How To Become a Hairdresser in Australia

Many people have the skill to cut and style hair. These people might work in a shop, do some things hairdressers do, and they may even call themselves hairdressers. They feel that they have earned this title because they have been styling and cutting hair for years and have a lot of experience.

Though having experience is very important for hairdressers, specific qualifications must be met to be considered a certified hairdresser. The technical skill of dressing hair does not take formal training, it does, however, take formal training to be a hairdressing a profession.

Hairdressing station

In this blog, I will explain all the different ways to become a certified hairdresser, how to become a hairdresser, what the difference is between a professional hairdresser and a junior hairstylist, and how to know if hairdressing is the profession for you.

It is essential to know the proper way to become a hairdresser because merely knowing how to style hair will not make you the best hairdresser you can be.

A quick list on how to become a hairdresser:

Barber and Hairdresser Pay Table

Professionals need to eat as much as they a creative outlet, so we have put together a pay scale table. How much do Australian hairdressers and barbers earn? Let’s have a look at our 2020-2021 guide that covers Barbers and Hairdressers in Australia.

Job Qualification Hourly
Apprentice First year $8-10
Apprentice Second year $9-11
Apprentice Third year $10-13
Junior Newly Certified $19-23
Intermediate Certified with 1-3 years experience $25-28
Senior Certified with over 3 years experience $29-40


The apprentice salaries range from $10,000 to $20,000 before bonuses. The junior to senior certified hairdresser salaries range from $32,000 to $65,000 before bonsues.

Don’t let this bring you down, as bonuses are what adds on top of the salary to make it worth while. The average yearly bonuses range from $3,000 to $15,000 for professional hairdressers and barbers

Learn more about your pay scale here or on minimum wage here.

What is a Hairdresser?

What is hairdressing in 2020

To begin, a professional or certified hairdresser is a person who either went to school or obtained certification to cut and style hair with the intent to maintain a person’s hair or change their appearance for a living. Hairdressers usually have a shop or salon that they work in daily, and hairdressers often own their own businesses.

To become a hairdresser, you typically have to have these qualities:

Hairdressers do a lot more than just style hair and one of the most significant aspects of being a hairdresser is having exceptional people skills.

Hairdressers have to spend a lot of time with people and need a high level of social skills. Hairdressing must have exceptional customer service skills, because being able to connect with clients may be the only reason they come back.

Most times the ability to do hair well is not why clients keep coming back, it’s the relationship they formed with their stylist.

It is easy to find some who has the technical skill to style hair; it is hard to find a hairdresser that bonds with their clients on a personal, friend like basis.

Hairdressers also need to have excellent networking skills. Building a client base that comes back to you consistently is critical in this line of business. Connecting with other stylists in the area is also essential.

Some techniques others are better at and when you have a team of hairdressers able to help each other clients will get their perfect outcome every time. Having an ecosystem of other hairstylists and clients that are committed to maintaining their appearance with you as a hairdresser is very important.

How do you become a Hairdresser?

Where to start becoming a hairdresser?

There are two main options to choose from when you are attempting to become a professional hairdresser. One way to become a professional hairdresser is to find an apprenticeship in your area and learn that way. An apprenticeship is a program that gives training to a person interested in learning a particular trade.

To become a hairdresser you usually have to complete:

  • Apprenticeship
  • Year 10
  • VET Qualification
  • Study and/or training at Colleges, Beauty or Barber schools

To become a hairdresser, you usually have to complete an apprenticeship. Entry requirements may vary, but hair salons require Year 10. Finishing a VET qualification. Check what - - school or college requires of you to start your hairdressing course.

The apprentice is usually learning the trade by studying under someone who is already working in the profession. The teacher is more often than not someone who has been working in that particular field for a long time and have years and years of experience.

Being in an apprenticeship is considered a full-time job where the student is learning through hands-on work. An apprenticeship can take anywhere from 1 year to 6 years, so it is important to do your research and pick an apprenticeship that works best for you and your career goals.

The other option is to complete a hairdressing course and receive a certification that shows you are qualified to style hair. Some of these courses are online, and others require you to attend a school where you practice your skill. Either way, this is an excellent option for learning and perfecting the art of hairdressing.

Taking a hairdressing course can take anywhere from 6 months to two years. Just remember when choosing the course and school, make sure their program is qualified and licensed to teach hairdressing.

Also, be sure that the school’s goals align with your career goals. Having the proper training legitimizes your practice and will help you receive a higher quality clientele.

What certifications do you need to be a Hairdresser?

Hairdressing tools in 2020

When trying to decide what certification best suits you, the biggest thing to consider is where you are in the world. Every country has different standards for their certifications and knowing what qualifies as proper certification in your own country is very important.

Nothing would be worse than going through a program, paying all the money required for the courses and not being able to find a job. Doing your research is probably the most essential step and should be done before any money is spent.

For those of you living in Australia, there are plenty of options for you when choosing the perfect hairdressing school. But again, finding the institution that best fits your career goals is the most crucial feature of the school and the courses they provide.

There are part-time and full-time options to choose from. The two certifications you can receive are the Certification III in Hairdressing and the Certification IV in hairdressing.

Choose wisely!*

What is the difference between a hairdresser and a junior hairstylist?

A junior hairstylist is more of a salon assistant. These are the people that aspire to be a hairdresser and may even be in an apprenticeship position at the salon.

This position is significant to the salon and hairdresser, without them, the hairdressers would have a lot more work on their hands. The junior hairstylist is also probably the first person who greets the clients when they come into the salon.

The salon assistance also has the job of shampooing, conditioning the clients and keeping them feeling comfortable and welcome.

The salon would not run as smoothly without the salon assistance or junior hair stylists, but the hairdressers are the one’s styling and cutting the client’s hair. Alongside shampooing and conditioning, junior hairstylists usually have the job of keeping the salon clean, answering phones, keeping items in stock and booking appointments.

There are a lot of responsibilities being a salon assistant, but the job is rewarding and prepares the junior stylist for their goal of being a hairdresser.

How to know if Hairdressing is for YOU!

How much does a hairdresser get paid?

So, you’ve gotten the chance to read about what hairdressers do and how to get into this rewarding and lucrative profession. You may be asking yourself.

“How do I know if hairdressing is the right fit for me?” Hairdressing is a highly creative and interpersonal career that takes a lot of patience and attention to detail.

If you are the type of person who loves instant gratification and are dedicated to helping other people be who they want to be, hairdressing might be the perfect job for you.

Hairdressers have to be great listeners. Being able to hear what their client wants and execute the style without their own personal preferences getting the way is essential. Also, being a great conversationalist is very important for hairdressers.

Your clients probably won’t choose you solely off your hair cutting technique. Your personality and ability to make them feel comfortable welcomed and excited about their new or maintained style will be a major part of their decision to come back.

Does this sound like you? If these attributes are something you can put into practice, hairdressing might be the profession for you. With the right training, anyone can be taught how to style and cut hair. But it’s hugely harder to learn and teach someone how to be an outgoing person or how to be naturally creative.

Hairdressing is a noble profession that takes skill, creativity and patience, but most importantly, hairdressers love to help people and change their dreams into a reality.