Beauty Career Profile: Barber

CalendarMonday, July 3rd, 2017
UserJeff Chiarelli
View2 Min READ
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Beauty Career Profile: Barber

A barber cuts and styles hair for primarily male clients, though some females with shorter hair will opt for these services from a barber as well. You can also visit these professionals for facial hair maintenances, custom shaves, and other men’s grooming services. It is the barber’s goal to insure the client’s happiness and comfort during their visit and to listen to what they want they have in mind.

Barbers can provide additional services like shampooing, styling, coloring, and singeing. A barber may also perform scalp and neck massages. They may also sell clients products like shampoos, lotions, and tonics to help with styling, grooming, and maintenance of hair between appointments.

Job Outlook

Barber’s generally work at a barbershop as an employee, but of course you have the option to be self-employee and rent a chair or open your own shop. These jobs are predicted to grow by 10% by 2020, which is faster than the average.

Make it Happen


All barbers must be licensed to practice in the United States. To be licensed you’ll need a qualification from a state-approved cosmetology program. Some requirements vary state by state, but generally you should have a high school diploma or GED, pass the appropriate licensing exam and be at least 16. Contact your local board to find out more information about requirements in your state. On average it will take about 1500 hours of instruction before you can sit for the exams.


Hand’s on and on-the-job experience is important for a barber to to succeed. Early on in your barbering courses you will train on mannequins, and then move on to real clients as the course progress. This experience is essential for developing all of your professional barbering skills. Upon graduation you might start out as a trainee at a barbershop, so you’ll need to be comfortable with the latest techniques, products and equipment.

Building up a professional portfolio of work is critical. Try to get professional shots of your work or at least photos that show off your work the best. Showcase your creativities, originality and skill to nail that dream job.


You’ll be using tools such as scissors, clippers, razors and combs to cut and style a variety of hair types. Investing in high quality products can make all the difference in your schooling. You’ll also use razors and lather to groom and remove facial hair. Depending of where you work when starting your career, you make need to invest in a hair dryer or other equipment down the line.


Skill & Attributes

Interpersonal Skills

In the hairstyling business, it’s very important to attract loyal clients who trust you enough to even refer friends and family. You’ll also need to have impeccable listening skills, so you can successfully consult with your clients about what they want done. You need to feel comfortable asking questions and reading between the lines to help understand what the client needs. A barbershop is a social place, so being talkative and personable is almost expected. You’ll also need these skills to deal with unhappy customers or to help dissuade them from a style mistake.

Sales Skills

Having good sales and marketing skills will help you to sell yourself to the community to draw in more clientele. It will also help you sell professional hair care products that can be crucial to a shop’s business. Stay up to date on the latest products so that you can really know what you’re selling.


A barber needs to be able to handle all of the appropriate equipment so finger dexterity, arm-hand steadiness and manual dexterity will ensure a high quality cut and style. This does take practice, that is why putting in the hours is so important.


Since you will sometimes deal with billing the client, accepting payments and finalizing sales, being good with money is definitely a plus. With a good understanding of the basics of accounting and clerical duties, you can charge clients the right amount, easily manage your tips for tax purposes and perform other administrative tasks.

Time Management Skills

Being a self-starter and having good time managements skills, will help you come off as professional. Schedule your appointments so customers aren’t waiting and you’re not losing money. Being able to estimate how long a cut or certain appointment would be, will help ensure your customers stay happy without long waits.

Salary Potential

This will depend of what part of the county you work in, how many years of experience you have, and what type of work environment you have. The average salary according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics was $14.38 per hour before tips in 2016. You can also expect to receive regular tips from satisfied clients, but that number will fluctuate.


Trends & Tips

A barber must be able to talk to customers about the latest styles and trends, and advise on the upcoming must-have looks.

3 Men’s Trends for 2017:

  1. Middle Parting: This style works best with working best with oval faces or a strong, angular jaw. Keep the styling a bit untidy with a small amount of wax for texture.
  2. The Quiff: As a versatile style, it will suit all types of face structures. To get the look, work a small amount of clay or putty into towel dried hair, combing with the fingers into the preferred shape of your quiff. To add extra volume, blow dry upward with a large, round brush.
  3. Grey Hair: This is a hot shade of choice for guys of all ages!  Find a tone of silver or gray that works best with your skintone and use the right shampoo after you dye.

Stay up to date on the latest looks and products to give you that extra edge. Barbering is a revived art in this industry, so now is the time to be on the cutting edge.

About the Author

Jeff Chiarelli
Jeff Chiarelli is the Head of Marketing for Ogle School. His responsibilities include leading Ogle School's marketing and branding strategy to amplify Ogle School's passion for helping create future beauty professionals in the communities Ogle School serves.


Hi future beauty professional! We can’t wait to speak you. Fill out the form below and we’ll get you the information you need.
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Hi future beauty professional! We can’t wait to speak you. Fill out the form below and we’ll get you the information you need.
By submitting this form, I am providing my consent to be called, texted, and/or emailed by Ogle School at the number and/or email provided. This consent is not a condition of purchase.