How Do You Become A Hairdresser?
There are a few ways to pursue a career in hairdressing. First, you can get an apprenticeship with a hairstylist or salon that you admire. Second, you can take up a hairdressing course at a registered training organisation and earn your hairdressing certificate.
What Is A Hairdresser?
A hairdresser (also known as a hairstylist, barber, or cosmetologist) is a person who cuts, styles, and colours hair for a living. Hairdressers can work freelance or independently, or they may work at a spa, salon, or beauty resort. There are several different fields of interest a hairdresser can specialise in from barbering to wig-making and more.
What Qualifications And Traits Do You Need?
All hairdressers in Australia need to complete either a hairdressing apprenticeship or a hairdressing/cosmetology course. Either option will earn you a Certificate III in Hairdressing, which is the biggest requirement to become a hairdresser.
Another requirement that most employers or training centres have is that you must have already completed at least Year 10 at school, but some may not have that restriction. Also, some salons may only require a Certificate II in Hairdressing, but it’s much better to get the higher certificate, especially if you live in New South Wales or South Australia where it’s the minimum requirement.
Almost anyone can become a hairdresser, but that doesn’t mean everyone should. There are also other skills and characteristics you must possess to succeed in your field, such as:
- Good communication & customer service skills
- Listening & problem-solving skills
- Flexibility & adaptability
- Ability to translate ideas into reality
- Creativity & artistic skills
- Physical dexterity & stamina
- Honesty & patience
- Professionalism & reliability
How Long Does It Take To Become A Hairdresser?
If you decide to take the apprenticeship route, it takes roughly three to four years before you can become a hairdresser. If you take a hairdressing course or pursue a cosmetology degree, it can take anywhere from one to two years of full-time study to earn your Cert 3 in Hairdressing.
How To Become A Hairdresser
Most hairdressers start out as apprentices. Unlike a full-fledged hairdresser, you have relatively limited duties as an apprentice. This involves shampooing, washing, blow-drying, sterilising equipment, and other menial tasks. You will progress to more difficult tasks and build up your portfolio until you ‘graduate’ to junior stylist status.
- Find a salon or hairdresser to apprentice with. You can check an Apprenticeship Network provider to find host employers who are willing to train you.
- Complete a 3-4 year paid apprenticeship at your host employer.
- Attend any necessary courses or classes. These are usually held off-site at a Registered Training Organisation.
If you want to become a hairdresser in a shorter amount of time (and you don’t mind not getting paid in the meantime), then taking a hairdressing course is your best bet.
- Find a public or private institution (must be a Registered Training Organisation) that offers a Cert III in Hairdressing.
- Complete the course.
Can You Get Your Certificate Online?
You can get your hairdressing certification through online classes. But due to the hands-on nature of the job, you’ll likely have to attend a few classes in person to learn the basic skills. Here are some organisations that offer Certificate III in Hairdressing:
A Hairdresser’s Duties
Depending on your specialty and where you work, you can perform many roles as a hairdresser. Below are just some of the duties you might be expected to perform:
- Booking and scheduling clients
- Consulting with clients on their cut, style, and colour
- Shampooing, conditioning, and washing hair
- Treating hair with various products
- Bleaching, toning, and/or colouring hair
- Straightening or curling hair
- Braiding, hairstyling, or hair cutting
- Shaving or trimming facial hair
- Cleaning and maintaining your workspace
- Sell hair care products and treatments
What Kind Of Jobs Can You Do? What Are The Working Conditions?
One of the advantages of working as a hairdresser is that there are so many different career paths you can take. Here are some of the jobs you can eventually take on once you’ve specialised:
- Salon assistant
- Salon manager
- Celebrity stylist
- Stylist for TV, films, commercials, or theatre
- Beauty therapist
As a hairdresser, you can work independently or for a business. Working independently allows you more flexibility in choosing your clients, but you will often have to provide your own equipment, materials, and space. Working at a business gives you access to their facilities and tools, but you may need to meet a certain ‘work quota’ – and share some of your profits.
What Is The Average Salary Of A Hairdresser?
According to PayScale, the average hourly pay for a hairdresser in Australia is $AUD 22.28. If you work full-time, you can expect to earn anywhere from $AUD 39,000 to $AUD 59,000 a year. Of course, the more experience you get and the more premium services you offer, the higher you can charge.
Cut And Style Your Way To Success
Now that you know how to become a hairdresser, it’s time to make a decision. Whether you choose to become an apprentice or study hairdressing full-time, you’re one step closer to achieving your dreams!
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