how to become a beauty therapist

Do you love to pamper people? Are you a friendly person people find easy to relate to? Do you love to socialise and help people to look and feel their best? Do you enjoy working with your hands to apply treatments to your friends, family or anyone who will sit still long enough? If so then, you may enjoy the busy role of a beautician. Based from different locations, such as spas, salons, hairdressers and department stores. Beauticians pamper and preen their clients to their heart’s content. Usually the treatments you apply vary a lot, but mostly you will carry out waxing, manicures, and body treatments. In addition, you play a role getting to know your clients and recommending different beauty products to them. Those products could be skin creams, makeup, hair products or other cosmetic treatments available where you work.

A beautician works in the bustling heart of a salon or spa and works directly with her clients to pamper them. Your job is to make sure they leave feeling special and refreshed. Does this sound like you? Well, then, keep reading and find out which course you need to take to make working as a beautician a reality for you.

Step one: Choose a course

If you have your heart set on becoming a beautician you will need to invest some of your time to training first. You should have a certificate III level in beauty therapy to find work. However, many people do a longer course and aim for a certificate IV or diploma. While not compulsory, doing the longer course will prepare you better for work and help you to stay competitive when applying for work.

Step two: Look for your first job

Once you have qualified you can begin to look for work. Beauticians will usually find work in salons, spas, hairdressers or even in department stores. Make sure you tailor your resume to highlight your newly gained qualifications, any relevant experience you have, and your personal strengths.

Step three: Join a professional body for beauticians

Joining a professional body is not a requirement for finding work. However, joining a body can open up job opportunities for you. This happens through the networking opportunities offered by the organisation. As well as giving potential employers or clients extra confidence in your skills. 

Step four: Consider a specialisation

As a beautician, you will develop a broad skill set which you can then focus at a later date into a specialisation or towards a career progression. 

Specialised Beautician

A specialised beautician focuses from the broad skill set you already have. To gain specialised knowledge and skills in one particular area you enjoy. For example, you may want to specialise in hairdressing, nail technology, facials, waxing or make-up. By focusing your skills into one area you can improve your chances of employment, and potentially increase your earnings.

Spa Therapist

If you love the luxury market then becoming a spa therapist may suit you very well. Day spas are classy spaces offering high-end services to their clients. Spa therapists will need to have expert knowledge of the products and services they are selling. Furthermore, you will need to keep your knowledge up-to-date to remain competitive in the field.

Salon Management

If you are keen to progress your career then you could consider becoming a salon manager. This role will require you to learn new skills and to take responsibility for the daily operations of the salon. You will have to manage the staff rosters, payroll, training, recruitment, manage the salon budgets, handle customer complaints, manage leases and the salon maintenance. Sound a lot? Or a wonderful challenge and fantastic opportunity to increase your earnings?

Step five: Consider further training to progress

Many beauticians may go on to work on a self-employed basis or even open their own salon. If you are keen to go it alone, you will benefit from taking a business course before you do. This will better prepare you to take on the extra responsibilities and to learn the in’s and out’s of running a business.

What do Beauticians Do?

When you first sit down with your client you will need to listen to their needs and desires. Then, recommend services or products which will meet their needs. You may recommend a makeup style to a blushing bride. Or a facial treatment for someone with skin problems. Perhaps, you will suggest a new style for a client with an important business meeting coming up. As well as carrying out all the plush pampering services your skilled hands can offer. You play a part in selling products, taking payments, and other general administration tasks. Such as appointment booking and keeping client records.


  • Assessing your client’s needs
  • Applying different beauty treatments and services
  • Selling and recommending products to your clients
  • Handling sales transactions and other related administration tasks

Skills for Success

To give your clients confidence in you and your skills it is important to be well presented yourself. You will need to have excellent skills with people. You need to have tact when discussing treatments with your clients. As well as top notch customer service skills. A people-orientated person will do well as a beautician. A good beautician pays attention to detail and strives to give the best service possible to each client.  You will need to learn and develop the practical skills you need. Then, you can confidently apply a wide range of treatments from waxing, to facials, to makeup, to hair styling, to nails. Lastly, as a part of your daily work, you will need to carry out some basic administration tasks.

Skills and attributes

  • Well presented
  • Creative flair
  • Keep up-to-date with trends in the beauty industry
  • Skilled with your hands
  • Excellent people and customer service skills
  • Discreet
  • Able to handle basic administration tasks

How much does a beautician make in Australia?

In Australia, beauticians earn a median wage of $47,166 per year. This varies according to a number of factors and is intended as a reference only, from Payscale 05/’18.

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