What is a Beauty Therapist?

By | May 21, 2014

beautytherapistBefore thinking about enrolling for a beauty therapy training course you probably want to know what exactly what you will be doing after completing the course.

  • What is a Beauty Therapist?
  • What does a typical day’s duties consist of?
  • How many hours will you be expected to work?
  • And how much can you earn?

Answers to these questions and more can be found below.

Main Duties

They are skilled in a range if treatments to enhance the physical appearance. They are professionally trained in areas such as:

  • waxing
  • electrolysis
  • manicures and pedicures
  • nail art and extensions
  • facial massage, cleansing and toning
  • tanning (spray and UV)
  • eyelash and eyebrow tinting
  • application of makeup
  • facial and body hair removal
  • skin improvement treatments (non-surgical)

Also refereed to as a Beautician or Aesthetician, their main objective is to make their clients feel great and so need to be caring, gentle and well groomed as well as smart to promote a sense of relaxation and rejuvenation. For many, the most rewarding part of their job is seeing the results of their work in the appearance of their customers and the smiles on their customers faces as they leave the salon feeling really happy with their appearance.

They undertake a wide range of services such as:

  • applying face and body treatments and advising on skin care
  • carrying out skin analysis
  • using a variety of treatments and electrical equipment to treat individual skin and body conditions
  • provide advice and support to clients following cosmetic surgery
  • recognise problems and refer clients to medical practitioners such as dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and endocrinologists

Other Duties

As well as carrying out a range of treatment, their job may also consist of:

  • greeting customers on reception
  • processing payments
  • selling products
  • booking appointments
  • ordering salon supplies

Another very important part of their job is to carry out a consultation with new customers so that they can get to know the customer, build up trust and talk to them about exactly what they are looking for. For example, picking the right eyebrow tint for your customers skin tone or finding out if they have any allergies.

Typical Working Hours

Full time therapists work anywhere from 36-40 hours per week spread over 5 or 6 days (very often on the weekends – see blow). If you are looking to work part time, there are many opportunities to find part time work as a one. You can also become self employed and work for yourself once you have the relevant training and certificates.

As you might expect weekends are the busiest time for those working on the front line in the beauty industry with most people being off from work and wanting to rejuvenate themselves at the salon. Friday evenings and Saturday’s are also extremely popular with people who are getting ready to go on a night out. If you become one, you will most likely be asked by your employer to work some late nights and weekends.

Variety of Work Settings & Earnings

Once you are qualified can find work in salons and spa’s anywhere from your local salon to high street ones or in hotels, hospitals and even on cruise ships. Some Beauticians work mobile, meaning they travel to the homes of their clients to carry out therapies. Working as one employed in a salon you can make anywhere between £13,000 to £25,000 per Annum.

There are a great number of career opportunities available to a trained beauty therapist. Here are a few of the possible career paths you could follow upon completing your course.

  • Working as a qualified Therapist in a Professional Salon or Day Spa.
  • Work on a cruise ship.
  • To work as your own operator – having your own Salon as a business.
  • Working from home has always been a successful and rewarding option for the professional therapist, both financially and socially.
  • In addition, chemists and department stores selling cosmetics are always interested in employing Beauty Therapists because of their professional training which enable them to recommend and advise customers to buy make-up or skin care.
  • Most recently major hotels and hair-dressing Salons have incorporated the service.

Required Qualifications

To become a qualified in the UK and start working you will need a Level 2 or 3 NVQ or SVQ in Beauty Therapy or equivalent, such as a Level 3 ITEC or BTEC Diploma. This training will equip you with everything you need to start working, you will gain hands on experience to learn therapies as well as theory and information about products and customer relations. Once you start working, throughout your career you can continue to learn and go on courses for any new therapies or treatments you would like to learn how to do to add to your skill set.

Equivalent diploma courses accredited by awarding bodies include:

  • VTCT Diploma (Level 2)
  • ITEC Diploma (Level 2)
  • City & Guilds (C&G) Diploma (Level 2)
  • Edexcel Diploma

Career Development

Once you have an initial qualification and have found employment you can learn while you work by seeking qualifications in:

  • Edexcel (Level 2 or 3) Diploma  (NVQ), choosing either:
    • General
    • Make-up
    • Massage
  • City & Guilds (Level 2 or 3) Diploma (NVQ), choosing either:
    • General
    • Nail Services
    • Make-up
    • Spa Therapy
  • VTCT Level 3 Diploma
  • ITEC Level 3 Diploma
  • City & Guilds (Level 3 or 4)

Many  therapist specialise is certain treatments once they have become adept.  You can add to your skill set by completing specialist courses such as:

  • laser treatments
  • Mendhi skin art
  • piercing
  • epilation treatments
  • body and face art

Accredited courses like these can be found at private beauty schools or collages such as The Carlton Institute.

Employment Opportunities

Many salons, spas and fitness and health businesses advertise positions of emp0loyment on national and local newspapers, online and in specialist magazines.

Self Employment

You could decide to run your own business as a mobile beauty therapist where you travel to your clients home or work from your own home. NVQ or equivalent qualifications are not required (but advisable) to do this but diplomas in the treatments you intend to apply are required to be able to obtain the necessary insurance.