Anyone interested in becoming a barber will likely ask “how much do barbers make?” It’s no surprise that the answer to this question is dependant on many things.
Factors like location, prices charged, and skill level affect a barber’s income rate. Salary will also depend on whether a person is a self-employed barber or an employee.
Working as a barber may not seem prestigious but it is a rewarding job. Cutting hair requires a great level of skill.
Being a barber has a lot of perks. For instance, a barber’s average salary is very decent.
They can also create their own schedule which allows for more time to be an entrepreneur.
This article will review opportunities available to and salary expectations of professional barbers.
Average Working Wage for Barbers
The average or mean hourly wage of a professional barber is $16.92 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of the barbering profession, those in the 90th percentile get a mean of $27.23 per hour.
The mean annual wage for a barber in the 75th to 90th percentiles is $42,210-$56,630. Typically, barbers get paid a mean annual wage of $35,190.
Depending on area and position, a barber’s average hourly and annual salary may vary. Here are some wage examples based on location:
The average price for a haircut in the U.S. is $28. However, the cost can range from $10-$100, depending on the hairstyle and locality.
Something to keep in mind is that these are government-funded reports. That means the self-funded or personal reports on wages are more informative.
Some of the best professional barbers report making $2,000 per week. The difference between the government and personal reports is the discrepancies.
Many of the government-funded income reports didn’t include cash tips. Many barbershops recommend tipping at 15-20 percent.
It is important to keep in mind that a barber’s income is dependent on a variety of things. Here are some of them:
Barbershops in large cities or populated areas can charge more because demand is higher. This is especially true if the barber is in a high-end area or if they give high-end service.
Those looking to start their own barbershop should consider and research various locations. State-by-state average salaries can vary greatly.
Try to find a strategic location. It should be accessible to clients willing to pay higher prices.
With a location in a high-end area, customers will expect better service and higher prices.
Whatever the location of the barbershop, try to meet customer expectations. For example, in a small rural town people are not going to pay big city prices for a quick haircut.
Take time to also consider the target demographic. It’s important to ask: how much will clients pay without feeling like they are being overcharged?
The common financial ability of local customers will determine the prices charged. A good and fair price will benefit the business.
Quality of Service
A professional barber will be able to make more money than a newcomer. The reasons for this are quite obvious.
Since a professional barber has more experience, the value and quality of service are higher. This also means that having an increase in services will increase the income.
Reviews and Reputation
As part of the service industry, a barbershop must provide quality customer service. Good and bad reviews will follow a barber throughout their career.
If there is an abundance of good reviews, it will make the barber more marketable. In turn, the barber can raise the prices per haircut.
In the future, they may even be able to open up their own barbershop in their own name.
Opportunities for Salary Growth
Image source: salaryexplorer.com
A salary doesn’t have to stay at the mean wage for a barber. So, how much do barbers make?
In this instance, the following information refers to Master Barbers. By achieving Master Barber status, a barber can make upwards of $70,000 per year.
It takes dedication and lots of hard work to become a Master Barber. However, it is one of the highest-paying barber positions.
A Master Barber does most of the same things as a normal barber, but with more skill and knowledge. They have much more education, experience, and training than an average barber.
This means that they earn a higher income. Some of the skills involved with being a Master Barber are:
- permanent waves
- knowing how to relax hair
- other techniques on top of the basic barber skills.
Becoming a Master Barber is somewhat of an investment. It takes time and energy, but it is well worth the effort.
Earning this status can significantly boost the salary of a barber. The national average salary of Master Barbers is about $41,858 per year, according to ZipRecruiter.
ZipRecruiter sees most annual salaries for Master Barbers range from $57,000 to $18,500. However, annual salaries can be at a low of $31,000 which is the 25th percentile.
Image source: salaryexplorer.com
For the 75th percentile, it reaches a low of $50,500. Across the United States, Master Barbers in the 90th percentile make an annual salary of $54,000.
