What does a barber do?

Barbers normally operate out of a hairdresser’s or salon that clients visit to have their hair groomed. Barbers have to consult with their clients as to their desired look, prepare clients for senior barbers, and maintain their hair with products. Barbers must tend to facial hair as well as head hair. You may also be required to sell or endorse hair products and carry out administrative duties in the salon.


  • Consult with clients on desired hair styles
  • Advise clients on healthy hair treatments
  • Cut and style hair with tools and products
  • Groom facial hair
  • Sell products and complete administrative duties

What skills do I need to be a barber?

If you want to be a barber with a reputation and solid client base, it is essential that you communicate well with your client. You should be able to understand what they want and the best ways to achieving that. You should also become familiar with techniques of accuracy and aestheticism as well as fashionable trends. An insight into the business side of running a salon would also be extremely helpful.

  • Dexterity and hairdressing knowledge
  • Communication/a good listener
  • Eye for detail and aesthetic style
  • Working under pressure
  • Passion for fashion and grooming


As the world of hairdressing extends from individual needs to fashion and art forms, there is plenty of room to develop skills and specialise. Specialists are needed for intricate projects, business ventures, beauty therapy and more.

Beauty therapist

When people have special grooming needs regarding their facial hair, eyebrows, hairline and skin, a beauty therapist grooms and maintains a clients facial aesthetic.


A hairstylist is a job for those with experience in modelling hair. Hairstylists can work in industries such as entertainment, advertising or fashion. This profession is for those who can confidently demonstrate their creativity and skill.

Salon Manager

After becoming familiar with the business side of operations whilst working as a barber, you could start and manage your own salon. This could also operate as a training salon where you can help to educate junior stylists.

Study pathways for barbers

Studying and practising hairdressing at a tertiary level is a great place to embark on your career as a barber. Although studying is helpful, to really gain confidence on hairdressing, one should get practical experience at a training college

Getting Started

Choose a course and a specialised tertiary institution that approaches theory, technique and process.

Skill Building

Enhance your skills by working in a hairdresser’s or salon to become more familiar with technique and develop your own style

Professional Development

Develop a reputation and style in a high-end salon environment, perhaps something that can lead to sponsorship, seminars, marketing or commercial fashion

Industry Recognition

You should seek to complete an apprenticeship in hairdressing in order to become a professional barber. This can be commenced during high school. You can also become a hairdresser by receiving various tertiary qualifications/certificates.

Getting a job after graduation

Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your hairdressing career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.

Job Prospects and Salaries

For barbers, job opportunities are forecasted to steadily increase over the coming two years. The starting salary is around $30000 yet, as a senior barber working with particular clients, one can be paid $55000 or even higher at private rates.