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Beauty & makeup

Beauty therapist

Beauty therapists provide face and body treatments to help clients look and feel better.

Annual Salary

£16,000 to £25,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends; as customers demand

1%
Future employment

There will be 1% fewer Beauty therapist jobs in 2026.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

In your day-to-day tasks you may:

  • give a facial by cleansing, massaging and toning a client's skin
  • do a makeover by applying and advising on make-up
  • shape eyebrows and colour eyelashes
  • give a manicure, pedicure or other nail treatment like extensions and nail art
  • remove unwanted facial and body hair
  • do non-surgical skin improvement treatments
  • offer ultraviolet (UV) treatments and spray tanning

Working environment

You may need to wear protective clothing.

You could work in a salon, at a health spa, on a cruise ship, in a hotel or from home.

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • specialist courses run by private training providers
College

You could study for a:

  • Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Beauty Therapy
  • T Level in Hair, Beauty and Aesthetics

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level
For more information
Apprenticeship

You can do an intermediate or advanced beauty therapist apprenticeship.

These typically take between 15 and 18 months to complete as a mix of workplace learning and off-the-job study.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
For more information
Work

You could start out as a beauty therapy assistant in a salon or spa. You could then study for a qualification while you're working.

Other routes

You could also train with a private beauty school.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You may find it useful to get professional recognition by joining a register like the Guild of Beauty Therapists.

Further information

You can find out more about careers in beauty therapy from the Hairdressing and Beauty Industry Authority and the British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology.

You can also find out more about working in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers

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With experience you could progress to salon manager.

You could become self-employed and get your own salon, work from home or travel to clients.

You could also move into fashion, theatre or media make-up.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • customer service skills to put clients at ease
  • sensitivity and understanding towards your clients’ needs
  • the ability to work well with your hands for giving treatments
  • excellent verbal communication skills to explain treatments
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to sell products and services
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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