If you want to become a barber, you’re probably wondering how much do barbers make. There are many factors that can affect a barber’s income. From how much you charge per haircut to location, skill level, types of services you provide, and whether you are a barbershop owner versus an employee or independent contractor, how much a barber makes a year, month, day or hour can range significantly. Fortunately, being a successful professional barber comes down to hard work, skill, marketing and smart choices. Like any other career, barbers can get paid well if they hustle and make the right business decisions, including building a client base and starting their own barbershop. Check out this complete guide to barber salaries to learn more about job opportunities within this profession.
How Much Do Barbers Make Per Year?
On average, barbers make about $35,000 per year, with the range falling between $30,000 to $40,000. This means that most barbers make about $14 to $18 per hour, or approximately $110 to $150 per day based on an 8-hour workday. Nevertheless, these figures don’t paint a complete picture.
Barber salary ranges can vary widely based on a number of factors, including how many hours are worked, how many cuts are performed, the price per haircut, the location of the barbershop, and the number of years in experience.
With that said, the best barbers can earn 6-figure incomes. There are many barbers who work part-time or only charge $10 per haircut because they live in low-cost areas. Then you have professional barbers in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, Dallas, St. Louis, Denver and Chicago who make over $100,000 annually.
The richest barbers tend to be barbershop owners, but there are also plenty of celebrity barbers who have made a name for themselves through social media or by starting their own line of hair products.
Average Barber Salary By State
If you’re curious about the barber salary in your state, here is a list of the highest paying states for professional barbers.
- New York: $47,000 per year
- California: $42,500 per year
- Washington: $46,500 per year
- Texas: $38,200 per year
- Illinois: $37,800 per year
- Oregon: $40,600 per year
- Colorado: $40,500 per year
- Florida: $36,400 per year
- Massachusetts: $46,800 per year
- New Jersey: $41,200 per year
Just remember that these figures are averages across the entire state. A barber in California who works in the best parts of Los Angeles or San Francisco will make a salary far higher than the state average. The same applies to New York and Manhattan, Washington and Seattle, Texas and Houston, and all the other big metropolitan cities.
How Much Do Barbershop Owners Make?
Barbershop owners earn different salaries in different parts of the country. According to ZipRecruiter, the average barber shop owner makes $54,000 per year. However, the average annual salary for a barbershop owner is $139,000 in Los Angeles, $142,000 in San Francisco, $145,000 in New York City, $125,000 in Las Vegas, $105,000 in Atlanta, $112,000 in Chicago, and $99,000 in Miami.
What Factors Determine A Barber’s Income
How much money a barber can make is determined by several factors. Whether you want to make more money as a professional barber or want to learn what makes a barbershop successful, keep these business concepts in mind.
Barbershops in major cities with high-end customers can charge more for a haircut. If you’re considering opening your own shop or salon, research strategic locations where you can get access to clients who are willing to pay more for a cut.
However, it is important to note that, while you’ll make more per cut in in expensive areas, your business expenses like rent and utilities will also increase. If you are paying for a chair, it can be helpful to have an existing customer base to cover your fixed costs.
Professional Skill Level
Professional barbers are always refining and honing their skills. Between gaining experience and getting additional certifications (e.g. as a master barber), you want to build a positive reputation for your work ethic and skillful barbering.
Reviews and Reputation
As a part of the service industry, professional barbers must deliver great haircuts with quality customer service. Good reviews will follow you around your career and make you more marketable, allowing you to charge more per haircut as well as potentially open up a barbershop under your own name. This can take time so be patient and disciplined as you continue to grow your skill set.
Barbershops Owners vs Employees or Independent Contractors
Like any other business, your income depends on whether you work as an owner or employee. Barbershop owners make more money because they have more responsibility, take on additional risk, and have other barbers working for them.
Barbers who get paid an hourly wage with tips will always make less. The exception to this rule is the celebrity barber with a strong reputation and a large social media following.
How To Make More Money As A Barber
There are 3 main ways to grow your income as a barber. If you want to make more money throughout your career, you’ll want to always keep these ideas in mind so that you’re always working towards them.
Build A Social Presence and Market Yourself
The most successful professional barbers have social media accounts and even websites that market their barbering. Start with an Instagram account and share the cool haircuts you give.
Building a following can take time so begin early and gradually grow your brand. Social media and blogging can be helpful when you decide to open a barbershop.
Start Your Own Barbershop
Starting a barbershops is no easy business decision, but if you want to make a lot of money as a barber, then this is a logical step. Working for yourself can be a challenge and will require upfront capital to secure a space and cover rent, buy furniture and tools, obtain registration fees and licenses, and pay for other business costs.
Some barbers open a barbershop from scratch while others acquire an existing location. Becoming a barbershop owner is something to consider after a few years of experience in the industry.
Build A Brand
When you start a barber shop business, you’ll begin to create your own brand. You should work hard to preserve your brand’s integrity and reputation by doing great work and offering excellent customer service. Your brand can be used to create and sell your own line of hair products like pomade, wax, clay, aftershave, or hairspray.
Further, a successful brand can be used to open multiple locations or licensed to barbershop franchisees for a fee.
Barber Income FAQ
How Much Do Barbers Make Per Cut?
The average price of a haircut in the United States is $28. How much a barber makes per cut depends on whether he is an owner, employee or independent contractor. If a barber pays a flat fee for a chair as an independent contractor, he gets to keep the money minus the amount he owes to the barbershop. An employee gets paid an hourly rate with tips.
How Much Do Barber Make An Hour?
The amount a barber can make an hour depends on how busy the barbershop is and how fast you are cutting hair. On average, barbers make between $14 and $18 per hour. Barbershop owners earn far more, especially if they are cutting hair themselves as well.
How Much Do Barbers Make A Month?
The average monthly salary for most barbers is about $3,000 per month. Master barbers can make 10% to 20% more for their certification, while shop owners can earn between $5,000 and $10,000 per month, depending on the state they are located in.
Learn more about getting a barber license and becoming a professional barber with our complete guide to barbering schools, costs, and how to get started in your career.