What Is a Female Barber Called?
Work | Careers | Liberal Art Jobs By Patrick Gleeson Ph. D.
Gender distinctions in many job titles are disappearing. In this century, a barber whose gender is female is commonly called “a barber.” The job qualifications for both males and females are the same. About 44 percent of barbers are women.
What Does a Barber Do?
The term “barber” usually refers to someone with male clients, although this is no longer a hard-and-fast distinction. Barbers cut, trim, color and shampoo hair, give scalp massages, trim and color beards and give shaves. Barbers running their own shops also need required skills for successfully operating a small business, such as basic accounting, advertising and promotion.
Since 2013, all states require barbers to be state-licensed. Most states have specific education requirements, commonly a high-school diploma or a certificate showing that the applicant has passed a General Educational Development test. Additionally, most states require a certificate of completion from a school teaching barbering skills. Many states require barber schools to be accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences (NACCAS) in order for students to become eligible for licensing. Some states also have apprenticeship programs. California’s apprenticeship program, for example, is a two-year apprenticeship under a licensed barber, along with an additional 200 hours of classroom instruction. To qualify for California’s apprenticeship program, applicants must also complete a 39-hour preliminary training program from an approved sponsor. Some states also require working barbers to complete periodic in-service training programs.
In addition to the above requirements, some states, California and Texas amongst others, require applicants to pass a licensing exam.
State-licensed barber schools commonly require students to take a certain minimum number of hours of instruction, commonly 1500. The number of required classroom hours can be reduced for applicants working in an apprenticeship program, which are often two-year programs.
How much experience a barber has affects her income only moderately. Barbers at mid-career earn about 17 percent more than when they’re starting out. Late career barbers earn a little less than mid-career barbers, the difference being about 6 percent.
Job Growth and Salaries
The median annual salary for a barber at the end of 2017 was $30,414, with a usual range from $24,485–$36,628. A “median” salary is one that lies on the midpoint of a distribution of salaries, with an equal number of salaries more and less than the median.
As with many reported statistics related to jobs and income, different sources state different medians. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a somewhat lower $24,300 annual median salary for 2016, the last year available at that site. Payscale.com gives $31,000 as the annual median, but shows a much wider range, from $16,346 to $61,096.
Job growth for barbers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is above average, with the job market expanding about 13 percent annually.
Requirements Versus Pay and Career Comparisons
Top-of-the-line barbers working in fashionable establishments in larger cities can make more than $60,000 a year. If you are considering a career as a barber, you may want to compare the educational/apprentice/licensing requirements for becoming a barber, who earns a median pay of around $30,000, to some higher-paying careers with similar educational requirements. For example, air traffic controllers also have a two-year educational requirement and average over $120,000. Radiation therapists and nuclear technicians, who also have two-year degree programs, make around $80,000a year. Computer programmers can go through relatively short three-to-six-month “Coding Bootcamps” and can earn as much as $79,000 in their first year of employment.