iStock 000005288885MediumSector Overview

If you're someone who loves doing hair and have an eye for design then achieving your career aspirations could be only a curl away!

A hairdresser’s main role is to identify the needs of their client and then cut, treat or style their hair. Being an effective communicator is essential along with good hand coordination, great customer service and creative flair. To ensure their work is current many hairdresser will continually research the latest fashion trends, products and innovative techniques.

In most salons senior hairdressers are responsible for cutting and styling client hair and over seeing up and coming apprentices. On entry to the industry a new apprentices tasks will include house keeping duties and assisting the senior hairdressers with preparing clients, shampooing, applying and removing simple hairdressing treatments, and sterilising and maintaining equipment.

The majority of hairdressers are employed in hairdressing salons whilst others are employed as stylists for television, film, theatre or advertising agencies. Many hairdressers, after a number of years working in the industry, set up their own businesses, enter into partnerships or teach hairdressing.

For more information on occupations, related job tasks and work environment characteristics visit the sites below:

Job Roles

  • Hairdresser
  • Salon assistant
  • Salon manager
  • Creative/artistic director


  • Certificate II Salon Assistant
  • Certificate III in Hairdressing 
  • Certificate III in Barbering
  • Certificate IV in Hairdressing  
  • Diploma of Salon Management 
  • Graduate Certificate in Hairdressing Creative Leadership

Training Options

Hairdressing is recognised as a trade qualification which means there is a minimum requirement for hairdressers to have a Certificate III in Hairdressing achieved through an Australian Apprenticeship. 

Australian Apprenticeships combine paid employment with structured training, leading to a recognised qualification. To find out more please visit or SA Traineeship and Apprenticeship Services.

Some qualifications may be available as full-time or part-time courses. To see a list of SA Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) who are approved to deliver Hairdressing qualifications click HERE.
Please visit each of the RTOs websites to find out what qualifications they deliver and if they have an office in South Australia.

If you are still in school consider the following option to kick start your hairdressing career:

  • School-based Apprenticeship - Certificate III in Hairdressing
  • School-based Traineeship - Certificate II in Hairdressing
  • VET in SACE - whilst in your senior years select industry relevant subjects that can be counted towards your SACE and towards a national recognised qualification. For more information on what subjects are available check out the VET Recognition register  


Personal Characteristics

  • Pleasant personality
  • Good communication skills
  • Able to work under pressure
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Patience
  • Thorough – attention to detail
  • Able and willing to follow instructions
  • Helpful and attentive
  • Creative
  • An eye for colour, form, line & texture
  • Accommodating and non judgemental


Industry Entry

Start off your career exploration by approaching a salon to take you on for some work experience. Look into what the career involves on a daily basis and what the long term goals can be for career development. You need to ensure that your temperament and personality are suited to hairdressing and the daily tasks involved. This way you can make sure you really want to be a hairdresser. 


SSSA - Careers Snapshot video
The Job I Love - Careers Guide
Skillsone Hairdressing Video


General Career Links
SA Traineeship and Apprenticeship Services

Industry Links
The Hairdressing and Beauty Industry Association (HBIA)

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