In Summary - Barber
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The Work - Barber
Most of a barber’s clients will be looking for just a haircut, but services offered include styling hair, shampoos, hair dying and beard grooming, additional services such as skin, scalp and nail care may be offered. Other aspects of a barber’s work would be very similar to more conventional retail work, taking payments, maintaining the store and handling sales.
The barbering sector in Ireland has grown in the last decade and that trend is continuing. To go along with the increased demand for barbers is a need for barbers with higher skill levels, with increasingly style conscious men requesting more advanced grooming than in years past. As with retail the work is active, requiring long periods of standing, but good barbers will possess precision and vision.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Clean and sterilize scissors, combs, clippers, and other instruments.
- Cut and trim hair according to clients' instructions or current hairstyles, using clippers, combs, hand-held blow driers, and scissors.
- Drape and pin protective cloths around customers' shoulders.
- Question patrons regarding desired services and haircut styles.
- Clean work stations and sweep floors.
- Record services provided on cashiers' tickets or receive payment from customers.
- Order supplies.
- Shape and trim beards and moustaches, using scissors.
- Stay informed of the latest styles and hair care techniques.
- Suggest treatments to alleviate hair problems.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Interests - Barber
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.
Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and are drawn to commerce, trade and making deals. Some pursue sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or in management roles in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
The Social person's interests focus on interacting with the people in their environment. In all cases, the Social person enjoys the personal contact with other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.
Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
As a barber, interpersonal skills are vital. You need to be friendly, polite, sociable and able to talk to customers easily.
Practical skills are important too - you should be able to work well with your hands, and undertake detailed, intricate work.
A creative, artistic sense and an eye for colour and form is needed. An interest in fashion and style is important, as is self-presentation. You should be well groomed.
As a barber, you need to be fit and able to stand for long periods. The use of treatments that contain chemicals may affect you if you have sensitive skin. In some cases, the treatments can cause problems for people with allergies.
Entry Requirements - Barber
There are three main routes into barbering, private schools and barbering courses. Each have positive and negative aspects.
State Training – PLC colleges offer a wide range of fully accredited qualifications at level five and six (Leaving Cert/higher certificate), including hairdressing. Recognised, accredited qualifications will make it easier for you to advance in your career in Ireland. It will also be advantageous to have an accredited qualification if you wish to travel and work abroad, or take up opportunities on an international cruise ship for example, where hairdressers and other beauty industry professionals are always in demand.
On the Job Training: Training in a barber shop should follow a definite structure and the trainee should be familiar with the content of the programme they are following, what they have completed and what is left to complete.
Private Training Schools: There are a large number of private training schools in various locations around the country. They cater for the complete beginner through to the advanced stylist. The duration and cost of courses together with the qualifications on offer will vary from school to school for various reasons. They are often more intensive and hands on than state qualifications, occurring over a shorter period of time but with a cost attached. It is important that you make a well-informed decision so talk to the course co-ordinators in the schools that interest you and chat with past students if possible.
It is important to research all options in advance of making your final decision. Many of these schools are affiliated to the Irish State Commission through QQI, International City & Guilds, The World Hairdressing Federation and the OMC World Hairdressing Association.
Last Updated: July, 2019
Pay & Salary - Barber
Labour Market Updates - Barber
There is evidence of churn for this occupation from the recent job hires analysis. At present, there is a significant quantity of state-funded and private education and training in this area.
National Skills Bulletin 2018
Recent media reports have indicated increasing demand for barbers, with knock on effects on job opportunities and wage levels.