How Much Does a Barber Earn in the UK?

As you can imagine, at The Barbering School of Wales, one of the main questions students and would-be barbers ask us is, “How much can I earn as a barber?”. Many factors can influence a barber’s salary, from how much they charge per trim, to which city they work in, their experience level, the range of additional services they offer, and their employment type, such as owning the shop compared to renting a chair. All these different factors can significantly affect how much a barber takes home each year.

Barbers can earn a great living; however, their weekly income can change, and it comes down to your work rate, experience and creativity. How long you have worked within the industry, your reputation and, especially in 2021, your marketing skills, will have a big impact on your income.

In this article, we’ll go into more detail about how much you can expect to earn in the UK as a barber and the different factors that can influence this amount.


What Do You Need to Become a Barber?

Before going into detail about the income generated from barbering, let’s just briefly touch upon what is required to become a barber in the first place. You can’t just walk off the street, into a barbershop with your CV and land a job. First, you must attend an academy and achieve your barber qualification. Barbershops in the UK will expect you to have your NVQ in barbering and a certain amount of experience cutting real-life clients. How much practice will vary between shops, but in most cases the more experience you have the employable you will be.

 Not everyone is cut out for barbering, and it demands a certain amount of enthusiasm, dedication, and creativity. If you think it’s the right career for you, get in touch with the team at The Barbering School of Wales and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have!

The costs of barber school will depend on the educational program you choose. Purchasing your supplies, attending barber school, and getting your license takes an initial investment, but you can more than make up these costs throughout your barbering career – especially if you qualify for financial aid. Don’t let the cost of school discourage you from becoming a barber. The money you can make in this career far outweighs the price of barber school.


What is the Salary of a UK barber?

As a junior barber, after finishing your barbering training course, you will be looking at earning £40-£60 per day from your wages, and roughly £20 in tips. A typical working schedule for a barber is 5 days per week and around 50 weeks per year, meaning fresh from training you can potentially earn between £18,000 to £24,000 each year.

As a professional barber gains experience and skill, he or she can make as much as £1000 per week or £50k per year.


What is the Procedure for Getting Paid?

General shop payment structures are as follows:


  1. Hourly Salary – Formerly the most popular method 0 which would total £80 for a full 8-hour day at £10 per hour. In other words, no matter how busy the shop is or how slow it is, you earn a set income.


  1. Split or Commission – The most popular method – You may be able to get a 60/40 or 50/50 split on your revenue from a shop. As a result, you keep £6 for every £10 you receive, and the shop retains £4. If you work in a busy shop, this arrangement is ideal. Imagine you do 20 haircuts for £15 each. The total would be £300, and you would keep £180.


  1. Chair Rental – This shop owner charges the barber a fixed cost, say £150, to rent a chair in the shop for one week. All sales are then retained by the barber. A shop with a busy environment would benefit from this structure. Assuming you are making £200 per day, a six-day week would generate £1200 in sales, leaving you with £1050 in profits after subtracting chair rental costs.


More About Renting a Chair

Most barbers rent a chair at a shop to work from. Several factors can influence what you can charge for a haircut, for example; Barbershop location and reputation, competition prices, etc.

It is best to use this structure once you can establish a solid client base, so you are confident that you will have paying customers to cover the chairs’ costs.

How Does Being Self-Employed Differ from Working for Someone Else?

Barbers are often employed as independent contractors by shops. The fact that you do this does not mean you are a contract employee, but rather you work freelance instead. The responsibility of paying taxes falls on you – filing taxes is not complicated, but if you need help, enlist the services of an accountant for a monthly fee.


For more information on registering for self-assessment, on the Government website.


The Future is Bright for Barbers

 The current market situation presents barbers with a unique opportunity to take advantage of a growing market and position themselves well for the future. More and more men are getting their hair cut and taking greater care of their appearance, increasing the demand for skillful barbers throughout the UK. 

 A master barber’s salary has room to grow even beyond current expectations in today’s hot market. Social media, the fast spread of new hairstyle trends, and the prosperous men’s grooming industry all set the stage for a flourishing career in barbering for years to come. If you’re interested in starting a career that could earn you a position in the upper-income bracket, consider becoming a barber. Join The Barbering School of Wales today to get your license and start working your way toward an impressive salary.


What Factors Determine a Barber’s Income?

Several factors influence how much money a barber can make. No matter if you want to earn more money as a professional barber or want to learn how to run a successful barbershop, keep these business fundamentals in mind.


Barbershop Location

A haircut in a barbershop in a major city with a high-end customer base may be more expensive. Research strategic locations, such as Cardiff, London,  Swansea and Bristol, where you can reach clients who are ready to pay a higher price for a haircut if you are considering opening your shop.

As a business owner, it is critical to understand that, while you will make more by cutting in expensive areas, your outgoings like rent and utilities will likely increase too. You may have to cover your fixed costs by having an existing customer base before you can rent out a chair.


Professional Skill Level

A barber’s skills must be continuously refined and improved. While building a good reputation for your work ethic and skilful barbering, you will gain experience and obtain additional certifications (like becoming a master barber).


Reviews and Reputation

The job of a professional barber involves delivering great haircuts and providing excellent customer service. Gaining more experience and receiving good reviews is crucial and can turn you into a more marketable barber or allow you to possibly open a barbershop under your name. Developing your skillset requires patience and discipline. Be patient and persistent as you develop and learn more.


How To Make More Money as A Barber?

Barbers make more money by following three main approaches: 

Develop A Social Media Presence and Market Yourself

Most successful barbers in 2021 have an online presence and display their work on different social media platforms. Publish your haircuts on Instagram and let your followers know about them.

Starting early and gradually growing your brand will help you build a following. If you plan to open a barbershop, using social media and blogging will be beneficial.


Start Your Own Barbershop

There’s no easy road to becoming a highly successful barber, but if you want to earn a lot of money, then this is the way to go. Having your own business can be challenging since it requires funds upfront to acquire a location and cover rent, acquire furniture and tools, secure licenses, and registration fees, and pay other business costs.

Others purchase an existing barbershop while others open their own business. Get a few years of hands-on experience before you consider owning your own business.


Create A Brand

Starting a barbershop business enables you to create your own brand. You must maintain your brand awareness and reputation by offering excellent customer service and doing great work. You can then use your brand to create and sell your own line of hair products such as pomades, clays, pomades, aftershaves, and hairspray. The brand can also be licensed to barbershop franchises for a fee or used to open multiple barbershop locations.


Check Out Our Job Listings

We also have a range of barber jobs advertised on our website, which give an idea of how much an average barber earns.