Professional barbering apprenticeship

Our level 2 professional barber apprenticeship is the perfect choice for creative minded individuals looking to gain financial and artistic freedom. This programme offers hands-on experience coupled with an industry-recognised qualification to give you the perfect start to your career.

Course overview

At a glance




20 months



About the course

Our barbering apprenticeship has been crafted to meet the needs of today’s modern barbering industry. It aims to teach you the skills, knowledge and behaviours that you’ll need to launch yourself into the barbering profession.

Throughout the programme, you’ll be guided by barbering industry experts who will coach you through a range of ‘must-have’ skills, including:

  • Client consultations
  • Shampooing and conditioning
  • Safe working practices
  • Client care
  • Shaving services

Throughout the apprenticeship we’ll also help you to build the kit needed for your development and progression as you move through the different stages of the programme including blockhead units and clippers.

Is this course right for you?

This apprenticeship is ideal if you have a passion for creativity and barbering. You’ll also want to develop the skills needed to be a successful and talented barbering professional.

It is a great programme for those new to the industry or for those already working at a junior level within a barber shop who have some experience but who want their professional competencies validated by a formal and professional qualification.

Our most successful apprentices are good team players with a thirst to learn and develop new skills. They generally have creative flair with the vision and customer communication skills to both inspire and interpret customer’s hairstyles and grooming regimes.

The apprenticeship works really well for those who wish to learn and earn within a live barber shop environment and apply new skills within the workplace, rather than a college environment.

Whether you’re a school leaver, looking to change jobs or would like to formalise your knowledge, learning barbering at a professional level is the perfect way for you to take the next step.

When you are a Realise barbering apprentice, the learning is in your hands. You can use everything you learn at work, it’s very hands on!

When you are a Realise apprentice, the learning is in your hands. You can use everything you learn at work, it’s very hands on!

Sean, The Mardy Barbers

Emma Peel from Nottinghamshire was awarded a Level 2 Barbering Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships are a great way of learning and soon you will be putting yourself out there more than you ever have before!

Emma Peel, Richo’s Hair and Beauty Boutique

Joth Davies -

We have found Realise to be the most professional company that we have ever dealt with for our apprenticeship needs.

Joth Davies, Owner of Savills Barbers

George Wish -

Realise have been really supportive of myself and my shop. The trainers are very friendly and always help me and my apprentice.

George Wish, Owner and Manager of The Mardy Barbers

What you’ll learn

The different types of hair and how to identify them

One of the things that you will learn on our apprenticeship is how to identify different types of hair. This is an essential skill, as it will allow you to provide the best possible service to your clients. You will learn about the different textures and how to care for each type of hair.

The different haircutting techniques

You will learn about the basic barbering techniques, such as cutting, shaving and trimming, as well as a variety of common haircuts. You will also learn about more advanced techniques, such as fading and tapering.

How to use different barbering equipment

You will be taught how to use a range of different equipment, from scissors and razors to clippers and trimmers. You will learn how to use each piece of equipment correctly and safely. You will also learn about the different types of scissors and how to use them to create the perfect finish.

How to shave using a straight razor

One of the most popular services that barbers provide for male grooming is shaving. You will learn how to shave using a straight razor and how to avoid common mistakes. You will also learn about the different types of shaving products and how to use them to get the best possible results.

How to style hair

You will learn how to style hair using a variety of methods, including blow drying, curling and straightening. You will also learn about the different products that are available and how to use them to create the perfect style for your clients.

How to provide a great customer service

You will learn how to provide a great customer service so that you can build a loyal clientele. You will learn about the different aspects of customer service, including how to deal with complaints and how to resolve them.

Health and safety procedures

You will learn about the different health and safety procedures that you need to follow in order to protect yourself and your clients. You will also learn about the different hair care products that you need to use and how to safely dispose of them.

Need more information?

No problem. It doesn’t matter if your query is big or small, our teams are here to help. Just complete a quick enquiry form and we’ll be in contact soon to assist you with your query.

How you’ll learn

You’ll receive a comprehensive, barber shop-focused training programme delivered by a passionate team of industry experienced and expert trainers. We deliver a blended learning programme in-shop and scheduled around the business needs which includes:

  • 1-2-1 workplace visits once every three weeks with one of our expert trainers
  • Webinars and leading insight from industry experts
  • Partnership working to shape the programme with your employer
  • E-books and online resources including worksheets and videos to enable independent and flexible learning enhancements
  • Practical skills assessments and observations carried out in your salon environment
  • Reflective learning and through portfolio evidence
  • Off the job training – including work shadowing, practice on block heads and models, product and technique research activities
  • Progress reviews, including a pre-gateway and final gateway review
  • End point assessment preparation and support
  • Support from English and Maths specialists if required

Our experts

The people that make it happen


Training & development officer


Training & development officer

I have worked at Realise for 16 years and still counting! I am a trainer and I see different learners and employers every day, no two days are the same. I have taught so many learners to gain new skills and progress to owning their own salons and barbers. I really enjoy my work, still having hands on with the practical training and growing relationships with many talented hairdressers and barbers.


