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>> Learn more about the barber program and how it impacts the hairstylist program.


Barbers cut and style hair to suit the client's face and lifestyle. Barbers shave, trim and shape clients' beards and mustaches; recommending home care maintenance to ensure each client always looks and feels their best.

Barbers duties include:

  • shampoo, cut, trim, style hair, hair tattoo,
  • shave, trim and shape beards and mustaches,
  • suggest appropriate styling aids or hairstyles, and
  • analyze hair and scalp and suggest treatment.

Barbers must keep their stations clean and organized. All equipment (scissors, combs, brushes and clippers) are kept in good working condition. Barbers maintain industry standards and follow infection control procedures.

For more information regarding tasks and activities, please review the Trade Regulation.


Working Conditions

Barbers work indoors in a professional, clean environment, but must stand all day and sometimes work through their breaks. They may be required to work weekends and evenings and put in extra hours at peak times.


Skills and Abilities

Successful barbers get job satisfaction from styling hair to suit their client. They must:

  • enjoy people and helpful when serving the public,
  • have the physical stamina needed to stand all day and sometimes go without breaks,
  • keep up-to-date with new trends and hair fashions,
  • always look and dress professionally, and
  • stay up-to-date on new supplies, equipment and technology.


Employment and Advancement

Most barbers work in barbershops. Employment opportunities are concentrated in large and medium-sized urban areas, although smaller communities support barbershops. Flexible work hours are more common than in most other occupations.

Wages for a certified barber varies, but generally range from minimum wage to $18 an hour, or higher. Barbers can be compensated through various methods including: chair rental agreements, commission, hourly rates, bonuses and gratuities. Wages for barbers must meet Alberta Employment Standards Rules.

Barbers may work on cruise ships, institutional settings, become instructors and teach their profession or become a salesperson for a salon/barber equipment and supplies vendor.


Working in Alberta

To work as a barber in Alberta, a person must be either a registered apprentice, an Alberta-certified journeyperson, or hold a valid recognized credential.

Individuals possessing a valid recognized credential in Alberta are eligible to receive a Blue Seal business credential after completing the necessary requirements.


Apprenticeship Training

The term of apprenticeship for a barber is 1 year (one 12-month period) including a minimum of 1,450 hours of on-the-job training and 10 weeks of technical training.

  • Delmar College in Calgary and MC College in Edmonton deliver barber technical training
  • Graduates from an approved private career college will begin collecting on-the-job training hours towards their apprenticeship contract once they become a registered apprentice
  • Inquiries about credit for previously completed courses of study or work experience can be directed to an apprentice client service office toll-free at 1-800-248-4823
  • High school students can become apprentices and gain credits toward apprenticeship training and a high school diploma at the same time under the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP).

To learn the skills required of a barber in Alberta and be issued an Alberta Journeyperson Certificate, a person must:

Most employers prefer to hire high school graduates.

For holders of an existing trade certificate, it can serve as your entrance requirement equivalency when registering in an additional trade.

  • complete the online Apprenticeship Application and Contract
  • pay the non-refundable application fee to the technical training provider as part of the application process 
  • complete the required on-the-job training
  • complete all program requirements as identified in the Course Outline (updated 2019)
  • enroll in technical training
  • successfully complete all required (See Exam Counselling Sheets)
  • apprentices are responsible to pay applicable tuition fees and course supplies
  • Technical Training Resource List
    • Apprentices are required to purchase specific resources and supplies for technical training.
    • Contact the training provider where you will be attending training for a complete list.

Apprentices involved in the Career and Technology Studies (CTS) stream in high school may be eligible for credit towards their apprenticeship first period training. 

Apprentices are required to pay the applicable tuition fee and purchase course supplies before attending technical training.

Student loans, grants, scholarships and other financial assistance may be available. For more information see Financial Assistance, visit an Apprenticeship and Industry Training office or call toll-free to 1-800-248-4823.


Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program

Barber is not a Red Seal designated program. However, to be granted a hairstylist Red Seal endorsement, barbers may enter into the final period of the hairstylist apprenticeship program or may be eligible for the hairstylist qualification certificate with Red Seal.


Qualification Certificate Program

For a Qualification Certificate based on work experience, in order to prepare for the exam(s) please refer to the Exam Counselling Sheets.

Time spent on supervisory or managerial duties, counter work, esthetics, or on a training course is NOT counted as 'hands-on' work experience for barber qualification candidates.


Equivalency Program

In Alberta, a person who holds a valid recognized hairstylist credential does not require an Alberta equivalency document to work in the barber trade. However, some employers may require Alberta documentation as proof that the holder is allowed to work in the barber branch of the hairstylist trade or that the holder's credential is recognized.

Barbers may not work in the full scope of the hairstylist trade and are limited to the duties outlined in barber record book. However, a hairstylist journeyperson is certified to work in the full scope of the barber trade.

Click for more information on the Equivalency Program.