Barber, hairdresser and cosmetologist essential career information:
- 2012 median pay: $22,700
- 2010 number of jobs: 712,200
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 14 percent
- Entry-level education requirements: Vocational training
Barbers, hairdressers and cosmetologists; what they do:
While some people have or can develop the skill to tend to their own hair and beauty needs and whims, relatively few go through life without ever visiting a barber, hairdresser or cosmetologist. Most often, we rely heavily on skilled professionals who chose barber careers, hairdresser careers, or cosmetology careers to ensure we present the best face possible to the public.
Barbers and hairdressers (often called hairstylists) and cosmetologists provide an array of services, often developing a rapport with their clients which lasts a lifetime. They perform tasks such as shampooing, cutting, coloring and styling hair. They may also deal with scalp treatments, hair removal, nail and skin care and makeup application.
The bond between customers and their barber, hairdresser or cosmetologist creates a confidence which enables people to go about their day-to-day life knowing they look their best.
Barbers, Hairdressers and Cosmetologists duties:
- Shampooing, rinsing and conditioning hair and scalp or hairpieces
- Analyzing patrons’ hair and physical features to guide them toward the best beauty treatment or hairstyle
- Bleaching, dying or tinting hair
- Demonstrating hair products and cosmetics
- Scheduling appointments
- Cutting, trimming and shaping a patron’s hair or hairpiece
- Using of clippers, scissors, trimmers, razors
- Removing facial hair through waxing or other methods
- Updating and maintaining customer records
- Keeping work stations clean and tools sanitary
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Barbers, Hairdressers and Cosmetologists job titles:
- Manager stylist
- Nail technician
- Barber stylist
Barbers, Hairdressers and Cosmetologists Education, Certification and License Requirements
Those who choose a barber career, a hairdresser career or a cosmetologist career need a high school diploma or equivalent and complete a state-licensed program in hairstyling, skin care or similar area. High schools and vocational schools offer barber, hairdresser and cosmetology courses, sometimes leading to an associate’s degree. Those who work solely as shampooers need no formal education.
All barbers, hairstylists and cosmetologists must pass a state licensing exam.
Barbers, hairdresser and cosmetologist programs cover subjects such as:
- Haircutting and styling
- Tool sterilization methods
- Hygiene and grooming techniques
- Marketing and sales
- Makeup application
- Facial treatments
- Salon management
- Shaving and trimming techniques
Career Advancement Opportunities
Barbers, hairdressers and cosmetologists who take marketing, sales and other business courses may choose to own their own shops.
Barbers, Hairdressers and Cosmetologists Job Outlook
Forecast: 7 percent employment growth for barbers and a 16 percent growth for hairstylists and cosmetologists from 2010 to 2020. The larger growth stems from increased demand for coloring, straightening and other advanced hair services. The BLS forecasts a 9 percent employment decline for shampooers as more barbers and hairdressers do their own hair washing.
Barbers, Hairdressers and Cosmetologists Salary
- 2012 median annual wage: $22,700
- 2012, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $30,350
- 2012, workers at the 25th percentile annual wage: $18,520
Barbers, Hairdressers and Cosmetologists Major Employers
- Personal care services
- Department stores
- Health and personal care stores
- Nursing care facilities
- Employment services