College Hair and Beauty Technician
Job Description (What the job involves)
Working as a College Hair and Beauty Technician, your main duties include: being responsible for the ordering of stock, maintaining the stock levels in the dispensary/stock cupboard, taking deliveries, and the distribution of the stock to the lecturers/learners.
You will be working with a variety of IT software to maintain the stock levels. At all times you will be working to strict Health and Safety policies and procedures and must ensure all equipment has been PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) tested and is safe for all to use. You will either be trained to become a PAT tester or as soon as you know the equipment needs testing you will take it out of the classroom and liaise with the estates team in order for it to be tested. You will be the eyes and ears of the department, if anything is broken, faulty etc. you must report it to the management.
One of the main attributes of a proactive technician is to be responsible for the laundry. You must ensure that all classrooms (salons) have a full cupboard of towels; therefore you will have a continuous supply of washing to do. Throughout the day you must check the laundry bins in the salons and take them to be washed, dried and replaced. When the department is having a very busy day then learners will be asked to help with this task which is excellent experience for them to understand the running of a successful salon and working as a team. You will be provided with a college uniform which must be clean/tidy and presentable at all times.
Hours and Working Environment
You will find most colleges are open 9am-9pm so your working day may vary throughout the week. You could work 9am-5pm one day then 12pm – 9pm the next day. It all depends on the intake of learners as to how many lessons take place. Your working days/hours will be discussed with you and your manager before the start of the new academic year. You will always have a lunch break which could be 1 hour or split up throughout the day if you are working 9am -9pm, again this will be discussed with your manager when setting out your timetable. Your contract will most likely be ‘term time only’ which means you will be employed to work 39 weeks of the year and have every half term, Christmas and summer holiday off.
You will be working on the reception and be the first point of call for the clients. You must provide excellent customer service at all times. You will be using an electronic booking system; taking phone calls and providing clients with up to date information about the department and any new treatments/spa days etc. that they may have on offer. You will also be taking clients’ coats and making tea/coffee etc. You must ensure at all times that the clients are happy and wanting to return.
At certain times throughout the year you will be assisted by learners on reception, therefore it is your duty to train the learners to fulfil the duties of a receptionist to a high standard. You will make sure that they understand the importance of providing excellent customer service and how to answer the phone and use the booking systems. All learners will be assessed in this unit in order for them to get their full qualification. If you are a qualified A1 assessor then you may be able to complete the learners’ assessments; this will be the preference of the management. You and the learners must keep the area clean and tidy at all times.
Before all lessons you will liaise with the lecturing team, to discuss what they require for their lessons. This could be new stock, a projector, tanning tents, photocopying, nail varnishes, electrical equipment etc. You will be responsible for setting up the equipment required and tidying them away at the end of the lesson and will also be on hand throughout the lesson to get stock out of the locked cupboards, for example: boxes of tissues, cotton buds, colours, cotton wool etc.
Upsides and Downsides
Working as a Technician can be very rewarding as you are the backbone of the department. If you are not ordering stock, cleaning and providing excellent customer service then the lessons will not be able to take place effectively and clients will not return. You will be working as part of a successful team where teamwork is an essential requirement of the job so if you feel you would prefer to work independently then a technician role may not be for you.
You will always build positive relationships with the learners and often they will come to you for advice and support. On one hand this is a great feeling knowing the learners respect you, but you must remember that the lecturers are responsible for the learners, giving them all the knowledge required to succeed. You must never overstep the line and provide too much information; if you feel that the student is relying on you too much then you should advise them to speak to their lecturer.
Skills and Personal Qualities
To become a successful Technician you must be able to prove at your interview that you have a variety of skills and qualities. For example
- Good written and oral communication skills
- Motivational skills– for learners tasks, such as Reception
- Be a good team player
- Have an innovative approach to work
- Have a good knowledge of IT
- Experience working within education (desirable)
- Experience within Hair and Beauty sector
- Enthusiasm for student learning
- Knowledge of NVQ assessments (desirable)
To gain an interview in the first instance, when considering becoming a Technician, you must have:
- NVQ L2/L3 Hair and/or Beauty qualification
- English and Maths up to Level 2
- A good general education
- A current First Aid at Work qualification or be willing to work towards this once in employment.
- Have an A1 Assessors Award qualification (desirable)
Opportunities and Progression
You will always have to complete CPD (continuous professional development) in order to fulfil the job role effectively. This could be your First Aid Certificate or Assessor qualification, which could be a great beneficial progression if you want to become an Assessor or Lecturer in the future. You can complete CPD in team building, product knowledge etc. It will always be supported and encouraged throughout your employment. You can also progress on to become a lead technician or head receptionist; it all depends on what the college offers.
As always, the Hair and Beauty industry is an ever-expanding business. Keeping up to date with new developments and products is essential, especially if you want to develop your career into assessing or teaching. To keep up-to-date you can attend all the trade shows: Olympia, IMATS, Hair and Beauty UK show and Salon International.
© Kirsty Brown
Potential Salary and Benefits
A technician’s salary will vary depending on their working days/hours and the area that they work in. On average it will be based around £14,000+.