Beauty Therapist

Job Description:

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

Job Category:
Retail & Consumer

What you will do:

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


You’ll need:

  • the ability and knowledge to perform beauty procedures
  • the ability to sell products and services (creativity)
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • customer service skills – developing good customer service skills, including being polite, attentive, and responsive to client needs, is crucial in the beauty therapy industry.
  • 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 (organisational skills)
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • hygiene and sanitation: knowledge of hygiene and sanitation practices is essential to ensure the safety and well-being of clients.
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a beauty therapist, there are no specific GCSE subjects that are mandatory. However, certain subjects and skills developed during your GCSE years can be advantageous for pursuing a career in beauty therapy. Beauty therapists provide various beauty and skin care treatments to clients, so subjects related to science, business, and communication can be valuable. Here are some GCSE subjects and skills that can be beneficial:

  1. Science: Subjects like Biology can provide you with a foundational understanding of the skin, anatomy, and physiology, which are relevant to beauty therapy.
  2. Mathematics: Basic math skills are important for tasks such as calculating treatment costs, managing appointment schedules, and maintaining business records.
  3. English: Strong communication skills, both written and verbal, are essential for interacting with clients, explaining treatments, and documenting client information.
  4. Art and Design: Courses in art and design can help you develop a creative eye and aesthetic sensibility, which are important for makeup application and other beauty treatments.
  5. Business Studies: Knowledge of business concepts, including marketing, financial management, and entrepreneurship, can be beneficial if you plan to operate your own beauty therapy business.
  6. Psychology: Understanding human behavior and client psychology can help you provide personalized and effective beauty treatments.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

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


In the UK, for example, you could study for a:

  • Diploma in Beauty Therapy
  • Level in Hair, Beauty and Aesthetics


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.


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.

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 37-40 hours of work. You could be required to work evenings/weekends as customers demand.

You could work in a salon, at a health spa, on a cruise ship, in a hotel or from home. You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career Path & Progression:

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.