How To Land A Job In The Beauty Industry

How To Land A Job In The Beauty Industry

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A £17 billion industry, employing over a million people and with a projected growth rate of 16% in 2016, the beauty industry in the UK is booming.

With a growing number of beauty courses online too, it is no surprise that more people are choosing to join this thriving industry. People seem more willing to spend both time and money looking good. With an increase in non-surgical interventions and treatments, people are learning to look after themselves in a way that up until a few years ago, was unheard of.

It is no longer an industry dominated by female clients either. Men are also realising the benefits of looking groomed and smart, with various treatments being top of their agenda too.

Drive, passion and qualifications

If you are creative, enjoy working with people and are a people-person, the beauty industry is certainly a great choice.

But, qualifications are important. Understanding the skin, how it could react to certain products, how to deal with contra-indications, how to put people at ease and so on, are all skills and abilities covered in a wide range of beauty courses online.

Thus, you should match your drive, passion and creativity for hair, nails and make-up with a trusted and respected beauty therapy qualification.

You will need a qualification in every therapy that you offer, especially if you choose to be self-employed. It is a wise move for all beauticians and therapists to have insurance, such as public liability insurance, to cover them in the event that something goes wrong with a treatment. An insurer will rarely offer cover to someone practicing outside of their qualification level.

Areas of beauty industry work

Many beauticians tend to specialise in two or three areas but, this doesn’t mean your options are limited.

Firstly, a basic and good foundation in beauty work is an essential qualification. These courses have a broad base to them, covering all aspects of working in and organising a salon, to making clients feel at ease and comfortable, how the skin reacts to treatments and so on. A sound grasp of the basics also shows future employers that you have the basic building blocks in place.

Once you have completed this you may, like many other students, choose to specialise in other areas.

This means looking for beauty courses online that provide you with an opportunity to specialise. There are many courses, such as;

  • nail art courses
  • courses that deal specifically with certain products or new techniques such as eye brow threading
  • hair extensions are also a growing sector within the beauty industry with women and men alike using hair extensions for a fuller looking head of hair
  • semi-permanent make-up is also a highly specialised area

Expanding areas of the beauty industry

There are many growth areas in the beauty industry. In recent years, the nail art sector has really started to become an industry in its own right.

This may explain why more people are looking to nail art courses or similar to add a specialism to their CV.

There are also new innovations, products and techniques coming to the market place all the time. For example, threading is a relatively new way of hair removal, mainly used on eyebrows and lips.

By remaining current and up-to-date, you will not only open up more employment opportunities, you will also attract a larger base of clients too.

Self-employed or not?

Many people who complete online beauty therapy courses go on to open and run beauty businesses of their own.

There are a number of ways in which you can do this;

  • Home salon – a number of people choose to convert a room in their home to a salon. This helps to keep overheads low, although it pays to check that running a business of this kind from home is acceptable under local council rules. Always have public liability insurance!
  • Mobile service – another popular means of offering beauty services is through a mobile service. Perfect for many people, mobile beauticians find that they are not short of clients.
  • ‘Rent a chair’ – similar to a hairdresser renting a chair in a hairdressing salon, some beauty therapists choose to offer their service one or two days a week in a local salon. Essentially, a beautician is still self-employed but enjoying the benefits that a local salon can offer. This is also a great way of being able to offer your service in more than one place.
  • Offer specialist services – as you grow into your career as a beautician, you can also become an expert or specialist in certain fields. For example, dermal fillers, Botox and other non-surgical treatments are increasing in popularity but for clients, finding a local practitioner can be difficult. Offering these specialist services is one way of carving a niche for yourself as a leading therapist in the beauty world.

Being employed is also an option for many beauty therapists with opportunities in the beauty industry are almost endless.

Employment opportunities

  • Local salons – being employed by a local salon is a great way to make a start in the beauty industry. Everything is taken care of, from the diary being managed to the promotional activities to bring in new clients. It is an opportunity to learn more about your chosen specialist field too with some larger salon chains offering free training etc.
  • Local hotels and spas – as well as high street salons, many people choose to have beauty treatments at a local hotel or spa. Many of these hotels are at the luxury end of the market, making for a very pleasant working environment. Again, the opportunity to specialise, especially in areas of massage, are common in the hotel and spa industry.

Thinking outside the box

There are also strands to the beauty industry that are lesser known but by no means any less lucrative or enjoyable opportunities.


A qualified nail, make-up and hair expert can find employment in all kinds of places;

  • Theatre – from local am-dram groups to London’s West End, the theatre is a rich opportunity for many beauticians and make-up artists. The opportunities to explore new make-up techniques and so on, are unlimited with many beauticians and make-up artists winning awards for cutting edge designs.
  • Funeral directors/homes – this may sound a little macabre! In the UK, it is almost traditional for relatives and friends to view the body of the deceased to say goodbye and a make-up artists can disguise all kinds marks or scars. Many artists work from a photograph of the deceased in order to create an accurate ‘look’. Not everyone’s idea of a great career but for those that do this work, the rewards are immense.
  • TV and movie work – from making-up celebrities, to working on the latest blockbuster movies, there are all kinds of ways that your beautician skills can be used. You may think that this is a difficult area to break in to, but it is possible. There are also opportunities to become a make-up artist specialising in ‘fake’ injuries and scars. If this is the case, expect to be in demand on a regular basis with TV and film companies across the globe.
  • Modelling – modelling agencies also need the best beauticians to work with the stars of their show. This is a completely different strand of beauty work but one that can take you all over the world.

Qualities needed

Being a beautician requires various skills and personal attributes, most of which can be learnt or enhanced;

  • People skills – you need to not only enjoy working with people, but be confident to talk naturally and comfortably with people. You also need to be able to explain processes and treatments clearly, ensuring that they have a clear idea of what is involved
  • Passion – like most careers and professions, the most successful beauticians, nail technicians and make-up artists are the ones who are passionate about what they do
  • Willingness to learn and develop – as a beautician, when it comes to your continuous professional development, you should be constantly seeking new techniques and skills to keep up with demand
  • Ability to take and give instruction – there are times when you will work as a team and there may also be times at the start of your career when you will be in an assisting role. Being able to work to instruction is important too.
  • Looking the part – you need to smart, every time. The beauty industry is a visual one, with many clients expecting their therapist to look immaculate every time.

Training as beauty therapist
Breaking into the beauty industry depends on the quality of the qualification you opt for. There are many online beauty courses that provide a firm foundation on which you can build your career.

Learning from home means that you can study at your own pace. It also means that you can fit in expanding your career or start on a new path by studying for a qualification without the need to give up your current employment.

Is the beauty industry for you? Check out our guide on how to become a beautician for more helpful information.

Nick Cooper
Nick is NCC's resident blog author and covers a range of subjects, including teaching and health & social care. NCC is an international learning provider with over 20 years’ experience offering learning solutions. To date, NCC has engaged with over 20,000 employers, and delivered quality training to over half a million learners.
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