The Benefits of Becoming a Barber - FOX21- Entertaining Delmarva One Click at a Time

The Benefits of Becoming a Barber

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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:

 

  1. JOB SECURITY

 

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.

 

  1. CREATIVE OUTLET

 

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.

 

  1. PAID TO SOCIALIZE

 

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.

 

  1. HELPING PROFESSION

 

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.

 

  1. CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

 

In addition to working in a traditional barbershop, there are many industries and opportunities that barbers can take advantage of:

 

  • Unisex Salons. More men are flocking to hip, upscale salons. They want the bells and whistles of personal care that women get. Working in a salon may expose you to a higher end clientele, as well.

 

  • Television and Film. Barbers are in great demand for male actors and models in the television and film industries. This is a great arena for barbers with a creative flair. A barber on set may be charged with making the client look homeless or like a Fortune 500 business executive.

 

  • Music Industry. Some male musicians travel with their own barber. Venues or promoters may offer professional service as part of the package to the musicians coming. Album cover art or other promotional materials may include pictures of the artist. They will need to look their best for the shot.

 

  • Commercial print advertising needs artistic barbers who can create the look the client wants for the models promoting their products.

 

  • Event Planners. Event planners work with corporate clients, weddings, and large promotional events. Many of these events require barbering services. Networking with event planners can open you up to this exciting industry.

 

  • Another opportunity for the creative barber is to work in the theater industry. Actors going on stage may need a variety of looks in a short period of time. Working with actors and directors in a creative industry can be exhilarating.

 

  • Some photographers travel the globe, working in many of the industries above. Get to know photographers to get your foot in the door. High-end photographers can have a say in who they want to work with their models.

 

  • This may be a less glamorous and creative outlet for a barber, but someone has to keep the troops looking tip-top!

 

  • Senior Care Facilities. Freelance workers are frequently asked to work with seniors on-site in residential care facilities. Barbers can travel to a different facility each day of the week or do it once a week to supplement their income. Some barbers volunteer their time on Veteran’s Day to give free haircuts to veterans living in facilities.

 

  • Be Your Own Boss. Many barbers like to hang their own shingle. Self-employed barbers may have a storefront or can create a mobile service. High-end barbers can set themselves up with a listing of wealthy men who prefer a concierge barber who comes to their home. Barbers can market their services to busy professionals who have limited time. For example, attorneys are known to work long hours. A barber with an entrepreneurial spirit could offer up their services to come to large law firms and provide their services on-site.

 

  1. NO LIMITS

 

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.

 

  1. PROUD PROFESSION

 

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.

 

  1. CAREER LONGEVITY

 

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.

 

  1. SECOND 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.

 

  1. NEVER BORING

 

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!

 

NEXT STEP

 

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:

 

  • The opportunity to learn with live clients. You need to not only cut hair, but cut hair on real people. This is how you learn to communicate with a client about what they want and transform that communication into a well-crafted cut that they’re excited about.

 

  • A well thought out methodology. Being a barber is about more than just cutting someone’s hair. Barbering is about creating a positive experience for the client. An experience that they will want to repeat. You need to learn to be relaxed and enjoy the process along with your customer.

 

  • Free hand artistry. The basic techniques of barbering are important but mastering free-hand artistry is what takes it to the next level. Find a school that emphasizes this aspect of the craft and includes it as a significant part of their curriculum.

 

  • Skilled instruction. The barbers you learn from should be seasoned professionals. Students are learning not just their techniques but the wisdom of practice. Teachers should be masters of both of their crafts: barbering and teaching.

 

  • Creative methods. Innovative teaching methods that combine in-person lectures, online elements of technology, and hands-on learning will give the student a well-rounded approach to their education. People learn in a variety of different ways. By utilizing all of these different methods, the material can be absorbed more quickly and completely by all students.

 

  • Licensing success. Barbers have to be licensed by the state. That means there will be a state board examination to take in order to receive the license. Find out what the school’s pass rate is on the exam. The education received in barbering school should be designed to help students pass the written and practical portions of the licensing exam.

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