Senior Spa Therapist

Published on: 27 Apr 2016

Job Description (What the job involves)

Just as with spa therapists, a senior spa therapist will be expected to carry out a wide range of spa treatments to a high standard and work proactively to attain retail targets. However, typically as a more experienced member of the spa team they are usually required to take on additional duties such as the ones listed below:

  • Act as a role model for other junior level therapists; helping at times to mentor and train new starters and assist with staff appraisals. Depending on the staffing structure of your spa you may be responsible for the supervision of a team of therapists, front of house and housekeeping staff.
  • Provide direct support to the spa manager, head therapist or treatments manager when required. This may include deputising  in their absence, assisting with stock ordering and stock control or training of staff
  • Carry out checks to ensure that treatment rooms and wider spa areas are clean, well stocked with equipment and products, safe and hygienic
  • Responsibility for retail product sales targets; both of self and possibly also of the other therapists on the team. The senior spa therapist may also be tasked with coming up with initiatives to promote products and to come up with sales incentives for the team
  • Ensure spa equipment is working and to coordinate safety and maintenance checks and repairs with the maintenance team where necessary
  • Leading from the front in demonstrating how to provide excellent customer service from the moment customers are greeted at the front desk, during their verious treatments and also their after treatment care
  • Providing a direct communication line with the spa manager to ensure they are informed of any customer care issues or breaches in company procedures
  • Help the spa management ensure that spa procedures, codes of practice and guidelines are adhered to whether it be the completion of health questionnaires, maintenance of client treatment records or dealing with customer complaints
  • To oversee the booking of treatments and ensure that treatments are sensibly allocated to each therapist and that the staffing rota is geared up at all times to ensure treatments are carried out smoothly and on time. 
  • To ensure that knowledge of all stocked spa products and treatments amongst staff is up-to date
  • Monitor and control stock levels and make spa manager aware when stock levels need replenishing

Hours and Working Environment

Spas are usually 6 days a week operations and occasionally can be open 7 days a week. Most spas are open on a Saturday and into the evenings. Expect to be flexible with your working hours to cover these times and also share changing shift patterns with other spa staff team members. 

Spas come in all sorts of forms and guises these days. They can range from the traditional resort spas such as the famous Champneys ones or town day spas. They also now are a very common inclusion within fitness centres such as Virgin Active and hotels up and down the country. 

Skills and Personal Qualities

It's perhaps a bit obvious to say that as a senior spa therapist there will be expectations that you can carry out spa treatments to a high standard. Asides from this the following skills and personal qualities are found in senior spa therapists:

  • A good communicator with the ability to motivate fellow spa team members
  • An excellent team member who will gladly provide admin or reception cover if a member of staff is off sick or on holiday
  • High standards of presentation both of their self but also their treatment room and surrounding areas of the spa
  • Professional attitude towards work
  • Ability to display empathy and build rapport with your clients
  • A focus on providing excellent customer care
  • Physically fit
  • Stamina especially if the spa focuses on body massage treatments
  • Flexibility is key; willingness and capability of working to a rota and providing shift cover at weekends, evenings, holiday cover etc. And this may sometimes extend beyond therapy work to reception and admin

Entry Requirements

To become a senior spa therapist you need to have an NVQ level 3 or equivalent (i.e. ITEC, CIDESCO, CIBTAC, BABTAC)  in beauty therapy. The level 3 courses are designed for those individuals who have aspirations of becoming senior spa therapists, supervisors or spa managers so make sure as a bare minimum you acquire this.

Although not essential it also helps to have had training and working knowledge of one or more of the more popular skincare brands such as Elemis, Mama Mio, Thalgo or ESPA.

Additional qualifications in holistic massage or holistic therapies  such as acupuncture, aromatherapy and reflexology will also prove useful.

Asides from the above the main requirement that employers look for in their senior spa therapist staff is a mature and flexible attitude, excellent and proven communication skills and working experience. Typically a spa will require their senior spa staff to have a minium of between 3-5 years experience working in a spa. In particularly high demand are those therapists who have experience working in 5 star rated spas and/or those who have previous experience in supervising spa staff.

Opportunities and Progression

The natural next step for senior spa therapists on the career ladder is to Head therapist, treatments manager, spa supervisor or indeed to spa manager. The opportunities are there for the taking and the advice to any ambitious senior therapist would be to embrace additional resonsibilities when afforded to you and to communicate your career aspirations to your spa employers so they can help you acheive your goals.

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Potential Salary and Benefits

The range on a basic salary for a spa therapist can be quite broad £17,000 to £24,000 and as well as location can also depend on your experience and qualifications

Most spas will supplement the salaries of their therapists with % commission on treatments and related product sales. 

In addition packages can also be supplemented with staff discounts and monthly incentives together with target related bonuses