Growth Trends for Related Jobs
Barbers cut, trim and style hair for male customers. As of 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated an approximate total of 54,000 barbers in the United States; the agency projected employment in the field to increase 12 percent to 60,000 by 2018. All states require barbers to hold a license from a state-licensed cosmetology or barber school. Barbers typically must have a high school diploma or GED.
Unlike manufacturing jobs, wherein the product your create may become discontinued, people will always need haircuts. Barbershops are located in almost every city, so moving is not a problem. Many barbers are self-employed, so they don't need to worry about losing their jobs.
Working on Your Feet
Barbers must spend most of the day on their feet. Stamina, strong legs and good health are essential attributes. Barbering is not for those who want a relaxing, easy job that allows them to sit down all day.
Barbers usually work inside buildings, avoiding the heat during summers and the cold during winters. Barbershops are typically clean and well ventilated. Barbers don't need to do any heavy lifting. Lung and skin irritations may affect some barbers who work extended periods of time with nail and hair chemicals.
The main disadvantage with barbering may be its low hourly wage. As of May 2009, the mean hourly wage for barbers nationally was $13.29, which works out to $27,650 a year. This total includes tips and commission. The highest-paid barbers are those who are experienced and have a strong client list. Many barbers do not receive paid vacations or medical benefits.