Beauty Therapist

Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

Job Prospects
Openings 5 years to November 2019: 10,001 to 25,000
Median weekly earnings: < $920
Australian Government Department of Employment 2015
Is your face or body crying out for some extra loving care? Maybe you could do with some advice about your skin? Beauty therapists can offer you advice and provide treatments to meet your beauty requirements.

There are approximately 900 beauty therapists working in South Australia. Employment is largely part-time. The majority of employed beauty therapists are females. The median age for those employed in this occupation is 32 years. The main industry employer for this occupation is the Personal & Other Services industry.

TAFE SA courses that may be relevant for: Beauty Therapist

Accredited (Award)

  • While most would agree that beauty begins on the inside, beauty therapists offer services designed to remedy or alleviate skin disorders or generally help improve and beautify the skin.

    The range of beauty therapy treatments on offer is extensive and literally can cater for people from head to toe. Treatments include facial or body waxing treatments, facials, body massage, eyelash tinting, cellulite wraps and manicures and pedicures. Aside from hand-applied treatments such as body scrubs, beauty therapists also often use electrotherapy equipment to treat skin and body conditions. Electrolysis equipment is commonly used for hair removal while some clients may enlist the help of a figure trimmer to give their unworked muscles a workout.

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  • Of those currently employed 32% have advanced diplomas or diplomas; 3% have certificate I or II; and 3% have a Bachelor degree. In order for you to have the best possible chance of finding employment it is recommended that you gain the available qualifications.

    TAFE SA offers courses relevant to this occupation including the Diploma of Beauty Therapy (Specialising in Relaxation Massage), Diploma of Beauty Therapy (Specialising in Spa Treatments) or Diploma of Salon Management. Pathways include Certificate II in Nail Technology, Certificate II in Retail Make-Up and Skin Care, Certificate III Program in Beauty Services (Specialising in Make-Up or Nails) and Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy.

    Still unsure? Then try a short course also offered through TAFE SA such as Perform Waxing Treatment, Pressure Point Foot Massage or Provide Lash and Brow Treatments. Check the website for the full list of short courses.

    Please note that it is also possible to complete specific modules/subjects within courses to develop knowledge in a certain area of beauty therapy or enhance particular skills.

    SA Apprenticeships are available in this occupation for further information go to the Traineeship & Apprenticeship Services Website at or phone the Freecall number 1800 673 097.

  • Retail sales go hand in hand with the beauty industry, so beauty therapists need to be confident when doing the selling. This stems back to good product knowledge and understanding a client's needs. There are some skin problems that beauty therapists are not trained to deal with, however they should be able to identify problems such as dermatitis and eczema and recommend if necessary, that a client consult a medical practitioner.

  • Beauty therapists provide treatments and advice on skin care. Often a first booking is scheduled so that beauty therapists can carry out a skin analysis. This determines a client's skin type so that they can recommend the most appropriate skincare regime. Cosmetic products and treatments that may help the client are also recommended by beauty therapists. When not attending to their clients, beauty therapists undertake general receptionist duties such as making appointments and maintaining clients' records.

  • Beauty therapists need to be well-groomed at all times. They need to be pleasant and tactful and have a genuine interest in people. It is essential that they have good hand-eye coordination and are professional during a client’s body and facial treatment.

  • 'I completed a beauty course so that I could learn how to look after my skin better. I've always been a people person and I was interested in doing something where I could help others. I've always wanted to teach, so I turned what I learned for myself into a teaching opportunity,' says a beauty therapist. This is an excellent career choice for those interested in working closely with people. Beauty therapists share close contact with their clients and may be required to treat what a client perceives as an embarrassing condition, so, good interpersonal and communication skills are highly desired.

    Men are increasingly enlisting the services provided by beauty therapists, which largely attributes to a therapist's communication skills. 'More and more men are coming in for treatments such as facials and massages on a regular basis. After all, they have skincare needs too. But it comes down to the way in which beauty therapists communicate with them.' With so many products available to consumers, offering sound product advice is integral to beauty therapists establishing a good relationship with their clients. 'If a client is using the wrong product I recommend alternative products which would better suit them, and I also educate them to use them correctly. Clients should be able to trust that their beauty therapist is giving them good advice and not just selling them something to make more money,' says a local beauty therapist.

    For further information, contact:

    Advanced Association of Beauty Therapists
    Phone: 1300 309 022

    Service Skills Australia
    Phone: (02) 8243 1200