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Beauty therapist

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Summary of occupation

Beauty therapists undertake a range of therapeutic facial and body care treatments and aim to improve their clients’ appearance and well-being. Their skills are required by both women and men. They apply and sell make-up, skincare and other cosmetic products, treat skin conditions and provide beauty treatments such as electrolysis, massage, facials, manicures and pedicures, waxing and spa therapy. They may also undertake some administrative work and should keep records of clients' treatments.

ANZSCO description: Provides skin analyses, facial therapies, skincare treatments and body treatments such as massage to clients.
Alternative names: Beautician, Paramedical Aesthetician, Pedicurist
Specialisations: Beauty Consultant, Electrologist (Hair Remover), Manicurist, Nail Technician
Job prospects: Good
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

Beauty therapists need:

  • a friendly and caring demeanour
  • a well-groomed appearance
  • an interest in people
  • good stamina - therapists need to stand for long periods
  • an eye for detail
  • to be sensitive to clients' needs
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Working conditions

Beauty therapists may work in department stores offering cosmetic and beauty-related therapies, beauty salons where they may specialise in one or a range of therapies, from home or as a mobile beauty therapist providing services in clients’ homes. Some beauty therapists may work part-time.

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Salary details

On average, beauty therapists can expect to earn between $679.90 and $799 per week ($35 354.80 and $41 599 per year), depending on the organisation they work for and their level of experience.  As a beauty therapist develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.​

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Tools and technologies

Beauty therapists work with a range of products including waxes, gels, lotions, balms and creams. They may apply these to their clients on treatment tables, chairs or couches. They may also use electrolysis and ultrasonic equipment, vaporisers, magnifying glasses and exfoliating machines. For manicure and pedicure treatments they may use acrylic nails, scissors, files, buffing and polishing equipment. This is usually stored at individual nail stations. They may also use massage chairs or tables.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a beauty therapist you usually need to complete a formal qualification in a beauty related area. 

The Certificate II in Retail Make-Up and Skin Care, Certificate II in Nail Technology, Certificate III in Beauty Services and Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy are widely available at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia. 

You can become a beauty therapist by completing a traineeship in beauty services or beauty therapy. The beauty services traineeship usually takes 18 months to complete. The beauty therapy traineeship usually takes 36 months to complete.​

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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Related links

Related videos

Beauty therapist Video Beauty therapist Occupation

Beauty therapists undertake a range of therapeutic facial and body care treatments with the aim of improving their client's appearance and well being.

Nail technician Video Nail technician Occupation

Nail technicians perform manicures and pedicures including decorative nail art, application of artificial nails, nail repair, and other specialised hand and foot treatments.

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