in May 2006 for salaried barbers, including tips, were $11.13. Entry-level earnings are usually modest, but experienced barbers can advance quickly in the field. Advancement usually takes the form of higher earnings as barbers gain experience and build a steady clientele. Some barbers manage their shops, lease booth space, or open their own shops.
What are a barber’s working conditions like?
In 2006, about 19 percent of barbers worked part-time, and the rest worked full-time. Most full-time barbers put in a 40-hour week, but long days are common, especially among self-employed workers. Work schedules may include evenings and weekends, the times when barbershops are busiest. Barbers usually work in clean, enjoyable surroundings with good light and ventilation. They are on their feet for most of their shift, so good health and stamina is important.
What training will I need to become a barber?
To qualify for a barbering license, barbers are required to graduate from a state-licensed cosmetology or barbering school. Full-time programs in barbering usually last about nine months, and may lead to an Associate’s degree or diploma. Throughout their careers, many barbers continue to take advanced courses in hairstyling or other personal appearance services to keep up with the latest trends. They also may take courses in sales and marketing if they are interested in opening their own businesses. (There are cosmetology and barbering schools in your area with classes starting now.)
Will I need to get licensed?
All states require barbers to be licensed. Requirements for a barber license vary by state, but generally barbers must have a high school diploma or GED, be at least 16 years old, and have graduated from an accredited barber or cosmetology school. State licensing examinations generally consist of a written test and, in some cases, a practical test of styling skills or an oral examination.
How much work is available for barbers?
Overall employment of barbers, cosmetologists, and other personal appearance workers is projected to grow slightly faster than the average for all occupations – even in a recession.