What’s it all about?
If you’re a hairdresser, or hair stylist as some professionals prefer to be called, people’s hair will be your life! To become a fully qualified hairdresser you will need to study the course at TAFE or college, and this is usually done as an apprenticeship, so you get on the job training and experience at the same time.
Will it suit me?
Did you love playing with other people’s hair, or your own? Do you look at someone and imagine what style, colour or cut would suit them more? Are you obsessed with latest trends and fashions for hair? You could be a hairdresser in the making!
Hairdressers need to be very sociable people. Standing all day long is another reality for most hairdressers too, so you will need to take good care of your body and maintain your energy levels. You will need to be okay working with chemicals. You also need to be professional and well-presented.
What will I learn?
Once you begin your apprenticeship, at school you’re going to find out about the DNA of hair, new hair technologies, hair care products, how to cut, style, colour and perm those beautiful manes, how to use all the different tools and equipment, retail and business management skills, occupational health and safety, cleaning and more.
In your first year of your apprenticeship when you’re at work, depending on your employer, you will more often than not be found mostly cleaning, sweeping, working on reception and helping the qualified hairdressers with their work.
How long will it last and what is the wage?
Hairdressing apprenticeships can be completed as Certificates II, III and IV, then a Diploma in Hairdressing Salon Management, which generally take years to complete, although you can also do it part-time and take a little longer to finish, if that works for you and your employer. In your 1st year you won’t be making much more than $6.50 an hour, or around $260 for a 40 hour working week. It increases to $9.20 in your 2nd year, $11.75 in your 3rd year, and around $14.20 per hour, or $560 a week, in your 4th year.
What careers will there be for me and what will I earn?
Once you’ve got your qualifications, you can keep working in a career as a hairdresser or stylist in a studio or salon, own your own business, specialise in one area of the trade, or become an expert stylist in the fashion industry! As a hairdresser working for an employer, your average yearly income ranges from $35,000 – $50,000, depending on whether you’re junior, senior or a manager. If you own your own studio, it could be $50,000 – $75,000, and with employees, $75,000 – $100,000 or more. How big can you go?!