“ Write here only if you have personal experience of working as a beauty therapist. Why did you decide to become one? What are your qualifications? What are the ups and downs of the profession? „
I have been working as a Beauty Therapist for 8 years now and I have to say I still really enjoy it. It is a very rewarding Job which allows you to take your training in many directions of work.
I went to Bromley College for my training.
NVQ level 2 covered the following:-
*waxing using hot wax, warm wax and sugaring
*Health and safety in the work place
I managed to complete level 2 in a year and a half, this meant going to college 3 days a week and a day in a salon environment.
NVQ level 3 covered the following:-
*Swedish Body massage
* Facial and Body electrical
* Sauna and Steam treatments
I completed level 3 in a year which I found very hard as I was working full time alongside this course so I was still using my skills I had learnt in Level 2 and also to start earning some money!.
In each of the courses you learn the method of the treatment, the before and aftercare advice for each treatment, and also the theory of each treatment. Anatomy and Physiology is a big part in beauty therapy understanding how the body's functions work, the name of each and every muscle and bone, knowing the blood and lymphatic system and the effects treatments can have on the body.
It is so hard to come out of College and get a job as every salon will say they want at least 3 years work experience. There are many routes you can take in beauty therapy such as working in a salon or a spa, working as an occasion makeup artist, working on film and music sets, become a mobile therapist, work on the cruise liners or going abroad to work in hotels.
I started of working in a small local salon, I was there for 6 years and progressively worked my way up until I was running the salon (unfortunately not on any extra money!!). I then felt confident enough to open up on my own so I now have my own Beauty Business which is my little baby! I love the fact that working my small salon you get your regular clients come in every 4-6 weeks and you get to see your clients grow up and change. It is very hard not to get too attached to your clients as many of them come in to unload on you, you feel like an agony aunt. I love when you see clients getting married and having children but then there is also the downside of when you have elderly clients and they don't arrive for a treatment and you are later informed they have passed away. I have lost 5 clients and I find this a hard part of my Job.
Hours are unsociable usually evenings and weekends as this is when people are off of work.
Unfortunately the pay is not good in Beauty Therapy unless you work for yourself or you work in a spa and can do the hard sell on products. Most beauty salons offer minimum wage which I think is wrong as it is such a demanding Job, and all the training you have to do should count for something. Depending where you work you usually can top your wages up in tips or in commission on products you sell.
Ok so say the word Beauty therapist and what usually is thought of is Blonde, dumb, painting pink nails, and wears a lot of make up!! This is so disheartening to a beauty therapist to hear after all the hard work that has gone into training. Beauty therapy is an artistic job which requires you to have good stamina, a water off a ducks back attitude and a welcoming manner to make the client feel at ease.
**Keeping up with the times**
There are always new treatments coming out so it is always best to keep up with the times. There are beauty shows for professionals up and down the country every year where you will see new treatments and you can try these treatments out. I try and do a new course every year. Last year I done a Spray Tan course and this Year I have just completed a semi-permanent eyelash course.
Meeting new people daily
Make people feel better about them selves
A rewarding Job
Many different directions you can take
Pay is low
You get varicose veins as you are on your feet for 12 hours flat usually
The stereotype that goes with the job
When you get to close to clients and they pass away.
As you can tell I am very Passionate about my job, and I would recommend Beauty Therapy as a career as long as that person was aware of the hard work, time and commitment that goes with the job. I can honestly say I have never had a day at work where I feel I don't want to be here. Yes you do get the odd hard work client but the other lovely ones make up for that one bad nut!!.
