Career Opportunities Away from Hands On Treatments

There are several avenues where treatment work is either not required or is limited and very little practical treatment services are performed.

These are:


•    Senior Therapist / Head Therapist
•    Spa Supervisor/ Manager
•    Spa Director
•    Training Manager


•    Beauty Lecturer
•    Head of Department
•    Assessor

Product Houses

•    Retail Therapist/Counter Therapist
•    Counter Manager
•    Company Account Development Therapist
•    Company Trainer


•    Beauty Writer / Author

Steps into Management

If you have decided that working your way up through the spa hierarchy is your career plan here are some suggestions on achieving this. If you are at the early stages of your career there really is not a quick route, but focus on gaining a full range of treatment exposure to enable you to become a strong all-rounder. Body work, holistic and balenotherapy will be the key treatments provided at the spa but may leave your waxing, tinting and make up skills lacking, therefore a couple of years within a high street salon will enable you to perfect these techniques too.

Another hot tip is to gain employment within luxury five star spas, like Ragdale Hall, Stobo Castle, Champneys and Hoar Cross Hall as this will set you apart from your competition. Having gained experience you may choose to work in spa companies worldwide or on ships and having been a confident and reliable member of the team you will now be ready to take on more responsibility, assist those with less experience than yourself and gain a senior therapist position.

Gaining new qualifications at this stage will also help you aim for Head therapist in the future. There are a number of online companies that provide supervisor diplomas like Elearn UK which will give you the theoretical knowledge to lead, manage and support a business team that you can apply to your everyday working life. This will give you the ability and confidence to step up at the next opportunity.

Find yourself a mentor who can take you under their wing and train you up for management roles; speak to your superiors and listen to their advice and take their guidance. By being responsible and finding solutions to problems, you will gain the respect of colleagues, creating a harmonious workforce. Your boss will be keen to promote you when the time comes.

Senior roles will include organising rotas, stock inventory and ordering, liaising with product account representatives, dealing with client complaints, ensuring staff are adhering to company policies and maintaining the cleanliness of the spa.

Health spas have Training Manager positions which involve more work with product companies, arranging in house training and external, inducting of new staff and trade testing potential employees. Having a PTLLS (preparing to teach in the life long learning sector) will be an excellent addition to your CV and career development.

Spa Director positions will include several years’ experience in both beauty therapist and senior roles and several years in management. Responsibilities will focus on business development, working to budgets, accounting for losses and increasing productivity. Further business related skills can be acquired for yourself development and online courses are ideal to fit around your busy schedule. Here is a list of diplomas from Elearn UK you may find useful

Alternatively Spa Management online courses can be found at

Check the job adverts online for Spa Director, Manager and Senior Therapist roles. Look at their requirements and work towards achieving them so that in the future you will be snapped up as a candidate for career moves.

Pass on your Passion

If you have ever worked as a therapist at sea or within a larger spa complex you may have had the initially daunting task of providing demonstrations and talks to passengers onboard or overnight guests at the spa. There is not necessarily any training provided for this and usually the first few talks and demonstrations may come across a bit wobbly but with more experience and exposure this creates confidence and can highlight a passion to pass on your knowledge. This is a great taster of what it will be like to lecture in a college of further education.

Those seeking to train to become a beauty lecturer should have the following even before attending a teaching course as colleges seek to recruit the best candidates.

* A good general education with GCSE passes (C or above) in English and Maths.
* Beauty Therapy qualifications to level 3 standard
* Minimum of 5 years in the industry
* Confident and competent in all aspects of treatments

Once you have achieved the above you will be ready to undertake teacher training.
Provided by local colleges of F.E these courses include three individual qualifications. PTTLS, CTTLS and DTTLS and were introduced a couple of years ago which stands for ‘preparing to teach in the lifelong learning sector, certificate to teach in the life long learning sector and diploma to teach in the lifelong learning sector.’

They have now introduced the following:

•    Level 3 award in education and training
•    Level 4 certificate in education and training
•    Level 5 diploma in education and training

These are very much similar but depending on what your local college provides they will both enable you to teach in a beauty classroom. Once you have achieved your pttls or level three the other training requires you to attain 30 hours and 100 hours teaching practice which can be done through paid or voluntary teaching at a college.

After a decade or more teaching you may advance to head of department. This would involve recruiting lecturers, planning and organising time tables for NVQ 2 and NVQ 3 students, liaising with industry professionals and keeping updated on trends and treatments. You will be responsible for introducing these into the lesson plans, ensuring good standards of teaching across the department and maintaining excellent OFSTED reports.

Alternatively NVQ exam boards also need assessors to monitor colleges across the county to ensure teachers are delivering excellent standards of teaching and that students’ competence and development has been achieved.

Extra qualifications that will be needed include:

•    Level 3 - award in assessing competence in the work environment
•    Level 3 - award in assessing vocational achievement
•    Level 3 - certificate in assessing vocational achievement

Working for Product Brands

Some brands used in beauty salons or spas are also available inside department stores and may even have their own treatment rooms.

Counter Therapist positions will involve retailing products to customers, achieving targets and promoting the brand.

You will need to be well presented, organised, have a passion for the brand and have great product knowledge to enable you to recommend. Confidence in makeup applications will be another asset and giving make-overs will help retailing immensely. In quiet times you may be required to set up a promotional offer and draw people in to ensure you reach your sales quota.

Progression would lead to Counter Manager positions which are all about numbers, reaching targets and motivating staff to reach theirs.

You will receive ongoing training with the brand in products and ingredients, customer service and retailing.

Opportunities to become an Account Development Therapist involve travelling to salons and spas, opening up new accounts and promoting the brand.

Product Trainers are needed within companies to train new salon and spa staff and train their own counter therapy staff.

Travelling may also be expected or the location will be at the Head Office usually in London.

Beauty Writer

Writing beauty blogs, articles and reviews is a great additional job to do as well as your regular spa job or on a full time basis. Here are a few different avenues where writing and beauty therapy merge.

Beauty therapy and journalism are combined for those working for professional beauty or the European spa magazine for example. Working for these editorials will include remaining up-to-date with industry trends, researching industry news and achievements, maintaining accuracy in the information given, and being aware of plagiarism when editing work. You will be expected to network with industry movers and shakers. It is also about meeting deadlines and maintaining reader interest.

Writing for a women’s magazine regularly found on newsagents shelves or in Sunday magazines is another outlet. This would mean trying out a range of products and writing your reviews on their texture, results, ingredients and benefits and promoting them in general.

Being a beauty author will involve writing a book specialising in beauty therapy whether it be for beauty students or those already in the industry to help them progress or share knowledge or to entertain. Experience in the industry with the talent for writing is all that is required that is, apart from the exasperating task of finding a publisher or having funds to self-publish.

Perfecting your writing craft these websites may prove useful:

Also you will need a good education in English Language as you are writing to inform, describe and explain to the reader. Try writing an article about the beauty or spa industry. Think about current trends, seasons, current economic climate, or anything you feel relevant and once satisfied email it to your chosen magazine/site and see what happens.

That’s the way to start and get your foot in. It is recommended to bear in mind that magazines are usually three months ahead so writing and predicting what would be of interest is something else to consider.

So as you see there are many avenues that will open up to experienced therapists ready to expand their skills, develop new ones, push themselves further and continue facing new and exciting challenges. There is life after treatments but whatever way you choose to go you need a strong therapy background, competence and enthusiasm. You will more than likely need to return to education to move up and progress.

Back to listing