How to get a job in hairdressing

Thu, 06/12/2012 - 14:06 -- nick

UnemployedNet supports The Mirror's Get Britain Working campaign.

The campaign has moved on to hairdressing, still a big industry in the UK with nearly a quarter of a million people working in it.

You could use your creativity to design new styles at a top salon or cut children's hair as a neighbourhood barber.

You can work the hours you want, in any area of the UK, fit your job round your family life, and work for yourself or for an employer.

Hairdressers can get tips too, providing a boost to income, and the sky's the limit for salaries; top hairdressers can own multiple shops and even haircare ranges.

'Hairdressers and barbers are booming despite the tough economic climate, and as part of our Get Britain Working campaign we’ve found 15,812 related jobs.

With an annual turnover of £5.25billion, a workforce of 245,000 people and some 37.8million customers, things are pretty buoyant for the salon industry.

“There will always be a demand for hairdressing services, and the sky really is the limit if you have the drive and determination to succeed,” says Sarah Bleackley, head of ­hairdressing at Bolton College.

It’s a particularly good profession for youngsters in search of training.

“There are so many fantastic ­opportunities available for people who are looking to start a career in the hair and beauty industry,” says Sarah.

“It’s a trade that continues to be popular with learners and apprentices of all ages.

“At Bolton College alone so many of the students and apprentices have made excellent progress and have opened up their own successful salon businesses in the local area.”


NICK Woodfin couldn’t decide whether he wanted to be a ­firefighter or a barber when he left school last year.

To help him make up his mind he started a course at a college in Bolton in public services.

“I just didn’t like it,” says the 17-year-old. “The work didn’t suit me and I found it tough.

“I asked the college if I could transfer to do the full-time course in ­hairdressing and ­thankfully they agreed.”

While he was waiting for the new course to start in September Nick heard that a local barber, Dean Cocozza, might be looking for an apprentice.

“I went down to meet Dean and he agreed to take me on. I was so chuffed.

“It meant that I switched from the full-time, two-year course to one day a fortnight.

“It felt like the perfect way to start my training and work towards my Level 2 barbering NVQ,” he says.

Only three months ago, Nick finally started on the job he instantly loved.

“It’s such a great environment to be in – no two days are the same and there is so much to learn. I’m still at the stage where I’m looking over shoulders watching how it’s done, and I make a lot of tea and coffee! I love chatting to customers.”

It is during college time that Nick gets to physically learn the art of cutting hair as well as other relevant subjects such as health and safety.

“I practise on a doll’s head but it won’t be long before I’m able to work with real clients.

“It’s great to know I’m learning skills that will see me though a good career.”


We found 3,502 jobs online but industry leaders insist there are at least another 12,310 up for grabs in the UK’s 34,000 salons and 3,000 barber shops.

At – the Government’s “universal jobmatch” – we found 2,402 jobs including roles for a trainee stylist in Sheffield, a barber in Truro, Cornwall, and hair stylists of different ­levels of experience in Manchester, North Shields in Tyneside, Nottingham, Penzance in Cornwall, and Northallerton in North Yorks. All salaries are negotiable.

Many of the jobs for more experienced stylists are on a self-employed basis, which means you are responsible for paying your own tax and national insurance contributions. At there are 234 jobs going, including ­openings for an evening hair and beauty technician in Southport, Merseyside (from £4,902.14-a-year), and a lecturer in hair and beauty at Middlesbrough College (from £12.10-an-hour).

At there were 365 jobs, including a salon manager in Bracknell, Berks, (from £16,995), a hair products sales rep in Milton Keynes (from £18,000), and even a hairdresser/stylist in Barbados (from £18,000).

Also, check out, where there are 288 jobs advertised, including stylist roles in Cornwall and ­Portsmouth. More ­opportunities can be found at The 213 jobs we spotted included stylist jobs for gym giant Fitness First.

Local salons rarely ­advertise vacancies online. They rely on jobseekers coming to them with their CVs or spotting adverts in the window and local press.


You can train as a hairdresser either ­full-time or part-time at a college, or by working as a trainee, learning on the job and attending college on day release.

Take a look at NVQs in hairdressing and barbering.

L’Oreal Professionnel is one of several companies that run training courses in partnership with further ­education colleges and universities, and a great source of information on all training options is the Hairdressing and Beauty Industry Authority.

You may also be able to get into work through an apprenticeship scheme, and you can develop your career by completing some higher level qualifications, including Btec HNC/HND and foundation degrees in hairdressing. These are usually combined with salon management.

The Freelance Hair and Beauty Federation offers training on planning, establishing and managing your own hairdressing business, as well as ongoing training and ­Continuing Personal Development.

See for details.


  •  The Hairdressing and Beauty Industry Authority,
  •  L’Oreal Professionnel,
  •  The Freelance hair and Beauty ­Federation,
  •  Find out about apprenticeships by visiting'

Via The Mirror

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