Have you ever had a massage and wondered why its so wonderful? Would you revel in making people relaxed, pampered and confident? Well sounds like this course might be for you then. Beauty Therapy is a profession that can be very rewarding and although its centered around complementary treatments, you get to communicate with people on so many levels. Training usually takes 2 years full time and is of NVQ level 2 and 3. There are part time courses/ refresher courses and combined courses with Hairdressing and Sports therapy and should be available in your local college. To enrol in such a course you need at least a GSCE in Math's, English and a Science but its not a necessity, as they will give you an interview to assess if you are suitable. The course, if you are over 18 years can range from 300 to 600 pound all depending on college fees but if you are under 18 years then you get a grant from the government as you are legally still in full time education. I managed to just get away with it as I started in September and was 18 years in the October Once accepted you have to buy books, equipment, uniform and come very comfortable shoes. If you are fresh out of school or under 18 years of age, you can get a grant to cover the cost of most of the equipment and books, which the college will give you a form for. If you are over 18 , you can still apply for a grant but it just depends on your working status, are you still at home. Even if you travel to college you can even get a traveling grant but again you need to apply for that through the college. This course isnt open to just the ladies but to the gentlemen too, but they tend to stick to the Sports Therapy, Massage and Heat Treatments then the facials, manicures and make up. So what's so amazing about a beauty therapy course? Well you learn an awful lot about the body, treatments, communication and you even get to try out all the treatments you are learning about. After all you can't prom
ote a treatment if you have never had it can you? That would be like selling a TV without knowing anything about the product. After two years you come out of college with frightening amounts of information, which unlike most training courses does come in useful. Things like the names of all the muscles and bones within the body. Useful for diagnosing muscle complaints in massage, posture analysis and electronic beauty treatments. How to run your own business including taxes, accounting and basic I.T. If you fancy working abroad or on a Cruise liner you will even come out with basic Spanish, French and German. You can even set up your own gym with equipment which you know that are going to benifit the most lazy of us folk. In the first year you learn the basic theory with a little basic practical towards the end of the second term. This basic theory and practical is spilt up into sections : Integrated science in Beauty Therapy ( Physics and Chemistry) Practical A ( Mainly basic treatments including Manicures, Pedicures, Facials, Waxing, Heat treatments) Practical B ( Mainly electrical treatments like Faradic electrical muscle stimulation, Galvanic, Massage and Sports Therapy) Anatomy ( Bones and muscles of the body) Physiology ( Systems of the body) IT and Business Studies. Exercise and Nutrition Languages Health and Safety Reception Duties ( making appointments, handing money, retail) Dispensary( Giving out products for treatments, stock taking, retail) Sounds a lot eh? Good thing is they all over lap each other. For example to know what muscles to massage to relax the face in a facial, you would need the knowledge of physiology ( Muscles of face, effects on body systems), techniques for relaxation ( Practical B) and what effect it has on our mind. It can be a little hard going at first but I promise you it all comes together. Some days can be qu
ite long too all depending on your time table. Most of the time you will start around 9 am and finish around 3 /4 pm. You only wear your uniform, usually white in practical lessons but please make sure you wear conformable shoes. Believe me your feet kill by the end of the day! At the end of each term, you are placed within a salon to get a bit of hands on experience. All depending how good they are you could be either making tea all day or actually getting to do some treatments on clients. This can be very scary at first. I still remember my first proper massage with a client at college. I shook from head to foot in the first 5 minutes as I thought I was going to make a mistake. A back massage later, which is about 35 minutes, I had a client who was asleep! I thought it was the best compliment ever. What was even better was the fact that each week she came back to me for facials, manicures, massages and electrical treatments. In the second year as well as practicing treatments on each other, you can ask family and friends to come in and have treatments. Well basically play guinea pig. Most colleges do charge for treatments but only silly prices. For example for a manicure you could pay 1.50, back massage. 2.50, sun bed 1.75 and electrolysis ( removal of hair) 2.10. There are a few reasons why the treatments are so cheap. Firstly they are not allowed to advertise as it takes trade away from the local salons around their area. They need to keep on the good side of them as its the salons who provide work experience and day releases from work so in work trainers can come to college. Secondly the students are only learning and need the experience. The college wouldn't get anyone in if they charged salon prices for treatments. Thirdly service goes on word of mouth. If the service is good , people will come back and the students have plenty of clients to practice on. Also in the second year you can take optional treatments like Aromotherapy, Electr
