The Certificate II in Salon Assistant qualification is a nationally recognised entry-level qualification for employment in the Hairdressing & Barbering industry. This qualification reflects the role of individuals who work as salon assistants and are competent in communicating in the workplace, interacting with and providing service to clients and assistance to colleagues. They perform routine functions under direct supervision as part of a hairdressing team. 
The Certificate III is the Hairdressing Trade qualification and is available to School Based Apprentices (SBAs) only.


SHB20216 – Certificate II in Salon Assistant

SHB30416 – Certificate III in Hairdressing (for School Based Apprentices only).

Course Duration/Hours

This is a 180 hour course that runs for 1 year. Units towards the Salon Assistant qualification may be available in the 120 hour Hair or Beauty Services course.

Students who have signed into an SBA during Yr11 will be able to transfer to the 300 hour course and continue the Certificate III in Hairdressing in Yr12. Through this course, students will achieve a Statement of Attainment towards Certificate III in Hairdressing.

HSC Information

This is a Board Endorsed Course and therefore has no HSC examination. It cannot be counted towards an ATAR.

Work Placement

NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) requires students to complete a minimum of 70 hours of work placement. Work placement is a mandatory component of the course and must be completed prior to the student’s last HSC exam.

Days worked as part of a School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship satisfies this NESA requirement.


This course is competency based and the student’s performance is recognised against a prescribed industry standard. Assessment strategies may include:

  • Observation
  • Student demonstration
  • Questioning
  • Written tasks
  • Tests

Students are given a number of opportunities to demonstrate competence across the range of competency standards covered by this course.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

You may be entitled to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning. If you have completed any training, either through your part-time work, TAFE or other school VET courses you have completed recently, or through experience gained in other ways you can apply for RPL. You should talk to your School VET Coordinator, Careers Adviser or course teacher for further information.


A course fee is generally charged by schools to cover consumable materials. Your school will provide further advice.

Units of Competency

To be eligible for SHB20216 you must successfully complete: 12 units: 8 core, 4 electives

Preliminary or HSC

  • BSBWHS201 Contribute to health and safety of self and others (Core)
  • SHBXIND001 Comply with organisational requirements within a personal services environment (Core)
  • SHBHIND002 Research and use hairdressing industry information
  • SHBXIND002 Communicate as part of a salon team (Core)
  • SHBHIND001 Maintain and organise tools, equipment and work areas (Core)
  • SHBHDES001 Dry hair to shape (Core)
  • SHBHDES002 Braid hair
  • SHBXCCS003 Greet and prepare clients for salon services (Core)
  • SHBSBAS001 Provide shampoo and basin services (Core)
  • SHBHCLS001 Apply hair colour products
  • SHBXCCS004 Recommend products and servicdes
  • SHBXCCS001 Conduct salon financial transactions (Core)

Students who sign into a Hairdressing SBA will be given a copy of their individual Training Plan identifying the units to be studied at school and post-school for the full qualification. These students will be eligible to undertake a 300 hour course in Hairdressing. This will include many of the above units in the Preliminary year and the following:


  • SHBXWHS001 Apply safe hygiene, health and work practices (Core)
  • SHBHDES003 Create finished hair designs (Core)


  • BSBSUS201 Participate in environmentally sustainable work practices (Core)
  • SHBXCCS002 Provide salon services to clients
  • SHBHTRI001 Idnetify and treat hair and scalp conditions
  • SHBHCLS002 Colour and lighten hair
  • SHBHCLS003 Provide full and partial highlighting techniques
Further Study

Apprenticeship in Hairdressing

  • Certificate III in Hairdressing
  • Certificate IV in Hairdressing
  • Diploma of Salon Management
  • Graduate Certificate in Hairdressing Creative Leadership
Career Information

Job Roles

Hairdressers cut, colour, shape, style, straighten, perm and care for people’s hair. They talk to their clients about what they require and make suggestions about styles that would suit a client’s face, lifestyle and personality. When they have finished creating the hair style, the hairdresser may also suggest products such as shampoos, conditioners, gels, moose or wax products that will help in maintaining the cut. They may also perform minor administrative duties, such as taking bookings and payment for services.

Duties and Tasks

Hairdressers tend to work in hairdressing salons with other hairdressers, in beauty salons or in retail beauty stores with salons attached. Their work environment is frequently very busy and quite noisy. Some hairdressers choose to work solo, either from their own home, or visiting people at their homes. Hairdressers can also be employed to work on location, and film or television sets.

Hairdressers should be prepared to work on weekends and evenings. They spend a lot of time dealing with clients and the public. Since it is important for hairdressers to be up to date with new trends and styles, they may also attend extra training and seminars.

Personal Attributes

Hairdressers need:

  • a keen eye for detail
  • good eye-hand co-ordination
  • excellent people skills, with an ability to listen and follow instructions
  • no skin allergies (ideally)
  • stamina to stand on your feet for long periods of time
  • punctuality and reliability
  • the ability to work under pressure and handle difficult clients
  • good personal presentation and hygiene.

For further information:
Type the qualification code into the search bar, then click on the qualification title.
Explore Career Pathways and Student Outcomes including Employment, Salary, Occupations.
Course Flyer: HAIRDRESSING FLYER for Subject Selection.