Is Your Barber Banking More Than His Banker?
Before diving headfirst into a trade, it’s always a good idea to know what the work entails and how much your financial compensation could amount to. You will also want to fully understand just how much of an investment is needed on your part in regards to time and tuition. Training to become a barber is no different than any other trade when it comes to the above considerations.
What do you need to know to be a barber?
This might be slightly obvious, but you need to know how to cut men’s hair. That doesn’t mean you need to know how to cut one man’s hair, but you really need to understand the differences of each head of hair that sits in front of you, and of each style that the customer wants.
How do you learn this? Barber school, of course. There are specialized barber schools, sometimes referred to as barber colleges, and there are barber programs that are part of cosmetology schools.
Depending on the school, you can expect to fork out anywhere from $3000 to $11,000 for tuition. Just make sure that your school of choice is accredited, or the certificate that they offer might not be worth the paper it’s printed on.
Are there any legal requirements that I need to fulfill?
A barber certificate will prove that you went to and successfully completed a cosmetology program aimed at cutting and styling men’s hair. But, you’re not finished yet.
Many states require that before you can work as a professional barber you must first get licensed. The exact requirements differ from state to state. Some states like Utah may require a certain amount of hours in a school, an apprenticeship, and passing a test, while other states like Colorado only require schooling.
How much can I earn as a barber?
Now that you know how much time and money you need to invest into becoming a professional barber, it’s time to see if it’s a financially worthy trade in the long run.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2013 the average salary of a barber was $27,710. That breaks down to an hourly rate of about $13.32. Several other salary profile databases have a barber’s annual income closer to $30,000.
It doesn’t take much to see that when comparing the investment versus the income potential for the trade of barbering, the salary both short-term and long-term more than makes up for the initial out-of-pocket training fees. A newly licensed barber can make the same if not more than a fresh four-year college graduate.