How to become a beautician
By: Todor Madzharov
Reading time: 4 min

Being a beautician doesn’t just mean you’re good at manicures, or handy with a tanning kit; the job role is so wide-ranging and specialised, and there are countless opportunities to become incredibly skilled at a number of beauty treatments – or simply make a name for yourself as a true expert in one or two niches.

Beauty techniques and technology are constantly evolving, so it’s important to have up-to- date training, and to constantly learn while on the job. There’s no set way to become a beautician – indeed, some of the best people at the job started it as a hobby, or adapted techniques they used on themselves. However, as with any occupation where you’re working with people, it’s incredibly important that you adhere to strict health and safety guidelines, and getting professional training is the best way to get your foot on the ladder.

Here’s what you need to know about careers in this industry, so you know that applying for jobs as a beautician is the best next step for you.

Job basics

  • Entry salary: Around £15,000pa
  • Experienced salary: £18,000 to £20,000pa
  • Average hours: 35-40 (full-time); around 20 (part-time)

What do beauticians do?

Although this is not an exhaustive list, the most common treatments provided by beauticians include:

  • Hair removal (e.g. waxing), and shaping, threading, and plucking hair (e.g. eyebrows)
  • Nail services, such as manicures and pedicures, nail extensions, and acrylic nails
  • Makeovers for events such as weddings
  • Spray tanning and sunbeds
  • Aromatherapy, reflexology and hydrotherapy
  • Skin cleansing and toning

Beauticians are also involved in the day-to- day running of their working environment, from booking appointments and ordering product restocks, to updating client treatment preferences and keeping track of any possible allergies they may have.

What qualities should I have?

There are some important personality qualities you need to be successful in such a person-centric environment – first and foremost, you need to be friendly, helpful and positive, and be the kind of individual that clients see as trustworthy and helpful. Given that beauty is the name of the game, there also needs to be a level of tactfulness and diplomacy in both making recommendations and carrying them out; you’re effectively giving people more self-confidence, so their feelings always come first. Naturally, you need to see beauty treatments as an art form, and take pride in your work. For this, you’ll also need good hand-eye coordination, be comfortable with the fact you’ll have to learn quickly, and place a keen focus on constant personal improvement. As for being a beautician as part of a salon, you need to work well with others, stay up to date on the latest developments and trends in the industry, and be competent at computers and maths, as these are central to tasks such as booking appointments, stock taking, and general day-to- day admin.

How do I become qualified?

If you want to become a fully qualified beauty therapist, you will most likely need to have a level 2 or 3 certification in beauty therapy. These qualifications are usually done at colleges, and you can study either full-time or part-time, supplementing this with placements in salons. There are also a few private beauty schools offering training, though this usually comes at a higher price. An alternative route is to become an apprentice with a salon; many will offer entry-level positions to learn from the bottom rung. While you may want a job that pays better in the short term, this is one of the best options if you’re career-minded and need a place to start, as it could open you up to learning a huge number of treatments very quickly.

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