The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development reported a total of 681 barbers working in Alaska in 2012. But, by 2022 the Department expects this number will increase considerably to meet the growing demand for barbering services throughout the state.
The Alaska Board of Barbers and Hairdressers defines barbering as: trimming, shaving, or cutting, styling, permanent waving, curling, chemically straightening, bleaching, or cleansing the beard or hair for cosmetic purposes.
If you want to become a barber in Alaska, you must be licensed through the Alaska Board of Barbers and Hairdressers, which requires you to complete these steps:
|Complete a Barbering Program or Apprenticeship|
|Apply for Barber Licensure in Alaska|
|Take the Written and Practical Examinations for Barber Licensure in Alaska|
|Search for Job Opportunities and Keep your Barber License Current|
Step 1. Complete a Barbering Program or Apprenticeship
To satisfy the required education for licensure in Alaska, you will start by completing a program of at least 1,650 hours through an approved school, or 2,000 hours of training through an apprenticeship.
You can view a list of approved Alaska barber schools here.
A comprehensive barber program is designed to educate you through both theory and practical experiences. To prepare you to take the required examinations for licensure in Alaska, barber programs provide coursework in a number of areas, including health, sanitation, and safety.
Typical courses found within a barber college program include:
- Sanitation and sterilization
- Honing and stropping
- Straight razors and uses of the straight razor
- Haircutting, styling, and hairpieces
- Shampoo and scalp massage
- Hair coloring
- Facial massage
- Scalp and skin diseases
- State barber laws, rules, and regulations
Step 2. Apply for Barber Licensure in Alaska
Once you have successfully completed an approved barber program or apprenticeship, you must apply for licensure by completing an Application for Barber, Hairdresser, and Esthetician License. In addition to a completed and signed application, you must submit the following fees:
- $80 application fee
- $140 initial license fee
- $95 examination fee ($35 written, $60 practical)
Step 3. Take the Written and Practical Examinations for Barber Licensure in Alaska
Once the Board has reviewed your application, they will notify you of the dates, times, and places of the examination. Both examinations (written and practical) are scheduled about every 4 weeks in Anchorage and about every 8 weeks in Fairbanks. You can view examination dates and deadlines here.
The barber examinations are provided in both English and Spanish.
The practical examination includes the following areas of assessment:
- Haircut, hairstyle
- Virgin tint
- Bleach touch-up and highlight
You can view information on the practical and written examinations by reading the Barber Examination Packet.
Step 4. Search for Job Opportunities and Keep your Barber License Current
All barber licenses in Alaska expire on August 31 of odd-numbered years. There are no continuing education requirements for keeping your barber license current in Alaska; however, many barbers nevertheless choose to attend seminars and other professional events as a way to keep up to date on the latest trends and innovations in barbering.
Further, barbers in Alaska with aspirations of opening their own barbershops also often choose to head back to school to take courses in business, management, and marketing as a way to prepare themselves for running and owning a business in Alaska.
Job and chair rental opportunities may be found through both salons and dedicated barbershops in Alaska. Just a few of the shops found in Alaska include:
- Alaska Barber Shop, Fairbanks
- Tom’s Esquire Barber Shop, Anchorage
- Alaskan Barber Shop, Juneau
- Fairbanks Haircuts, Fairbanks
Barber Salaries in Alaska
The US Department of Labor expects the number of licensed barbers in the US will increase by 13 percent between 2012 and 2022. Barbers can work as employees or lease a chair in established salons. Some are employed by places like resorts, spas, rehabilitation hospitals, nursing homes and hotels while many others open their own shops. There are also quite a few entrepreneurial opportunities in major cities like Anchorage.
A barber’s earnings are greatly affected by tips. The average tip is 15 to 20 percent of the cost of the service; however, tips can be a lot higher if customers are extremely satisfied. Barbers need to be highly skilled in the area of interpersonal relationships. A client who doesn’t like the barber is unlikely to return for another haircut.
Comparing Barber Salaries in Alaska to National Averages
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Alaska is the fourth highest-paying state for this occupation. The salaries earned by barbers in Alaska are considerably higher than national averages.
The State of Alaska does not have salary and employment data for barbers per se; however, the average monthly salary for “Personal Care Workers” in the city of Anchorage is listed as $3,098 with a projected job growth rate of 11 percent in the coming years.