Barbers are trained professionals providing haircuts, trims, and washing head and facial hair, including beards and eyebrows. Because this job deals with clients one-on-one, barbers require knowledge in hair design and excellent hand-eye coordination.
If you want to apply for a job as a barber, check out the following guide. Let’s begin by looking at the three resume formats below.
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Job Duties of a Barber
Barbers ensure their customer’s satisfaction with their upbeat, soft skills-like attitude and technical skills. Here are a few of the responsibilities of a barber listed below:
Shaping, styling, trimming, and cutting hair, mustaches, and beards per customers’ preferences.
Using clippers, combs, trimmers, blow-dryers, and scissors.
Maintaining hygiene through sanitization at the workstation.
Draping and pinning protective clothes on clients to keep them clean.
Cleansing, conditioning, and coloring client hair using appropriate products.
Straightening and curling hair using tools such as hair straighteners and curling tongs.
Providing scalp, face, and neck massages.
Offering face treatments, pedicures, and manicures.
Analyzing and tracking hair problems.
Collecting and maintaining sales records.
Promoting and selling products related to hair problems or care.
Ordering supplies including scissors, clips, trimmers, and shaving foam.
Barber Median Salaries
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of a barber in the United States is $26,270 in 2020.
Top Skills for Barbers
Let’s take a look at the top skills a barber should have:
- Expertise in razor shaving: Barbering is a skill that requires proficient hand-to-eye coordination because the most common requests require using sharp razors that work best under a steady hand. Buzzcuts, tapers or fades, and facial hair are typically handled with a razor. Consider obtaining a Shaving Specialist Certification from a renowned institution, such as Udemy and their Straight Razor Shave certificate, or practice with wigs on mannequins while carefully observing online courses from professionals. Become familiarized with the shaving razor tools and their disinfecting processes through official barber site forums, FAQ, and videos that give you an inside look at how pro barbers handle their devices on a day-to-day basis.
- Assessing hair and styling: Barbers need to determine what hairstyle suits their clients according to their head shape, hair type (straight, wavy, or curly), typical styling routine, and personality. Knowing how to recreate any look, how to taper and fade a cut, or even how to mimic the latest trending haircuts falls within a barber’s list of responsibilities. A digital or physical portfolio can simplify and speed the process of choosing a look for your client. And a Hairstyling Certification can facilitate and boost your level of skill and confidence when performing your job.
- Customer service: Like any job that deals with customers, active listening, social perceptiveness, and critical thinking are indispensable to provide good customer service. As an employee and partial representative of your business, remember to maintain self-control even in the face of mistakes or intolerance on behalf of clients.
- Strong client relationships: The specific terms you should know depend on the type of engineering you’re involved with. If you’re in software engineering you will often use the term “object-oriented programming” and if you’re involved in chemical engineering you’ll want to know what “absolute temperature” is.
- Adhering to sanitation rules: Rendering barbering service requires direct contact with customer skin, scalp, hair, sweat, and product chemicals, in which case you should try to adhere to sanitation rules to avoid spreading infectious disease. Hanging up lists of sanitizing regulations on the walls reflects professionalism and shows the salon takes client well-being seriously. Be sure to sweep and clean up right after every haircut, and look out for tools lying haphazardly on counters.
- Prompt decision-making and business flexibility, especially when making an error: A keen understanding of all possible solutions and approaches raises the client’s trust in your haircutting mastery. It’s imperative not to panic when you make a mistake; depending on the severity of the error, you should accept a client’s request for a price reduction or refund. Taking constructive criticism is better than arguing since you depend on reputation and customer flow.
Educational Requirements for Barbers
Apart from developing strong interpersonal skills and knowing how to work a razor, there are several educational opportunities for you to improve your skills.
DegreeAdmission into a barber degree program typically requires a high school diploma. Most barber school education teaches how to cut, style, shave, dye, comb hair, and use, maintain and sanitize combs, scissors, and razors. The following institutions teach these technical skills, but there are many more throughout the county: Victory Barber & Brand, Barbers University School, University Barber Shop, and The Barber Education Academy Inc.
LicensureTo take a licensing exam, you need 1,500 hours of instruction or about nine months of schooling.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, barbers must have a state-specific license of at least 1,000 hours of study in a state-licensed and affiliated barber school. The OLR Report on State Barber Licensure Requirements says a barber is exempt from state licensure if they’ve practiced for more than ten years. Apprenticeships are valid if held under a licensed barber. License renewal is necessary every four years, which you can process online three months before its expiration date.
CertificationsCertifications for barbers help them gain expertise in a particular skill later honed with experience and regular practice. Institutions that offer certifications are The American Barber Association, with their Professional Barber Certificate; Northern New Mexico College and its Certificate in Barbering, the NC Hairdressing with Barbering Certificate offered by West College Scotland; and the Barber Training Certificate by Belmar College. Of course, there are many more throughout the country.
Barber Resume-Writing Tips
A barber should work on their resume as meticulously as they work with hair. Here are some pointers to help you write an effective resume.
- Use barber-specific experience: Knowledge is significant for a job where the client's appearance is in your hand. Even most top brand salons and high-end barbershops want to assure that their potential hire has experience in at least some basic trending styling techniques. So, choose your resume format wisely, highlight your past experiences, and emphasize all your acquired apprenticeships, internships, and training courses too.
- Keep your resume tight and trim: Sometimes, employers are too busy to read a detailed resume but only review the necessary details. So it's better to be crisp and clear on information. Keep your approach just like trimming your client's hairs. Mention strong points, cut raw edges, and highlight job-specific details.
What does a barber do?
A barber is a professional who specializes in hair. They cut, dress, groom, style, and shave. A modern-day barber also needs to specialize in general grooming and skincare. There are more than 20,000 barbers currently in the U.S.
How do I obtain a barber license in the U.S.?
The pre-requisites for a barber license in the U.S. are to be 16 or 17 years old and have a high school diploma. Further, you need to have completed training in cosmetology from a state-owned school affiliated with the National Association of Barber Boards of America. Continuous upgrade of skills is necessary to continue your career.
Why should I become a barber in the U.S.?
Being a barber is an excellent career if you have a steady hand, good concentration, and love dealing with hair. Barbers grew by more than 40% within five years between 2014 and 2019.
What’s the difference between a barber, a cosmetologist, and a hairdresser?
Though all three cut and style hairs, there is a difference between them. Barbers generally groom male clients while hairdressers groom female clients, and cosmetologists usually take both types of clients. Cosmetologists are more into skin treatment and makeup, while hairdressers are more into hairstyling, whereas barbers need to balance all three areas.