Questions for Understanding Compensation Structure

By: Ivan Zoot AKA ClipperGuy

Category: Professionals, Students

In schools, even at hair shows, some of the deepest conversations (and most confusion) exist over money. How do we get paid? How much is proper? How do I know if my employer is playing fair with me? 


The following are my top five questions to ask about haircutter compensation:

Tell me how your compensation system works.

Many times we simply do not ask. Once a job offer is on the table, a deep & detailed conversation is more than appropriate. It is vital.

Show me examples of a weekly (or monthly or bi-weekly) compensation breakout.

It is not enough to have an employer explain how it works. Look to dissect an example of a typical pay period so that you can truly understand.

Explain what is included and what is not.

Materials, disposables, supplies, etc. are included in your compensation… or they are not? Do not make any assumptions. Ask for a detailed list of what your employer will supply and what is your responsibility. Leave nothing to chance.

Are benefits offered?

Again, ask about what benefits are included in employment. Get this in writing before accepting the job.

Know the tax implications.

In the land of the free and the home of the brave, we pay taxes. Will you receive a W-2 or a 1099? Who is responsible for the taxes? This is a key to how your terms of employment are structured. Know BEFORE you join the team. If you do not understand these things, have a parent, friend, or financial adviser support you through the process.


Ivan Zoot is your Healthy Haircutter coach. Ivan helps haircutters get and stay healthy, wealthy, and wise. To become a $100,000 haircutter, learn more by visiting Ivan at his website ( or on Instagram (@ivanzoot), Twitter (@clipperguy), or YouTube (Clipperguy).

Tags: Students, Stylists, Career Advice, careers, Salary, Professionals, Commission, Salon Management, Salon