olysis, False nails and Reflexology. Practice makes perfect so it the case of going over and over what you have learnt and firmly fix it within your brain. With the NVQ you pass on practical and theory exams. So in the second year you will get several booklets in which has every treatment in with questions for your lecturer to ask while you do the treatment. You also have to provide a portfolio of written exams and they all have to be cross referenced with back up information. This is the worst bit and is what drives most people up the wall. If you feel confident at the end of the first year ask to be evaluated on the basic treatments like manicures, pedicures, facials, waxing, eye lash tinting and all the little easier treatments. This leaves you the second year to concentrate on the more complicated electrical treatments. It doesn't matter if you fail a few times, at least you can retake them time and time again. I failed applying make up 4 times before I got a pass. Mind you I wasn't, and still not any good in applying make up. The last thing you want is to rush the second year and out yourself under extra pressure because you haven't passed an evaluation on certain treatments. The same goes with your portfolio. Start on it as soon as you can by keeping theory exams in order and you can cross reference by using an index page with different colours to your back up information. Well, its been 7 years since I took Beauty Therapy and although I am not in a salon, havent been on a Cruise liner or set up my own salon, it still comes in handy. I have my own clientele which consists of about 15 people who regularly come to me for different treatments. I do hairdressing, (which shall be under a different opinion), which again I have about six or seven clients. I don't make mega bucks. If I wanted loads of money then I would of gone on a cruise liner, but it makes me some pocket money. My husband and children also benefit from my
training as roughly we save at least 80 pound a year on hairdressing fees. My husband also has free massages, sun bed and believe it or not I have trained him in the basics of massage, waxing and Aromotherapy. I still have the knowledge somewhere in this brain of mine on muscles and bones of the body, which always comes in handy in general knowledge quiz's! I will always carry this career with me, and it certainly hasn't been a waste of time. Career wise, I am taking a different turn in my life and heading of into Midwifery and Health visiting, but I shall also still be practicing Beauty Therapy on the poor old public. Beauty Therapy is very versatile and even if you stop to have a family and are out of it for a few years, all you need is a quick refresher course and off you go again.. If you don't fancy Beauty Therapy, but like the idea of being a client, then again phone your local college, ask if they have a Beauty Therapy Dept. and then book an appointment. So whether you want to earn 5 pound an hour plus tips on an Cruise liner, or own your own business, get your face paint on and get down to your nearest college If you want to know more on the web, this sites might come in useful as its the governing body in Beauty Therapy http://www.beauty-guild.co.uk
Beauty Therapy is a very interesting career to go into. I combined it with hairdressing and went on a three year full-time college course. With hind sight, I would have done an apprentiseship in a salon and gone to college part-time. Although an apprentise earns very little money, it is better than nothing(which you get full-time at college), and enables you to get used to the regime of a shop and clientele. Also, this means you are already employed, which is sometimes difficult to achieve when you are fresh from leaving college. You need to be very intersted in the human body, as you will need to learn most muscles etc. and certain bodily functions,ie. sweating, blood flow etc. It certainly isn't the glamourous job it is made out to be, as you have to work physically hard when doing things like massage, and mentally hard when dealing with customers and having to be polite at all times! It is nice to be able to help people to feel better about themselves, espeically with dietary advice or remedial camoflage(covering up marks and blemishes). There are a lot of specialist fields to go into once you have learned the basics. Instead of working in a salon you could work in a health spa or health farm, or even do physiotherapy or aerobics. Learning the basics opens up a whole world of different careers. Obviously, you learn how to look after yourself and make yourself look beautiful too It will cost a bit to get started as you really need your own personal equipment such as brushes, make-up , manicure and pedicure sets etc.Obviously the cost depends on the quality of the products you buy. Many companies like Clarins, L'Oreal etc. do there own mini-courses where you learn to use their products and get a certificate.. There are also careers in television, theatre or cruiseships to think about. The BBC run their own make-up artists course where you learn period and fantasy make-up and ultimately could be a make-up artist fo
r the stars. Although the money is good in this field, the hours are long and unsociable and you get some VERY difficult customers! The beauty industry is improving all the time, with new techniques and machines being introduced regularly, so you need to do research into current trends etc. to keep up with the fast changing world of beauty. There are some good trade magasines to read. I think all in all, beauty therapy is a good profession and you can get very far if you are prepared to work hard, but it is not an easy job, you've got your work cut out if you want to be successful. You need to have patience, artistic flair, stamina and a hard shell , although a compassionate heart as many clients will have embarrassing problems which they will feel very sensitive about. You will need to be sociable and friendly, willing to chat, but completely trustworthy towards the confidentiality of your clients. So, it's up to you. A sporty career in a health farm, a quiet little beauty salon or the racy world of the media. The world is your oyster.