Working as a Hairstylist [NOC 6341]
Hairstylists cut and style hair and perform related services.
You do the following tasks:
- discuss hairstyles with clients and make recommendations that suits a client‘s physical features or determine style from client‘s instructions and preferences
- shampoo, cut, trim, taper, curl, wave, perm and style hair
- apply bleach, tints, dyes or rinses to colour, frost or streak hair
- analyze hair and scalp condition and provide basic treatment or advice on beauty care treatments for scalp and hair
- clean and style wigs and hair pieces
- apply hair extensions
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]
WorkBC provides employment outlook within BC regions for 2019-2029
You can learn more about working as a hairstylist in BC from:
- Career Cruising – Profile for ‘Hairstylist’
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 $32,077. Hairstylists can work in salons as employees. Or, they rent chairs or booths within salons as self-employed workers. They may also operate their own salons. Those who own their own barbershop or salon usually make more money.
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.
Job Bank Canada, Wages Report provides hourly wages for hairstylists in BC regions
Sources: WorkBC, Career Cruising, Job Bank Canada
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
- employers may require applicants to provide a hairstyling demonstration before being hired
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 Hairystylist 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 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
You’ll find job advertisements in local newspapers, electronic sources, and through professional associations.
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.
- Available online through the Vancouver Public Library
NOTE: You can access this database from the Central Library or VPL branch libraries.
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
- 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 SEARCH.
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
Associations for hairstylists in BC and Canada provide information and assistance. Registration and fees are usually required for membership.
Search the Vancouver Public Library catalogue for journals related to your profession. Examples include