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Spa Therapist Duties and Responsibilities

The specific tasks performed by spa therapists vary from place to place and by the educational background of employees. However, our analysis of job postings revealed the following to be among the central duties of the position:

Performing Spa Services Different types of massages and facials are relatively standard offerings at places where spa therapists work. Spa therapists may also be called upon for laser hair removal, cellulite therapy, waxing, manicures, and pedicures.

Selling Spa therapists often recommend additional services they think the client may enjoy or benefit from, such as a special type of chemical peel. They also may convince patrons to buy packages offering additional or reduced-price services, such as joining a club that gives a free massage after four paid ones. Touting products such as candles, lotions, and skincare lines may likewise be part of the job. Passing out free samples to take home encourages later purchasing items.

Documenting Spa therapists keep records of services performed for each client. This information serves as a reference for next time, such as the number of weeks that have passed between acne treatments. It also allows the company to keep tabs on the number of each procedure being performed and to send out promotional material based on interests.

Maintaining the Facility Nobody wants to get a treatment in a messy, unsafe environment. Spa therapists clean up their work area and follow health standards such as changing sheets, sanitizing equipment, and storing chemicals properly.

Training Employers expect spa therapists to keep up with the newest industry techniques in order to grow the business and offer customers what they request. In addition to being continuous learners themselves, spa therapists also get called upon to bring new employees up to speed on the establishment's procedures.


Spa Therapist Skills

Because they spend so much time interacting with clients, spa therapists need excellent interpersonal skills. Spa therapists who are friendly but professional help customers relax and enjoy the experience. Other qualities hiring managers appreciate include:
  • Listening carefully to customers in order to provide the best service, such as readjusting pressure when a massage is perceived as too hard
  • Communicating clearly so that clients know what to expect, such as explaining the cooling sensation of a facial mask
  • Displaying good salesmanship
  • Realizing the intimate nature of many spa treatments and acting respectfully, such as leaving the room when someone is getting dressed
  • Exhibiting a calm demeanor that promotes a serene environment

Spa Therapist Education and Training

Most spa therapists are high school graduates who take post-secondary classes at a beauty/vocational school or community college. They earn a license in one or more areas of interest, such as massage therapy, cosmetology, or aesthetics. Requirements vary by state but generally involve completing an apprenticeship and passing an exam. Many spa therapists start their careers as spa assistants or spa receptionists.

Spa Therapist Resources

Before embarking on a career as a spa therapist, check out these great sources of information:

The Complete Spa Book for Massage Therapists - Want a first-hand glimpse of what goes on daily in actual spas? This book features in-depth comments from

spa directors and owners, including what they look for in employees.

Spa Bodywork: A Guide for Massage Therapists - Massages are an integral part of most spas, and this reference book covers a variety of popular techniques. Reviewers praise its step-by-step procedures and helpful photos.

The Definitive Spa and Body Therapist's Handbook - Before addressing the well-being of clients, spa therapists need to get their own body and mind in shape. This book, written by an international spa consultant, shows you how. It also provides descriptions of the various environments in which spa therapists might work, such as hotels, cruise ships, and day spas.

American Massage Therapy Association - A trusted and respected name in massage therapy, this organization's website covers a variety of issues of interest to spa therapists, including education and training, liability insurance, licensing, conferences, and networking.

Massage Therapy - Got a question regarding a career as a spa therapist? Chances are that one of the 25,000 members of this LinkedIn Group could give you the answer!

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