How to become a Barber?
Interested in joining the barber trade?
We’re here to show you how to do it the right way. In this short guide to becoming a barber we won’t just cover the benefits and disadvantages of each of the options available to you, you’ll also get to learn about the different options you have to make money.
Becoming an accredited barber is only the first step. Finding the right job or building a successful business are also things you should consider before you jump the gun.
What Options do I Have?
The options available to you will be determined on a number of key factors. These include your age, available schedule, and budget. To cut hair you do not need to have a barber’s licence. However, having one greatly increases the number of services you are qualified to offer.
These include expert consultations, advice on cuts and styles based on hair type and face shapes, identification of various scalp allergies and conditions, etc. Which is why we highly recommend getting your training at the right place. That being said, here are a number of ways you can train to become a barber.
Your road to becoming a barber:
- Local Colleges
- Private Schools
- Accredited Online Courses
As an apprentice, you stand the chance of gaining in-house experience from a local salon while attending college once a week to complete your NVQ. To become an apprentice, you will have to find a barber that offers this option, and one that has room available in the salon. Apprenticeships are usually available to students aged 16 – 18, but can be sometimes offered to students up to the age of 24.
The programme can last anywhere between 2 – 3 years, and during the first 12 months you can expect to experience some of the least prestigious jobs of being a barber – sweeping hair, answering telephone calls, greeting clients, and possibly making cups of tea for staff members.
This option does have its advantages as well – as an apprentice, you will have the added advantage of being paid to learn while also gaining knowledge of how a salon is run first hand. As an apprentice you can earn upto £100 a week while completing the course. Sadly, if you’ve already crossed the “ripe age” of 24, you’ll have to look at other options.
Local barbering colleges are usually priced upwards of £1000. These courses can take between 1 or 2 years to complete, depending on whether you choose full or part-time hours. These courses are open to anyone, and offer you the tuition and certification to work your way to becoming a licensed barber.
Although these courses are great a way to learn, they often take up a significantly large portion of your working hours, making you have to choose between learning your new trade and keeping your current job so you can pay your bills.
Just like Local Colleges, Private Schools are a good option if you have the budget and the time. However, this is an even more expensive option. With courses costs starting at £3000+, and taking a minimum of 2 months to complete a full-time crash course, the expenses and commitments students are expected to put in are far bigger, and in a lot of cases, unnecessary.
The biggest benefit of a joining a private barber school is the one to one tuition you receive in-house along with the live models for you to practice on. Depending on your learning abilities, proximity to the school, and willingness to learn and improvise, this may not necessarily be the best route to become a barber, especially if budget is an issue.
However, if you are based in the UK, have the money and time, and are sure a private school is for you, we would recommend that you explore learning your new trade at the London School of Barbering.
With the ability to learn from anywhere at anytime online barbering courses are becoming much more popular. Mastering the barbering trade can be done from anywhere, while still keeping your current job. Online Courses offer many benefits to students as local schools are not always an option. Online barber courses are relatively affordable, and save you a lot of time and money while still receiving quality tuition.
At The Barbering Course we offer Advanced Level 3 IICT accredited online courses which are equivalent to an NVQ Level 3. This course has been specially formulated to teach you everything you will ever need to know about the profession. This includes health and safety, cutting and shaving techniques, various instruments and the advanced techniques of mastering them, client consultation, identifying various hair conditions and skin ailments, and so much more.
Build a Strong Reputation and Portfolio
Once you have received your barbering certificate you will want to focus on building on your experience in cutting hair. When it comes to hair, it’s all about trust. Your customers should be willing to trust your abilities as a barber. That’s why a strong reputation and portfolio will go a long way when it comes to winning new clients, building a successful and influential client base. This will also help you find the perfect job you always wanted.
Approach your friends and relatives and offer them a free cut. Record your results with images and videos and post them on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest as if they are your paying clients. Building a strong fan base on social media has been proven to be the most effective and successful method of being seen and building a good client base.
If your hair cutting skills are great, you stand a great chance of turning your friends into paying customers. If you are seeking full time work rather than setting up your own business, your portfolio will speak for itself and open doors to new opportunities.
How Will I Make Money as a Barber?
Before deciding on taking a barbering course, first you should consider how you will make your new barbering skills work for you once you have completed the course. If you are looking for employment, what companies would you like to work for, and if you’re looking to start your own business, how will you operate and where will you find your first clients? Here a few ways you can use your new trade to make cash:
- Rent a Chair
- Mobile Barber
- Home Studio
- Barber shop/ Salon
There are two basic ways you can approach this option. If you’re an apprentice, being exceptionally good at your job will ensure that your employer retains you as an employee. They will also be willing to pay you at relatively higher rates should you have the ability to bring in repeat customers.
The second approach would be to find a job within your local area after completing your barber training. As a barber in the UK the average salary is around £20,000 a year. Depending on your location and experience this could be much more.
Rent a Chair
The Rent-a-Chair model is a much a better option for barbers. To rent a barber’s chair will cost you anywhere between £40 – £80 a day and can bring as much as £700 a week if not more.
Although you do not own the shop you will be considered as self employed as if you were running your own business. This would mean there would be more than just the task of cutting and shaping hair. Completing your end of year taxes is something you will have to handle along with many other jobs you might not expect.
Opening up a home studio is also a very attractive option for barbers that want to bypass the heavy capital expenditure that comes with operating a salon. With your home studio you’ll be able to work the hours you choose while avoided time and expenses for paid travel. Offering barbering services from your home you’ll be responsible for charging your own prices and finding new customers.
While this model comes with several benefits, it isn’t always that simple. Firstly, you will need the space to set up your home studio. This my not be option for those that don’t own their own homes or have limited space around the house.
As a mobile barber you will be operating out of your clients homes. This is an advantage if you don’t have the room at home or budget to set up a salon. Another important advantage is that you can operate in a much wider geographical area, something that you can never do with an established barber salon.
The only thing that maybe holding you back on this option is access to transport. Getting taxi can be expensive and busses unreliable. Owning your vehicle is a must if you wish to keep cost low and customers happy.