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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 $50,801.00
  • Avg. Wage $27.66
  • Minimum Education Apprenticeship
  • Outlook above avg
Also Known As

Barber, Cosmetologist, Hairdresser

NOC & Interest Codes
The Hairstylist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
NOC code: 6271.1

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


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


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

Updated Dec 15, 2016


  • shampoo, cut, trim, colour, wave and style hair, wigs and hairpieces
  • shave, trim and shape beards and moustaches
  • suggest appropriate styling aids or hairstyles
  • analyze hair and scalp and suggest treatment.

Hairstylists must keep their station clean and organized. All equipment (scissors, combs, brushes, clippers) must be kept in good working condition and sterilized. Those who own or manage a salon also:

  • order supplies, pay bills and keep records
  • hire and supervise employees
  • encourage staff to learn new skills.
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Hairstylists work indoors in a clean environment. They must stand all day and sometimes work through their breaks. They may be required to work weekends and evenings, and put in extra hours at peak times.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Hairstylists need the following characteristics:

  • patience and a desire to be helpful
  • physical 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.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

To work in Alberta, a 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:

  • have an Alberta high school transcript with at least English Language Arts 10-2 and Math 10-3, or equivalent, or a pass mark in all 5 GED tests, or pass an entrance exam.
  • find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train an apprentice. Most employers prefer to hire high school graduates.  

The term of apprenticeship is two years (two 12 month periods) that include a minimum of 1,400 hours of on-the-job training and ten 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 credit or certification.

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).

Technical training is arranged by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training and is currently offered at:

  • DelMar College of Hair and Esthetics Inc. in Calgary
  • M.C. College in Edmonton

For more information, visit the Technical Training Centre on the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website.


Related Education

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

Academy of Professional Hair Design

Apprenticeship Trades

Artists Within Makeup Academy

Aveda Institute Calgary

Bella Elite Beauty & Barber Academy Ltd.

Cambrooks College - Downtown Campus

CLI College of Business, Health and Technology - Edmonton

DelMar College

Est-elle Academy of Hair Design Ltd.

Eveline Charles Academy - Calgary

Eveline Charles Academy - Edmonton

MC College - Calgary

MC College - Edmonton

MC College - Red Deer

National Institute of Wellness & Esthetics Inc.

TOC Hair Studio & Akademy

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

This is an Apprenticeship trade. For full details, see the related certification profile

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Above-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Most hairstylists work in beauty salons. Employment opportunities are concentrated in large and medium sized urban areas, although many smaller communities support small salons. Part-time work is more common than in other occupations.

Hairstylists can move into related work such as demonstrating new colour or permanent wave techniques at hair shows or in salons for staff, esthetics or nail technicians, or become salespersons for beauty supply houses. Advancement is usually limited to managing a salon or owning and operating one's own establishment. Alberta certified journeyperson hairstylists who have the supervisory or management skills required by industry may apply for an Achievement in Business Competencies Blue Seal by contacting Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

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 in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Repair, Personal, Religious and Other Services industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 9,500 Albertans are employed in the Hairstylists and barbers occupational group. This group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.0% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 190 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As hairstylists form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for hairstylists.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Certified Hairstylists wage rates vary, but generally range from minimum wage to $25 an hour, plus benefits (2016 estimates). Apprentice hairstylists earn at least minimum wage. (As of October 1, 2017, the minimum wage in Alberta is $13.60 per hour for most jobs. For more information, see Alberta Employment Standards.) Usually the pay increases as training progresses.

Hairstylists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 6341: Hairstylists and barbers. 

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Hairstylists and barbers occupational group earned on average from $21.36 to $35.78 an hour. The overall average wage was $27.66 an hour. For more information, see the Hairstylists and barbers wage profile.

Related High School Subjects
  • Health, Recreation and Human Services
    • Cosmetology
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Personal and Food Services
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website:

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 29, 2015. 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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