What is a Barber? What does a barber do in his barbershop

One of the more popular careers in the beauty business is being a barber. Although it appears basic on the surface, it requires as much skill as any other profession in the esthetic business. Wondering what is a barber is the first step for anybody seeking more information on what it takes to be a barber.

This write up will educate on what being a barber is all about.

What is A Barber?

A barber is a professional that deals in the cutting, styling of the hair on the human head. It is not just limited to these two though. Their scope of work is as large as the demands of their clientele as regards the hair on their heads. What is common is that barbers attend to men’s hair needs. However, ladies that want to opt for short hair styles can also visit the barber.

Table of Contents
Handsome Man Barbershop Shaving Beard (1)

Duties of a Barber

A barber must know how to cut, shave, style and perform overall grooming of the hair on the head. They also help groom the facial hair like the moustache and beards. They perform these duties with tools such as clippers, scissors, razors, combs and other accessories.

Other professional barber’s duties include:

  • Coloring of the hair
  • Shampooing
  • Styling
  • Scalp and Neck massages
  • Application of hair and face lotions after shaving
  • Client consultation services
  • Using blow dryers
  • Sanitation/sterilization of the workstation and tools
  • Update and maintain client records
  • Stocking hair products

Apart from the duties mentioned above. Professional barbers need other physical and social skills that can help them make and keep new customers.

Some of the physical skill requirements of a barber are:

  • Having steady hands and dexterity with both hands and fingers
  • Ability to stand for a long time
  • Arm/Hand control and stability

The skills required of a professional barber are not just the ones that help them handle the tools well. Barbers are expected to be a people person. Most of their clientele is built on trust and this trust is why people can patronize the same barber for decades.

Barbers are also expected to be dependable, have a keen eye, ethical, and Understanding.

Now that we know what a barber is and the skills it requires to be a barber, we can move on to answers to the following questions.

Barber Tool Barbershop Hairdresser Tool Scissors Combs Razors Clippers Tool Wizard Organization Workplace Selective Focus (2)

How Long Does it Take to Train to be a Barber?

Training to be a barber does not have a specific time frame. What is important is completing the required training. The standard training time for barbers depends on the kind of certification they opt for and which route they are going to take to get this certification.

The minimum qualification an individual has to get to become a barber has to be equivalent to the level II National Vocational Qualification (NVQ).  This certificate is accredited by the Vocational Training Charitable Trust (VTCT). Three ways to obtain this certificate and more certifications determine the amount of time spent in training to be a barber.

The Private course approach

These courses are usually between 6 – 12 weeks depending on the course the individual opts for. The shorter courses are between 6 – 8 weeks. This course will not qualify the person to be NVQ level II certified. It is more of an introduction or basic to barbering.

The longer courses last between 9 – 12 weeks. Completing it qualifies the trainee for a Level III NVQ certification. You are ready for work with this certificate but it doesn’t confer the internationally recognized certification that comes with the NVQ II.

Further Education

Taking this route to certification will take an individual between 1 – 2 years to complete the course. It is like an A-level course. This course is more theory based than hands-on practical approach although it is a good mixture of both. Completion of this course will qualify the person for a NVQ certificate.


This is more common and it usually takes between 2 – 3 years to finish. People opt for it instead of the private courses and the further education courses because of its real life lessons. Although it takes a relatively long time, the trainee still gets a NVQ certification. To follow the apprenticeship route, one has to find a college that offers it and a willing barbershop that wants to take an apprentice.

Client Doing Hair Cut Barber Shop Salon (2) (1)

What Qualifications Do I Need to Be a Barber?

To be a barber, there are three requirements that must be met:

Educational Requirements

Someone willing to be a barber must have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. The reason for this is prospective barbers have to complete a training/program approved by their resident state. The number of hours required to complete this program varies depending on the state.

Training Requirements

Another important requirement is to complete the training. Every barber is expected to complete their training in their barber program before they are eligible for a job. The training can be on-the-job or in a class depending on the avenue an individual seeks to be trained in.

Certification Requirements

There is the basic certification needed to be a professional barber in every state. An individual must have completed the training and must have passed the subsequent exam to be eligible for licensing. You may not need the additional certifications (although they have their perks) but licensure as a result of completing the barber training program is very important. Professional barbers are required to renew their license every two years.

Is Barbering Hard to Learn?

Learning to barb can either be easy or hard depending on many factors. An easy grasp on the skills required to be a barber can make learning relatively easy. However, lack of the physical skills – hand and finger dexterity and arm stability among others – can make learning to barb incredibly hard to learn.

Any part of the training can be easy or difficult. It all comes down to the trainee and in some cases the tutors.


Barbing is an important job in the esthetics industry. In this day and age of social media, barbers are held to higher standards than before. Barbing is not just another job anymore. Knowing what being a barber entails is important both for aspiring barbers and to satisfy some curiosity

Malcare WordPress Security