Internal quality assessor


Internal quality assessor

I have been in the hair and barbering industry for over 21 years. I have always had a real passion for teaching with quality at the heart of what I do. It’s the best feeling seeing the end result for a learner, after working with them throughout their journey.
I am currently the lead trainer for our new advanced and creative hairdressing level 3, it’s an amazing qualification and I’m proud to be delivering it and to have played a part in developing it!


Performance manager


Performance manager

I have worked at Realise for 6 years as a trainer within the hair and barbering sector. I have recenly also taken on the roles of social values champion and safeguarding and wellbeing deputy. I love what I do and have a great passion for hairdressing and also supporting other people. My passion is being able to deliver apprenticeships to learners and seeing them develop from having no knowledge or skills to then thriving in the industry as confident and fully qualified hairdressers and barbers.


Training & development officer


Training & development officer

I am a highly motivated and conscientious individual with vast experience as a hairdresser and trainer. I also have many years of experience in customer service and the training of others within a school and college environment and as a manager at professional ownership level. I love my work as a trainer and take great pleasure in watching learners grow in confidence as they learn new skills, knowledge and behaviors that will give them the chance to succeed in their chosen career.

Frequently asked questions

How long does it take to qualify as an apprentice barber?

Typically, it takes around 14 months to complete your apprentice barber training. However this can vary depending on individual circumstances and if functional skills such as Maths and English are required.

Is barbering hard to learn?

Barbering is a skilled profession. To become a reputable barber, it takes years of training, hard work and research. To be a successful apprentice barber you will need to develop keep knowledge and skills such as an understanding of cutting angles and blending.

How much does a trainee barber earn?

The pay for an apprentice barber is set by the employer. The national minimum wage for apprentices is a hourly rate of £4.30. The wage will never be less than the minimum wage set by the government, however some employers may choose to pay more than this.

What should I know before becoming a barber?

Before becoming a barber, it’s important to understand that the role can be fast-paced, full on and you will spend your days on your feet. You’ll also need to be a great communicator and happy to learn the technique elements of the job such as cutting angles. This isn’t for everyone, but for a hairdresser, it’s the best job there is out there.

What if I don’t have the necessary qualifications to start at level 2?

No matter what level of experience you have, if you don’t meet the entry requirements, you can always take a foundation course such as the level 1 barber traineeship that will set you up for a level 2 qualification in barbering.

How much does it cost to learn barbering?

Barbering course fees will vary depending on the provider that you choose. If you’re looking for apprenticeship training at barber shops your training is free, and you’ll get paid, so you might not need to look for financial support.

Alternatively, private courses will cost between £500 and £1,500.

What qualifications do I need to be a barber?

There is no set qualification that you need to be a barber, but most barbers will have completed a apprentice barber course. The level of the course will depend on your experience and the type of job that you’re looking for.

Entry requirements for a barbering course will vary depending on the provider, but mostly you’re expected to complete functional skills in English and maths at level 2, but don’t worry, you can still be accepted for a barbering course and study functional skills alongside your course.

What qualification will I gain?

The qualification that you’ll gain from our barber apprenticeship will be at level 2, giving you a nationally recognised qualification which is equivalent to 5 GCSEs.

Is barbering hard to learn?

It can be challenging to learn at first for complete beginners, but like anything, it gets easier with practice. The most important thing is to find a course that is suited to your level of experience and to make sure that you’re comfortable with the techniques that you’re being taught.

Is barbering a good career choice?

It’s a great career choice for people who are passionate about hair and fashion. The hairdressing industry is very creative and offers plenty of opportunities to progress. As a barber, you’ll have the opportunity to work with a wide range of clients and to use your skills to create unique styles.

One day you may even choose to open your own business and run a successful chain of barber shops or hair and beauty salons.

You can go far and wide as a professional barber, from celebrity grooming to touring the world on cruise ships.

Why become a barber’s apprentice?

Some of the benefits of learning barbering include:

  • The ability to work with a wide range of clients
  • You will learn about the basic barbering techniques, such as cutting, shaving and trimming, as well as a variety of common haircuts
  • An opportunity to be creative and to express yourself through your work
  • A chance to progress in your career and to become a master barber
  • The potential to earn a good income
  • The satisfaction of helping people to look and feel their best

Ready to take the next step?

Let’s talk. Our team will ensure that you can find the most suitable barbering course and that you receive the best possible training during your apprenticeship. Don’t delay, get in touch and start something exciting today!