Ways of getting paid

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How to Get Paid


When choosing the barbershop you want to work in, you need to know how the Barber industry is set up. An important thing about working is that you will be earning money, the owners of the shop will obviously want to be paid off your work. You can choose to pay them in one of three ways: commission, salary, or booth rental.


It is recommended that you check what sort of payment they want before agreeing for work.


Also, when looking for work, check with a CPA or Tax Specialist to see whether you can qualify for certain tax breaks.


Booth Rent


You can choose to rent booths at barbershops, and at the end of each week your booth rent is due, if you have it set aside already – you are good to go. Taking a little bit each day and setting it aside is the easiest way to soften the blow of paying out cash every week.


It is the nature of the business – being an independent contractor, you are effectively renting a 4×5 foot space of an establishment to conduct your business.


Please remember the most important part of the last sentence is that it is your business. Treat it as such, a business that is managed efficiently and effectively, in an environment that meets your standards. Throughout my writings I use the word crusty which sums up an undesirable situation, relationship, an environment. Make sure you stay away from crustiness as much as possible.


You are a valuable commodity to your clientele. Your work and character speaks volumes, and through your skills of a great barber; you will always be able to make money in whatever atmosphere you choose. Thus, when you decide which establishment you will be paying thousands of dollars to each year, make sure you are happy with your choice.





Know that owners of the establishment you will be working for will most likely only care about getting money from you every week. They do not care if you had a single or a thousand cuts, they only want their rent. It is rarely the fault of the establishment or other barbers if you are struggling to make your rent. If it is not working for you, then you should work somewhere else.




Owner provides


  • Electricity
  • Workstation
  • Compliance with State Standards set for Barber Establishment
  • Receptionist*
  • Client Data base*
  • Education*
  • W2* for tax purposes


* – denotes that service is optional



Less concern over overhead cost but you lose some control over personal work times, break times, and work production depending on shop operating procedures.




  • Barbers are expected to provide service to the public
  • Practice State Standards of Sanitation
  • Tools
  • Complies with the rules and standards of the shop
  • Take your hourly wages multiply by 2 and add three 0’s to quickly see what you will make in a year. Example $15 per hour x 2= 30 add ,000= $30,000 per year



You receive a set amount no matter if you cut 1 head per hour or 5.

$100,000.00 Annual Example


$100,000.00 = $8,400.00/month




                          14/cuts per day

                          1 ¾ haircut/per hour

                          8hr day



As a salary barber make sure you are being accounted for as an employee and not an independent contractor. Some owners want to treat you and pay you like an employee but treat you as an independent contractor when it comes to taxes, so they don’t have to pay taxes that benefits you, such as workers’ compensation.


Consult a tax professional for guidelines, laws and additional information.



Most things in life are negotiable, terms of the agreement are most important!


Know your math

Have a good understanding on the price of services you provide and how much you walk away with.


Don’t forget to account for taxes. Consult a tax professional so everything is accounted for.



Know your worth. Make sure you get paid for what you are worth. In this industry you are going to pay a % of your earnings to a shop owner if you choose to work in an establishment.


Analyze the situation carefully and choose the best environment. Often, salary-offering shop owners have a stronger influence over barbers. This means more rules. They keep track of how much you are making, and expect extraordinary standards, because the more you earn, the more they earn.