How to Become a Hairdresser in Australia in 2020

So, you want to become a hairdresser in Australia in 2020? Discover what you need to do to make your dream come true, as well as all the ins and outs you need to know, including salary, skills needed and more.

5 reasons to become a hairdresser:

  1. Hairdressing allows you to be creative and help others feel beautiful inside and out.
  2. On average, there is high job satisfaction in the hairdressing industry.
  3. Your career can take you all over the world, working with celebrities, depending on your skill and networking abilities.
  4. You have the option to work in a salon, open your own or freelance.
  5. Hairdressers are wanted in pretty much every country, so there is a possibility to travel with a work visa and use your skills almost anywhere. 

Before you decide cutting, colouring and styling hair is the career for you, read our guide to becoming a hairdresser in Australia in 2020! We talk job descriptions, salary, alternative job options, skills needed and everything else you’d ever want to know.

Feature image: Aw Creative on Unsplash
Being a hairdresser lets you express your creativity.

How to Become a Hairdresser in 2020 — Salary, Job Description, Skills & More

What does a hairdresser do?

A hairdresser is a trained professional, specialising in cutting, colouring, treating and styling hair. Most hairdressers will work in or operate a salon, or operate on a freelance basis.

During a hairdressing course or apprenticeship, a student or trainee will learn safe practices, different cutting techniques and styles, colour correction and processing, hair extensions, chemical reactions, straightening and more. Courses include a combination of practical and theoretical study, working with real-life clients.

How much does a hairdresser earn?

According to, a full-time, first-year apprentice hairdresser will earn around $8.13 an hour. However, as this is considered studying, you may be eligible for government concessions. 

Once you progress onto the second year of your apprenticeship, you’ll be looking at around $9.93 an hour, while at a third-year level, you’ll bump up to $13.90 per hour. After completing your Certificate III, the base hourly wage for a hairdresser is $18.06.

The average salary for a fully qualified hairdresser in Australia is $50,000 to $60,000, although this does vary from state to state and your level of skill. Some salons will also have a commission or bonus structure for upselling products.

How do you become a hairdresser in Australia?

To be a hairdresser in Australia, you’re required to complete a certificate III in hairdressing, either through an apprenticeship or industry school. The minimum education requirement to enter an apprenticeship or course will be a year 10 high school certificate, or the equivalent of. 

In an apprenticeship, you’ll receive on-the-job training, as well as being required to attend an off-site Registered Training Organisation (such as TAFE). Alternatively, a trainer may come out to the salon where you work to do your theory while you’re on the job. 

Achieving each certificate level of your course will require you to complete different modules to demonstrate different skills, such as:

  • Completing financial transactions.
  • Shampooing, conditioning and applying treatments to hair.
  • Carrying out a head, neck and shoulder massage.
  • Drying hair to shape.
  • Braiding.
  • Using tools.
  • Demonstrating a high knowledge of salon products and being able to make recommendations.

And more.

What skills does a hairdresser need?

Being a hairdresser requires more than knowing how to cut in a fringe or blowing out hair. Stylists must know how chemical solutions and other products will react with different hair, have a good eye for detail and be physically healthy too.

Working in hair and beauty requires you to be able to stand on your feet for long periods, which can be extremely draining. You’ll also be required to have your arms up most of the day as you cut, style, colour and hold up appliances, such as hairdressers, which is more tiring than it sounds.

On top of all the technical and physical aspects of the job, you’ll also need to be a great communicator. Hairdressers often end up doubling as a shoulder to cry on or an open ear for their clients’ problems, so you need to be a people person.

It’s also part of the job to keep up with hairstyle trends and breakthrough products and techniques. Even once you’re certified, you’ll be constantly fine-tuning your skills and learning.

Are hairdressers in demand in Australia?

At the time of writing this article, there were 401 jobs on Seek for hairdressers in Australia. The trade itself is known to be growing in popularity, with there being a constant demand for hairdressers and barbers in CBD areas.

Even if the job is not specific to being a hairdresser, there are plenty of other career options for someone with technical training in hair and beauty. 

What other career opportunities do hairdressers have?

As a hairdresser, you will have many different career opportunities. Your hairdressing skills will come in handy in salon roles, such as a stylist, colour specialist, salon manager or salon owner. However, there are a host of other career opportunities becoming a hairdresser in Australia can bring you, if you work hard and network even harder, including:

  • Film, theatre or media stylist.
  • Hair and beauty writer or editor.
  • Influencer.
  • Artistic director.
  • Celebrity stylist.
  • Product consultant.
  • Educator, trainer or assessor.

To kickstart your career in hairdressing, get in touch with a hairdressing school on Localsearch!

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      Sarah Russo

      UX Content Writer

      Sarah Russo is a UX Content Writer at Localsearch with a decade of experience in traditional and digital marketing. She has written for and assisted in the social media and marketing strategies for many different industries, including real estate, medical, health and fitness, trades and beauty. When she isn’t nose deep in data, SEO research or her content strategy, Sarah is a gym junkie, foodie and gamer with a brain full of random facts that come in handy far more often than you would think. As a digital marketing all-rounder and lifestyle specialist, her articles provide insight into marketing, advertising and branding for small businesses on the Localsearch Business Blog, as well as some handy lifestyle tips on the Localsearch Blog.