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Job Description

Barbers provide customers with barbering services which include:

  • Cuts
  • Shaping
  • Trim and taper hair using clippers, comb, blow-out gun and scissors
  • Apply lather shaving beard or hair contour on temple and neck
  • Record service charge on ticket and receive payment
  • Clean work area
  • Sell lotion or cosmetic supplies
  • Order supplies
  • Sometimes barbering and cosmetology are paired in one job.

In some circumstances a barber/cosmetologist may work with both menʼs and
womenʼs hair.


In most cases a barber must have a high-school diploma. People desiring to barber must attend barbering school followed by passing the state barber exam for licensure. This exam consists of written and practical sections sometimes including oral questions. The professional process can be complete in as little as 10 months.


Some barbers do an apprenticeship with a licensed barber to gain experience. Most go directly to work after becoming licensed. Experience assists barbers to build a clientele which can increase earnings.

Career Progression

Barbers usually begin by working in a shop owned by another barber. They pay a percentage of earnings to the owner. To own a barber shop is one way to progress in a barbering career. A barber can become a Cosmetology/Barber Inspector working in government testing potential barbers and inspecting shops.


As of May, 2018 the median hourly wage for barbers was $13.44 in the United States. This varies from state to state and barber to barber.

Some Oklahoma Schools

Tulsa Barber & Beauty College (10 months instruction for $15,000)
Eveʼs College of Hair Styling in Lawton (9.4 months instruction for $16,000)
Central Oklahoma College in Oklahoma City (3.1 months to 1 year instruction for $3500 to $20,000)

Barbers have a variety of options for their careers. A barber may decide to work in an established shop, or open his own shop. In addition, some barbers decide to become certified instructors and work in a barber school to teach others their craft.

This is just a small sample of the job titles licensed barbers may hold:

  • Barber
  • Barber Apprentice
  • Barbershop Manager/Director
  • Barbershop Owner/Operator
  • Hairdresser
  • Master Barber
  • Men's Hairstylist
  • Trichologist
  • Celebrity Barber

The Bureau of labor Statistics estimates that the number of barber/hairdresser/cosmetologist jobs will grow by 13% through the year 2022, or about as fast as average compared to other occupations. This could mean thousands of new jobs introduced this decade. The states that employ the most barbers in the U.S. are Texas, New York, California, Washington and Georgia according to the BLS (2015). The metro areas that have the highest employment level are the New York City, Houston and Los Angeles areas.

(This information was taken from and The Occupational Handbook published through the U.S. Department of Labor.)


Last Modified on Mar 10, 2023
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