Is Hairstylist a Good Career?

is hairstylist a good career

Are you considering a career as a hairstylist? You may be wondering if this profession is a wise choice. With the hair industry constantly evolving, the prospects for a career in hairstyling are promising.

Beyond the trends, there are several benefits of being a hairstylist that make it a satisfying career path. In this article, we will explore hairstylist career prospects, salary potential, job growth, necessary skills and qualifications, industry demand, job satisfaction, and benefits of being a hairstylist to help you make an informed choice.

Key Takeaways:

  • Hairstyling is a promising career path, with industry trends showcasing growth and stability.
  • There is potential for high salary earnings for experienced hairstylists.
  • Good interpersonal skills, creativity, and passion for hair styling are necessary requirements for success in this field.
  • Job satisfaction is a key benefit, as hairstylists can build lasting relationships with clients and express their creativity.
  • Flexibility in working schedules and the opportunity to be your boss is another perk of being a hairstylist.

Hairstylist Salary Potential

One of the primary factors that most people consider when selecting a career is the potential earnings. The hairstyling industry can be lucrative, depending on various elements such as experience, level of expertise, and location. In this section, we’ll explore the salary potential for hairstylists, including some of the factors that can influence their income.

Hairstylist Salary Overview

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that as of May 2020, the median annual wage for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists was $27,530, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $51,030.

Influencing Factors of Hairstylist Salaries

Several factors can affect a hairstylist’s salary potential, including:

  • Experience: As with most careers, a hairstylist’s earnings usually increase with experience. An entry-level hairstylist can expect to earn less than an experienced stylist who has been in the field for many years.
  • Geographical Location: Salaries for hairstylists can vary depending on the location and cost of living. For example, hairstylists in cities, particularly those in metropolitan areas, may earn more than their rural counterparts.
  • Type of Employer: According to BLS, more than half of hairstylists are self-employed. Self-employed hairstylists often have higher earning potential than those who work for an employer.
  • Specialization: Some hairstylists specialize in certain areas such as hair coloring or cutting. They may charge more for their specialized skills and have higher earning potential.

Earnings Projections for Hairstylists

According to BLS, the employment of hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists is projected to grow 8 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. As of 2021, the average hourly earnings for a hairstylist in the United States is approximately $12.67 to $23.95.

Hairstylist Job Growth and Demand

With the beauty and hairstyling industry expanding at an unprecedented pace, the job growth opportunities for hairstylists are on the rise. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of hairstylists is projected to grow 8% from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations.

The demand for hairstylists is fueled by several factors, one of which is the increasing number of individuals seeking beauty and wellness services. Furthermore, the rise of social media has contributed to the growing popularity of hairstyling, with more people seeking to improve their appearance and maintain trendy looks. Additionally, the growing importance of professionalism and presentation in the workplace has led to a higher demand for hairstylists who can cater to the needs of business professionals.

To provide a clearer understanding of the industry demand, the following table highlights the top industries employing hairstylists in the US:

Industry Percent Employed Hourly Mean Wage
Personal Care Services 72.88% $14.44
Amusement, Gambling, and Recreation Industries 1.98% $13.93
Accommodation and Food Services 1.31% $12.15
Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional and Similar Organizations 0.09% $16.68

As the table illustrates, the personal care services industry employs a vast majority of hairstylists in the US, followed by the amusement, gambling, and recreation sectors. Additionally, salaries in the personal care services industry tend to be higher than those in other industries.

Key Insight:

As the hairstyling industry continues to grow and expand, the job demand for hairstylists is expected to remain high. Their services are needed in a variety of industries, with the personal care services sector employing the most hairstylists in the US.

Hairstylist Skills and Qualifications

Being a hairstylist requires a unique set of skills and qualifications. A successful hairstylist should have both technical and interpersonal skills to thrive in the hairstyling industry.

