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What is it like to work in a Salon?

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Have you been wondering about where to work after leaving school? If so, one massively popular option you could consider is working in a salon as a hairdresser. But what is working in a salon like? Might this be the ideal career pathway for you to follow? Today, we’ll be looking at some of the key things you should know about leaving school and starting work in a salon; hopefully, this will equip you with the knowledge you need on what to expect.

Is Hairdressing for You?

Central Hairdressing Academy

Before we go any further, we first need to consider the most crucial question of all: is hairdressing or working in a salon right for you? This question is vital to consider. After all, it will influence your enjoyment of the role and determine whether you have the skills needed to work in a salon. Not just anyone can work in a salon, after all – you’ll need to hold a rather specific set of skills for the best results.

Key Skills to Work in a Salon

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There are several key skills you will need to work in a salon. Of course, you may not have all of these skills right out of school – in these scenarios, an apprenticeship may help you develop your knowledge. However, some of the most vital skills to work in a salon include:

  • Good communication skills (to understand or explain a client’s requirements)
  • Reliable and professional, as you’ll be expected to work consistently
  • Enthusiastic about making other people feel their best
  • Friendly and easy to talk to; most salon clientele are there for the experience as well
  • Able to work independently, most of the time
  • Ability to work closely as part of a team in specific cases (such as for styling)
  • Excellent workspace management and cleanliness (you’ll be handling a lot of products)
  • Creativity and problem-solving skills to ensure every client’s demands are met
  • Physical stamina – you’ll often be on your feet for most of the day

What is it Like to Work in a Salon?

If you think that you have the skills to work in a salon, then undertaking a course or apprenticeship could be a good next step. Before you do, however, it’s also important to check that the working environment in a salon will be right for you.

Generally speaking, salons are calm, relaxing places – at least from the client’s perspective. As such, staff in a salon are usually expected to maintain a high level of professionalism and a sense of calm, no matter the challenges. However, you’ll also be working in a potentially fast-paced environment, especially if you’ve chosen a busy salon. Many clients don’t have time to wait around for hours, and you could have numerous clients to see per day. Expect to work around 40 hours a week, including weekends.

Working in a salon – though seemingly relaxing on the surface – can be incredibly stressful. With this in mind, we highly recommend that you consider whether you’ll be able to make the most of this busy (but rewarding) environment. If not, a slower paced job may be more appropriate for you.

What salary can you expect?

On average a hairdresser can earn £14,000 – £30,000 a year working in a salon.

However, with the many career paths you can take and more qualified stylists going solo, earnings can far exceed this as you improve your abilities and specialise.

Starting your career in hair is easy with a hairdressing apprenticeship. You get hands on experience and professional training, whilst earning a wage.

The current rates (as of April 2022) for an apprentice varies:

  • £4.81 an hour if under 19 or in the first year of your apprenticeship
  • £6.83 an hour if aged 18-20
  • £9.18 an hour if aged 21-22
  • £9.50 an hour is aged 23 and above.

What Career Trajectory You Can Expect

Variety is the spice of life, as they say, and this means you’ll likely want to also consider your future prospects when deciding whether leaving school and working in a salon could be right for you. Indeed, while working in a salon can offer something a little different every day, sometimes, change can be good, and having a career trajectory to work towards can be a major motivator. Fortunately, there are numerous career trajectories you could consider when working in a salon, which could include:

  • Salon manager
  • Salon owner
  • Self-employed hair stylist
  • Hair colourist
  • TV and film Stylist (just like Michael Douglas – read more here)
  • Fashion advisor
  • Hairdressing Trainer or Assessor


All of the above career trajectories are highly achievable options if you start work in a salon after leaving school. So, if you decide you’d like a career shift in a decade or so, don’t worry – there are countless opportunities available for you!

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Final Thoughts

If you’ve left or are about to leave school and want to work in a salon, it’s integral to start out with the right knowledge of what to expect, and decide if that is right for you. Sometimes it helps to talk about your options with people in the field, or attend open days so you can speak to tutors and current learners. 

Whatever you decide, we want to help. You can contact us today by mail, phone us or via our website to speak to one of our friendly team, who will help you make a decision about your next steps.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 0800 783 2901 

Contact us: https://centraltraininggroup.com/contact/

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