How to become a beauty therapist

beauty therapist touching face

Beauty therapy isn’t just about making a client look good, it's also about understanding the impact that certain procedures will have on the body.

To be a beauty therapist, you need the education and training that comes from completing a Diploma of Beauty Therapy. As part of this diploma at Torrens University Australia, you’ll gain hands-on experience through industry placement, and for some practical subjects you’ll be required to attend a salon or spa over the course of a trimester. This Work-Integrated Learning experience gives you the opportunity to make industry connections and learn the day-to-day operations of a salon. You will also have the chance to practice on genuine clients, treating a range of skin types, conditions and concerns.

What qualifications do I need to work as a beauty therapist?

Beauty therapy isn’t just about making a client look good. For you to become a fully qualified, it’s important that you study a Diploma of Beauty Therapy to understand the impact that certain procedures will have on the body. You need to build strong knowledge in skin, nutrition, anatomy, physiology and ethics.

Many advertised roles for beauty therapists focus on skin treatments, which call for in-depth knowledge in skin biology, whereas spas often look for candidates who are qualified in massage. At Torrens University, we teach Swedish and lymphatic drainage massage, as well as the more specialised hot stone, aromatherapy and Indian head massage.

What does a beauty therapist do? 

Today, beauty therapists have more knowledge and skills than ever. Since the industry is constantly evolving, there are endless opportunities for those who decide to join it. Essentially, though, the role of a beauty therapist is to make their clients feel amazing. That could be by improving their skin conditions, alleviating stress via body massage or building their confidence when it comes to appearance issues.

Beauty career map

Beauty Therapy Career Map

To be a successful beauty therapist in an image-conscious industry, it’s important to look after your appearance, present with a professional attitude and demonstrate confident skills. After all, a beauty therapist’s image reflects their commitment to the products they recommend and the treatments they provide. This image represents not only the salon or spa, but the entire reputation of the industry.

In addition, therapists must possess exceptional communication skills in order to maintain strong relationships with clients and colleagues, and understand a client’s needs or concerns.

As beauty therapy is a wide term used to cover many different treatments on the face and body, at Torrens University you will be qualified in the following:

  • Lash and brow treatments
  • Hair removal
  • Day, evening and photography make-up
  • Manicures and pedicures
  • Classic and advanced facial treatments
  • Swedish and lymphatic drainage body massage
  • Spa body scrubs and wraps
  • Indian head massage
  • Hot stone massage
  • Aromatherapy massage

The treatments themselves are just part of the responsibilities you will have as a beauty therapist. You will also need to follow health and safety protocols, perform reception duties and consultations, keep abreast of product knowledge and maintain high levels of hygiene.

How do I start my own beauty salon?

Many budding therapists want to study beauty therapy because they have dreams of opening their own salon. The good news is it’s totally possible and there are many ways to go about it. First and foremost, you should focus on gaining salon experience. It’s your chance to find out what’s involved in the day-to-day running of a salon, what’s expected of you and what to do when something goes wrong. Better still, you’ll work out what you excel at and which areas you need to focus on more.  

No one is an expert overnight. Some people start off by practicing from home, others go mobile and travel to the client, while some hire a room that’s attached to another business where there’s high foot traffic, such as a hair salon. Whichever path you take, starting a business takes time and effort, but being your own boss can be the icing on the cake when doing a job you absolutely love.

Check our Beauty and Aesthetics Courses to learn more
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