What Does a Barber Do?

Barbers provide hair care services, usually for male clients. They also offer scalp treatments and hot shaving services. Barbers must be licensed to work in any state and have at least a high school diploma or vocational training from a state-licensed barber school. Schools offering Nail Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Duties

Barbers trim, shampoo, style, and cut hair for mostly male clients. Skin and nail care services are also available in their barbershops. In addition, licensed barbers can color, bleach, and highlight their client's hair. Barbers specialize in hot facial shaving and scalp treatments. Most self-employed barbers typically determine their own work hours, which generally fall on weekends, holidays, and evenings. This career field requires standing for long periods of time, and working with harsh chemicals found in hair care products.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Similar OccupationsHairdresser, hairstylist, cosmetologist
Work EnvironmentBarbershop, salon, spa, hotel or resort
Key SkillsHaircutting, men's grooming, applying scalp treatments, good communication, managerial and business expertise
ProgramsFull- or part-time training programs are available

Educational Requirements

Individuals interested in the field should complete a vocational or community college program in barbering. Students in a barbering program can earn a certificate, diploma, or associate's degree. These programs usually last between 9 and 12 months, and include instruction in hairstyling, skin care, and personal appearance services. Barbers must have a license to practice in all states, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov).

In order to obtain a license, individuals must hold a high school diploma, graduate from a state-licensed barbering school, and be at least 16 years old. The licensing exam consists of a written test, and a practice demonstration of their acquired barbering skills.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

Approximately 20,130 individuals were employed as barbers nationwide in 2018, according to the BLS. The median annual salary earned among barbers was calculated to be $27,960 in May 2018. The BLS projects that job opportunities for barbers are expected to increase by 13% between 2016 and 2026. The demand for barbers will continue to rise due to a growing population.

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Popular Schools

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • World A Cuts Barber Institute

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: York
  • Winston Salem Barber School

    Campus Locations:

    • North Carolina: Winston Salem
  • Westside Tech

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Winter Garden
  • West Michigan College of Barbering and Beauty

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: Kalamazoo
  • West Georgia Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Georgia: Waco
  • Washington Barber College Inc

    Campus Locations:

    • Arkansas: Little Rock
  • Vogue Beauty and Barber School

    Campus Locations:

    • Georgia: Hiram
  • Pearl River Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Mississippi: Poplarville
  • Victoria's Academy of Cosmetology

    Campus Locations:

    • Washington: Kennewick