Guest blog: How do I enter the beauty industry and what career paths are available?
Yvonne Sullivan, beauty educator at Beauty Training Harrow, examines the pros and cons of the different routes available for entry into the beauty therapy industry
If you love the idea of making people look and feel good then a career in beauty could be for you. If you’re friendly, enjoy making people feel relaxed and take pride in what you do then beauty therapy is definitely for you!
If you’re just getting started, make sure you choose the right course to help you achieve your career goals, whether it’s full-time employment or your own home-based or mobile salon.
Your beauty course must be accredited by an awarding body such as ITEC, VTCT or City & Guilds, and qualifications must be fully insurable. These are important requirements that will enable you to carry out treatments professionally.
There are different career paths into beauty. If you work full time you can take evening courses at a local college. Or you can take an apprenticeship with a salon where you’ll learn on the job and have time out to study for professional qualifications.
However, more therapists are now opting for fast-track NVQ courses in beauty. These are usually taught in private training centres that enable you to fit study around your schedule. Level 2 NVQ is the starting point and has all the core units you need for going into the industry – waxing, manicure, pedicure, facial and make-up. Fast-track courses usually involve one or two days of theory and practical, followed by coursework and practice to complete your portfolio. After a final assessment you’ll receive your qualification.
You can then choose to specialise, which involves taking NVQ Level 3 and 4 courses. To find your niche, my top tip is to keep up to date with emerging trends by reading industry magazines such as Professional Beauty and other online news.
Whether you’re newly trained or you’ve specialised in an area such as electrical facials, you can gain employment in a wide variety of places: high street salons, hotel spas, cruise ships, health and fitness or country clubs.
If you choose to work for yourself, you can pick the hours that suit you. Or, for a fast-paced life, you could work with celebrities as a beauty therapist or make-up artist in TV, film or fashion. There are so many opportunities in the buzzing beauty industry but it starts with gaining professional qualifications from a reputable awarding body and making sure you are fully insurable.