Hairstylist Job Description

Hairstylist job descriptionJob highlights

  • On average, hairstylists make around $11 per hour
  • 44 percent of hairstylists and barbers are self employed
  • You'll need to complete a licensing program

What do hairstylists do?

If you don't know what a hairstylist does you are either bald or a hippie. If you find yourself in one of those categories, you may have a difficult time attracting a steady clientele. If, however, you find yourself among the normal hair-cutting population, and you have a passion for coffieur-ing, have at it.

A true hair stylist is equal parts artist and psychologist. You'll need to be outgoing and able to strike up a conversation with just about anyone to be successful in a hairstylist job. Hairstylists and barbers stand nearly all day, so you'll need to be physically able to perform the job. Hairstylist jobs can be demanding, as you'll be cutting, shaving, trimming, styling and washing hair all day long, so the ability to multitask will be important. You don't want to face the fiery wrath of a woman with purple hair left under the dryer too long or a man with a chunk taken out of the back of his head with the clippers. It won't be pretty (literally).

How much do hairstylists make?

The average hourly pay for all Hairstylists is about $11 per hour, but will vary by experience and location. Experienced hairstylists with established clientele can earn up to $20 per hour. Most hairstylists make a large portion of their wages through some combination of an hourly wage, tips and commission. You'll need to be upbeat and friendly with every client if you want to find yourself on the higher end of the pay scale.

What are the education requirements?

Every state requires all barbers and hairstylists to be licensed. The licensure process typically requires a high school diploma or GED and graduation from a cosmetology school that is licensed by the state. After completing the school coursework, most states require a written or practical exam for certification.

Career paths for hairstylists

Nearly half (44 percent) of all hairstylists and barbers are self employed by owning their own shops or leasing booths in salons. Because of this, advancement in the hair industry usually just means making more money by getting better and building your clientele. Those who aren't self employed can move into more senior positions with higher hourly and styling rates.

The future of hairstylists

The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) expects a huge increase in Hairstylist positions over the 2008-2018 decade. Demand for hairstylists and barbers will increase with the population, as with most positions. In addition to the predicted growth, as the baby boomer generation ages (translation: gets more gray hair) there will be an increasing demand for talented stylists who can cut and color their hair to keep them looking young. Extra points if you can minimize the appearance of thinning hair.

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