How to become a Barber

The London Hairdressing Apprenticeship Academy (LHAA) is a dynamic and innovative vocational training organisation that specialises in high quality hairdressing training. Is barbering right for me?

Barbering can be a hugely rewarding profession, both creatively and financially. In recent years the profession has been gaining popularity. This is because there is always a consistent demand and, therefore, steady employment opportunities. Creative jobs that offer an income are hard to come by, and as the fashion industry adapts and evolves more and more artistic people are beginning to realise that barbering can be a very satisfying creative outlet. 

Why choose a Barbering Apprenticeship?

People who have taken an Apprenticeship in the workplace generally have much more confidence with the skills they have learnt. They are also better able to meet the expectations and needs of employers. The main benefits are:


As an Apprentice you learn on the job and you are an employee. As an employee, you are entitled to a wage, which means you EARN WHILST YOU LEARN plus, you won’t be racking up any student debts.  As an Apprentice you are entitled to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for Apprentices which is currently £3.50 per hour (1st April 2017), if you are under 19 or 19 and in the first year of your Apprenticeship.  In the second year of an Apprenticeship those aged 19 or over are entitled to the National minimum wage rate.  If you choose to start a new apprenticeship framework you may remain on the NMW for apprentices.

After that you are entitled to the full minimum wage rate if you are aged 19 or over. If you choose to start a new apprenticeship framework you may remain on the NMW for apprentices. 

Training and Support 

The LHAA training in barbering will provide you with the barbering and ‘salon ready’ knowledge and skills that employers need for you to be able to do the job well.

You’ll have a Tutor who will mentor and support you with your progression and achievement on the programme and will develop an individual learning plan to meet your needs.

Pastoral Care

The LHAA will ensure that your learning takes place within a safe environment. Employer Engagement Managers and Safeguarding Officers are based at each of our Academies and together with your Tutor are all here to support you throughout your time at the LHAA and to make sure you have access to and are aware of the support and opportunities that are available to you. 

Our Employer Engagement Managers will support you with getting a job, CV writing, preparing for an interview as well as providing links to services that can assist you with a variety of issues such as financial advice, careers advice and safeguarding issues.

Career Progression 

Many Apprentices progress to working as a barber within the salons they trained with and some go on to train for a Hair Professional  Apprenticeship to extend their range of skills and knowledge.

Some of the career opportunities available are: salon stylist/barber, colour technician, salon manager, freelance hairdresser/barber, TV/fi lm work, trainer/assessor, teaching, or working on a cruise ship.

How do Apprenticeships work?

Apprenticeships combine on-the- job (at the salon you are employed work at) and off-the-job training (at the LHAA Academy), you EARN WHILST YOU LEARN.
This means you’ll be working in a barbering or hairdressing salon where you will learn and practise your barbering skills to develop your competence in barbering.

You will also attend one of our state of the art Hairdressing/Barbering Academies one day a week where you will learn the underpinning knowledge and practical skills to achieve the Diploma for Hair Professionals (Barbering), English and maths in a hairdressing context as well as important skills such as customer service, teamwork and retail skills.
You will gain your practical skills working within our Academy salon working on clients and supported by our highly experience Educators and Art team.

To achieve a Hair Professional Apprenticeship, learners must successfully complete the following:

  • The Diploma for Hair Professionals (Barbering) which is a work based qualification that is designed to ensure the Apprentice is job ready
  • Functional Skills qualifications in English and maths
  • Apprentices on the Diploma for Hair Professionals (Barbering) will need to pass maths and English functional skills at level 1 but learners must also take the level 2 functional skills tests (even if they don’t pass them).

  • Learners who have achieved maths and English GCSE at grade A*-C are exempted from functional skills.

Is barbering the right choice for you?

There has been a real growth in the number of barbering salons opening in the high street.

Barbering is a fast moving, image conscious business,
so you will need to be very presentable, creative, enjoy meeting people and have loads of energy.

You don’t have to be the academic type and there are no set entry criteria for the Barbering Apprenticeship.

We are looking for Apprentices that are enthusiastic and motivated and have the willingness and passion to become a barber.

You will need to be motivated and hard working to succeed on the Apprenticeship programme.

You will also need to:

  • Be well presented in all aspects including: clothing, hair and personal hygiene
  • Be practical and well organised
  • Be a good communicator with excellent social skills
  • Have a good sense of humour and amicable nature whether dealing face to face with clients or speaking on the telephone
  • Be willing to work flexible hours/days as agreed in the Apprenticeship employment contract
  • Have a high degree of dexterity and coordination
  • Be committed to the programme as we demand high standards of attendance, time-keeping and dedication 

All Apprentices will be interviewed prior to being offered a place at the LHAA.

