The first step toward becoming a barber is learning the skills you need to be successful. The best way to do that is by enrolling in an accredited barber school. However, before you start the hunt for barber schools in your area, you may find yourself wondering, is barbering a good career?
In this article, we’ll walk you through the benefits and challenges of becoming a barber and why we think it’s worth it for creative individuals with a passion for cutting and styling hair.
The Benefits of Being a Barber
Most people who are looking to break into the barbering industry ultimately decide to do so because they have a passion for the trade. Barbers tend to be creative individuals who enjoy interacting with customers and take pride in making people feel better about themselves.
There are many benefits of being a barber, so let’s review some of the highlights.
Barbers Have Job Security
There are always going to be customers looking for a fresh cut, a beard trim or a clean shave. That’s why barbers have more job security than skilled workers in a lot of other industries. It’s not uncommon for barbers working at popular shops to have a waiting list for appointments.
It’s also a career where you can work as long as your health allows. We’ve all seen the old barbers still cutting hair well past retirement age, simply because they love the profession. And there may even be opportunities to teach the next generation of barbers your trade.
You Can Make Good Money
The money you make as a barber often lines up with the training, experience and skills you have at your disposal. A well-trained barber who is personable can earn a good tip for each cut. And if you do your job well enough, you’re going to get referrals from satisfied customers. If you run your own shop or work for a high-end shop, the monetary potential is even higher.
Barbers Can Work Anywhere
No matter where you choose to live, there will always be people in need of a good barber. For example, you might start your career locally and eventually move to a different city. While your client list may not be transferable, you can take the skills you learn wherever you go.
Flexible Working Hours
Many barbers are able to set their own hours and work times and days that are convenient to their preferred lifestyles. You may find yourself working at times that don’t fall into the traditional 9-to-5 workday and sometimes even on weekends. Keep honing your barber skills and you will eventually learn what works best for you and nets you the most repeat, long-term customers.
Barbering Is a Creative Outlet
Professional barbers are artists. While working in the industry, you will have many opportunities to experiment with new barbering techniques and learn about the latest hair trends. Sure, some of your clients will want more traditional cuts, but others will allow you to truly get creative. On that note, you’re unlikely to get bored in the barbering profession. It’s exciting work! Those of us who get restless just thinking about sitting at a desk in an office all day often thrive as barbers.
You Can Take Pride in the Work You Do
Barbers take pride in making their customers look and feel better. Every customer that sits in your chair represents an opportunity to spread a little positivity out into the world. And as you get to know your customers you’ll pick up on what they like stylewise and conversation wise. There’s perhaps no better feeling than seeing smiles on customers’ faces after a fresh cut.
You’ll Meet Lots of New People
As a barber, you will interact with people from all different walks of life on a daily basis. This makes for interesting conversations and even allows for the exchange of knowledge. If you are someone who enjoys meeting new people, then you’ll enjoy this profession.
How Hard Is It to Be a Barber?
While being a barber brings lots of benefits, we would be lying if we said if the path to get there is a total walk in the park. As we previously mentioned, enrolling at an accredited barber school is one of the better ways for you to learn the skills you need to earn your barbering license.
Barber school takes hard work, commitment and a passion for the trade. And once you graduate and earn your license, you may find yourself taking jobs at different shops until you find the one that clicks for you. However, you will make friends and gain lots of knowledge along the way.
Challenges or Disadvantages of Being a Barber
Here are some of the more challenging aspects of being a barber:
- Barbering is a physical job. Work schedules will vary, but there will be some days in the shop where you’ll find yourself on your feet working nonstop for your entire shift.
- Not all customers are kind. While meeting new people is a benefit of the job it also means that you’re going to encounter some rude and just plain mean customers. The best thing you can do is stay positive and not let the occasional bad customer get you down.
- There’s pressure to perform. People visit the barber expecting to leave looking better than when they went in. That means there is pressure to perform your best for every customer that walks through the door. Thankfully, this pressure eases over time.
- Success takes time. Building up a strong reputation and gaining a loyal customer base takes time and a lot of hard work. Some barbers get discouraged by this.
While the path to becoming a barber and getting started in the industry is hard work, those with a passion for the trade will find themselves learning from each interaction. There will be good days and there will be bad days. Stay positive and keep an open mind and you’ll go far.
Is Being a Barber Worth It?
Now that we’ve highlighted some of the benefits and challenges of being a barber, you’re probably wondering: Is being a barber worth it? At Tricoci University of Beauty Culture, we see all of the incredible things our barber school graduates are doing everyday in their careers. For those who have the passion and drive for this profession, yes, we do believe it’s worth it.
Tricoci University offers accredited barber schools at our Bridgeview, Illinois, and Chicago NW (O’Hare) campuses. Our barber program prepares students for a wide variety of barbering careers, such as barber, barber apprentice, barbershop manager, barbershop owner, master barber and men’s stylist. Here you’ll learn the technical and professional skills you need — including education on how to cut and style a wide range of hair textures. In addition, our barber program teaches students how to use both guard and free-handed techniques.