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Career Education Information for Barbers and Hair Stylists

Hair stylists and barbers have educational and licensing requirements they must meet. Educational programs mix classroom time with actual practice, and students must take coursework in techniques, sanitation and safety.

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Career Education Information for Barbers and Hair Stylists

Hair stylists, sometimes referred to as cosmetologists, and barbers are personal appearance professionals who style, cut and color hair. They can work in their own shop, at a large salon or for modeling agencies. Many salons and spas require new stylists to work their way up from shampooer or assistant to cutting hair. In addition to good styling and barbering techniques, these individuals need strong marketing and customer service skills to increase their earnings.

Educational Requirements

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most states require hair stylists and barbers to graduate from a school that is licensed by the state (www.bls.gov). Most schools combine classroom time with practicing on mannequins and live models. Many programs accept financial aid and provide their graduates with job-placement assistance.

Hair stylist programs include coursework in coloring, shampooing, haircutting and styling. Barbering programs include courses on sterilization methods, hygiene and grooming techniques. In addition to techniques, many programs offer a marketing or sales course to teach students the skills needed to build and maintain a client base. The BLS states that most of these programs last nine months or longer.

Licensing Requirements

Most states have licensing requirements that include a minimum number of training hours and an age limit. Some states may have education or apprenticeship requirements. After completing a program, individuals must pass their state's licensing examination.

Career Outlook and Salary Information

The BLS estimated that employment for barbers is expected to increase 7% in the years 2010-2020. Hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists are grouped together, and the BLS predicts a 16% job growth for these workers in the same 2010-2020 decade.

According to the BLS, the median annual earnings of cosmetologists, hairstylists and hairdressers were $22,700 in 2012. The BLS also reported that barbers earned $25,090 as a median annual salary in May 2012.

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    Areas of study you may find at D'Mart Institute include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
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        • Hair Design
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    • Wisconsin (1 campus)
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        • Hair Design
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    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
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      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics