How Much Do Australian Hairdressers Earn?

Trying to determine how much an Australian hairdresser earns? According to Fair Work Australia’s Hair and Beauty Modern Award 2010 a first year full-time apprentice should expect to earn a base rate of $8.13 per hour. However you may qualify for government allowances such as youth allowance as well as an allowance for equipment or penalty rates.

The base rate for a second year apprentice starts at $9.93 per hour and a third year apprentice should expect to earn around $13.90 per hour.

Once you have completed your Certificate III in hairdressing, a full-time hairdresser can earn a base wage of around $18.06 per hour.

Once you are fully qualified you can expect to earn between $32,000pa as a starting salary to around $52,200 as a senior stylist, with an average salary equating to around $45,000pa.
*Please note that wages will vary according to your level of skill, your experience and your employer.

Useful Links for financial advice:
Fair Work Australia
Australian Apprenticeships
Apprenticeship Support

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Hairdresser, Hairstylist & Barber, What’s the difference?

As a client, when you require the services of a hair professional, you instinctively know what type of place you should go to, and have a set expectation out of the service it should provide. You can visualise what you want out of the appointment including range of services, prices, time taken, and overall atmoshphere of the experience.
However it can be equally useful as an asprinng hair professional, to understand the difference between a haridresser, hair stylist and barber. As it will help you evaluate which of the options suits your style and personality, and customer expectations.
There is a lot of crossover between each style, however there are some clear differences.

Barber
The word “barber” comes from the latin word “beard” and is someone who cuts hair, gives shaves, and trims beards. Barbers are men and their clients are men. They work in what is called a barber shop, which typically features the traditional white, red and blue barber pole on the outside.
Barbers focus on giving customers simple, low maintenance traditional cuts that usually shorter in style. They also are trained at maintaining facial hair. Men will regularly visit barber shops to have their beard or moustache expertly trimmed or to get a clean hot lather face shave. Some barbers also work with artificial hair replacement products eg. toupees or providing basic colouring services.
For clients, the main appeal of seeing a barber, is that you can can expect a good hair cut at a reasonable price usually without the need for an appointment, or the time commitment going to a salon requires. It also provides a unique atmosphere and conversation that is very appealing to men.

Hairdresser
As hair professionals, hairdressers have a very diverse skillset and are usually more suited to longer and more complex hair styles. They are familiar with the newest trends and can help find the best style choice for their clients. A hairdresser is someone who cut or styles hair in order to change or maintain a person’s image. The main task performed by hairdressers is the cutting of hair, which is done using using scissors, clippers or razors.
Hair dressers will work with their clients, to make sure they have a clear understanding and expectation of the desired look. This consultation may even begin by looking through magazines or style books to work out what the customer truly wants. The hairdresser will advise on what is practical and immediately achievable. If a style goes beyond the scope of a single visit, they hairdresser will help work out the best approach to achieving the desired look and how long it may take to finally get there.
Once this is decided, the hairdresser will first shampoo, condition and rinse their clients hair, then use a combination of hair cutting, hair colouring, and hair texture techniques to get the desired look.
They may also use bleaching, conditioning, permanent waving, straightening and tinting techniques if the style calls for it.
Once the cutting and colouring is complete, hairdressers will also dry and style hair using brushes, combs, straightening irons and other equipment. Hairdressers area also trained on recommending styling products and hair care routines to clients.
Some hairdressers may even shave and trim beards and moustaches but this is not typical of most salons.
See here for more.

Hair Stylist
Sometimes the terms hairdresser and hairstylist are used to generally describe hair proffessionals. While there is definetly some overlap in what both do and offer, there are also some key differences.
Higher end hair salons will have both hairdressers and hair stylists. A hair stylist is someone who actually designs and arranges hairstyles. Stylists typically are involved most heavily in the initial stages of a hair appointment and are the ones who will complete the look by blow drying, arranging and applying products.
Through consultation with the client a hair stylist will come up with an overall vision for the hair style . They will work collaboratively with the hairdresser and colour specialist to oversee each aspect of the processes to ensure that the are able to achieve the final look.
Hair stylists can also work independently. For example some top hair stylists actually prefer to be in control of the entire processes themselves, to ensure that everything is executed exactly as the envisioned. The approach is determined by the stylist’s or salon’s preference.
Being a hair stylist requires a great deal of technical proficiency, attention to detail and creativity. Hair stylists, will have typically started out as a hairdresser and apply their knowledge of technique, colour theory, trends and even personal style to create amazing looks.

