What Do Barbers Do?
When it comes to personal grooming and hair care, barbers play a major role. They cut, trim, shampoo, and style hair, primarily for male clients. They may also fit hairpieces and offer facial shaving. Depending on the state in which barbers work, they may be licensed to highlight, bleach and color hair, and to offer permanent-wave services. Commonly used tools include combs, scissors and clippers.The overall job growth in this field is increasing throughout the country. There is expected to be 1,930 openings for this positon annually, which amounts to about 11% growth each year. A huge number of job openings will come from the need to replace barbers who transfer to other careers, retire, or leave the field for other reasons.
Barbers Skills and Abilities
There are numerous bits of knowledge that anyone looking to enter this occupation should acquire. Excellent customer and personal service skills are vital in order to meets the needs of clients on a daily basis. Barbers will also need a strong command of the English language. A comprehensive knowledge of sales and marketing principles should also be possessed, and a few of these principles include:
- Marketing strategies and methods
- Product demonstration
- Sales techniques
- Sales control systems
As a barber, you will be expected to inspect hair, face and scalp to recommend the appropriate treatment. A person in this position will be expected to discuss and suggest the best hair-style options for customers. It is also the responsibility of the barber to trim and shape moustaches and beards, using scissors. This position must also clean and sanitize all tools and work areas. Some other tasks you should expect to be involved with include:
- Draping and pinning protective cloths around clients’ shoulders
- Recording services provided on cashiers’ tickets or receive payment from customers
- Ordering supplies
- Staying informed of the latest styles and hair care techniques
- Keeping card files on clients, recording notes of products used, fees charged and work done, after each visit
- Performing administrative and clerical duties such as hiring and supervising personnel, record keeping and paying bills
Barbers Tools and Technology
Barbers depend upon a wide range of tools in order to do their job effectively. They should have a basic familiarity with electric hair clippers as well as hair combs or brushes. They should know how to use hair or curling irons. They will also need to know how to use hair scissors and razors.Perhaps just as important as the barbering tools being utilized is the software that will be used. Some of the software you can expect to come in contact with includes:
- Appointment scheduling
- Customer information database
- Point of sale payment
- Word processing
Education and Training for Barbers
Every state requires barbers to be licensed. Qualification for a license, requires candidates to graduate from a state-approved cosmetology school. Most people entering the field have a high school diploma, the equivalent or less. Full-time barbering programs typically last at least 9 months and may lead to an associate’s degree.
The median wage for barbers across the United States is $25,400 annually. The top 10% can make over $45,000 while the bottom 10% can expect to make around $17,500 each year. The exact wage you are able to earn depends largely on the state you live in.
Barbers Jobs by Geography
The states with the highest concentrations of barbers include Texas, California and Washington. However, barbers in Minnesota, Massachusetts and Nebraska can expect to make the most on average. The demand for barbers varies by state, so if you are interested in this occupation, look into a state with an increasing growth rate.