Barbers have experienced a surge in popularity in recent years. Men are taking pride in their appearance, now more than ever. Employment opportunities for barbers have increased by 5.8% over the previous five years and there’s no evidence of it slowing down any time soon. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that opportunities for employment in barbering are expected to increase 10% between 2014 through 2024. This is thought to be because of an increased demand for personal care services, along with a growing general population.
If you’ve thought about going to barber school but you’re not sure if it’s right for you, consider these 10 reasons you should become a barber:
Men need to have their hair cut. No matter what happens with the economy, it is unlikely that ankle length hair is going to come into fashion. If a man loses his job, he will be cutting back on expenses, but will be job hunting, so he’s unlikely to stop getting his hair cut. There are a variety of different types of retail establishments where barbers can find work. A quick online search of barber jobs shows that there is no shortage of work available.
Barbers don’t just cut hair, they create a look. Each person who comes to see you is looking for something different. When the client sits in your chair, their hair is your lump of clay and you are the artist who will shape it into a masterpiece. Some barbers become known for their artistic flair and their ability to work with a client to create their own unique look. Truly creative barbers get great word-of-mouth advertising, and customers looking to stand out from the crowd flock to their chairs.
Every day the barber goes to work and socializes with their clients. In fact, the traditional barbershop was a hang-out for men. Men would come and read the paper and hang out and talk about current events. You can create that social network in your barbershop by offering comfortable seating and a never-ending pot of hot coffee. Even if you don’t create a barbershop community, each client that arrives is a new conversation for you. You’ll be surprised at how much you learn about many different industries as the men who sit in your chair tell you about what they do.
Barbers are one of the helping professions. They improve people’s lives by giving them self-confidence. People who are confident move through the world in a more positive way. They take hold of new opportunities with zeal. Walking out of the barbershop with a spring in their step may lead them to their next job or relationship. You will form a bond with your regular customers and they will share their lives with you. Many barbers become a trusted advisor to their regulars. Some barbers like to volunteer their time, giving back to the community in different ways. One of these is offering low-cost or free cuts on certain days or giving homeless men makeovers. A smart barber might even offer free haircuts to boys who have a certain grade point average on their report card at the end of the school year. Establishing a customer while they’re young may keep them coming back through adulthood.
In addition to working in a traditional barbershop, there are many industries and opportunities that barbers can take advantage of:
Barbers are licensed professionals. Once you have your license, the only limitations are the ones you set for yourself. If you’re someone who thinks outside the box, you can write your own ticket and create the life and lifestyle you want. If you like to travel, take your show on the road. Cruise ships need barber services, and you can see the world while indulging in the art of hair. If you’re a parent, you can set up shop in town and set your own hours, so you never have to miss a soccer game. Barbers have as much freedom and flexibility as they choose to allow themselves.
Barbering is a profession with an established history of thousands of years. At one point, barbering was part of the medical profession. Until the 18th century, barbers were considered part of the same trade as surgeons. During the 19th century, the profession became more of what we consider barbering today. Being a barber means that you are a highly skilled and trained professional. Doing work that you can feel proud of is a contributing factor to longevity and good health. When someone loves the work they do, and feel proud of it, they have less stress overall.
Not only is the industry not going anywhere, barbers stick around in their professions for a long time. Some careers become prohibitive as you age because of the intense physicality of the work. Although barbers spend a lot of time on their feet, they aren’t doing heavy lifting or back-breaking labor. Just as an artist can paint well into their golden years, the artistry of barbering can continue beyond the typical retirement age, if you want it to. Because barbers are on their feet and moving around during day, their job isn’t sedentary. That physical movement contributes to good health. As a barber ages, they can simply work less if they want to. It’s not an all-or-nothing career.
Many people reach a point in their lives where they want a change. Maybe they’ve been working in an office for years and crave something more creative. Or, perhaps they felt drawn to barbering early in life but were pressured into choosing another career path. Barbering is a perfect second career! Some career changes are especially challenging because years of schooling are needed to make the switch. Not so with barbering. Barbering school can take as little as six months and some barber schools have part-time or night classes available. Students are able to keep their current job while they go to barber school and transition into their new career at a pace they’re comfortable with. If a barber is hoping to go into business for themselves, being able to slowly transition allows them to do so in a less financially-stressful manner. Some people retire from their first career and take up barbering in retirement.
Each day is different for a barber: new clients who want different services and will talk to you about different things. When you wake up in the morning you have a general idea of what the day will look like, but you have no idea what fun, new challenges will come up. Each year brings new trends in hair and facial hairstyles. You’ll get to keep up with the latest trends and may even create some of your own!
Do any of these reasons resonate with you? If so, it’s time to explore what it would take for you to become a barber.
Finding the right barber school is vitally important as you embark on this journey. Not every barber school is set up to give you the best chance of success in your new career. If you do an internet search for “barber school near me” you may even find some online barber schools. As you can imagine, barbering requires hands-on experience. Would you want to get your hair cut by a barber who learned to cut hair on the internet?
What you need to look for in a barber school is:
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