Technical Skills

Technical skills are essential for hairstylists and include:

  • Knowledge of hairstyles: A stylist should have a good understanding of the different types of haircuts and color techniques.
  • Styling tools: Knowledge of how to use styling tools such as flat irons, curling irons, and blow dryers is crucial.
  • Product knowledge: An understanding of different products such as shampoos, conditioners, and treatments is important.
  • Cutting and coloring: The ability to perform precision haircuts, highlights, and other coloring techniques is needed.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills are crucial for hairstylists and include:

  • Communication: Being able to communicate effectively with clients to understand their needs and preferences is vital.
  • Listening skills: A stylist should have the ability to listen carefully and offer suggestions to clients around their hairstyle.
  • Creativity: Creativity is essential for creating one-of-a-kind hairstyles that suit the client’s face shape, personality, and preferences.
  • Time management: The ability to manage time and maintain a schedule is necessary for a stylist to remain productive and meet clients’ needs.
  • Customer service: Providing top-tier customer service is essential for repeat clients and referrals.

Educational and Licensing Requirements

The hairstyling industry has specific educational and licensing requirements that a stylist must meet. A hairstylist must complete a state-approved cosmetology program or apprenticeship to obtain a license. Most cosmetology courses cover hairstyling techniques, beauty theory, and sanitation practices. In addition, ongoing education and training are essential to ensure that a hairstylist remains relevant with the latest trends and techniques.

The image above depicts a hairstylist using scissors to cut a client’s hair

Career Prospects and Viability of Hairstyling Profession

Hairstyling remains a popular profession for those interested in the beauty industry, and while there is significant competition, the career prospects are promising. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a steady job growth rate of 8% for barbers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists over the next decade, aligning with the average growth rate for all occupations.

Advancement opportunities are available for hairstylists who perfect their skills and build a loyal client base. Skilled hairstylists can become managers, supervisors, or trainers, while others open their own salons or freelance. With the right qualifications and creativity, the potential for career growth is endless.

The viability of the hairstyling profession is undeniable, with hair services remaining a profitable sector of the beauty industry, generating around $46 billion in revenue in 2018.

hairstyling profession viability

Stability and Sustainability

The hairstyling industry offers stable employment with consistent demand for services, as hair maintenance is a necessity for most people. While the industry is affected by economic downturns, it usually bounces back quickly. Sustainability is becoming increasingly relevant in the beauty industry, with growing emphasis on eco-friendly and sustainable products and practices. This opens up opportunities for entrepreneurial hairstylists interested in incorporating sustainability into their businesses.

Job Satisfaction in the Hairstyling Industry

Job satisfaction is a crucial aspect of any career, and the hairstyling industry is no exception. Hairstylists who enjoy their work are more likely to be productive and successful in their careers. There are several factors that contribute to job satisfaction in the hairstyling industry, including:

  • Creativity: Many hairstylists enjoy the opportunity to express their creativity through their work. They can experiment with different hairstyle techniques, color combinations, and styles to create unique looks for their clients.
  • Client Interactions: Interacting with clients is an essential part of a hairstylist’s job. Building relationships with clients and making them feel good about themselves and their appearance can be very satisfying for many hairstylists.
  • Work-Life Balance: Hairstyling can be a flexible and accommodating career, allowing hairstylists to balance their work and personal lives effectively. With the ability to work part-time or choose their working hours, many hairstylists find that their career provides them with the work-life balance they need.

Overall, hairstyling can be a fulfilling and satisfying career for those who are passionate about it. According to a survey conducted by the National Career Service, hairstyling has an overall job satisfaction rating of 79.9%, indicating that many hairstylists are content with their career choice.

Benefits and Perks of Being a Hairstylist

Being a hairstylist has numerous benefits and perks that make it a rewarding profession. Here are some of the advantages of pursuing a career in hairstyling:

Flexibility of Working Schedule

As a hairstylist, you have the flexibility to set your own working hours and create a schedule that suits your lifestyle. Whether you prefer to work weekends or evenings, or split your hours throughout the day to accommodate family responsibilities, you can craft a schedule that fits your needs.

