How To Land Jobs In The Beauty Industry

How To Land Jobs 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. And jobs in the beauty industry are in high demand.

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. Here’s why the beauty industry has always been so popular, and how to land jobs in the beauty industry for the career of your dreams!

Why has the beauty industry always been booming?

No matter their age, people have always found a way to keep themselves looking good. Why has the beautician’s clinic always remained popular – both to go into and to utilise? As of 2022, the beauty industry is worth £27 billion, and it just keeps on growing.

From skin peels to non-surgical, why does the beauty industry continue to thrive? Why has it blossomed and grown as other industries have stuttered and stalled? Many clients see their beautician as an important and essential person in their life. The waxing, the plucking and shaping of nails are seen as part of staying healthy, clean and hygienic.

Here are the main reasons why jobs in the beauty industry remain in such high demand:

a beautician working on a clients nails

Beauty is a Science

Beauty, to some people, is nothing more than surface deep. It is a superficial concern, something that sits on the surface. In times gone by, there were even suggestions that those men and women who paid attention to how they looked were shallow characters.

Likewise, people believed that those who entered the beauty industry with qualifications for various beautician courses did so because their intelligence was lacking. This is an outdated stereotype now, and the industry is thriving as much as it always has done. Jobs in the beauty industry are abundant, but many often require qualifications now. Beauty is a fun, thriving career, with thousands of people taking college and online beauty courses a year.

Appearance is Important

And not just to those who look and admire us, but for the way we feel about ourselves too. But why does the beauty industry boom in spite of a negative or slack economy?

1. Social standing – The link between how we look and social standing is complex, but it centres around human attractiveness and expectation. We have an expectation that people will look attractive, more so when they are in positions of power or standing. We may not think it, but we do expect people to look the part and so for many of us, the personal grooming in which we indulge ourselves is part and parcel of how we want others to see us.

2. Success – Attractiveness is linked to success, or so we like to think. It is more pleasing when someone seems to take care of themselves, this groomed appearance giving off the vibe that someone is organised and cohesive.

3. Relationships – It is a common driving force in our lives to find a mate. It is, after all, what makes the world turn round, and is the reason that we are all here today. We want to come across as attractive and personal grooming, whether that is having your nails done or a man enjoying a hot shave, when we take time to look after ourselves, we can come across as more confident and attractive to the one we want to attract.

4. Well-being –Many experts believe that the continued blossoming of the beauty industry in recent years is linked to the changing attitudes in mental and physical health. Our well being is no longer at the bottom of the list. If we don’t look after ourselves, we falter. Although a deep tissue massage may not ‘solve’ your depression or rid you of anxiety, beauty treatments can go a long way in helping us to look after ourselves, mind, body and soul.

5. Male grooming – Since the advent of mascara by Maybelline in 1913, beauty has been seen as a female industry both in terms of beautician courses and then main customer group. But in recent years, male grooming has exploded. The modern man is no longer prepared to put up with ‘issues’ that he sees as holding him back. From enjoying a designer haircut to body waxing, male grooming is now big business.

And so yes, even when we have little cash to spare, we will always find the money to make sure we look good. But more importantly, we do so for our own personal reasons as much as social pressures.

equipment used for jobs in the beauty industry
Drive, passion and qualifications: How to get jobs in the beauty industry

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 when looking for jobs in the beauty industry. 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

There are several employment opportunities if you are looking for jobs in the beauty industry. Although going freelance is becoming a popular option, here are two of the most common employment premises that beauticians opt to work in:

  • 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 many of us are unaware of, but they are by no means any less lucrative or enjoyable opportunities.


For example, 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 you can use your beautician skills. 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 to land jobs in the beauty industry

Being successful with jobs in the beauty industry require various skills and personal attributes, most of which you can learn or enhance. Here are some qualities it would be beneficial for you to possess when looking for jobs in beauty:

  • People skills – of course, you need to enjoy working with people. But being confident enough to talk naturally and comfortably with people is vital too. You also need to be able to explain processes and treatments clearly, ensuring that people have a clear idea of what you are doing
  • Passion – passion is important in most careers and professions. And 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 – depending on your career path, you may have to work with different people. For example, 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.

Jobs in the beauty industry that you could try

With the right qualifications and skills, you could excel in the beauty industry. And there are plenty of career paths that you could venture down. Here are some of the most fun and interesting jobs in the beauty industry that you could try:

  • Skincare specialist
  • Nail technician
  • Hairdresser/barber
  • Beauty blogger
  • Tattooist
  • Aromatherapist

Training as a beauty therapist

Breaking into jobs in 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 giving 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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