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Jobs Outlook: Barbers, Cosmetologists, and Other Personal Appearance Workers




Overall employment of barbers, cosmetologists, and other personal appearance workers is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2012, because of increasing population, incomes, and demand for personal appearance services. In addition to those arising from job growth, numerous job openings will arise from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations, retire, or leave the labor force for other reasons. As a result, job opportunities generally should be good. However, competition is expected for jobs and clients at higher paying salons, as applicants compete with a large pool of licensed and experienced cosmetologists for these positions. Opportunities will be best for those licensed to provide a broad range of services.

Employment trends are expected to vary among the different specialties within this grouping of occupations. For example, slower than average growth is expected in employment of barbers due to a large number of retirements and the relatively small number of cosmetology school graduates opting to obtain barbering licenses. On the other hand, employment of hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists should grow about as fast as average, because many now cut and style both menís and womenís hair and because the demand for coloring services and other hair treatments, such as permanent waves, by teens and aging baby boomers is expected to remain steady or even grow.

Continued growth in the number of nail salons and full-service day spas will generate numerous job openings for manicurists, pedicurists, skin care specialists, and shampooers. Nail salons specialize in providing manicures and pedicures. Day spas typically provide a full range of services, including beauty wraps, manicures and pedicures, facials, and massages.