For further information about our Academies in Camden, Chiswick, Elstree, Croydon and Loughton please contact us on 020 8953 9344 or email [email protected]

The Programme

The Diploma for Hair Professionals (Barbering) programme is a mandatory part of the Apprenticeship standards for Hair Professionals and requires the following 6 units to be completed plus Apprentices must pass the final end-point assessment:

  • Consultation
  • Shampoo, condition and treat the hair and scalp
  • Cutting hair using barbering techniques to create a variety of looks
  • Style and finish men’s hair
  • Cut facial hair into shape
  • Shaving services

Apprentices will also learn and develop the following skills, knowledge and behaviours which are embedded within the barbering units:

  • Professionalism and Values

  • Behaviours and communication

  • Safe working practices

The End-Point Assessment

The final unit includes a synoptic practical assessment carried out by an independent examiner where the apprentice will demonstrate he/she can complete a range of services on a number of models to industry standards and within commercial timings. The end point assessment will be graded a Pass or Distinction.

For further information about our Academies in Camden, Chiswick, Elstree, Croydon and Loughton please contact us on 020 8953 9344 or email [email protected]


Apprenticeship Wages 

As an Apprentice, you learn on the job and you are an employee.  As an employee, you are entitled to a wage, which means you EARN WHILST YOU LEARN, plus, you won’t be racking up any student debts.  Apprentices are entitled to the apprentice rate which is currently £3.50 per hour (1st April 2017), if they’re either:

  • aged under 19

  • aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship

Example: An apprentice aged 22 in the first year of their apprenticeship is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £3.50

Example: An apprentice aged 22 who has completed the first year of their apprenticeship is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £7.05

If you choose to start a new apprenticeship framework you may remain on the NMW for apprentices. 

National Minimum Wage

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is the minimum pay per hour most workers are entitled to by law. The rate will depend on a worker's age and if they are an apprentice.

The National Living Wage

The Government's National Living Wage was introduced on 1 April 2016 for all working people aged 25 and over, and from April 2017 it is £7.50. The current National Minimum Wage for those under the age of 25 still applies.

The rates from 1 April 2017 are:

  • £7.50 per hour - 25 yrs old and over

  • £7.05 per hour - 21-24 yrs old

  • £5.60 per hour - 18-20 yrs old

  • £4.05 per hour - 16-17 yrs old

  • £3.50 for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over who are in the first year of apprenticeship.

The rate will then change every April. 


There are a number of people who are not entitled to the NMW/NLW.

  • Self-employed people.

  • Volunteers or voluntary workers.

  • Company directors.

  • Family members, or people who live in the family home of the employer who undertake household tasks.

All other workers including pieceworkers, home workers, agency workers, commission workers, part-time workers and casual workers must receive at least the NMW.

Why choose The London Hairdressing Apprenticeship Academy?

 Our pledge

  • We offer an Apprenticeship programme for barbering professionals which ensures that you meet the required barbering standard and that you will be fully qualified within 15 – 18 months.
  • Supported by an Employer Engagement Manager throughout the programme with employability skills and with finding a job placement in an LHAA approved salon.
  • Personalised learning - small intimate classes with 2 barbering Educator/Assessors in each class.
  • On the LHAA hair professional Apprenticeship  programmes learners are encouraged and supported to enter national barbering competitions.
  • Training at the LHAA will take place in one of our state of the art Academies, giving real hands on experience with the highest quality technical training provided by our exceptionally skilled Educators and Art team.
  • You will be provided with high quality learning resources to support your training and achievement including the use of an e-portfolio.
  • You will be trained in additional skills to support your role at work that will put you ahead of others and enable you to “go that extra mile”, such as customer service, communicating effectively with customers, working in a team.
  • You will be allocated a personal mentor to support you through the programme both at the Academy and in the salon.  
  • We offer you the opportunity to start the Apprenticeship when you are ready accommodating enrolment throughout the year.

Which areas do we cover?

We work with barbering salons throughout London, Hertfordshire, Middlesex and Essex. All of our barber shops and salons have been approved by the LHAA. 

For further information about our Academies in Camden, Chiswick, Elstree, Croydon and Loughton please contact us on 020 8953 9344 or email [email protected]


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