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Choosing a barber school involves making an educational decision that will prepare the student for a successful career. The best school will provide a good foundation for the future by bringing a passion for barbering to life and fueling it with the proper education. Barbers mainly cut men’s hair, but some have a clientele that includes women and children. Barbers can either work in a barber shop or in their own salon, and the average barber earns between $15,000 and $30,000 US Dollars (USD) per year.
The two main focuses of barber school are to provide the job skills necessary to succeed in the barbering industry and to prepare the students for tests and licenses. A barber school will typically focus on one of these two goals. To provide necessary job skills, a barbering program can either enhance basic skills already known by students or begin from scratch. In schools that are designed to prepare students for tests and licenses, the curriculum is catered toward the regulations for passing the state board examination, which will allow the student to obtain a license.
Before a student chooses a barber school, he or she should consider individual goals and basic knowledge of the field. A barber student should weigh how much theory he or she knows with how much practice will be needed. When looking at barber schools, each school’s curriculum and practical training methods should be explored. The laws of the state where the barber intends to work should be understood because most states require a cosmetology license to become a barber, but some grant a specific barbering license.
Additional factors to consider when choosing a barber school include whether or not the school is accredited by professional barber organizations, how closely the school fits the student’s background, how much of the student’s current knowledge in the field will be put to use, whether or not credits will transfer if the student has already had some related education, how rigid or flexible the curriculum is and how much fieldwork will be part of the program. Other factors involved in the decision include location, cost and times that classes are offered. All of these things must be juggled with the student’s current lifestyle and commitments. Most barber school programs range from nine to 24 months and cost between $6,500 and $10,000 USD per year.
Barber schools teach students how to cut and style hair, treat hair with chemicals, shave and trim facial hair, apply hair and scalp treatments, recognize skin diseases, use barbering instruments, follow sanitary procedures and learn the sciences of chemistry, anatomy and physiology. After the education is completed, a barber student is required to take a written and sometimes oral examination. Most states require barbers to take continuing education hours for additional training each year.
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As of September 2009, the middle 50 percent of barbers earned annual salaries between $21,877 and $32,727. The highest 10 percent earned annual salaries of more than $37,782 (2).
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