What does a beauty therapist do?

Beauty therapists carry out a number of tasks in helping a client. All aspects of appearance of the face, body, skin, hair and nails can be treated with a range of different therapies. They consult with clients on their areas of concern and from there, develop strategies and beauty plans. Beauty therapists analyse and treat skin and nails, recommending care regimes to be followed between visits. They perform massages and aromatherapy treatments to improve relaxation, circulation and comfort. They also remove unwanted body hair, by waxing, plucking or using laser hair removal to remove and shape facial or body hair. Working as a beauty therapist also requires one to carry out administrative duties in the salon, like book balancing, reception duties and salon maintenance.

Tasks:

  • Consult on desired treatment outcomes
  • Provide advice for beauty maintenance
  • Provide grooming services such as waxing and tanning
  • Refer clients to other health professionals where appropriate
  • Perform administrative duties in the salon

What skills do I need to be a beauty therapist?

To be a successful beauty therapist, you’ll need to be passionate about personal care, discreet and non-judgemental. As it is a profession that revolved around a highly personal topic, you should have good social skills and the ability to make your clients feel comfortable and confident in your salon for the duration of their visit. You need to have good communication skills, listening to what a client wants to achieve and asking questions. A broad knowledge of treatments that will achieve the desired effects for your clients is essential to running a successful salon.

Skills/attributes
  • Neat and well-groomed appearance
  • Great people skills
  • Clear communicator and excellent listener
  • Dexterity in grooming and administering treatments
  • Discreet and non-judgemental

Specialisations

Beauty therapists often specialise in certain types of therapy like spa treatments, massage and make-up. The beauty industry is large and encompasses all aspects of a person’s appearance giving trained beauty therapists many avenues to specialise and professionally progress.

Massage therapist

Massage skills learnt from working in a spa environment may guide you to a career as a remedial massage therapist. Like beauty therapists, massage therapists work in similar environments and must be able to help people relax and feel comfortable.

Hairdresser

If you want to specialise in applying hair treatments, colouring and styling, you can build on your existing knowledge and dexterity to work as a hairdresser. Your passion for helping other people with their appearance can be channelled into cutting and styling their hair.

Make-up Artist

Being familiar with make-up tools and techniques as well as a talent for communicating with a client will help you be able to specialise as a makeup artist. Make-up artists may work with individuals for events (such as weddings, formal occasions etc.), fashion shows or on film and television sets.

Study pathways for beauty therapists

To work as a beauty therapist, you must complete a tertiary level course in beauty therapy and obtain a diploma in beauty therapy. From here you can look for work in a salon or operate as a private beauty therapist.

Getting Started

Follow your love for make-up and beauty and enrol in a course that will foster your goals.

Skill Building

Develop vital skills and industry knowledge for becoming a successful beauty practitioner.

Professional Development

Learn the techniques, treatments and tips that will help you reach your professional potential.

Industry Recognition

To work as a beauty therapist, you will need to complete a diploma in beauty therapy. Once this has been obtained, you can work privately or seek a job at a salon.

Getting a job after graduation

Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your beauty therapy career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.

Job Prospects and Salaries

Employment in beauty therapy has grown slightly in the past five years and is projected to experience strong growth in the coming years.