How to become a beauty therapist

You can get into this job through:

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


You could study for a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Beauty Therapy.

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

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You can do an intermediate or advanced beauty therapist apprenticeship.

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

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You could start out as a beauty therapy assistant in a salon or spa. You could then study for a qualification on the job.

Other Routes

You could also train with a private beauty school.

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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

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

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
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you'll do

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
  • give electro-therapy treatments to improve body tone and shape
  • do non-surgical skin improvement treatments
  • offer UV (ultraviolet) and spray tanning

Working environment

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 and 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.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Beauty Therapy Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £156.00 Weekly
  • Location: Harrogate

Advanced Level 3 Apprentice Beauty Therapist

  • Wage: £117.00 Weekly
  • Location: Woodbridge

Courses In England

Beauty Therapy Intensive

  • Start date: 11 January 2021
  • Location: Gloucester

Beauty Therapy Diploma Level 2

  • Provider: BOLTON COLLEGE
  • Start date: 11 January 2021
  • Location: Bolton

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