The Barber career belongs to the Realistic Theme Code Category of the Strong Interest Inventory® (SII). The Strong Interest Inventory was initially developed in 1927 to help people choose a career or consider a potential career change. The Strong Interest Inventory directs job seekers to careers that may be a good fit for them by first analyzing their personal preferences and proclivities and then comparing their responses to professionals in hundreds of different careers. The SII sorts careers into six categories based on essential characteristics to make the search more manageable for job seekers. For example, the Realistic Theme Code Category contains careers that provide a specific concrete service. Barbers fall into this category because their services are practical and improve their customers’ lives.

In a Barber career, Barbers help their clients with personal grooming, including cleaning, cutting, drying, styling hair, and sometimes beards. This process typically begins with greeting the customer and briefly consulting with them regarding their preferences. Then, Barbers pin a cloth or bib over their customers to protect their clothes while their hair is washed, cut, and styled. In some cases, customers’ facial hair may be contoured or shaved. Once the services are complete, the Barber will record services rendered and report them to a cashier or receptionist, or they may collect payment directly. After attending to a customer, Barbers need to reset their station for the next customer by sweeping up hair clippings, cleaning the workstations, and sterilizing all instruments involved in hair care.

Barber Career Tasks

Strong Interest Inventory Barber Career

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In addition to servicing customers directly, individual in a Barber Career may engage in other activities that contribute to the business. For instance, they may need to order supplies, keep records, pay bills, and hire or train additional personnel. Certain hair specialists will recommend hair treatment options, sell toiletries or products to customers, and provide other related assistance, such as skin or nail services.

The tools and technology used by Individuals in a Barber Career are primarily related to customer services. Such items include:

  • Shampoos, conditioners, sprays, other hair
  • Hairdryers, curlers, brushes, and other styling
  • Scissors, razors, tweezers, and other hair removal

Barbers also use brooms, brushes, washcloths, wipes, and other materials to clean the hair clippings and sanitize their stations between customers.

Required Skills

Successful Barbers require several skills, including active communication skills to identify a customer’s vision and fine motor skills to make that vision a reality. Because Barbers use sharp and potentially dangerous instruments very close to customers’ skin, they need to be confident and have steady hands and arms. Furthermore, they need to multitask, especially since many customers enjoy having conversations while being serviced.

Most Barbers develop their expertise through a two-step process. First, they attend a vocational school, which involves classes, assistantships, and hands-on experiences with actual customers or volunteers. After they finish school and earn their certification, Barbers typically complete their training on the job. Their place of employment may have specific techniques they are known for or best practices they expect their employees to adhere to.

The median salary for Barbers in the United States is approximately $15.61 per hour, which comes to $32,470 per year. However, this is the median, and specific salaries may be higher or lower in different parts of the country. For instance, those located in states with a competitive market and high living standards, like California or New York, are likely to earn out those in states with a more stagnant economy, such as Idaho or Louisiana. Furthermore, Barbers who have specific specializations in high demand may also be able to charge higher rates than those who perform more standard procedures. Those considering becoming Barbers should also keep in mind current and future trends in employment; in 2020, a total of 53,000 Barbers were employed in the United States. Furthermore, growth is projected to be much faster than average, with an estimated increase of over 15% in the next decade. In other words, an estimated 6,300 Barber positions are estimated to open nationwide.

Below are some employment trends for Barbers in the United States: Median Salary:

  • $32,470 annually
  • Employment: 53,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2020-2030): Much faster than average (15%)
  • Projected job openings (2020-2030): 6,300
[Information retrieved from Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections]

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  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections