The demand for personal appearance workers, including skilled hairstylists and barbers, is growing. If you're like many barbers and hairstylists (sometimes known as hairdressers), you've enjoyed working with other people's hair since childhood. Training at a hair design school will help you develop that interest and learn skills and current hair style trends and techniques that will enable you to enjoy a satisfying career.
All states require those engaged in hairstyling and barbering to graduate from a state-licensed hair design school. Training and classes at a licensed school not only help you learn specific, high-demand skills but can also lead to a certificate, diploma, or associate degree.
Between 2006 and 2016, the number of hairstyling jobs should increase slightly more than the average of all jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In 2006, there were about 617,000 hairstylists and 60,000 barbers. By 2016, BLS expects the number of hairstylists to rise by 12 percent, adding 77,000 new jobs. Only about 600 barbers (one percent) will be added during the same period.
Nearly half of all hairstylists and barbers--46 percent--are self-employed. Mean hourly earnings in 2008 for salaried hairstylists were $12.82. For barbers, the figure was $12.79.
Because all U.S. barbers and hairstylists are required to graduate from a state-licensed hair design school and then pass an exam, your first step is to start looking for courses at a school near you or in a part of the country you'd like to live in. Full-time programs usually last nine months and may be part of an associate degree in cosmetology. Other courses and classes may help you earn a certificate or diploma or become expert in a specific, in-demand skill that can land you a great hairstyling job.
Jane Greer writes and teaches writing at a lovely community college.
Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2008--Barbers May 04, 2009 http://www.bls.gov http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes395011.htm Bureau of Labor Statistics
Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2008--Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists May 04, 2009 http://www.bls.gov http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes395012.htm Bureau of Labor Statistics
Occupational Outlook Handbook: Barbers, Cosmetologists, and Other Personal Appearance Workers Jul 19, 2009 http://www.bls.gov