Beauty therapists use a range of facial and body treatments to help their clients look and feel better. Beauty therapists offer treatments such as;
- Applying make-up and training products
- Eyelash and eyebrow shaping, perming or colouring
- Manicures, pedicures and specialist treatments such as nail extensions
- Removing unwanted facial or body hair
- Body massage and aromatherapy
- Non-surgical skin therapies
Full-time beauty therapists work between 37 and 40 hours a week, and often do weekend and evening work. It is possible to work part time or flexible hours. Individual therapies take place in warm, clean and private treatment rooms or cubicles. Beauty therapists usually wear a uniform to protect their own clothes and to look clean and smart.
A beauty therapist should:
- Have excellent interpersonal skills
- Be a good listener with a caring attitude
- Be good with their hands
- Be interested in science, and in health and beauty
There are opportunities to work throughout the UK in salons and beauty clinics, hospitals, leisure clubs, spas, hotels and health farms - as well as overseas in holiday resorts, on cruise ships and for major airlines. The industry is growing and there are lots of vacancies for qualified applicants.
To qualify, students need to take a course in beauty therapy at college. They are likely to need at least three or four GCSEs grades (A-C). There is no upper age limit for starting in beauty therapy, and salons often welcome mature applicants.
New products and techniques are introduced all the time, so beauty therapists need to keep their skills up to date. They may take short courses on using particular products, or take extra qualifications in specialist techniques.
There are good prospects for beauty therapists, and they can follow various career paths. They may move into management, or become a trainer or lecturer, make-up artist, promotional therapist, or field sales representative working for a cosmetics or health company. They can also train as complementary therapists and offer treatments such as reflexology, Indian head massage and stress management.