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Beauty Therapist Duties and Responsibilities

Beauty encompasses the entire face and body, which means that beauty therapists need to know how to perform many beautifying tasks for their clients. Normal duties expected in most spas and salons will entail:

Analyze Client Needs Customers often won't know exactly what they want or what beauty treatments they really need. Asking clients questions and using skin analysis to evaluate their needs allows beauty therapists to recommend appropriate treatments.

Keep Tools Sterilized and Manage Stock Beauty therapists are responsible for keeping all their tools and their beauty room clean and sterilized. They must also replace used inventory to avoid running out of supplies.

Perform Skin Treatments Customers will come to beauty therapists for a variety of skin rejuvenation treatments, including peels, facials, and anti-acne treatments.

Provide Waxing Treatments Hair removal is a popular beauty treatment, so beauty therapists need to know how to wax legs, eyebrows, and bikini lines in order to provide all the services that clients will want.

Massage Therapy Keeping customers relaxed is essential, so many beauty therapists use massage techniques to help clients release tension. Facial, hand, foot, and back massages may all be used by beauty therapists to keep clients calm and happy.

Give Manicures and Pedicures Customers also want beautiful hands and feet, so it's very common for a beauty therapist to offer manicures and pedicures.

Schedule Appointments Beauty therapists greet customers who walk into the salon or spa, answer phones, and schedule appointments.


Beauty Therapist Skills and Qualifications

Employers and clients will look for beauty therapists with the following talents:
  • Interpersonal skills - beauty therapy is a service-based industry, so it's important that beauty therapists have a friendly, personable disposition that helps build relationships with clients and put them at ease
  • Salesmanship - beauty therapists want to sell clients as many services as possible, so a background in sales will impress potential employers
  • Aesthetics - an eye for beauty is crucial for successful in this field, as is the ability to envision how a client might look after receiving a specific treatment
  • Work ethic - beauty therapists work with very little supervision and are largely responsible for finding and booking their own clients, so strong time management and the ability to self-motivate are must-have qualities
  • Customer service - answering phones and greeting customers is a big part of working in salons and spas, and a strong customer service background helps beauty therapists stand out among other applicants

Beauty Therapist Education and Training

Beauty therapists must first pass a cosmetology or esthetician program that follows their state's guidelines. After completing the course, they need to pass the state exam to obtain a license that allows them to legally practice beauty techniques on clients. This is true for every state except Connecticut, which does not require beauty therapists to be licensed. Beauty therapists are expected to have all the skills and tools needed to complete their job, and little to no on-the-job training is provided by salons or spas. Once familiarized with computer and inventory systems, beauty therapists independently book and service clients.

Beauty Therapist Salary and Outlook

Skincare specialists like beauty therapists earn around $30,270 per year, or about $14.55 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The field is predicted to grow 14 percent through 2026, which is faster job growth than the national average. Beauty therapists have a lot of freedom to set their own hours and choose their own clients, but many salons and spas offer few job benefits. Health insurance usually is not provided, though many beauty therapists benefit from profit-sharing. Because they're responsible for finding and treating their own clients, beauty therapists are only asked to provide a percentage of their earnings to the salon or spa employing them.

Beauty Therapist Helpful Resources

Learn how to pursue a successful career as a beauty therapist and master tricks of the trade with these resources:

Professional Beauty Association - PBA is for all beauty professionals and features a network that is 10,000 strong. This site contains new information about beauty treatments and developments in the beauty industry

Body Therapy and Facial Work: Electrical Treatments for Beauty Therapists - this best-selling book explores cutting-edge electrical beauty treatments, the science behind them, and how to use these treatments in a salon or spa environment

Beauty Schools Directory - find a beauty school that will help you get licensed to start your career as a beauty therapist. This site allows you to search for schools by state and program so you can find the one that's right for you

Theory and Practice of Therapeutic Massage - learn all the basics of therapeutic massage, including how to use anatomy and physiology to relax muscles and put clients at ease

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