A Career in Beauty Therapy

All forms of aesthetic treatments promote a feeling of well-being - consequently, the aesthetician must be caring, tactful, intelligent and have a well-groomed appearance, especially their hands, which need to be sensitive and supple. Aestheticians are fully trained to know when to refer their clients to a doctor.

The growing interest in feeling fit and looking good has created a growth in opportunities for aestheticians. Since the vast proportions of qualified therapists are women, there is a rapid turnover in job opportunities, and it is possible to reach supervisory or management level within two or three years of qualifying. Mobility is an important factor in obtaining employment, largely because the geographical location of salons or health resorts is often crucial to its success.

Most people train by taking full-time courses at a college or in a private school with a good reputation for passes. Entrants can be anything from seventeen years old and upwards. Private schools tend to have a wider age range of students, but beauty therapy is a career where maturity can be an advantage. Courses at private schools tend to be shorter and more intensive, giving the student the opportunity to be trained in smaller class numbers, and enabling the student to gain a very high standard of expertise and professionalism.

There is no single examining body, so it is important that students ensure that their course leads to examinations approved by one of the following organisations:

CIDESCO (Comite International d'Esthetiques et de Cosmetologie).

This is a world-wide organization, and the qualification is accepted in 35 countries world-wide. All schools work to the same syllabus worldwide.

CIBTAC (Confederation of International Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology), which is the examining body of the British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (BABTAC). All schools work to the same syllabus.

International Therapy Examination Council ITEC

International Health & Beauty Council (IHBC)

Vocational Training Charitable Trust (VTCT)

Edexcel BTEC and Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)

City & Guilds (C&G)

The benefit of choosing a training such as CIDESCO ensures that the very highest standard in Aesthetics has been attained.

When selecting private training, it is very important that potential students are aware of the qualifications available. They should ensure that the teaching standards are excellent, check that facilities are good and that there is an adequate amount of equipment for student use. A history of pass rates is usually available.

The course work for Aestheticians is normally made up of 30% theory and 70% practical, and should include sessions on the public as clients.

With thanks to
Rosie Mac
Champneys College

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