Barbers, Hairdressers, and Cosmetologists

Annual Earnings Percentiles

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  • Creative: 80
  • Purpose: 73
  • Social: 41
  • Supported: 5
  • Analytical: 5

What Barbers, Hairdressers, and Cosmetologists Do

Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists provide haircutting, hairstyling, and a range of other 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 full time, but part-time positions are also common. Nearly half were self-employed in 2014.

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 barber or cosmetology program and then pass a state exam for licensure.

College Majors

Showing data from the American Community Survey for the following US Census occupation categories:

  • Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists
  • Barbers

Bachelor's degree majors are shown.

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    Job Outlook

    Employment of barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists is projected to grow 10 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Most job openings will result from the need to replace workers who leave the occupation.

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    Growth & Trends

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    This occupation supported 663,300 jobs in 2012 and 656,400 jobs in 2014, reflecting a decline of 1.0%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 12.6% in 2022 to 746,600 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 679,900, compared with an observed value of 656,400, 3.5% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 9.7% in 2024 to 720,700 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 763,200 jobs for 2024, 5.9% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.