Creative Opportunity

Hairstyling is a profession that allows for creativity and self-expression. You have the opportunity to use your skills and artistry to craft unique haircuts, color treatments, and styling for clients. This allows you to showcase your creativity and build a portfolio of unique hair designs.

Building Lasting Relationships with Clients

Hairstylists develop deep connections with clients as they work with them over time. Building client relationships creates a loyal clientele that regularly seeks your services, which leads to long-standing relationships and increased job satisfaction. Seeing satisfied clients and contributing to their positive self-image can be very fulfilling.

Image related to the hairstyling profession:

Benefits of being a hairstylist


In conclusion, pursuing a career as a hairstylist can be a rewarding and fulfilling choice. As we have discussed, the hairstyling industry offers promising career prospects, with a high demand for skilled and qualified professionals. While the average hairstylist salary may not be as high as other professions, factors such as tips, commissions, and bonuses can significantly boost earnings. Additionally, the hairstyling industry provides opportunities for growth and advancement, making it a viable long-term career path.

The skills and qualifications required to excel as a hairstylist can be acquired through education and licensing programs. An aspiring hairstylist must possess technical expertise and interpersonal skills to succeed in the industry. Job satisfaction in the hairstyling industry is high, with hairstylists enjoying creative autonomy, positive client interactions, and work-life balance flexibility. Finally, the benefits of being a hairstylist include the opportunity to build lasting relationships with clients and the chance to express one’s creativity.

It is essential to weigh all the factors discussed in this article before deciding to pursue a career as a hairstylist. However, if you have a passion for hairstyling, enjoy working with people, and love expressing your creativity, a career as a hairstylist can be a promising and fulfilling choice.


Is hairstyling a good career choice?

Yes, hairstyling can be a rewarding career choice for individuals with a passion for hair and beauty. It offers opportunities for creativity, personal growth, and the chance to make clients feel confident and beautiful.

What are the career prospects in the hairstyling industry?

The hairstyling industry has a positive outlook with steady job growth. As people continue to value their appearance, the demand for skilled hairstylists is expected to remain high. Additionally, there may be opportunities to advance to higher positions or even open your own salon.

What are the benefits of being a hairstylist?

Being a hairstylist offers several benefits. You have the opportunity to express your creativity, build relationships with clients, enjoy a flexible work schedule, and potentially earn a competitive salary. Additionally, the hairstyling profession allows you to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques in the industry.

What is the salary potential for hairstylists?

The salary potential for hairstylists varies depending on factors such as location, salon reputation, clientele, and experience. While entry-level hairstylists may earn a modest salary, experienced and successful hairstylists have the potential to earn a substantial income, especially in high-end salons or through self-employment.

What skills and qualifications are necessary to become a hairstylist?

To become a hairstylist, you will need to complete a recognized cosmetology program and obtain a state license. Additionally, it is essential to have strong technical skills in cutting, coloring, and styling. Interpersonal skills, such as effective communication and customer service, are also crucial in providing excellent service to clients.

How is the demand for hairstylists in the job market?

There is a consistent demand for hairstylists in the job market, as people will always seek professional hair services. However, the level of demand may vary depending on factors such as location and economic conditions. Staying updated with current industry trends and continually improving your skills can enhance your chances of securing job opportunities.

Is job satisfaction high in the hairstyling industry?

Job satisfaction in the hairstyling industry can be high for those who are passionate about their work. Hairstylists often express satisfaction through their ability to create beautiful hairstyles, build lasting relationships with clients, and contribute to their clients’ self-esteem. However, like any profession, individual experiences may vary.

What are the benefits and perks of being a hairstylist?

Being a hairstylist comes with several benefits and perks. These include the opportunity to have a flexible work schedule, the chance to unleash your creativity, the potential to earn tips and commissions, and the ability to work in a dynamic and sociable environment. Additionally, hairstylists often enjoy the satisfaction of making a positive impact on their clients’ lives.

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