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Hairdressing FAQs

How do I become a qualified hairdresser in one year?
You will need to study a Certificate III in Hairdressing at a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) such as Tafe which is a public institution or through a private establishment.

My employer has just fired me. What should I do now?
If you have just been terminated by your employer you should get in touch with the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider on 13 78 73 to advise them and discuss other possible options that may be available to you.

What if my traineeship or apprenticeship is cancelled, could I continue it with an alternative employer?
Yes you can resume your traineeship or apprenticeship with an alternative employer. You and the new employer will be required to sign a new contract through a Registered Training Organisation however you will have to restart the probation period with the new employer.

How to become a hairdresser quickly?
You will need to study a Certificate III in Hairdressing at a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) such as Tafe which is a public institution or through a private establishment.

Am I too old to become a hairdresser?
You are never too old to become a hairdresser, wither your 30, 40 or more if that’s you dream and passion then make it happen. Read our article on Mature Age Hairdressing Study to find out more.

 

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What is a Hairdressing Apprenticeship?

A hairdressing apprenticeship is the means of starting your career by working as a junior hairdresser in an established hair salon while studying for a certificate III at a Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

The apprentice term is from three to four years after which you will be a fully qualified hairdresser.

Specific duties will vary from salon to salon, a list of general duties are listed below:

  • Taking bookings, dairy management and processing payments.
  • Offering advice on styling, colouring and maintenance.
  • Shampooing, conditioning and treatments.
  • Permanently straightening or waving hair.
  • Styling your clients with scissors, razors or clippers.
  • Braiding, adding hair extensions, weaves and dreadlocks.
  • Cut or style weaves or hair pieces.
  • Shaving or trimming beards and/or moustaches.
  • Keeping your utensils as well as your premises clean and sanitary.

Click here to read about cert II in hairdressing.
Click here to read about cert III in hairdressing via an Australian apprenticeship.
Click here to read about cert III in hairdressing via full time study.
Click here to read about cert IV in hairdressing.

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Building your Brand

Why do some people excel in their careers and other stagnate? Some people are naturally more driven than others and some people just don’t know where to start. We have compiled a few point to keep you on the right path and striving for excellence.

Throughout the course of your career you will no doubt be drawn to a particular field that you enjoy or excel in, or maybe you are still looking for that niche area. But once you find it, run with it and own it, don’t be afraid to blow your own trumpet, if you are good enough people will recognise your skills and you will be rewarded.

Set yourself mini goals as well as long term goals, ask yourself where you want to be six months and where will you be in 5 years and make it happen. Believe in yourself and put your strategies in place. Don’t let anyone hold you back or tell you not to strive for what you believe you ca achieve.

It’s not what you know it’s who you know, it’s a well-known saying and true to an extent but of course you won’t get very far in the hair industry without having the necessary skills and talent behind you. But networking and connecting with people is a must for any would be entrepreneur or career driven individual.
Expand you circle by going to events and conventions, this helps you to make new connections and don’t be afraid to talk to people and make new acquaintances, you have to really put yourself out there and sell yourself. But it’s also listen to people too, everyone likes to talk and have someone to listen to their story and you can learn a lot from other people’s experiences.
Keeping an open mind and Staying open to new opportunities that are presented to you, it might not be exactly what you are looking for at that given point but you just never know what it could lead to in the future.

Don’t stop learning, don’t make the mistake of finishing your studies and thinking that you are done with the classroom, you’re not! It’s so important to stay abreast of current trends and to never stop trying to better yourself. Don’t be afraid to go back to studying to gain more knowledge in a particular area.
Build you brand and focus on selling and promoting your business. The best place to start is ensuring you keep a strong presence on social media, keeping for example your Facebook, twitter and Instagram pages up to date on current trends and posting your latest styles will be sure to keep your followers interested.

Get yourself online, a website will really show off your personal style and accomplishments, not only is this the façade of your brand but you can use it to build your clientele using search engine optimisation (SEO) to gain traction on google and other search engines and set yourself apart from your competition. These days websites don’t need to cost you an arm and a leg, sites such as Wix lets you build your own beautiful website at a fraction of the cost of going through a professional web design studio.

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