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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.

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);  Barbers (6271.2) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Hairstylists and Barbers (G911) 
  • 2011 NOC: Hairstylists and barbers (6341) 
  • 2016 NOC: Hairstylists and barbers (6341) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Hairstylists

2006 NOC: 6271.1

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
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

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
OBJECTIVE

Interest in manipulating combs, scissors, clippers (hand or electric), brushes, razors and other devices to cut and style hair, and shave and trim beards and moustaches

METHODICAL

Interest in compiling information to provide advice on services related to the care of hair, face and scalp; may advise on hair problems and suggest grooming aids and appropriate hair styles

SOCIAL

Interest in serving clients by providing services related to the care of hair, face and scalp; may train and supervise other barbers and barber apprentices

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests

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
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

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.

Traits & Skills
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.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2011 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Hairstylists and barbers

2011 NOC: 6341

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 100 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Sep 13, 2022 and Oct 05, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Tasks: Shampoo customers' hair
Tasks: Suggest hair style compatible with client's physical features or determine style from client's instructions and preferences
Tasks: Cut, trim, taper, curl, wave, perm and style hair
Tasks: Cut and trim hair according to client's instructions or preferences
Hand-eye co-ordination
Tasks: Analyze hair and scalp condition and provide basic treatment or advice on beauty care treatments for scalp and hair
Tasks: Provide other hair treatment, such as waving, straightening and tinting and also provide scalp conditioning massages
Tasks: Apply bleach, tints, dyes or rinses to colour, frost or streak hair
Hair Styling Techniques: Blow drying
Tasks: Shave and trim beards and mustaches
Educational Requirements
Updated Aug 04, 2020
  • Minimum Education Apprenticeship

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.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Advance Institute of Wellness & Esthetics
Apprenticeship Trades
Artists Within Makeup Academy
Bella Elite Beauty & Barber Academy Ltd.
Canada School of Barbering
CLI College of Business, Health and Technology - Edmonton North
Est-elle Academy of Hair Design Ltd.
Hair Inc. Academy
MC College - Calgary
MC College - Edmonton
MC College - Red Deer
NIWE Academy Inc.
ONE Beauty Academy - Edmonton
Portage College
TOC Hair Studio & Akademy

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Aug 04, 2020
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.

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 Designated Trades Profile on Alberta’s Tradesecrets website.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Education Act [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.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Barber and Hairstylist.

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.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 6341: Hairstylists and barbers occupational group, 97.9% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 6341: Hairstylists and barbers occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.2% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 211 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

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

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Aug 04, 2020

Apprentice barbers and hairstylists start with minimum wage and receive higher pay as training progresses. 

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

As of June 26, 2019, the minimum wage in Alberta is $15.00 per hour for most workers. For more information, see Minimum Wage.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Hairstylists and barbers

2016 NOC: 6341
Average Wage
$25.92
Per Hour
Average Salary
$42,819.00
Per Year
Average Hours
32.8
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 6341 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

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.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

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.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $18.00 $15.41 $15.00
Overall $15.00 $37.00 $25.92 $26.00
Top $16.50 $62.00 $39.64 $46.15

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.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

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

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
69%
69%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
66%
66%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
29%
29%
Vacancy Rate
7%
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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