Career Introduction: Barbering
Barbers are unique professionals in the personal services industry. They are licensed for haircutting, shampooing, hair styling, and hair perm-ing, but unlike cosmetologists, barbers are qualified to use a bare razor blade against the skin to shave the face and neck. Hence, barbering is a traditionally male-dominated art, and images of the old boys holding court in the barber shop still permeate the career. Like any personal service worker, barbers must have good interpersonal skills to attract and keep clients, but they also need practical training in barbering skills like hair cutting and shaving.
How to Prepare for a Barbering Career
Applicants to barbering programs should pay attention to the latest styles in magazines, on the streets, and in pop culture so they can duplicate them. Potential students should visit a number of schools or interview for barbering apprentice programs.
Barbering training programs teach students technical skills like shampooing, cutting, styling, and texturing hair. They also learn about razor and shear blades, hair growth, and sanitation to prepare them for a successful career as a barber. Students complete between 1,000 and 1,600 hours to be eligible for certification, depending on the state where they plan to work.
Work as a Barber
Most barbers rent a chair, work on commission, or own a barber shop. They work many nights and weekends to accommodate their clients. Average incomes range from $8 up to $20 per hour, and many barbers receive cash tips for their work. This occupation is expected to grow rapidly within the next five to 10 years.