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How to Become a Barber? 10 Tips to Build Your Career in Hairdressing and Barbering

Barbering is one of the oldest customer service professions. People have always been concerned about how they look and hairstyles are an essential part of it. To keep your hair properly managed and trimmed a barber is a must. Although the modern day man or woman has many ways to cut and style their own hair, a visit to the barber shop is still sometimes the best course of action. To be very honest though, when you visit a barber it’s not just the haircut that you get, rather they provide you with a unique experience. Here we look at barbering as a profession and what you need to become a barber. 

So if you are passionate about styling hair and loads of hair products, check out this blog to realise your styling dream.

Table of Contents

What does a barber do?

A barber cuts, shampoos, trims and combs a customer’s hair. Barbers often take customers by walk-ins or even appointments when they want to freshen up their look. Other services may include shaving with hot wax and lather treatments. To sum up the whole process barbers cut, trim or shave customers’ hair and beardshampoo hair following a cut or trim. 

The job also involves disinfecting or washing cutting equipment and keeping the workstation tidy. Depending on the customers needs barbers may administer scalp treatments or hair dyes to complete the customers visit.

Requirements for Barbering

Becoming a barber requires both educational qualifications and training. Here we discuss qualifications you must earn to become a barber in the UK.


To become a barber the first step is to complete your highschool diploma. This enables you to enroll in barbers training programs. Attending a state-approved barber program helps you to get licensure to start your own barber shop. In these programs, barbers learn hair cutting and shaving techniques, industry best practices, sanitation, customer service, safety and preparation. 

Apprenticeship can work as a substitute for formal barbering programs. In an apprenticeship arrangement barbers earn hands-on experience working with real customers and experienced professionals while earning some pay as well. However, barbers completing apprenticeships still need to apply and maintain license to legally start as a professional barber.


In most cases barbers possess proper training upon completing barbering programs. Some establishments may require work as an assistant or intern while new barbers can earn experience. Students will have many hands-on training opportunities when attending a state-approved barber school. Some salons may require barber’s to complete administrative tasks within work hours to learn the functioning of the whole shop.

On-the-job training is an important part of starting off as a barber. These trainings teach barbers about products and services the establishment offers. Sometimes this involves scripted advertisements for products and services used by the establishment.

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Online study materials, CPD accredited, 24/7 support


Specific certifications are not essential for becoming a barber, however licensure is. To hold a barbering licence the individual needs to be at least 16 years of age. It also requires completion of barber training programmes and passing the licensure exam. In most cases states can issue apprentice barber or master barber license according to experience.

Skills required for Barbering

Becoming a barber is not only cutting your customers hair. It’s about giving them a grooming experience that gives them time to unwind. This usually requires you to, as a barber, hear your clients out, allocate proper time for each customer and so on. We’ve listed here the basic skills required for becoming the best barber one can be.


1. Detail-orientated

Each customer that walks into your shop wants something different. No two heads are the same and neither is the hair on them. To satisfy customers you must first understand precisely what they want, so that you can deliver the closest results for them. Paying attention to specific small details enables you to achieve this with each and every customer. While making your job easier, being detail oriented makes the customer feel privileged and ensures loyalty to your shop.

2. Customer service

Whether you run a walk-in shop or schedule appointments, being customer service savvy is a must. Shops with reputable customer service gets promoted by word of mouth far easier than shops that provide premium services without satisfying customers. This suggests, customer service experience is as valuable as the quality of your services. 

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3. Communication

Communication skills are important in any service oriented profession. However, it’s not only your ability to communicate your thoughts but also your ability to understand the customer. Being able to understand the customers needs and describing the process efficiently not only saves your time, but creates a positive experience for the customer as well.

4. Time management

Managing a barber shop can be hectic if you’re one of the popular shops on your street. The importance of time management can’t be stretched enough in any professional setting. It is no different for barbering. You need to be able to allocate a proper amount of time for each customer while also cleaning and maintaining the shop. Some barbers even attend house-calls, which require additional time for commuting. All of this is near impossible without managing time with professional efficacy.

If you want to know more about why you want to be a barber in the first place, here’s a video.

What it means to work as a Barber/Hairdresser

Barbering is one of the unique professions that share very little in common with regard to technicality and shop management. Here are 6 things you should expect and prepare for if you want to become a barber:

Average salary of a barber in the UK

Barbers may work part-time or full-time or in a mix of both. Salary varies significantly between small shop barbers and high end styling salons. It also varies with the barber’s experience and responsibilities. 

According to  Indeed annual average salary for barbers is £24180. Following the same numbers we found Neuvoo that puts monthly salaries at around £2,000.

How to become a barber

Becoming a barber requires that you complete certain educational and training requirements. You can become a barber with the following steps:

1. Complete your high school education

Formal barber programs require a completed highschool diploma. So don’t go thinking you don’t need to pass highschool to become a barber

2. Complete a barber program

Enrol in a barbering program after highschool. Each organization and country has a different number of hours needed to complete the training alternating between text knowledge and hard practices that enrich you with experience.

3. Take the licensing exam

To get the barbering licence you need to pass the licensing exam. To apply for the exam you need to show your training and high school diploma. Upon passing the exam you get your licence and now can call yourself a proper professional.

Apply for barber positions

After getting your license you can start applying for barber positions. Try applying to small shops as a beginner and work your way up. Send a polished cover letter and be prepared to give a demonstration if needed.

10 tips for hairdressing

Hairdressing is a demanding job and being a fresh pair of hands at work may seem daunting. There are good barbers and then there are barbers who are the best under any circumstance. To become the best it is not enough to just wield scissors but to make your customers feel welcome and taken care of. With this in mind we put together 10 tips for you to excel in your barbering career.

Hairdressing and Barbering
The Hairdressing and Barbering course will introduce you to the profession which can never be replaced by automation and continues to be a lucrative career choice for many individuals.
Hairdressing and Barbering
The Hairdressing and Barbering course will introduce you to the profession which can never be replaced by automation and continues to be a lucrative career choice for many individuals.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How long does it take to become a barber?

In general, become a professional barber, you may need around 10-12 months to complete from Barber school program. From this long term course you will get hands-on training and techniques.

How many hours do barbers work a day?

Typically 8-16 hours per day. It depends on you or your employer.

How much does a barber make a day in the UK?

After training, an entry level barber can earn around £40-£60 per day. And there is a chance to get tips £15-20/day. 

Closing Remarks

In the past couple years the barbering industry has expanded by 45% with an average of 700 retailers opening all across the UK. The industry generated £7.5 billion turnover in the year 2017. This means being a barber is a sure shot profession if you can earn the necessary skill. If you’re an aspiring young individual interested in all-things-hair, don’t be late. Complete your high school or barber training diploma if you haven’t and start applying asap. Learn about special treatments – HairGuard is a great site with lots of info about hair health – and stay up to date to fashion trends in your industry.

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Access to 1000+ premium courses including:

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