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Looking For a Beautiful Career?

Published: Thursday 11th July 2019

The UK beauty industry is worth over £17 billion, so, as you might expect, there are a lot of opportunities for those pursuing a career in a beauty-related job. Working in beauty might sound glamorous, but, whether you’re a hairdresser, nail technician, or beauty therapist, getting to the top takes hard work and perseverance.

The good news is that there are plenty of beauty therapist jobs out there as new types of beauty treatments are always coming onto the market. As a result, this has created a lot of demand for beautician specialists.

Beauty salon, the girl does makeup and styling in the salon, hairdressers and make-up artist.

Training for a beauty therapist job

As a highly creative industry, a career in beauty can be very fulfilling, especially if it’s something you’re already passionate about. Working in the UK beauty industry will give you plenty of choices, whether you want to work for someone else on a PAYE basis, or as self-employed.

There are two main educational routes into the beauty industry once you have completed your GCSEs: beauty school or an apprenticeship. Indeed, many students on beauty therapy courses often work as part-time assistants or trainees in salons, spas and beauty clinics where they can put their training into real-life practice and gain the experience required for a more senior full-time role.

A number of colleges, academies and universities offer beauty courses throughout the UK. Typically, applying means completing an online application on the institute’s website, often with a competency questionnaire to assess your suitability. This will then be passed to the admissions team for assessment. If successful, you’ll be invited to a formal interview.

Young woman getting facial massage in beauty salon.

Taking your career further

Your GCSE results will have some bearing on where you begin. You’ll need five GCSEs graded at D to F, including English and Maths at Grade 2 or above to be accepted onto the Level 1 Diploma in Beauty course, and five GCSEs, graded at D or above, including English and Maths at Grade 3 or above to begin your training at Level 2 Diploma in Beauty.

Level 1 NVQ offers a foundation in basic skills such as make-up application, facials, and manicure, while Level 2 NVQ includes more advanced treatments such as pedicure, tanning, and waxing. Good results at Level 2 may mean you can go onto Level 3 NVQ, an advanced programme that includes areas such as aromatherapy, Indian head massage, and other complex skin treatments. After that, you can continue your training on specialised courses known as VTCTs (Vocational Training Charitable Trust).

Closeup shot of a woman in a nail salon receiving a manicure by a beautician with nail file. Woman getting nail manicure. Beautician file nails to a customer

A wide choice of beauty therapist jobs

When qualified, there are plenty of opportunities for work in salons or department stores. Most salons will accept trainees qualified to Level 2. However, many beauty therapists start out on their own working from home as a hairdresser, manicurist or beautician, or carry out treatments at other people’s homes to as a mobile beauty therapist. When just starting out wages can be low, but rise as you become more experienced.

If you’re talented, once you get a reputation, you’ll be in demand, meaning higher fees for your services and the opportunity to work for bigger beauty companies. At this level, there’s a lot of job security and wages are excellent.

For a job in beauty near you, start with a search on Zoek.

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