What's the Average Salary of a Barber?

Are you interested in becoming a barber, but want to gain some insight into how much you could earn in this field? Read on to take a look at salary information and also discover what is expected for the employment outlook. Schools offering Nail Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Description

The primary job duties of this profession are to cut, shampoo, style and trim hair to the customer's specifications. As a barber, you may also handle facial shavings upon request. You might offer other treatments, like highlights, bleach, scalp treatments, hairpiece fittings and colorings.

When not performing hair care, barbers interact with customers, clean up around the shop or make product recommendations.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Licensing Every state requires barbers to be licensed. Qualifications vary, but a high school diploma or equivalent, and completion of a state-licensed barber or cosmetology school program are common.
Work Environment Many barbers lease booth space while others work in a spa or resort. With experience, a barber may choose to manage or own a barbershop.
Key Skills Trend awareness, tidiness, physical stamina, customer-service and listening skills
Similar Occupations Manicurists, pedicurists and skincare specialists.

Salary Overview

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), barbers had a mean hourly salary of $13.67 and a mean annual income of $28,430 in May 2014. The median hourly income was $12.22, and the median yearly salary was $25,410. Barbers in the top-paid 10 percent earned upwards of $21.94 an hour or more and $45,640 or more annually. Those in the bottom-paid 10 percent earned $8.39 an hour or less and $17,460 or less annually.

Salary by Industry

Of all industries in 2014, personal care services employed the greatest number of barbers. According to the BLS, barbers in the personal care services industry had a mean yearly income of $28,220, which amounts to $13.57 hourly. State government paid barbers the most. The mean hourly wage of barbers working there was $21.63, which translates to an annual salary of $45,000.

Salary by State

According to the BLS, the state with the highest employment level in May 2014 was Texas. The hourly mean wage for barbers there was $13.79, and for annual mean salary it was $28,680. New York and California also had high employment levels, with mean salaries of $26,490 and $24,370, respectively.

Minnesota was the top-paying state in May 2014. Barbers there earned an hourly mean wage of $20.84 and annual wages of $43,340. Other states with high annual mean wages included Nebraska ($41,910), Louisiana ($36,870), Massachusetts ($36,650) and Oklahoma ($35,520)

Some states with below average mean wages at that time included Wisconsin, Michigan, Tennessee, California and Missouri. Those salaries ranged between $19,890 and $26,820

Salary by Experience

According to December data from PayScale.com, the median pay for barbers with up to 5 years' experience was $29,000. Median income for those with 5-10 years of experience was $30,000. Those with 10-20 years of experience had a median wage of $31,000.

Job Outlook Information

The BLS reports that barbers are expected to see 10% growth from 2014-2024, which is above average in comparison to other careers. Greatest competition is expected at luxury salons. Across the profession, retirements and career changes will be the source of most opportunities.

Being licensed is required and possessing previous work experience can lead towards new job opportunities. Around 50 percent of barbers, hairdressers and cosmetologists are self-employed. This can mean owning their own store or renting space from another barber. According to the BLS, approximately 14,140 jobs were held by barbers in May 2014.

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Popular Schools

  • Southern Careers Institute

    Southern Careers Institute responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern Careers Institute:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: Brownsville
  • 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

  • Fortis College

    Fortis College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Fortis College:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Pensacola
  • Cortiva Institute

    Cortiva Institute responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Cortiva Institute:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Maitland, Pinellas Park
  • 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
  • Pearl River Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Mississippi: Poplarville
  • West Georgia Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Georgia: Waco