How Much Money Does a Barber Make?

Ever been curious and you were asking yourself the question; how much does a barber make? Or you are considering making barbering a career choice, and you want to know the income before choosing to do so? Not to worry, the answer you are searching for is right here.

In this article, I will be explaining the circumstances that surround a barber’s wage/salary.

How Much Money Can You Make As A Barber?

The average income for barbers in the USA is $14 to $18 per hour. This totals to an annual average of $30,000 to $40,000 based on an 8-hour working day. This average reflects the income of a barber in the USA after considering the highest-earning barbers and the lowest-earning barbers.

Some factors affect the income of individual barbers, and I will be discussing them in the next topic. However, barbers can earn as high as six figures annually, but this still depends on the factors that affect their earning. 

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Barber With Scissors Barbershop (1)

Factors That Affect A Barber’s Income

It is essential to list and explain the factors that affect the salaries of a barber. Factors such as location, employee/barbershop owner/independent contractor, professional skill level, reviews are at the top of the list.

It is pertinent to note that hard work and consistency are qualities any barber looking to be at the top of their game should have. These qualities cut across every other factor that affects the earned salary of barbers. With that being said, let’s discuss the effect of the factors mentioned above on the barber’s salary.


Probably the most influential factor in salary earned for someone working in the esthetic industry. Each state has its average when it comes to a barber’s salary. One of the main reasons for this is how mega the city is. Megacities will, of course, generate more revenue for barbers.

Megacities tend to have a high cost of living which also extends to increased prices in the barbering industry, invariably making barbers earn more in these states. States like New York, Washington DC, California are high-cost states and tend to have the highest averages in terms of barbers income.

Breaking it down further, the location of a barber’s shop in a city or state can also influence the barber’s income. We all know the average of every data set includes the highest and lowest data. With that in mind, the particular environment of a barber’s shop is very influential on the salary earned.

Haircut Head Barbershop Barber Cuts Hair Head Client (1)

Employee/Barbershop Owners/Independent Contractors

Another determining factor in a barber’s salary is whether you own the shop or you are employed or an independent contractor.

Barbershop owners earn relatively better than the employee barber.  They take on more risks in government levies, rents and other bills that have to be sought to keep the shop running. However, with this risk comes a good reward.

Employee barbers have to depend on their bosses for their hourly pay. They also have to follow the dictates of their bosses or the shop. Although they earn extra in tips, they do not overtly take on huge responsibilities like shop rentals and the likes.

Independent contractors are more like celebrity barbers. They have a good social media following and work for anybody that can afford their services. This is not easily achieved though as it can only be gotten through a good reputation, years of experience and a wealth of barbering skills.

Professional Skill Level

Barbing, like any other career, has skill/education levels. Some barbers have managed to attain the highest skill level there is and they do not hesitate to update themselves when another trend is out. Barbers with this kind of high skills are in high demand and will want more wages than the average barber because of the quality they possess.

Barbers are always encouraged to further their education and widen the range of what they can do because this is sometimes the telling difference in the wages earned.


Barbing is a profession that is built on customer trust. People don’t just go to the next available barber’s shop and most times, they even demand a particular barber’s services. These examples show how important trust is to the customers. In essence, a satisfied customer will always give a positive review which in turn builds reputation.

Reviews go a long way when it comes to the esthetic business because people trust you with their appearance. A good and big reputation can help barbers charge a premium for the services they offer. Good reputation and reviews aren’t achieved overnight but the process can be hastened thanks to social media.

Vintage Chairs Barbershop (1)

Why are Barbers Cash Only?

You might be wondering why barbers only collect cash. With the introduction and ease of using credit cards, one would think that barbers should have stopped collecting cash for their services. Well, here are a few reasons why barbers still collect cash.

The first reason for this is the bulk of work they do. Barbers can make up to 15 haircuts in a day. The individual charges on these credit card payments for the haircuts can become too much for individual barbers who have either rented a chair in a barbershop or are working on commission-based employment. Basically, it is cheaper to collect cash.

Another reason for the cash-only culture of barbers is to evade tax. For barbers who are still finding their feet and sometimes established barbers, evading tax can tell a lot about their total income. The flip side to the cash-only culture is that it can encourage money laundering. 

Can You Live Off Being A Barber?

The simple answer is yes.  The income you get from barbing people’s hair accompanied by wise decisions making can sustain an individual. Earlier in the article, I mentioned barbers making six figures annually. The bulk of the work is at your step if you will be willing to take the extra push to one of the highest-earning barbers around.


The influence location, skill sets, reputation, and some other factors can have on the salary of a barber cannot be overemphasized. Being a barber is rewarding but you must be able to put in the necessary work to achieve this.

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