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Updated / Apprenticeship

Barber and Hairstylist

Barbers and hairstylists cut and style hair to suit each client’s face and lifestyle, and make recommendations about home care to ensure clients always look and feel their best.

  • Avg. Salary $34,598.00
  • Avg. Wage $21.86
  • Minimum Education Apprenticeship
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed 10,500
  • In Demand High
Also Known As

Barber, Cosmetologist, Hairdresser

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Hairstylists (6271.1) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Hairstylists and Barbers (G911) 
  • 2011 NOC: Hairstylists and barbers (6341) 
  • 2016 NOC: Hairstylists and barbers (6341) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

65%
65%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Barber and Hairstylist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Hairstylists
INNOVATIVE

Interest in compiling information to provide basic treatment and advice on beauty care treatments for scalp and hair

OBJECTIVE

Interest in manipulating combs, scissors, clippers, brushes and other devices to cut and style hair

SOCIAL

Interest in serving clients by cutting and styling hair and performing related services; may train and supervise other hairstylists, hairstylist apprentices and helpers

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Aug 04, 2020

Barbers and hairstylists cut and style hair to suit the client’s face and lifestyle. They make recommendations about home care to make sure clients always look and feel their best.

Barbers in general:

  • Shampoo, cut, trim, and style hair, hair tattoo
  • Shave, trim, and shape beards and mustaches
  • Suggest appropriate styling aids or hairstyles
  • Analyze hair and scalp and suggest treatment

Hairstylists can perform all the tasks of a barber. They can also perform additional tasks that barbers cannot. Hairstylists:

  • Colour hair
  • Wave, curl, and straighten hair
  • Service wigs and hairpieces

Barbers and hairstylists need to keep their station clean and organized. They must keep all equipment (scissors, combs, brushes, clippers) in good working condition and sterilized.

Those who own or manage a salon or barbershop also:

  • Order supplies, pay bills, and keep records
  • Hire and supervise employees
  • Encourage staff to learn new skills

Changes to Alberta’s Personal Services Regulations and Standards came into force on July 1, 2020. Barbers and hairstylists need to follow the new requirements.

Working Conditions
Updated Aug 04, 2020

Barbers and hairstylists work indoors in a clean environment. They must stand all day and sometimes work through their breaks. They may need to work weekends and evenings, and put in extra hours at peak times. Part-time work or flexible work hours are more common than in other occupations.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Aug 04, 2020

Barbers and hairstylists need:

  • Patience and a desire to be helpful
  • Stamina to stand all day and sometimes go without breaks
  • The ability to keep up to date with new hair fashions, supplies, equipment, and technology
  • A professional appearance

They should enjoy working with people and promoting their products.

Educational Requirements
Updated Aug 04, 2020

To work in Alberta, a barber or hairstylist must be ONE of the following:

  • A registered apprentice
  • An Alberta-certified journeyperson
  • Someone who holds a recognized related trade certificate

To register with Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training, apprentices must find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train them. They must also meet ONE of the following:

  • Have an Alberta high school transcript with at least English Language Arts 10-2, Math 10-3, or equivalent
  • Have a pass mark in all 5 Canadian General Educational Development (GED) tests
  • Pass an entrance exam

Most employers prefer to hire high school graduates.

Terms of apprenticeship for the different branches of this trade vary:

  • Barbers: 1 year (one 12-month period) that includes a minimum of 1,450 hours of on-the-job training and 10 weeks of technical training
  • Hairstylists: 2 years (two 12-month periods) that include a minimum of 1,450 hours of on-the-job training and 10 weeks of technical training each year

High school students can earn credits toward apprenticeship training and a high school diploma at the same time through the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP). Applicants who have related training or work experience may be eligible for admission, credit, or certification. Credits may reduce the period of apprenticeship.

Current hairstylist apprentices can transfer into the barber program.

Hairstylist apprentices may take the interprovincial exam in the final period of their apprenticeship training to earn a Red Seal (certification recognized in most parts of Canada).

The barber apprenticeship program is not a Red Seal trade. However, to earn a hairstylist Red Seal endorsement, barbers may choose 1 of 2 options:

  • Enter the last period of the hairstylist apprenticeship program
  • Be eligible for a hairstylist qualification certificate with Red Seal

Barber apprentices are not eligible for federal and some provincial support programs that are available to hairstylist apprentices.

Technical training is arranged by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. For more information, see the Apprenticeship Training Catalogue.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Aug 04, 2020

Barber and Hairstylist

Barbers and hairstylists cut and style hair to suit each client’s face and lifestyle, and make recommendations about home care to ensure clients always look and feel their best. For more information, see the Trades and Occupations section of Alberta’s Tradesecrets website.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act [pdf] and Hairstylist Trade Regulation [pdf], you must have a certificate that is recognized by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training or be a registered apprentice to cut and style a paying customer’s hair in Alberta.

What You Need

The term of apprenticeship for the different branches of this trade vary, ranging from 1 to 2 years (12-month periods). Each period includes a minimum of 1,450 hours of on-the-job training and 10 weeks of technical training.

Apprentices must find suitable employers who are willing to hire and train apprentices, and successfully complete technical training examinations.

Working in Alberta

Barbers and hairstylists from other provinces and territories can work in Alberta if they hold a certificate or license recognized by the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board. For more information, see the Recognized Trade Certificates page of the Tradesecrets website.

Contact Details

Any of the Apprenticeship and Industry Training Client Service Offices located throughout Alberta. For a list of office locations and telephone numbers, click on "Contact Us" on the home page of the Tradesecrets website (tradesecrets.alberta.ca).

Additional Information

Certified tradespeople who want to build their business skills may obtain an Achievement in Business Competencies (Blue Seal) Certificate from Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Aug 04, 2020

Most barbers work in barbershops and hairstylists work in beauty salons. Large and medium sized urban areas have most of the employment opportunities. However, many smaller communities support small businesses.

Barbers and hairstylists have other work options. They may work on cruise ships or in institutional settings. They can teach or demonstrate new techniques at hair shows or in salons for staff. Or they can become a salesperson for a salon or barber equipment and supplies vendor. Hairstylists can also become estheticians or nail technicians.

Barbers and hairstylists can advance to managing a shop, or owning and operating their own.

Barber and hairstylists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 6341: Hairstylists and barbers. In Alberta, 98% of people employed in this classification work in the Other Services [pdf] industry.

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment, specially in the Other Services industry
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the G911: Hairstylists and Barbers occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 190 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Aug 04, 2020

Apprentice barbers and hairstylists start with minimum wage and receive higher pay as training progresses. As of June 26, 2019, the minimum wage in Alberta is $15.00 per hour for most workers. For more information, see Minimum Wage.

Journeyperson wage rates vary, but generally is up to $18 an hour, or higher for barbers. For journeyperson hairstylists it is up to $25 an hour, plus benefits for hairstylists (2020 estimates).

Barbers and hairstylists can be compensated in other ways, including:

  • Chair rental agreements
  • Commission
  • Bonuses and tips
Hairstylists and barbers

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $22.00 $16.48 $15.00
Overall $15.75 $30.00 $21.86 $20.00
Top $16.50 $60.00 $31.03 $28.46

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
ALL INDUSTRIES
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

65%
65%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

82%
82%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

40%
40%

Vacancy Rate

N/A
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Personal and Food Services
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Aug 04, 2020

Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website: tradesecrets.alberta.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Aug 04, 2020. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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