If you have a passion for beauty and enjoy helping others look and feel great, studying to become a beauty therapist is a rewarding career choice.
But how to become a beauty therapist in Australia, and what’s involved?
In this article, we take an in-depth look at what it takes to become a sought-after therapist, exploring the skills you need, your work and study options, salary potential and career development.
Who is a beauty therapist?
A beauty therapist, also known as an esthetician or beauty therapy technician, is a professional who provides beauty treatments and services for people from all walks of life.
Many therapists specialise in one beauty therapy field to increase their experience and earning capacity. Some focus on makeup artistry, while others hone their skills to become in-demand lash or nail technicians.
Where do beauty therapists work?
Beauty therapists work across a variety of locations, including;
- Beauty salons
- Home-based and mobile salons
- Day spas
- Wellness retreats
- Hair salons
- Nail bars
- Beauty shops
- Nursing homes
- Medical centres
- Cruise ships
Community healthcare centres and charities often employ beauty therapists to carry out skin checks on older adults and those at risk of developing skin cancer. Beauty therapists can also find employment in the armed forces, conducting skin checks on soldiers to ensure they are healthy.
In many cases, beauty therapists start out working as assistants to more experienced beauty professionals before eventually becoming self-employed.
Career options for beauty therapists
The beauty industry is booming in Australia, where women spend an average of $3,600 on beauty each year. Training to become a beauty therapist can open doors to working in a variety of industry roles, including:
- Senior beauty therapist
- Esthetician (cosmetic skincare focus)
- Aesthetician (medical skincare focus)
- Nail technician
- Lash technician
- Waxing Specialist
- Professional makeup artist
- Cosmetic tattooist
- Cosmetic Injector
- Laser hair technician
- Hair and scalp specialist
- Massage therapist
- Beauty salon manager or beauty therapy business owner
The list doesn’t end there. There are plenty of other employment options for beauty therapists, so research and look around to find out what best fits your interests, lifestyle and personality.
Do I need qualifications to be a beauty therapist?
Completing a nationally recognised beauty training course will give you the skills and hands-on experience to thrive in the workforce, and help you stand out to prospective beauty therapy employers.
At a minimum, a Certificate III in Beauty Therapy will arm you with the skills to work as a beauty therapist offering most beauty salon services, excluding facial treatments, skincare and body massage.
Studying for a Diploma of Beauty Therapy is recommended if you plan to work as a senior beauty therapist, skin specialist, specialised technician or salon manager.
If you choose to study with Demi International, you’ll gain practical skills and knowledge covering key areas of beauty therapy, including:
- Foundation lash, brow, waxing and nail treatments
- Specialised facial and body treatments and advanced skincare
- Body and spa treatments, including massage
- Makeup design and application
- Salon safety, hygiene and marketing
- Health and safety protocols
- Treatment aftercare
- Wellbeing, anatomy and skin science training
- Product recommendations and beauty industry trends
- Salon management and business skills
Plus, you’ll learn about the latest trends in beauty therapy and how to run your own business.
How long does it take to become a beauty therapist?
The time you need to study depends on the course and your chosen training institution. Many factors go into how long it takes to become a professional beauty therapist—including how much time you’re willing to put into studying and training and what type of work you want to do in the future.
Some courses can be completed in as little as one year, while others may take between two and three years if they include a practical placement or an internship that requires on-the-job training.
How much do beauty therapists earn in Australia?
The average salary of a beauty therapist in Australia is $63,000 per year.
However, this number is only an average—the actual amount you earn could be lower than this figure. The reason for this low average? Most beauty therapists work part-time.
What’s the highest salary I can get as a beauty therapist?
It all depends on what type of education and experience you have. On average, entry-level beauty therapists earn around $21.00 per hour, though you can expect to earn around $32.00 per hour as your experience grows.
Choosing a highly specialised field, like cosmetic tattooing or injectables, can increase your earning potential to $700+ per day.
What skills do I need to become a beauty therapist?
The role of the beauty therapist has evolved considerably over the years. Whether applying professional makeup or crafting a skincare routine, the most successful therapists add value to their clients’ lives through education, complementary beauty treatments and product recommendations.
To offer a more holistic service, you’ll need a broad range of skills, including:
Communication is essential when dealing with clients. Being open and transparent allows you to manage expectations, answer concerns and tackle any problems that may arise. But excellent communication isn’t just about talking—it’s about listening and responding in a way that makes your client feel respected and comfortable.
As a beauty therapist, your hands are your most important tool, along with your eyesight. Fine motor skills and the ability to perform small movements efficiently are needed to master your trade and keep your clients safe.
From beautiful makeup to creative nails and cosmetic tattoo, a flair for creativity and design will help you enhance your client’s natural features and make an impression in your field.
Good time management skills enable you to plan ahead, prioritise tasks, stick to appointment limits and keep things flowing.
Showing your beauty therapy clients that you understand and care is crucial. You can do this by showing concern for their wellbeing, listening carefully to what they say and responding appropriately.
Staying curious about current world events and beauty industry trends can guide client conversations and treatment decisions as a beauty therapist.
No matter your chosen beauty therapy field, you’ll likely stand for long periods or be on your feet most of the day. Comfy clothes, good quality shoes and stamina are essentials.
You may need to deal with a variety of people and situations demanding your time and concentration. Being flexible and versatile allows you to move between clients and tasks and easily adjust to changes.
Understanding and learning basic business skills will help you handle the billing, marketing and admin side of things. Most workplaces will call on these skills at some stage, though this is especially important if you plan to work as an independent contractor or start your own business.
A good-natured personality is also essential, as the job requires a lot of client interaction. Being kind, attentive and showing compassion will help you build lasting relationships with your clients.
How to apply for beauty therapist jobs in Queensland
The first step is to find a position that feels like a good fit. The next step is to submit an application, resume, and other required documents.
Ensure that your resume highlights all of your relevant skills, experience and any references. This will help you stand out from other applicants and make it easier for potential employers to access all the information they need in just one place.
Importantly, ensure that everything included on your resume is true and accurate; lying about information can affect whether or not you get hired for the role.
Do I need to include a cover letter?
Your cover letter should briefly outline why you’re interested in the position and how your skills relate to the role. Keep it concise—it should be no longer than one page.
If you need help finding the right words to say in your cover letter, try looking at some examples online. You can also ask a friend, family member or professional writer for help if you don’t feel comfortable tackling it alone.
How to prepare yourself for a beauty therapist interview
Preparing for a beauty therapist interview is just as important as the interview itself. It pays to research the company and ensure you have clearly defined goals in mind so you can communicate them to your interviewer.
Although it’s not mandatory, practising answering questions beforehand can be a great way of preparing for an interview. Think about how your answers show the interviewer what you can do for their company and why you would be a good fit. This demonstrates your genuine interest in the position and can set you apart from other applicants.
Gain the skills you need to thrive in the beauty industry
A rewarding career in the beauty industry begins with the right training. But, with so many study options available, how do you choose the right training course for you?
Our expert team of Course Advisors can help you explore study options, enrolment eligibility, flexible payments and start dates.