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Working as a Hairstylist [NOC 6341]

Job Description

Hairstylists cut and style hair and perform related services.

You do the following tasks:

  • discuss hairstyles with clients and make recommendations
  • shampoo, cut, curl, colour and style hair
  • provide basic treatment or advice on beauty care treatments for scalp and hair
  • clean and style wigs and hair pieces
  • apply hair extensions
  • may perform receptionist duties and order supplies
  • may train or supervise other hairstylists and helpers

Sources: WorkBC Career Profile for HairstylistCareer Cruising database [Profile for Hairstylist]

Industry Overview

Many job openings due to retirement are predicted through 2027. The highest demand for hairstylists is in large urban areas such as Metro Vancouver and Victoria.

Job Outlook in BC – Hairstylists & Barbers [NOC 6341]

Forecasted average employment growth rate; job openings, composition of job openings

Chart from WorkBC, NOC 6341

WorkBC provides employment outlook* within BC regions for 2017-2027:

Region Employment in
Average Annual Employment
Number of Job Openings
Vancouver Island 2,460 1.7% 1,050
Lower Mainland / Southwest 7,910 1.2% 2,830
Thompson-Okanagan 1,780 1.0% 560
Kootenay 510 1.4% 190
Cariboo 450 0.8% 130
North Coast & Nechako 300 0.8% 90
Northeast 520 0.9% 160

[*Includes hairstylists and barbers]

You can learn more about working as a hairstylist in BC from:

Types of Employers

Hairstylists work in a variety of settings:

  • hairstyling salons
  • vocational schools
  • healthcare establishments
  • theatre, film, and television establishments

You can move into other areas such as sales for beauty supply stores or demonstrating new techniques at hair shows or in salons for staff.


In BC, the median annual salary for hairstylists is $28,866.

If you have advanced training, offer specialized styling services, built up a large clientele, or work in salons in large cities, you typically earn a higher income.  You may also earn considerably more if you run your own salon.

Job Bank Canada, Wages Report provides hourly wages for hairstylists in BC regions:

hourly regional wages in BC; low, median, high

Source: Job Bank, Wage Report

Sources: Career Cruising & WorkBC

Working Hours

You may work part-time or full-time. Evening and weekend work is common.

Skills, Education and Experience


  • friendly and outgoing; enjoy working with people
  • excellent communication skills
  • excellent customer service
  • detail oriented
  • manual dexterity
  • knowledge of business procedures

Education and Experience

  • some secondary school education is required
  • completion of a two- or three-year hairstyling apprenticeship program or completion of a college or other program in hairstyling combined with on-the-job training is usually required
  • several years of experience may replace formal education and training


This occupation is not regulated in British Columbia.

Certification is currently not mandatory to work as a hairstylist in BC.  However, you may choose to become certified as a hairstylist by completing the Cosmetology program approved through the Industry Training Authority (ITA).

There are 2 pathways to achieving a Hairstylist Certificate of Qualification: complete the apprenticeship training program, or, if you have significant work experience, apply to write the Interprovincial Red Seal written examination and take the practical assessment.

For more information see:

The BC Beauty Council is a voluntary professional trade association in BC. The BC Beauty Council also administers a written hairdresser theory exam and practical examination to grant their Certificate of Qualification. Note that this certification is not government-issued and is not recognized in other provinces.

For more information see BC Beauty Council Exams and Certification

Finding Jobs

You’ll find job advertisements in local newspapers, electronic sources, and through professional associations.

Local Newspapers

You can look at the Vancouver Sun & The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings daily, the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays and in The Province on Sundays.

Job White Pages

  • Available online or in print at the Central Library
    (see “Beauty-Body Care”, categories 6510-6649)
    NOTE: You can only access this database from the Central Library or VPL branch libraries. Access is NOT available from home or outside the Library.

Online Job Postings

    Find jobs posted on a multitude of company career sites and job boards

Professional Associations’ Career Resources

Identifying the Right Position

When you browse job advertisements, you’ll find a wide range of different job titles that are relevant.

  • Hair colour technician
  • Hairdresser
  • Hairstylist apprentice
  • Wig stylist
  • Hair care specialist

Creating a List of Potential Employers

You can use directories to produce lists of companies in the Lower Mainland or BC. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.

  • Reference Canada
    Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
    Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
    In the top search box enter “salons” and click LOOKUP.
    Select the appropriate headings.
    Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
    NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).

Applying for a Job

In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume (curriculum vitae) and a cover letter that identifies the position you are applying for and summarizes your relevant experience.

Use the library catalogue to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry.

To learn about applying for jobs in Canada, choose the following links:

Getting Help from Industry Sources

Industry Associations

Associations for hairstylists in BC and Canada provide information and assistance.  Registration and fees are usually required for membership.

Industry Journal

Search the Vancouver Public Library catalogue for journals related to your profession. Examples include: