In this article we will discuss how to become a beauty therapist. In the following sections, you’ll find out exactly what a beauty therapist does on a daily basis, what key skills and personal attributes you need to succeed in this role, how much you can expect to earn and what online beauty therapy courses and qualifications you need.
People want to look their best so they can feel confident. As a beauty therapist, you can help them to achieve this by offering a number of treatments and procedures, such as makeup application, waxing and spray tanning.
This can be a rewarding and enjoyable role, but you need to be prepared to train hard and work hard if you want to succeed as a beauty therapist. Read on to The Course Mix and discover whether the job of beauty therapist is for you.
What is a beauty therapist?
Beauty therapists are also known as beauticians. In this role, you would perform a wide range of treatments which help to improve the appearance and wellbeing of your clients. You could work in a beauty salon, at a health spa, in a hotel or from home. You could even work on a cruise ship. By performing tasks like massages, facials and applying cosmetics, you’ll be helping people to live happier and healthier lives.
If you work full-time for a company, such as a salon, you’ll usually work between thirty-seven hours and forty hours a week. You could become self-employed and work from home or visit clients at their homes. You would then have more control over the hours you choose to work. You can also set your own rates as a self-employed beauty therapist, so you can potentially earn a better salary than you would working for a beauty salon.
What do beauty therapists actually do?
By performing a number of treatments and services, you will help to improve clients’ physical appearances and give them extra confidence. Your daily tasks can be dependent on the company you work for and whether you specialise in a particular area of beauty therapy.
Generally, your day-to-day tasks will involve greeting customers, discussing available treatments with new clients and performing treatments such as manicures and pedicures. You’ll also be able to identify and treat common minor skin problems, provide general customer service and sale beauty products.
Beauty Therapist Job Description
The duties and responsibilities of a beauty therapist can be dependent on the organisation you work for. Typically, this job position will involve:
- Applying makeup to clients’ faces.
- Cleansing and toning clients’ skin.
- Performing massage, spa treatments and other therapeutic services.
- Performing nail treatments, like nail art and extensions.
- Performing hair removal via waxing or electrolysis.
- Performing eyebrow shaping and eyebrow colouring.
- Providing spray tanning and UV tanning services.
- Removing unwanted facial and body hair.
- Giving advice on makeup, cosmetics, skincare and haircare.
- Booking appointments and performing general administration duties.
Key Skills for a Beauty Therapist
If you want to become a beauty therapist, it’s essential you have a genuine passion and commitment to the industry. You’ll need to have a natural flair for cosmetics and pampering clients. You’ll be working with different clients each day, so it’s vital you have an outgoing and bubbly personality to help customers feel relaxed and give them appropriate advice. You not only need to deliver excellent results, you also need to exceed clients’ expectations if you want to be successful in this career.
There are number of key skills you need to have in this role. You need to be discrete and patient. You need to be able to explain treatments and procedures to clients clearly and concisely too. Having good listening skills is also important, to ensure you take on board what a client is telling you. In addition, you need key skills and attributes such as:
- An in-depth knowledge of cosmetics and procedures.
- Advanced practical skills to provide treatments and procedures.
- The ability to carry out tasks on a computer or other electronic device.
- The ability to sell beauty products and treatments.
- The ability to work well in a team.
- The ability to remain calm in stressful situations.
- Excellent customer service skills, to put clients at ease.
- A thorough attention to detail.
- Sensitivity towards the needs of your clients.
- Advanced business acumen, if you are setting up your own beauty therapy business.
Useful Work Experience
Although you don’t need to have completed work experience before you select your route into this profession, it certainly helps to get some experience under your belt. By doing a voluntary placement at a beauty salon or a similar firm, you can determine whether you’re suited to this career.
Employers will also look upon you favourably if you have some work experience, as it will show your commitment and determination to succeed in this job.
Additionally, independently taking online courses such as a the CPD beauty therapy course will give you a great insight into the field of beauty therapy.
Average Salaries for a Beauty Therapist
If you begin your career at a lower-level position, you can expect to earn an entry-level salary of around £15,000 per year as a full-time beauty therapist.
Once you have gained experience and expertise, qualified beauty therapists can earn more than £25,000 per year. If you set up your own beauty therapy business, the amount you can earn is largely dependent on the rates you set and how much work you do. However, most salon business owners tend to earn around £50,000 per year.
Qualifications for a Beauty Therapist
To work in the beauty therapy industry, you must acquire specific practical and theoretical skills.
Although you will learn and develop skills and talents as your career progresses, you’ll need to first train in beauty therapy before you can break into the industry.
A great starting point are online beauty courses as they will give you an insight which you can use to shape your career.
You could train at a private beauty school, study for a recognised qualification with a college course or enrol with an apprenticeship. You may also be able to start at a low level for a beauty salon directly, but you would still need to train and study while you’re working.
There are several college courses you could enrol with to gain the skills and experience required to start in this career. Courses of study include:
- Level One Diploma in Beauty: This is a very basic course that involves more practical skills than academic content. You’ll learn basic skills such as applying makeup, performing facials and performing manicures. You will usually need to have two or more GCSEs, including maths and English at grade two or above; or equivalent qualifications. Upon completion of a level one course, you can proceed to a level two course.
- Level Two Diploma in Beauty: This involves more theoretical content than a level one course. You will also develop your practical skills by learning procedures such as spray tanning, removing facial and body hair, skin cleansing, pedicures and waxing. You will usually need to have two or more GCSEs at grades A* to D or above, including maths and English at grades three or above; or equivalent qualifications.
- Level Three Certificate in Beauty Therapy and Salon Management: A level three course is a more advanced beauty therapy programme. You will learn more specific treatments like massage, Indian head massage, electrotherapy, skin treatments and aromatherapy. Level three courses can include learning business and managerial skills too. You will usually need to have completed a level two course before you can progress to a level three course. You will also usually need to have four or five GCSEs at grades A* to C; or equivalent qualifications.
Once you have successfully passed a level three course, you have the option of enrolling with a level four course, to earn a qualification like a Diploma in Beauty Therapy and Salon Management.
Another route into beauty therapy is to do an apprenticeship. There are intermediate and advanced apprenticeships available. By taking this route, you would train on the job while studying to earn an industry-recognised qualification. You would receive a basic salary during your time as an apprentice. For an Intermediate Apprenticeship in Beauty Therapy, you will usually need some GCSEs, including maths and English; or equivalent qualifications. For an Advanced Apprenticeship in Beauty Therapy, you will usually need five GCSEs at grades A* to C, including maths and English; or equivalent qualifications.
Once you have experience, you could progress in your career to become a salon manager. If you currently work for a company, you could leave and set up your own beauty therapy business. Alternatively, you could move into other sectors, such as being a makeup artist in fashion, theater or media.
If you have an outgoing personality and you’re passionate about cosmetics and beauty therapy procedures, this could be your perfect job. You will have to learn both theoretical and practical skills before you can become a full-fledged beauty therapist though, as it takes solid training to master procedures like spray tanning, applying makeup and performing manicures.
You can enrol with online course, with a online course provider like The Course Mix, College, private beauty school or an apprenticeship to learn the skills you need and obtain an industry-recognised qualification.
You can then either work for a beauty salon or other company, or you can set yourself up as a self-employed beauty therapist.