Barber

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Men’s hairdresser, gent’s hairdresser

Barbers cut and trim customers’ hair, beards and moustaches, following instructions or copying example styles.

Salary Range: £14,000 to £25,000

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You could get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
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You could take a course to help you get started, for example:

  • Level 2 or Level 3 Diploma in Barbering

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More information

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You can do an intermediate apprenticeship in barbering or a creative hair professional advanced apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

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You may be able to start work as a trainee barber in a barbershop and learn on the job. Your employer would expect you to take a part-time course to get qualifications, either at a college or in their own training school.

Other routes

You may be able to work freelance and rent space in a barbershop, though you’ll usually have to supply your own equipment.

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Further information

You can find out more about how to become a barber from the Hair and Beauty Industry Authority and National Hairdressers’ Federation.

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Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • customer service skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • active listening skills
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to work on your own
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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Day-to-day tasks

As a barber, you might do the following as part of your daily routine:

  • welcome customers and find out what they want
  • give advice to customers on hairstyles and grooming
  • cut and style hair
  • shave, trim and shape beards and moustaches
  • provide scalp, face and neck massages
  • clean and sterilise equipment, like combs, razors and clippers
  • take payments, keep records and make appointments
  • keep up to date with new styles and techniques

Working environment

You could work in a barbershop, at a client’s home or on a film set.

Your working environment may be physically active.

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With experience you could become a senior barber. If you take further qualifications, you could move into training or assessing student barbers.

You could also open your own barbershop, either independently or as a franchise.