How to become a beautician: Australia careers in beauty therapy

Working as a beautician is a busy and rewarding job and allows you to be part of this large, growing beauty industry. Beauticians work in a variety of places, from running your own mobile business to working from a salon or working in a retail store, generally providing services in skin care, waxing, nail care and beautification, tinting and make-up application. Beauticians, which are also called beauty therapists, also analyse and provide advice on skin conditions, suggest treatments and give general hygiene suggestions.  There are lots of skills required to become a beautician and it often means a qualification that is backed by knowledge in a specific area.

  • Task Career in focus: What a beautician does

    Beauty therapists are strongly customer-service orientated, anticipating a client’s desires, as well as providing advice on skin conditions and treatments. A beautician usually chooses to specialise in a particular area, such as makeup or hair removal, becoming an expert in their field. Most salons or beauty work also incorporates a retail element, so you will be encouraged to suggest and sell products from your salon or store. You will also need to perform some administrative tasks such as booking appointments, follow-up calls and record keeping.


    • Listen to clients desires and make recommendations
    • Provide beauty and relaxation services
    • Meet retail goals by selling certain beauty products
    • Make client appointments and perform invoicing duties
  • Skills Core qualities: Skills to succeed as a beautician

    Beauticians have excellent people skills and are able to easily connect with a client. They use these skills to gain trust and ultimately, future sales from the client. You are a representation of your skills, so you should maintain a neat, well-kept appearance. You will need to have some basic cash handling and administrative skills with a high eye for detail and ability to remember personal details of your regular clients to deliver a high quality, luxury experience.

    • Well-kept appearance
    • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
    • An interest in fashion and beauty trends
    • Well developed customer service skills
    • Administrative skills
  • Specialisations The field: Specialisations within beauty therapy

    Due to the huge industry in fashion and beauty, there are a large number of specialisations you can choose from and if you have well-developed, advanced skills, there are opportunities to quickly advance your career. Most beauticians specialise in a certain service line, such as wedding makeup, skin therapy or nail art, working in clinics, salons or day spas. Many beauticians have the opportunity to open up their own business and travel the world, such as working on a cruise ship or work their way up into a management role.

    Specialised beautician

    By developing your skills in a certain treatment area, you will be able to grow your knowledge and abilities in a certain area, making you an expert in your chosen field, improving on your salary expectations and chargeable rate. Common specialisation can be hairdressing, nail art, luxury or medical skin treatments, waxing and make-up artistry.

    Spa therapists

    Spa therapists sell a luxury and relaxing experience for their clients, treating them with high quality service. As a spa therapist, you would have an in-depth knowledge on the products you use at your day spa as well as making recommendations to clients, taking into consideration their personal needs and other personal requirements like skin allergies. You should keep abreast of industry trends, showing a high interest in new technologies and trending beauty elements and ingredients.

    Salon management

    For those who have worked in the industry for a time, you may wish to use your skills and expertise to look for career progression as a salon manager. This would see you supervising other beauty therapist staff, ensuring the smooth operation of the salon. You would be expected to mentor more junior staff and perform office management and bookkeeping duties such as bank reconciliations, budget monitoring and basic WHS protocols.

  • Pathways The right track: Find study options for becoming a beautician

    If you think you’d love to join the beauty industry, you will need a Certificate III qualification in beauty therapy or similar. 

    Starting Out

    You will need a certificate-level qualification to get a head start as a beauty therapist, and it will help you understand and provide in-depth knowledge of beauty products and make-up. 

    Building Skills

    If you want to work towards becoming an expert in a particular area, you can gain a certificate level qualification in a particular type of treatment, such as in make-up or skin care. If you want to run your own business or move into management, you can also undertake classes in business or staff management. 

    Developing Your Resume

    By having a good suite of qualifications and experience under your belt, the better chance you have at landing your dream job. 

    Industry recognition

    There are lots of beauty-related bodies that you can gain recognition or become associated with, improving on your professional reputation.

    Entering the workforce

    Get a head start in your beauty career by targeting your application to a particular employer, highlighting how your abilities will benefit the organisation.

    Job prospects in beauty therapy: Working life as a beautician

    The beauty industry is massive, both domestically in Australia, as well as overseas. The industry is expected to steadily grow over the next five years and offer flexible working arrangements, such as full or part-time and at different locations. The average salary for a beauty therapist is on the low end, but there is potential for salary increases as your reputation and client base increases.

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