Interview with Alex from the American Barber Institute
April 25, 2014
Here at the Barber Career Agency, we like to put a spotlight on schools that do an excellent job training the barbers of tomorrow. Educators are important, and when a school gives their students excellent instruction, we want to let people know.
With that in mind, meet Alex, the owner and lead instructor at the American Barber Institute in New York City. When you meet Alex, the first thing you’ll find is that he is incredibly friendly, that he loves barbering, and that he loves imparting his knowledge to his students. We wanted to know what made Alex tick, so we asked him a few questions about his trade, his philosophy, and what motivates him. So, take a look! And if you’re interested in barbering classes in New York City, check out the American Barber Institute website, or give him a call at the number below! He’d love to hear from you.
So, Alex—what is your favorite thing about teaching students about the style of hair?
There are two things. First, I’m honored that they selected my school to fulfill their dreams of hair styling. Secondly, I feel great pride and personal satisfaction when my students, through their hard work and dedication, gain a since of independence and accomplishment by passing the New York State master barber test and then continue on to become successful shop owners. And, I must admit, I feel a lot of pride when some of them go on to become barber instructors!
Can you tell us a little about what sets the American Barber Institute apart from a regular school?
At the American Barber institute, we have a collective responsibility for teaching and learning. We’re driven by what matters to us, and that is the teaching of great barbers. Our students learn more in the classroom because our staff has a deep rooted passion for teaching and we try to pass that passion on to our students.
What do students learn at the American Barber Institute?
Each of the instructors at ABI has a lot of professional experience, and each of the students are exposed to a wealth of knowledge and experience in the industry. Our instructors have more than 50 years barbering experience, and we provide the students with all the skills and techniques that will set them apart in their professional careers. Students will be taught the art of shaving and hair styling, from classic tapers, fades, flat tops, faux hawks to pompadours. We also spend a lot of time training students how to do facial massages and shampoos. Also, during the orientation, students gain an understanding of sanitation, barber history, chemistry, barber laws and shop management. [Editor's Note: shop management is an important part of a barber's education, and not all schools provide it].
How long are the classes?
We offer a fully accredited 500-hour Basic Barbering course that takes, if attending full time, 17 weeks to complete. A lot of people have tough schedules, so we offer both morning and evening classes.
Do you have any advice for people who are interested in barbering?
Absolutely! If you’re interested in barbering, I would advise you to follow your calling. President Obama has said that if you’re not going to go to college, you’ll need a vocation. If you’re interested, I would recommend taking a personal visit to a barber school, and talking with the staff and student body. Ask about the rate of graduation and licensure. And make sure the school can fulfill all the requirements you are seeking.
Do you have advice for people who have just started their career as barbers?
My advice to people who have started their career as barbers is to respect the historical lineage of our vocation and to always move your skill forward with continuing education. Never stop learning
Our thanks to Alex for talking with us! The American Barber Institute is an excellent place to get get your training, and Alex makes sure that each of his students gets top-notch instruction. If you give them a call, tell them we sent you! With that in mind, meet Alex, the owner and lead instructor at the American Barber Institute in New York City. When you meet Alex, the first thing you’ll find is that he is incredibly friendly, that he LOVES barbering, and that he loves imparting his knowledge to his students. We wanted to know what made Alex tick, so we asked him a few questions about his trade, his philosophy, and what motivates him. So, take a look! And if you’re interested in barbering classes in New York City, check out the American Barber Institute website, or give him a call at the number below! He’d love to hear from you.
BARBER'S JOBS SALARY BULLETIN PRESENTED BY ABI
The average income in the hair styling industry was about $39,000.00, which is above the United States National Average for "Non-Professional Employees". Non-professionals are classed as other than doctors, accountants, lawyers, etc.
If you like to work with the public, enjoy flexible working hours, want a profitable career that you can pursue in your choice of location, and you want to enjoy financial security; training in barbering could be the important Next step.
MYTHS ABOUT BARBERING SEPARATING TRUTH FROM FICTION
TRUTH: Recently conducted study groups reveal that for most barbers cutting hair is something they always wanted to do. MYTH: Barbering is for someone who doesn't know what else to do in life. No matter when barbers first sought training... right after high school, after finishing four years of college, or working at other jobs first, many had developed an interest in hair when young. MYTH: Smart people don't go to Barber School. They go to College.
TRUTH: Choosing a vocational education over traditional college has little to do with intelligence. Like any career, the most satisfied people are those who know what it is that makes them happy. Some traits of a successful barber are a positive outlook on life, creativity, getting pleasure from seeing the results of their work, a desire to work with one's hands, wishing to make people happy, a desire for physical movement throughout the day, self-motivation and ambition. TRUTH: In a survey, completed in the late 1990's, it was learned that on the average, the salary for a full-time barber shop/salon employee was (then) about $39,000, not including tips. Today, the number is presumably higher than that and especially so in the Northeastern United States and around metropolitan areas. It is probably conservative to predict an income between $36,000 and $44,000. MYTH: You can't make any money cutting hair.
HISTORY OF THE BARBER POLE
The symbol of the barber-surgeon evolved from the technical procedure of bloodletting. The pole is thought to represent the staff that the patient would hold tightly in order for the veins in the arm to stand out during bloodletting. The bottom end-cap of modern barber poles represents the basin used as a vessel to either catch the blood or lather the face for shaving. The white bandages used to stop the bleeding were hung on the staff to dry. The stained bandages would then twist around the pole in the breeze, forming a red-and-white pattern. One interpretation of the colors of the barber pole is that red represented the blood, blue the veins, and white the bandages. Another interpretation explains that when the Barber Surgeon's Company in England was formed, barbers were required to use blue-and-white poles and the surgeons used the red-and-white ones. It is also thought that the red, white, and blue poles displayed in the United States originated in deference to the nation's flag. Modern barbers have retained the barber pole as the foremost symbol of the business and profession of barbering.
Entering the next century employment opportunities continue to look great.
Are you considering a career in hair cutting, but don't know where to begin? We invite you to compare the American Barber Institute facility and training programs to those of others. We are confident that you will see the difference.
- Our affordable tuition fees
- Our central, easy access location
- Our modern state-of-the-art facilities
- Our dedicated, caring, and very professional instructors
- The success of our graduates in barbering career
- Our loyal and high volume barber service customer base
- Our job placement department which will work with you side-by-side
- A Successful career is only a few steps away!
It is the primary purpose of American Barber Institute is to provide the highest possible quality education to men and women who are engaged in, or wish to become engaged in, the profession of barbering and to prepare them so as to be able to obtain their licensing and find and subsequently retain gainful employment within the profession. American Barber Institute believes that our graduates should be prepared to embark upon a lifetime career and should be able to open their salons at some time in the future if they so aspire. Secure your future in a profession where services are always in demand!
We dedicate our institution to elevating the professional status of the barber, once again to the high position that was traditionally that of a Barber and to do all in our power to improve the safety conditions of the public and practitioner, through American Barber Institute taking the initiative in legislation and implementation of continuing education. MYTH: There are too many barbers and not enough jobs available.
TRUTH: As reported at the Executive meeting of the National Association of Barber Boards of America, a shortage of trained barbers continues nationwide. For every new graduate, there are reportedly over six open jobs from which to choose. Demographics, fewer barber schools, the constant opening of hundreds of franchises provide job opportunities for barbers.