Andrea Ruiz

What they do

Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists provide hair styling and beauty services.

How to become a barbers, hairdressers, or cosmetologists

All states require barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists to be licensed. To qualify for a license, candidates are required to graduate from a state-approved cosmetology program. Shampooers do not need a license.


The median hourly wage of barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists was $10.82 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.

Median hourly wages for occupational specialties in May 2010 were as follows:

  • $11.45 for barbers
  • $10.94 for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists
  • $8.78 for shampooers

job Outlook

Overall employment of barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists is expected to grow 14 percent from 2010 to 2020, as fast as the average for all occupations. Most job openings will result from the need to replace workers who leave the occupation.