Become a barber

Barbering is a creative and rewarding career. There will always be demand for skilled barbers in this growing and exciting industry. An apprenticeship is the best way to become a qualified barber.

What do apprentices do?

Apprentices get real hands-on experience and get paid to do the job while being trained by a qualified barber. You start out learning customer service skills and quickly work your way up to cutting and styling skills.

It takes approximately two years to become a fully qualified barber if you’ve had no other experience.


Qualification New Zealand Certificate in Commercial Barbering
Duration 2-3 years
Cost $1600 approximately
Level 4

The New Zealand Certificate in Commercial Barbering is made up of all the technical skills required to work as a barber. During your apprenticeship you’ll learn these skills and achieve unit standards and credits along the way. You’ll learn:

  • the anatomy and physiology of hair and scalp
  • designing and shaping beards
  • wet shaving with a cutthroat
  • hair and scalp conditions
  • cutting hair using barbering techniques
  • the business and commercial skills required to run a professional barbershop.

If you go into a barbershop and they aren’t qualified – even if they’re an amazing barber – it doesn’t look as good as someone who is qualified. Having a qualification presents a good image to clients

Bronson Beri

There’s so much you can do in barbering and it’s good to get a certificate behind you, especially if you travel overseas. That way your future employers can see that you’ve achieved something.

Nathan Nukunuku
Who is HITO?

HITO is the Industry Training Organisation for Hairdressing, Barbering and Beauty Therapy.

We develop and support apprenticeship and on-job training qualifications for career and business success.

Our vision is for 100% of people in our industries to be 100% New Zealand qualified.

How do I start?

Your first step will be to find an apprenticeship position in a barbershop.

Ask at barbershops near you or search for a vacancy on the HITO website.

HITO Sales and Training Advisors can help with any questions about apprenticeship training or qualifications. Contact us.

If you’ve been working as a barber for more than three years and want to get qualified, then you don’t need to become an apprentice. HITO’s Qualification by Experience programme can help you get qualified quickly by taking into account all your experience.


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