Hairdressers cut, style, colour, straighten and permanently wave hair, and treat hair and scalp conditions.
A certificate III or IV in hairdressing or barbering is usually needed to work as a Hairdresser. These courses are often completed as part of an apprenticeship.
providing advice on hair care, beauty products and hairstyles
shampooing hair and conditioning scalps
colouring, straightening and permanently waving hair with chemical solutions
cutting hair with scissors, clippers and razors
styling hair into dreadlocks and braids and adding hair extensions
shaving and trimming beards and moustaches
cleaning work areas and sanitising instruments
arranging appointments and collecting payments
may clean, colour, cut and style wigs and hairpieces
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow strongly
- is likely to reach 69,600 by 2026.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 51% of people employed as Hairdressers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 15 percentage points below the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 41 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Median full-time earnings are $1,038 per week, this is much lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $984
- 1 in 4 earn more than $1,178
Median hourly earnings are $27, this is lower than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Hairdressers||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Most Hairdressers work in the Other services industry.
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Hairdressers||All Jobs Average|
Around 43% of Hairdressers live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Hairdressers is 34 years. This is younger than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 85% of the workforce. This is 37 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Hairdressers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||2.5||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A certificate III or IV in hairdressing or barbering is usually needed to work as a Hairdresser. These courses are often completed as part of an apprenticeship.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Hairdressing and Beauty VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Hairdressers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||0.2||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||4.9||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Hairdressers who connect with their customers, work well in a team and are well presented.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Looking for ways to help people.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Talking to others.
37%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
36%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
34%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Reading work related information.
Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
23%Operation and control
Controlling equipment or systems.
Deciding on the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
64%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
34%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
29%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
23%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
21%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
20%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
19%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
19%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
17%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
13%Sociology and anthropology
Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
12%Therapy and counselling
Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Listen to and understand what people say.
Communicate by speaking.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Read and understand written information.
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
Use your abdominal and lower back muscles a number of times without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
38%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Do two or more things at the same time.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
73%Working with the public
Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.
67%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
52%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
50%Helping and caring for others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.
49%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
47%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
46%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
46%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
43%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
43%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
42%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
39%Managing payments and orders
Monitoring and controlling resources and the spending of money.
38%Controlling equipment or machines
Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).
37%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
37%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
35%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
34%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
34%Negotiating and resolving conflicts
Handling complaints and disagreements, and negotiating with people.
28%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
97%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
97%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
96%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
Talk on the telephone.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
94%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
87%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
87%Spend time standing
Spend time standing at work.
Talk with people face-to-face.
81%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
80%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
68%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
68%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
66%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.
53%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
Work to strict deadlines.
Work with people in a group or team.
51%Minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings
Be exposed to minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings.
49%Angry or unpleasant people
Deal with unpleasant, angry, or rude people.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 39-5011.00 - Barbers.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.