Barber Salary

After completing your barber training from a reputable and accredited barber school program, passing your state licensing exam, and receiving your barber license, you’re now ready to join the workforce and begin looking for a great barbering job. However, before you do so, it’s a good idea to learn more about barber salaries to ensure what you’re getting paid is in line with other barber salaries in your area.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average U.S. barber earned $27,710 in 2013. Meanwhile, the top 10 percent of barbers earned an average barber salary of $44,190. While these barber salary figures are less than overwhelming, they are competitive with a number of other professions. Moreover, the salaries for well-trained barbers are projected to increase as demand for skilled barbers continues to increase in the coming years.

When discussing barber salaries, it’s important to keep in mind that these salary statistics are far from accurate. Why, you might ask? Well, the bulk of what a barber earns comes in the form of tips, which are often reported inaccurately.

Similar to other professions, the more you continue your education and devote yourself to mastering your craft, the more your annual barber salary can be. For instance, while some barbers earn barely enough to keep their shop doors open, professional and highly skilled master barbers often earn in excess of $75,000 per year.

To become a highly paid master barber, you must usually first complete an apprenticeship program underneath the tutelage of a seasoned licensed barber. After completing your apprenticeship and any additional training required in your state, you must pass an exam provided by the Board of Barber Examiners before receiving your Master Barber’s license. Every state has different requirements, so you should check with the Board of Barber Examiners in your state for specific licensing details.

climbing to the topThe average annual income of a master barber varies greatly from state to state. According to Simply Hired, in the District of Columbia in 2013, master barbers earned an average annual income of $74,000.

If you were to live and work in New York or Massachusetts, however, you could expect to make $55,000-$57,000 per year. Meanwhile, master barbers in South Carolina, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Colorado earn $40,000, $44,000, $45,000, and $50,000 per year respectively.

With figures like these becoming commonplace within the barber industry, especially for those catering to professionals with expendable cash, the cost of barber school is quite reasonable in comparison to the earnings potential of a well-trained barber.

Factors Affecting a Barber’s Salary

Did you know you can earn a premium for having the right training, education, and experience? In fact, these are just a few of the factors capable of affecting your earning power as a barber. To help get you earning the barber salary range you deserve, let’s take a closer look at the various factors that commonly affect a barber’s salary:


As is the case with most jobs, the more experience you have, the more you can make. Although plenty of barbers are successful in building up clientele right out of the gate, it takes others time and experience before they’re able to hone their craft or successfully launch their own shop.


While just about every barbering school is capable of teaching you the basics and just enough to pass your state’s barber licensing exam, the quality of your education can have a huge effect on your salary. Earning a degree from a well-respected barber program will almost certainly result in better job prospects and pay.

Conversely, earning a certificate or degree from a weak or less than reputable program can negatively affect your earning potential. If you lack experience, a sound education can be the key to your initial success as a modern barber.


Most employers base their decision regarding pay largely on performance, and barbers are no different. Therefore, in order to earn the most you can as a barber, skill with clippers, scissors, and a razor is a must.

That being said, barbering is just as much about professionalism and customer service as it is cutting hair, so if you want to earn the most, it helps to excel in these areas as well. A quality barber program will teach you all of the skills and more, allowing you to earn a premium for your services.

Professional Certifications

Certifications and becoming a member of various trade associations can boost your pay as a barber. However, if you don’t invest fully in your barbering career by not pursuing your Master Barber certificate, or worse yet, not getting licensed and certified at all, your pay and barber career will be severely limited.

Highest Paying Salaries for a Barber

coinsEducation, skill, experience, and established clientele are what separates master barbers from every other barber out there. Highly skilled and trained to be the absolute best barber they can be, master barbers style, trim, and color hair, mustaches, and beards. They also record expenses and revenue, order supplies, keep track of inventory, supervise barber apprentices, and market their shops.

Most master barbers are self-employed and take great pride in their businesses. As such, they enjoy better pay than regular barbers and truly embody the spirit of every small business owner.

It takes classroom training and often time as an apprentice in order to become a master barber, but the rewards are well worth the effort. In fact, according to the BLS, the average salary for regular barbers in 2013 was $27,520 per year. Master barbers, however, enjoyed an average annual salary of over $47,000, which is a noticeable increase definitely worth pursuing.

Similar to other professions, the annual incomes of master barbers varies by state. Among the highest earning states for master barbers isn’t actually a state, it’s the District of Columbia. Here, barbers earned an average annual salary of $74,000 in 2013. Other states with higher than average pay include Colorado, Washington, Texas, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. Master barbers who build their businesses the right way and hire additional barbers and stylists can make even higher incomes.

dollarTo become a high-earning master barber, you must complete an apprenticeship program under the tutelage of a licensed barber. You will need a high school diploma in order to be accepted into a barbering school, which you must complete your apprenticeship through. Similar to the process of getting your regular barber license, at the end of the apprenticeship and training period, you will need to pass an exam in order to become a licensed Master Barber.

Since every state is different, you should check with the Board of Barber Examiners in your state for specific details on becoming a master barber and boosting your earning power.


Jobs for both barbers and master barbers are projected to increase by 11 percent by 2020. If you want to maximize your earning potential, proper training and education is a must. Furthermore, if you plan on opening your own shop, you should look for locations in high growth areas, higher income areas, and business districts. By obtaining proper training from one of the many top barber schools and following these tips, there’s no reason why you can’t become your area’s go-to barber and achieve both personal and professional success!


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