How to find that Perfect Salon/Barbershop/Spa

When students graduate from hair/esthetics school , many struggle to find a salon/barbershop/spa that is the right fit for them. This often results in ‘job-hopping’ which can have a negative impact on a resume and also can result in decreased longevity in the industry.

Finding the ‘right-fit’ salon/barbershop/spa requires doing your homework.

Decide exactly what you would like to achieve during your apprenticeship. Are you looking to take clients immediately or are you looking for additional mentorship and ongoing education?

What is your end goal? Do you ultimately want to be a salon/barbershop/spa owner, booth/chair rental or commission-based stylist/barber/esthetician? Be sure to do the research on all options in order to make an informed decision.

Are you interested in ongoing education and if so, what type of education?

Are you looking for full-time or part-time employment? Are you prepared to work part-time if that is all that is available?

What is your monthly budget? What is the MINIMUM wage/commission needed to fulfill your budget? Will the compensation package being offered accommodate your budget requirements? Many graduates do not consider this important fact when choosing a place of employment.

What areas of the city are you interested in working in? How far are you willing to travel (during all seasons of the year)? Oft times, people think they will work anywhere but when reality hits, the commute becomes too difficult.

What SALON/SHOP/SPA CULTURE are you looking for? Visit several places of interest, book an appointment or consultation in order to ‘check out’ the atmosphere and vibe (this might require a couple of visits). Talk to the stylists/estheticians and ask if they enjoy working there. Working in an environment that is not a fit, often results in quitting/termination.

Research businesses online. Check out their websites/Facebook/Instagram. Don’t be afraid to email and ask questions. Also, it can be beneficial to check out online reviews but be sure to read from an objective/balanced viewpoint.

If you secure an interview, be sure to have a list of questions to ask regarding wages, educational opportunities, mobility within the company, product usage costs (if any) and any additional questions you need answered. This is imperative to gauge whether or not the position is viable for you.

If they offer on-going education, what are the expectations of the staff? Are the staff expected to pay for it or a portion of it? What are the model requirements? What sort of time investment is expected (will you be expected to attend a class every week/month etc)?

How hard are you prepared to work to build your clientele? Does the salon/shop/spa have client-building strategies available to assist you?

Are you aware of the employer’s expectations? There are some common expectations in the industry. Many salons/spas/barbershops look for someone who is friendly, personable, kind, fun-loving, outgoing and easy to get along with. A person who is self-motivated, loves to help when not asked and is a team player. A person with drive and passion for the industry is also important!

Employees must stay up-to-date with trends, tips, fashion and what’s going on in the world. Not just hair/skin training but business and personal development training is very important as well.

The hair/esthetics industry has a reputation for being transient. This is often a result of stylists/barbers/estheticians not doing their own due diligence prior to accepting a job offer. For longevity in a salon/shop/spa and in our industry, be prepared! A great foundation will lead to a great career!

Are you an employer looking to hire? Follow our #delmarlifeyyc to see some INCREDIBLE work by our students in ALL programs!

Interested in becoming a stylist/barber? Contact Alison at or call 403-264-8055

Interested in Esthetics, Nails and/or Makeup? Contact Lindsey at or call 403-255-6644

Tara Byrne

Social Media Coordinator