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
You could get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
You could take a course to help you get started, for example:
- Level 2 or Level 3 Diploma in Barbering
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
You can do an intermediate apprenticeship in barbering or a creative hair professional advanced apprenticeship.
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
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.
You may be able to work freelance and rent space in a barbershop, though you’ll usually have to supply your own equipment.
Skills and knowledge
- 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
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
You could work in a barbershop, at a client’s home or on a film set.
Your working environment may be physically active.
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.