Quick Facts: Barbers, Hairdressers, and Cosmetologists
2012 Median Pay $22,770 per year
$10.95 per hour
Entry-Level Education Postsecondary non-degree award
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2012 663,300
Job Outlook, 2012-22 13% (As fast as average)
Employment Change, 2012-22 83,300

What Barbers, Hairdressers, and Cosmetologists Do

Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists provide hairstyling and beauty services.

Work Environment

Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists work mostly in a barbershop or salon. Physical stamina is important, because they are on their feet for most of their shift. Many work part time, and nearly half were self-employed in 2012.

How to Become a Barber, Hairdresser, or Cosmetologist

All states require barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists to be licensed. To qualify for a license, candidates are required to graduate from a state-approved cosmetology program.


In May 2012, the median hourly wage for barbers was $12.06. The median hourly wage for hairdressers and cosmetologists was $10.91 in May 2012.

Job Outlook

Employment of barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists is projected to grow 13 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Most job openings will result from the need to replace workers who leave the occupation.


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