Thinking about a change of careers? Becoming a barber is a unique challenge for anyone with a passion for men’s hair styling and a creative touch. But before you make the switch, you need to know what you can expect to earn.
Since many barbers are self-employed, it’s difficult to predict how much you will earn. Many are responsible for setting their own rates and their own working hours, so your earning potential can vary.
According to the London School of Barbering, a barber can make around £1000 a week, or £50,000 per year. This is well above the UK average salary of £31,772. But what factors will influence whether or not you actually achieve this salary?
How much can a barber charge?
In the UK, the average cost for a men’s haircut and beard trim is £19. However, in some places in the country, you can expect to pay in excess of £32.
A men’s haircut is a lot quicker than a women’s haircut, which is why there is such a big difference in price. Realistically, a barber could see an average of 3 customers per hour. Over an 7 hour day, 5 days a week, this would add up to £1995 per week. And this is for a £19 haircut, assuming that you are booked up 5 days a week.
What influences the price of a haircut?
There are a number of factors that influence what a barber can charge for their services. This includes:
- Location – prices in London and other big cities will be higher than in rural areas
- Reputation and demand – if you’re known for working with celebrities and big names, you can afford to increase your prices.
- Additional services – if you offer more complex services, you can charge more for these. However, these services will take more time, so you will be able to see fewer customers per day.
- Travel – if you offer a mobile and on-demand service, you can expect customers to part with a little more money for the convenience of you coming to them.
What are a barber’s expenses?
It’s easy to look at the earning potential and assume that this would all be profit, but it’s vital to remember that you’ll have some expenses to think about too. Common expenses for a barber include:
- Business premises. This could either be your own barber shop, a rented chair, or a mobile unit. Barbers operating out of mobile salons in the back of vans is becoming increasingly popular. However, this leads to additional costs, including fuel and insurance.
- Insurance. If you are freelance, you’ll be responsible for your own insurance. You’ll need this to protect yourself in case a customer or a member of the public is hurt on your premises, or in their home if you are a freelancer. This isn’t something that you can avoid.
- Equipment. You’ll need to invest in equipment in the beginning, and continue to update this as it wears out. You’ll also need stock, including hair products. These are all additional costs that will eat into your profits.
- Training. After you have qualified as a barber, this won’t be the end of your training. You’ll need to invest in ongoing training to keep your skills up to date. This will help to increase your earning potential, but it does come with a cost.
- Staff costs. If you hire an assistant or trainee, you’ll need to factor their salary into your expenses. This is another way to increase your earning potential, but it does increase your overheads.
Once you know your expenses, you can then determine how much you could possibly earn based on how much you plan to charge and when you’ll be available for bookings.