What Does a Hairstylist Do?

Hairstylists (332A) shampoo, cut, perm, shave and style hair. With appropriate training, Hairstylists also perform more complex tasks, such as colouring/frosting hair, weaving, or adding hair extensions.



Essential Skills for Success as a Hairstylist                            NOC Code: 6271

Job -Related Skills, Interests and Values

  • Using and maintaining a variety of tools, such as scissors, razors, combs etc.
  • Working with a customer’s personal tastes and fashion trends to design a hairstyle that will please the customer
  • Using a variety of hair care beauty products to best achieve a particular style or look
  • Training or supervising other hairstylists, hairdressers and assistants
  • Ordering supplies, keeping records and accounts as well as other administrative tasks

Additional information on training standards for this particular trades in the Service sector may be found on the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) website at: http://www.collegeoftrades.ca/wp-content/uploads/Hairstylist-332A-EN-TS3.pdf

What Preparation and Training Do You Need?

Hairstylist is a Compulsory trade, meaning that a certificate of qualification gained through apprenticeship and/or examination is mandatory. To become a Hairstylist you must complete Grade 12, and enter a two to three year hairstyling apprenticeship program or complete a college hairstyling program combined with on-the-job training. Graduates of a 1500 hour hairstyling program require an additional 2000 hours of on-the-job training; people who do not complete a hairstyling program need to successfully complete an apprenticeship composed of 3020 on-the-job hours as well as two 8-week in school training sessions. This is the minimum to be apprenticed in this trade under the (OCTAA) Ontario College of Trades Apprenticeship Act (2009). Please note that minimum entry requirements to this and other trades are currently under review by the Ontario College of Trades.

What’s Your Future as a Hairstylist?

There is a steady demand for Hairstylists. Many larger beauty salons rent out their chairs to hairstylists, who in effect become self-employed. Some hairstylists with established clientele work out of their home. Wherever the work is performed, a Hairstylist needs good physical stamina to be on their feet for long periods of time. There is also exposure to a variety of chemicals. The majority of hairstylists work full-time, but a significant number are part-time or self-employed. Places that hire Hairstylists include:

  • Barber and Beauty Salons
  • Hotels
  • Hospitals
  • Private Clubs
  • Prisons

Wage Rate

  • Apprentices generally earn significantly less than fully qualified workers
  • As skills and expertise are acquired, wages increase
  • A fully qualified licensed Hair Stylist can make from $25,000 - $40,000 per year; those with a larger clientele can earn significantly more
  • Some Hairstylists work for a salary plus tips, while others work on commission; those who own and operate their own salon can earn an amount proportionate to the numbers of paying customers they attract


Ask Yourself: Is Working as a Hairstylist for You?

Do you enjoy working with people and enhancing their self-image?

Yes      No

Can you stand on your feet for up to 8-11 hours per day?

Yes      No

Do you enjoy keeping up with fashion trends and new ideas?

Yes      No

Are you able to work with chemicals such as shampoos, perms, dyes?

Yes      No

Do you mind working evenings or weekends?

Yes      No

Are you good at visualizing hairstyles compatible with people's physical features?

Yes      No

Do you pay attention to detail and like to get things just so?

Yes      No

If you answered Yes to most of these questions, a career as a Hairstylist may be for you!

You may also want to explore other careers that require similar interests and skills, such as:

  • Aesthetician
  • Salon and Spa Attendant
  • Manicurist/ Pedicurist
  • Painter and Decorator
  • Horticultural Technician
  • Baker


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