Getting Started

If you are considering a career in beauty your next step depends on what role you have in mind.

Employed Or Self Employed

Firstly you need to choose whether you want to be employed or self employed one you are qualified. This really come down to whether you would like to work in a salon/spa/nail bar type of environment or run you own business, often as a mobile therapist/technician with all the responsibility but flexibility that entails.


  • You want to be able to work in salons, spas or cruise ships etc.
  • Tax and national insurance is calculated and deducted from your salary by your employer.
  • You receive paid holidays and are eligible for sick pay.
  • You have to option of taking what you have learned while employed and starting your own business at a later date.
  • Earn £14-18,000 a year.

Qualification: NVQ Level 2 or 3

Self Employed

  • You just want to run my own business either from you own home or by visiting your clients in their homes (Mobile Beauty/Nail/Massage Therapist).
  • You need to maintain your own profit and expenses accounts and pay your own tax and national insurance.
  • No paid holidays or sick pay.
  • Flexible hours – not tied to salon working hours.
  • Earn up to £50 per hour.

Qualification: Diploma (for P.I. insurance)

Beauty, Nail or Massage?

As well as choosing whether to work employed/self employed you also need to decide in which field of beauty you would like to work:

Beauty Therapist

As a Beauty Therapist your job will be to carry out face and body treatments to make people look and feel their best. Once fully qualified you will be able to provide the following treatments:

  • Makeup
  • Nail treatments including manicures and pedicures, nail art and extensions.
  • Facial treatments including toning, cleaning and massaging.
  • Eyebrow and eyelash treatments including shaping and colouring.
  • Tanning (ultraviolet and spray).
  • Electro-therapy treatments.
  • Hair removal (waxing).

Nail Technician

If you want to specialise in nail work as a Nail Technician your work will include:

  • Manicures and pedicures treatments.
  • Nail extensions (gel or acrylic).
  • Repairing and removing nail extensions.
  • Nail art.
  • Advising you clients about nail care and products.

Massage Therapist

With low start-up cost and high demand massage is a good field to specialise in if you want to be self employed and work with your hands. You will apply the following treatments:

  • Swedish body massage – working on the whole body.
  • Indian head massage – working with oils to treat shoulders, neck, head and face.
  • Spray tanning.
  • Aromatherapy massage.
  • Hot stone therapy.