Making People Look and Feel Beautiful

Thorough training and a qualification is essential for practicing professionals and among other subjects this includes the study of science, diet and nutrition, and exercise as well as keeping up to date with the latest technology.

Beauty might be thought of as simply connected to fashion but as the term 'therapist' suggests, this is a caring profession, which demands individuals of a sympathetic nature who want to work with and help people. To do this job you need to have the necessary personal qualities and a capacity for hard work. In return you have the satisfaction of helping people feel more confident and happier with themselves.

There are various possibilities if you are interested in a career in beauty. A beauty therapist is qualified to carry out a wide range of treatments to the face and body. Treatments are given to improve the skincare and condition, make-up, manicure, pedicure, waxing and electrolysis (the removal of unwanted hair), body massage, dietary advice and exercise. The work includes a range of electrical treatments for the face and body, all designed to help improve facial and body conditions. All forms of treatment promote a feeling of well being.

The use of mechanical and electrical equipment has both increased and become more sophisticated and so requires a high degree of operating skill on the part of the therapist, together with an understanding of the scientific principles involved.

The growing interest in feeling fit and looking good has increased opportunities for beauty therapists. Since the vast proportion of qualified therapists are women, there is a fairly rapid turnover in jobs and it is possible to reach supervisory or management level within two or three years of qualifying.

The majority of qualified beauty therapists work either in salons or in health resorts, but there are also opportunities to work in sports clubs, saunas, department stores, clubs and hotels. There are limited opportunities to work on ocean liners and a very few posts occur in film and television companies. At a later stage there is also the chance of entering teaching.

Specialisation is possible, especially in massage and epilation, and it is also possible to work freelance, visiting clients in their own homes.

Most people train by studying a beauty therapy course at a college of further education. For some courses there are no specific entry qualifications - recruitment is via interview selection but commitment and enthusiasm are essential. Courses are very much hands-on, which is often reflected in the range of facilities available in a college. Many colleges boast their own salon, which provides specialist treatments such as body massage, electrical epilation, hairdressing plus much more.

This article appears with thanks to Calderdale College and first appeared in the Halifax Courier.

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