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If you have a passion for beauty products and are always applying make-up to your friends and family members, then you might have what it takes to be a beauty therapist. Beauty therapy is a job dedicated to making others look and feel great. It is a job that requires skill, passion, and an outgoing and sunny disposition. But why should you choose to work in beauty? Will you need to take a beauty therapy course? And what benefits are there to having a beauty therapy qualification? Here’s everything you need to know about beauty therapy:
What is Beauty Therapy?
Beauty therapy is the name given to the profession of providing beauty services and beauty therapists are professionally trained face and body care experts. Due to its growing popularity throughout the 21st century, many people assume that beauty therapy is a modern concept, but actually, humans have been grooming themselves in one form or another since they first came into existence. Evidence has shown that both Ancient Greek and Ancient Egyptian cultures carried out beauty treatments with both men and women during these periods, for example applying skin oils and cosmetics. The popularity of beauty therapy has peaked and waned ever since, but the modern concept of beauty therapy as we know it really took off during the early 20th century with the arrival of the first movie stars, whose beauty women all over the world sought to mimic.
Working in beauty therapy is an incredibly rewarding role in which you will improve the well-being and confidence of your clients by providing beauty treatments and services. Beauty therapists have a strong knowledge of skin biology and cosmetic chemistry and tend to specialise in facial and body care, although many beauty therapists will also provide services such as manicures and pedicures, and in recent years there has been an increase in the number of beauty therapists providing specialist treatments, such as Botox and skin peels. Some of the treatments you can expect to provide as a beauty therapist include:
- Facial skincare treatments, including but not limited to exfoliation, electrotherapy, microdermabrasion, and peels.
- Massage services. There are a huge number of different massage types, but many therapists will offer treatments such as stone therapy massage, Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, and reflexology.
- Nail care. The most common treatments within this category are manicures, pedicures, nail extensions and nail art.
- Waxing, threading and other hair removal services.
- Treatments focused on the eye area, such as brow shaping, brow lamination, tinting and eyelash extensions.
- Hair and make-up services. Whilst most beauty therapists are not hairdressers and cannot provide permanent hair treatments (such as cuts or colours) they can provide hair styling services in conjunction with make-up application. Examples include bridal, fashion, hair and body art.
Why Work in Beauty?
Beauty is the perfect career choice if you have a passion for beauty products and services and a desire to share this passion with the wider public. It would be impossible to succeed in the beauty industry without this passion and the desire to not only meet your clients’ beauty goals but to exceed their expectations. However, it’s not just enough to have a passion for beauty. If you wish to succeed in the beauty industry you will need to have the right qualifications, qualities, and determination to work hard and reach your goals.
There are many great reasons to choose to work in the beauty industry. It is a sector that offers incredibly competitive pay rates, and if you choose to work independently then you can set your own rates. It is also a career path that offers a good work-life balance, with many independent beauty therapists setting their working hours around the needs of their family or other commitments. Another huge factor to consider is that if you have a beauty therapy qualification then you will never be out of work: no matter how hard the global recession is biting or how gloomy the economy looks, people will always be prepared to pay for services that make them look and feel beautiful. This means that a beauty therapist qualification will afford you a high level of job security: If you’re good at what you do then you will always be able to find new clients and earn the income you need. In 2021, the UK health and beauty sector was worth a whopping £36. 7 billion: even a tiny piece of that pie would be a significant income within the sector!
Why Do a Beauty Therapy Course?
You don’t need to be qualified to apply make-up or skin care products: many women apply these products every day! But if you wish to provide these services to others then the vast majority of clients will look to work with a beauty therapist or beautician who can demonstrate that they are qualified to provide the services they are offering and that they have experience in providing these services. For this reason, anyone who wishes to work as a beauty therapist is advised to undergo a beauty therapy course first. The good news is that there is a wide range of these available to suit all interests and niches. Some of the main benefits of studying a beauty therapy course are:
- It’s essential training. If you dream of working in a high-end salon or tending to the needs of a celebrity clientele, then this simply wouldn’t be possible without formal beauty therapy training.
- This is a fast-growing industry. As outlined above, beauty is a fast-growing industry and there is always a need for qualified beauticians to provide services that will make people feel better about themselves. You will never be out of work with a beauty therapist qualification.
- Increase the range of your skill set. The more services you are able to provide, the greater your earning potential will be, so it is worth taking the time to study extra qualifications within the industry to broaden the range of services you offer.
- Pay and benefits are competitive. And the more experience and qualifications you have within the industry, the greater your earning potential will be.
