Job Description (What the job involves)
Becoming a hairdressing apprentice for a hair salon is one of the most common routes to becoming a qualified hairdresser. Generally hair apprenticeship jobs are full time and can last anything from between 3 and 5 years (depending on the contract you enter with your employer), the end of which time the apprentice should hopefully acquire themselves an NVQ level 2 in hairdressing, which you will need to become a stylist.
Hairdressing apprenticeships are ideal because they enable the apprentice to get paid, whilst getting valuable practical experience working in a salon environment which is then strengthened by the theoretical aspects of learning at college which all ends up in them acquiring a valuable level 2 qualification in hairdressing.
What duties does a hairdressing apprentice carry out?
Assist the stylists - Hairdressing apprentices will be required to assist experienced stylists in all aspects of work that they do which can include colouring, cutting or styling hair. In most cases they will be assisting but for more experienced apprentices or those that show promise the stylist will allow them to administer treatments under their supervision.
Shampooing clients hair - One of the more common requirements in getting clients ready for their hair treatment will be in helping them on with their gown and taking them to the shampooing station where the apprentice will shampoo, rinse and condition the clients hair in advance of their hair cut by the qualified stylists.
Looking after clients - The hair apprentice will be expected to welcome customers, hang up their coats for them in the cloakroom as well as get them refreshments
Keeping the salon tidy and clean - Part of the apprentices duties will be to ensure that the stylists are able to work in a clean and tidy environment. This will involve sweeping clean the salon floor of cut hair, or cleaning away client's finished coffee cups, helping keep the main reception desk clear etc
Assisting on the front desk - Most hair salons will have a dedicated receptionist but the trainee will be fully expected to help out on the reception, perhaps filling in when the receptionist is out at lunch or absent through sickness or holiday leave. Typical reception duties include taking salon bookings, processing payments and retailing hair care products.
Maintaining equipment and stock - The apprentice will often be responsible for sterilising scissors and other cutting equipment, refilling bottles and replenishing stock
Carry out simple hair treatments - The more experienced an apprentice is the more advanced the treatments they will be permitted to carry out. In the main they will be allowed to carry out simple hair treatments unsupervised but will need to work under the supervision of a qualified stylist for more advanced hair treatments.
Undergo 'On the job' colour and/or cutting training
Days off from the salon to attend college
Most hair apprentices are school leavers between the ages of 16 and 19. Most of the large well know hairdressing chains will operate their own salon assistant and trainee apprenticeship programs. To get onto the apprenticeship programme you should apply direct.
An enthusiasm for hairdressing and willingness to learn are the most important pre-requisites
Potential Salary and Benefits
Salaries aren't that high but the good news at least is that you get paid whilst getting trained and potential earnings once qualified as a stylist can be good. Expect to be paid the minimum wage (for apprentices) at the level set for your age.
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