How to make $100,000 a year as a barber

million dollar barber

How to make $100,000 a year as a barber

Is making $100,000 a year a realistic goal for barbers? Like many artistic professions, making good money cutting hair can be tough.


Photo by Caleb Oquendo from Pexels

The US Department of Labor Statistics states that the median salary for a barber is just under $25,000 per year. That is about $11.97 per hour. With many payments done in cash, the income is not always declared, making number little lower than the actual amount. Regardless, it is still a bit away from the upcoming new minimum wage of $15 per hour. This makes reaching $100,000 a year seem like an impossibility, but, keep reading and you will see how it is possible to reach this income.

So what should a barber or hairstylist be doing to nearly quadruple the average rate of their peers? Here are some questions that all stylists and barbers should be asking themselves if they want to be able to make $100,000.

Are you working enough hours?

One of the perks of being a barber is the ability to work flexible schedules. If you are only working three days a week then reaching $100k is going to be unlikely. Being a barber gives you tremendous flexibility in your schedule. However, to reach your financial goals, you must figure out clever ways to maximize your time. It is not just about simply working more hours, but try to work the hours when the shop is busiest.

Your hunger and drive is key to your success.

Are you charging the right amount?

Depending on the location and clientele of the shop you work in, this may be out of your control. However, if you work with a shop owner who lets you set your own prices, this can allow you to charge a premium for different types of cuts, styles, and shaves.

What is your time worth? Think about it less as charging per haircut and more charging for your time and specialties. 

To reach $100k working a standard 40-hour work week, you will need to be making $50 per hour. If you are charging $25 per haircut, that means you need to be doing two haircuts every hour.

Keep track of your time.

Use tools like your phone to time yourself on each haircut. This will give you a sense of what your actual cut time is.  Use this data to find areas to improve your efficiency. Also keep track of the times, dates, and customers to get a sense of when its busiest.

Look at your competitors in the area.

Get a sense of what your competitors charge for similar services. Do you want to be the “cheap cut“ or seen as a premiere service? Perhaps somewhere in the middle?

Research your competitors pricing to make sure you are priced correctly for what you offer and adjust your price point accordingly. You can always offer deals to your loyal clients to keep them happy if you do decide to raise your prices.

You can read about the different types of options barbers have when working at a barbershop by reading the post “Should You Rent A Chair or Work as A Commission Barber? What Are the Pros and Cons of Each?”

Or you can consider opening your own barber shop.

Contact us and see what it takes to become a barber at Miami’s only dedicated barber school.

Book A Campus Tour

Learn How You Can Start The Journey To Become A Barber and Be Your Own Boss!

Tip Jar

Are you earning good tips?

A great way to increase your earnings is by earning tips. Track and calculate how much you are making in tips on average to figure out the percentage. On average, the standard tip amount in the service industry is 15 – 20%. Typically, clients will tip 10% even if they thought your service was bad.

Go the extra mile to make your clients happy, they will appreciate it and it will reflect in how much they tip. Some barbers even offer refreshments, either for free or a nominal fee, just to make their customer’s experience more comfortable an memorable. This will also help you build a loyal client base that will follow you if you decide to work at a different barber shop. 

Although most barbers prefer to be paid in cash, keep in mind that more and more people don’t carry cash. By using a payment system on your phone, it offers your clients the ability to add a tip easily. This will also hep you track your earnings, customers, and more.

Tipping makes a difference:
A $25 per haircut, that is 4,000 haircuts a year, or 334 per month, or about 84 haircuts per week. At 2 haircuts per hour, that is 42 hours of haircuts. If you are earning a 20% tip on every haircut, you would only need 66 haircuts a week, or 33.5 hours per week.

Do you have enough clients and they you keep coming back?

To continue with the example from earlier, by doing two haircuts an hour at $25 per haircut, that means you need to do 4,160 haircuts a year to meet your $100,000 goal. At that rate you need roughly 320 clients to book consistently every month to fill your schedule. Unfortunately, not all of these clients will return, or perhaps return when you are not available. Some may never return, it is the nature of the business.

You constantly need to find new clients. If you have a turnover of 30%, that means each month you need to also gain 100 new clients. This is where marketing, word of mouth, and promoting your business becomes extremely important. If you are not seeing more than 100 new clients per month, you will most likely fall short of the $100k mark. If you do services that are more infrequent, like women’s services (which can be bi-monthly or even quarterly), then you need to increase your active client number by double or triple to maintain a full schedule.

Are you being organized with your schedule?

If you are keeping track of your hours, clients, number of cuts per week, day, and month, then next, you need to keep your schedule well managed. Fill in any gaps in your day and schedule your appointments to be as efficient as possible. Keep in mind potential cancellations or re-schedules.

An empty time slot is lost money. It doesn’t sound like much at first, but missing one $25 appointment per day due to scheduling issues or a lack of available space can cost you more than $6,500 a year!

Anticipate how to keep your schedule full. Be sure to stay in touch with your clients, send out text message haircut reminders, send out special promotions, and send out appointment reminders. The fact is, it is rare a barber shows this level of organization and professionalism. Because of this, if you do this diligently, you will stand out and earn more clients than most, if not all, of your competitors. Send out a text message saying thanks for allowing me to cut your hair today. Go a step further, ask for feedback, ask if they would refer you to a friend.

Ask for referrals.

Offer a referral reward. If a client offers to bring you a new client, offer hem a discount on their next cut, or give them a cut for free. This will give your client base a big boost.


Brand yourself

Do your clients remember your name? Would they remember you if you moved to another barber shop? Some barbers give themselves clever nicknames to make it easier for their clients to remember them.

Give out stickers, business cards, and even use a logo and stick that on your mirror.

Use social media to post pictures of the different types of styles and services you offer. Have your clients give you a follow. You can even take it a step further and use your social media account to book appointments.

With all of the free or low cost tools available on your phone, it is very possible to drive enough business to reach and maybe even exceed the $100,000 income.

Be sharp, and you can make the cut!