Hairdressers provide clients with hair and scalp treatments, according to Hair-And-Beauty-Salon-Software.com. Apprentices in this competitive field gain hands-on experience in performing these duties, according to Goals and Training for Employment Success. Employment of personal appearance workers such as hairdressers is projected to increase by 20 percent through 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average salary for hairdresser apprentices in 2010 ranged from $21,000 to $31,000 in several cities, as reported by SalaryExpert.com.
A hairdresser apprentice typically completes routine tasks in the initial stages of his or her job, which might include helping professional hairstylists or beauty salon managers with client preparation and the application and removal of simple hairdressing treatments. Apprentices also help hairdressers with shampooing as well as sterilizing and maintaining equipment. As they gain more experience, they can complete more complicated tasks.
Apprentices in the later stages of their apprenticeships are able to cut and style hair using razors, clippers and scissors. They also shampoo and condition hair, permanently wave hair, bleach hair, dye or tint hair and style hair using straightening irons, brushes, combs and other equipment. These professionals can even shave and trim beards and mustaches. In addition, they can clean, adjust, cut and curl wigs and hairpieces.
These professionals must be able to sell retail products, recommend products and treatments after assessing a patient’s hair condition, draft client record cards, order supplies and clean their salons and equipment. They typically also should be able to operate a cash register and computer and perform other reception duties, which include answering telephones and scheduling appointments.
Hairdresser apprentices must have strong verbal communication skills, as they are responsible for greeting customers, speaking with clients about topics of general interest and advising clients about their hair shape. Because they often work with members of the public, they must present themselves well. This includes being in good health with no skin allergies and portraying a pleasant personality.
These professionals also should be able to work well under pressure, have patience, be creative, be very detail-oriented and have good hand-eye coordination. In addition, an apprentice should be willing to follow instructions and take direction from a supervisor. They must be organized and have good problem-solving skills.
Hairdresser apprentices can find work experience opportunities in beauty salons that serve women, men or both sexes. They can work in health spas, barber shops, hotels, private clubs, health care establishments, health spas or hairdressing salons. They must be willing and able to spend most of their day on their feet. They also must be able to work staggered shifts that accommodate the salon’s business hours, which might include evenings and weekends.
A hairdresser apprentice typically must have a high school diploma or GED. Students can choose to complete hairstyling apprenticeship programs that usually last two to three years, or they can complete a vocational school hairstyling program combined with on-the-job training, according to ApprenticeSearch.com.
After graduating from a state-approved training program, these professionals then must take a state licensing examination to be licensed. They also eventually should attend seminars and training sessions to remain up to date with new technologies, products, looks and fashion trends as they grow in the field.