What Can You Do with a Beauty Therapy Qualification?
The vast majority of individuals who secure beauty therapy qualifications will go on to work within the beauty therapy sector, but there is a wide range of different roles and lifestyles available within this sector. Many newly qualified beauty therapists will choose to learn their craft by working in an already established business: these are often located in town or city centres in order to attract passing trade. If you work in one of these settings then you will work extended office hours, enabling you to serve your clients outside of their own working hours, and you will also work evenings and weekends, usually on a shift basis as part of a team of other beauty therapists. If you don’t like the idea of working for an established business, then you may wish to set up your own business and work as an independent or mobile beauty therapist. These roles tend to be freelance in nature, and you will still need to work long days, evenings and weekends to fit in with the needs of your clients, although you will have more flexibility to set your own hours and work at a schedule that suits you or your other responsibilities (for this reason, this is often the path chosen by busy parents with other commitments). If you choose to work as a mobile beauty therapist, then you will also need to be in possession of a full driving licence, as well as your beauty therapy qualifications, and your job role may require that you travel long distances on a daily basis.
Beauty therapy is an extremely dynamic and flexible industry with an abundance of opportunities to explore, and a good beauty therapy qualification could take you anywhere! These qualifications are often transferrable and recognised in other countries, particularly within the European Union, if you wish to live and work overseas. Another popular route for beauty therapists who wish to travel and see the world is to secure a position on a cruise ship, which often have large beauty studios and are regularly recruiting. The possibilities of what you can do and where you can go with your beauty therapy qualifications are near-endless.
Finally, what if you don’t wish to work in the beauty sector? Whilst beauty therapy qualifications are aimed specifically at those who wish to become a beauty therapist, and this should be your primary career goal when taking this qualification, it’s worth noting that if you change your mind further down the line then your beauty therapy course will have still taught you a wide range of valuable and transferable skills that you can use in other settings. Beauty therapists are people-facing, for example, skilled in talking to others and putting them at ease. This is an important skill and one that is highly prized in retail settings.
When assessing what you can do with a beauty therapy qualification and deciding if it is the right path for you, many potential beauticians will ask how much they can expect to earn. This will range depending on whether you are self-employed or working within a salon, and how much experience you have within the sector. As a qualified, entry-level beauty therapist you can expect to earn a salary of around £15,000, but this will increase to between £20,000 and £25,000 as you gain experience within the sector and broaden your skill set and the number of services that you are able to offer. There is significant potential for salary within the beauty therapy sector with salon or brand managers or independent business owners regularly earning £50,000 or more each year.
How Can You Work in the Beauty Industry?
There are several different routes to a career within the beauty industry. The right path for you will be determined by your educational experience, other commitments, and financial needs. You can get into this job through:
- A college course. You can study beauty therapy at college level either in person or online. This will then equip you with the qualifications you need to be a fully qualified beauty therapist and have a higher earning potential both in a salon or if you choose to work for yourself.
- An apprenticeship. This will typically take between 15 and 18 months to complete as a mix of workplace learning and off-the-job study. The benefit of an apprenticeship is that you can earn as you learn but will still gain a high-level qualification at the end of your apprenticeship period.
- Working towards this role. You may be able to secure an entry-level position in a salon or spa without qualifications. Maybe salons will then support you to gain your qualifications as you work within the field.
What Courses Are There in Beauty?
Because beauty therapy is such a broad and wide-reaching industry, there is a broad and wide-reaching range of qualifications that you can take within the sector. It is possible to provide beauty services without qualifications, and some salons will offer reduced-rate services with apprentices who are working in the salon alongside their studies, but as a general rule, you will need to be qualified before clients will trust you with their beauty needs. You will also be unable to be considered a fully qualified beauty therapist unless you have completed an NVQ Level 2 and 3 in Beauty Therapy, but you can begin to provide beauty services within a salon or grow your own independent client base, with some of the following courses:
You should allow around 12 months or 100 hours to complete a level 2 or level 3 course, and if you wish to qualify in more than one aspect of the beauty therapy industry then many of these qualifications can be taken in conjunction with each other. This means that you can work hard and gain all of the qualifications you need to be considered a fully qualified beauty therapist in a relatively short time frame. When searching for the right beauty therapy qualification for you, you can choose between a college-based course, which will be taught at set times each week in a physical college setting, or an online learning college course, which will offer the same qualification but with more flexibility. You can study from the comfort of your own home, and choose the hours you study to suit you. This often works best for those individuals who are studying around their work, family, or home life commitments.