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Schools and Colleges for Barbering and Hair Design

Training at a barber school provides hands-on experience and skills for those interested in pursuing a career in hair design. Barber schools and hair schools focus on the study of hair and the various forms, styles and structures. A well-trained barber or hair designer can work at a salon or barbershop to provide customized services to clients. Over time, their skills and experience may allow them to work as an independent stylist or consultant. The essentials for a rewarding hair design career can be learned from a hair design school, barber college, or with formal hair stylist training at a salon.

Job Description and Responsibilities of Barber School Graduates

Barber schools focus on training students by providing comprehensive hair and skin services for men. Although many skincare services can also be learned at a cosmetology school, hair designer school can provide basic training in this area to develop fundamental skills in the field. Many schools offer programs specifically for barbering, and students who complete a program in this area may be involved with:

  • Working with a team of barbers at a barber shop
  • Using modern razor styling technique
  • Performing basic hair cutting, coloring, blow drying, and permanent waving services
  • Conducting steam facials and facial massages
  • Learning how to perform a 'traditional' shave
  • Foam shaving
  • Hair and scalp condition treatment
  • Recommending new styles and hair trends to clients
  • General administrative and cleanup duties
  • Cutting, shampooing, and trimming beards and facial hair

Barbers and hair stylists can also be involved with selling additional services and learning about products. They may be responsible for tracking inventory, supplies, and basic advertising. They are also responsible for advising clients on hair care, using products, and demonstrating how to maintain their style. Hair schools can provide complete training in all of these areas, allowing students to obtain extensive knowledge about business operations and management.

Career Options After College and Hair Stylist Training

Barber college provides the basic hands-on training students need to start a successful career in the field of hair design. After finishing school, a student can specialize in a particular field to pursue a position as a:

  • Cosmetologist
  • Hairstylist
  • Nail technician
  • Esthetician
  • Manicurist
  • Pedicurist

Barbers and hairstylists have flexible schedules and are commonly found in beauty salons, barbershops, hotel salons, and resorts. The may also develop their own businesses or work on as independent contractors with their own clients.

Barber School Courses and Hair Design School Training Programs

While barber schools focus on male clientele, hair design or hair salon school concentrates on both male and female clients. Hair stylist training programs are designed to give students a complete overview of all hair styling, trends, hair care, and business practices. Barber schools may also offer comprehensive business management and ownership courses to help students learn how to succeed in the industry. Common courses include:

  • Professional Hair care Technique
  • Hair Color Theory
  • Skincare Basics
  • Cutting Technique
  • Shaving Practices
  • Barber Instruction
  • Manicuring
  • Esthiology
  • Business Management

Barbering Certification

Every State requires an official license in order for a barber to practice. Licensed barbers must pass a written test and achieve a satisfactory score in a performance-based examination. Qualifications to take the exam and receive licensing varies by state; some States require at least a high school diploma, while others will accept an apprenticeship in lieu of graduation.

Vocational schools and technical colleges offer a variety of barbering courses and programs. Students must accumulate a certain amount of 'clinical' hours depending on the program, and are expected to attend lectures on a regular basis. Experienced students may choose to take advanced courses in the areas of business, sales, and marketing. After graduating, students may take the State licensing examination. Some states require both a practical and oral examination. It is important to note that a barbering license is separate from a hairstyling or cosmetologist license.

Barber School and Hair Design School Accreditation

Schools can be accredited by the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts and Sciences (NACCAS). In addition to the NACCAS, the Accrediting Council for Continued Education and Training (ACCET) and the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT) may also serve as accrediting parties.

Barber School Graduates Earning Potential and Employment Prospects

The demand for barbers is expected to be slower than average through 2014 due to the large number of retirements in the field. However, employment of hair stylists, hairdressers, and licensed cosmetologists is expected to be faster than average. The increase in demand for specialized services at beauty salons, spas, resorts, and hotels may create new opportunities for skilled barbers and professionals in the hair industry. Although hair school can prepare students for many fields, additional options are available in specialized careers.

Earning potential varies by size of the salon, general market conditions, and location of the establishment that the barber chooses to practice in. Most services are commission based and the barber or hair stylist may also earn commissions on retail products they are able to sell. Median annual earnings for in 2004 were $21,200 with tips. Earnings vary depending on the skill level and years of expertise in specialized services. Related occupations include:

  • Makeup Artist

  • Spa/Salon Manager

  • Medial Esthetician

  • Platform Artist

  • Beauty Products Educator

  • Beauty Care Distributor

  • Image Consultant


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