Posted: 8 months ago
Category: Career Resources

I want to be... a Spa Therapist

Why choose Spa Therapy as a career?

If you have a passion for wellness and holistic health, the spa industry offers the opportunity to combine these interests, whilst helping people feel better. A great starting point is qualifying as a Spa Therapist.

The Spa and Wellness sector is experiencing a period of unprecedented growth, so if you are considering a career in this sector – you won’t look back! The ongoing boom in the development of hotel, city spas and salons across major cities from London to New York has brought with it a renewed demand for skilled Spa Professionals.

Starting out as a Spa Therapist the world really is your oyster for opportunities, and if you want to progress into Spa Management and even consider working overseas this could be the career for you.

What's a Spa Therapist?

A Spa Therapist works in a spa setting (such as a resort spa, medi-spa, day spa) and delivers spa treatments and techniques.These could include massage and body scrubs and are designed to enhance their clients’ appearance, reduce their stress levels or enhance their general well being.

Before starting any treatments, Therapists talk to their clients to get an understanding of their needs and expectations and to complete a health questionnaire with them. They may also produce an individual treatment plan.

Many Spa Therapists work as a team with other specialists to create a treatment plan for individual clients. During treatments, Therapists make sure their clients are kept informed and are comfortable at all times. After treatments, they discuss aftercare and suggest suitable spa products.

What qualifications do I need?

Whilst many young people enter the career by first working in a salon gaining experience, Spa Therapists need qualifications in the treatments or therapies they intend to offer.

You can choose from a wide range of courses available at colleges throughout the UK or at fee paying training academies.

Most Spa Therapists will have a BTEC National Diploma in beauty therapy, an NVQ Level 3 in spa therapy, or an equivalent health or beauty qualification. Entry to these courses is usually with three or four GCSE's (A*-C), or an NVQ Level 2 in beauty therapy. English, maths and science are useful GCSE subjects.

Progressing into Spa Management

Useful courses for spa career progression would include Foundation degrees in beauty and spa services, or salon and spa management. Entry is usually with one A level, a BTEC National Diploma in beauty therapy sciences, or an NVQ Level 3 in spa therapy, plus at least three GCSE's (A*-C), including a science subject.

Entry to a degree in spa management is usually with a minimum of two A levels and five GCSE's (A*-C), or equivalent qualifications.

What personal skills do I need as a Spa Therapist?

Good communication skills (both talking and listening), empathy – being able to relate to your client and their needs are essential. As a Spa Therapist you will also need strength and stamina, the role involves lots of day-to-day treatments including massage therapy. As a service industry Spa and Wellness is challenging and diverse, demanding full commitment and a positive mind.

What experience and requirements will I need to gain employment as a Spa Therapist?

Depending on the individual employer and job role you are applying for, requirements will differ, but as a general summary you will need the following:

  • Proven work experience as a Spa Therapist
  • Experience in massage techniques, other beauty treatments such as manicures, waxing, facials and body therapies
  • Sales and computer skills
  • Communication and customer service skills

What are the day to day responsibilities of a Spa Therapist?

  • Delivering spa and beauty treatments
  • Keep a clean and stocked room
    Maintaining your spa station, equipment and inventory of retail products.
  • Acknowledging and responding to relevant customer queries, needs and expectation
  • Keep documentation and maintain clients files
  • Suggest and promote retail products or additional services
  • Uphold hygiene standards and follow health and safety regulations
  • Cooperate with and report on administration on any arising issues
  • Apply best practices and be up to date with market trends

Where can I find work as a Spa Therapist?

From holiday resorts, fitness centres, leisure and health farms and hotels – spas can be found everywhere throughout the UK. Your expertise will be valid overseas too – from cruise ships, luxury hotels or resort spas.

What can I expect to earn?

Salaries vary depending on employer and experience. The current average annual salary starts from around £18,000.


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