The mean pay for a Master Barber varies with location, skill levels, and experience. At times, the average salary variance can be up to $20,000.
There is always room for improvement. It is possible to increase income, skill level, and experience levels.
The best and top-tier barbers can earn a 6-figure income.
Many other barbers work part-time or they may only charge $10 per haircut. This could be because they live in low-cost areas.
Whereas barbers in Seattle, New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, and Chicago can earn upwards of $100,000 every year.
It’s clear that barbers can earn a large income. This may explain why new barbershops are always popping up.
How Barbers Can Increase Profits
When it comes to increasing a barber’s income, it is necessary to be strategic. When thinking about “how much do barbers make?”, considering the tips below can help to increase income.
Having a good client base might be obvious to some, but its significance is often overlooked.
Building a solid client base is difficult and takes time. But it is essential to a successful business.
Most of a barber’s income is dependent on regular and loyal customers. This highlights the importance of keeping customers satisfied.
Social Presence and Marketing
Marketing is important in any business. Take advantage of marketing opportunities that the internet has to offer.
Most barbers have social media accounts and websites based on their profession. This helps advertise their skill level and quality of service.
Starting a barber Instagram account is a great idea.
Building up a clientele and following takes time, so start early and grow the brand. Try to get the word out about your barbershop as soon as possible.
After adopting the skill of a professional, a barber should also adopt the look of a professional. What people see will affect their view of your skill level and professionalism.
How you present the business will affect the income. This includes how barbers present themselves personally.
A professional barber with years of experience will dress like a boss.
Psychological research shows that people prefer to receive services from well-dressed people. This means that customers will pay more for a haircut if the person giving it looks professional.
So barbers should make the effort to present themselves well. This shows customers that you also care about the services you provide.
Based on studies, customers think that the first three chairs in a barbershop are the best. They also assume that the first chair belongs to the best barber.
These are the chairs that will increase salary and traffic. It will almost be like a visual showcase of the whole barbershop.
High-Quality Standard Services
Don’t overcharge for the standard services. This is a mistake that many barbers and barbershops make.
Charging high prices for standard services will put customers off. People want affordable products and services.
However, customers will pay more for improved services or things of increased value. This means investing in higher-quality equipment, products, and offering additional elements for free.
This will go a long way with customers. Additional elements might include hot towels or beverages.
These aspects will assist in justifying higher prices and can even attract larger tips.
It’s important for barbers to widen their skillset and improve on their weaknesses. Strive to make weaknesses strengths.
There are countless ways to learn or improve skills. For example, if using a straight razor is challenging, find videos on YouTube to help improve this skill.
If it is going to close the knowledge gap and produce a better barber, it’s worth the effort. Other barbers are likely not sharpening their skills, so this can help to put you at the top.
Improved skills will only make you a better barber. This, in turn, can increase income.
Offering Barber-Adjacent Services
One of the quickest and best ways to add value to barbering services is to offer barber-adjacent services.
An average haircut is just shy of $30, but a typical facial/eyebrow waxing is $8-$20. An enzyme facial is usually $40-$50.
Adding services like these will increase traffic and the hourly wage. Customers will keep coming back.
They will also stay in your chairs for longer. Seeing a busy and full barbershop attracts more clients, thereby increasing income.
Ending thoughts on how much do barbers make
Working as a barber is rewarding. It’s a very flexible, well-paying, and fun job to occupy.
Being a barber is a more fulfilling occupation than a normal nine-to-five job. Become a barber if you’re looking for:
- ample job opportunities
- a sizable salary
- the possibility of moving up
- career stability
Being a successful barber depends on skill, hard work, smart choices, and balance. As a barber, dedication and smart business decisions can lead to a very decent wage.
Smart decisions include building a loyal clientele and starting your own barbershop.
Don’t be afraid to fail. Barbering is a fun and exciting job, so bring something new to the table.
You have the capability to chase your dreams.
If you enjoyed reading this article on how much do barbers make, you should check out this one about how much do other salon owners make.