Explore: Hair and beauty

Beauty Therapist

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Victoria H

00:00:03 My name is Victoria H and I’m a beauty therapist. I am an old fashioned trained therapist so I do everything beauty: manicures, pedicures, waxing, facials, makeup. I have a small studio within a house with a group of other girls but we all have our own individual businesses within one premises so, my own little space.

00:00:28 Always been a therapist for 16 years, have taken many turns and crossroads but always with beauty. From working in a salon to working on my own, working from home to flying for Virgin Atlantic doing massage on board and then as I said, for the last four years having my own business. Having my own business wasn’t something I really thought about until it happened. I stopped my flying period with Virgin and wanted to come back to doing my clients.

00:01:01 So, I started to work with another therapist and that didn’t work out how I wanted it to work out so ended up then taking a room on my own and four years later I’m happy on my own and have a great little business. Working in a very, very big salon I found it had become very conveyer belt system. I literally, just I think, just got disillusioned with the people around me and the way maybe the business was running as a big industry.

00:01:31 I like to be in a smaller environment, being able to have time with my clients rather than being pressured. For me it’s not about making the money, it’s about being happy in my job and making my clients happy. When I was at school I saw my careers advisor and I wanted to do hairdressing, beauty but at that time as a child I suffered with eczema and my Mum spoke to my doctor and he said, “No, no, put that idea out of your head, that’s never going to happen. You will not deal with the chemicals, the water, products, so forget it.” So, my Mum said, “Ok, that’s it.”

00:02:10 So, I went to my careers advisor and said, “Look, ok, well, maybe I’d be interested in doing banking or something.” So, I was sent off to work in a bank for two weeks and hated every minute of it and sort of went home and said to my Mum, “I don’t care what it takes, I want to go in to do my beauty and my hair.”

00:02:31 I left school at 16 after my GCSEs and then I embarked on a three year full time college course to study hair and beauty. I was very lucky that when I was at college I had a great relationship with one of my tutors who owned a salon. When I left college I stayed with her working in her team and it was obviously a very good sort of, I think, teaching for me and gave me the confidence and the client base to then go forward.

00:03:02 Definitely I would recommend my career as a beauty therapist to somebody who’s willing to put in the hours and you know, be ready to enjoy their career because it’s very, very enjoyable and very rewarding. I’ve never looked back and thought, “I should have done something different, or this was the wrong choice for me.” I think I can say that, you know, for 16 years I’ve had a very fulfilled career. It’s made me grow hugely as a person, it’s made me who I am today.

00:03:34 All in all, it’s been a great journey and I just hope it continues, I don’t envisage ever not being in work.


Victoria runs her own beauty therapy business. She was initially told that because she had childhood eczema, this would be a route that would be closed to her. However, after a spell working in a bank “and I hated every minute of it”, she embarked on a 3 year hair and beauty course. She has had a very fulfilled career: “it’s made me grow hugely as a person, it’s made me who I am today”.

More information about Beauticians and related occupations

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

16%  male 
84%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Beauticians and related workers give facial and body beauty treatments, apply cosmetics and dress wigs.
There are no minimum academic requirements for entry, although some colleges require candidates to possess GCSEs/S grades. NVQs/SVQs in Beauty Therapy are available at Levels 1, 2 and 3. Professional qualifications are also available.
  • Discusses clients requirements, analyses and advises client on appropriate skin care, and applies treatments to the face or body;
  • Massages scalp, face and other parts of the body and carries out spray tanning;
  • Uses waxing, threading, sugaring and other epilation techniques to remove any unwanted body hair;
  • Cleans, shapes and polishes finger and toe nails, applies nail extensions;
  • Applies make-up to hide blemishes or enhance facial features and advises clients on skin care and make-up techniques;
  • Performs specialist treatments for conditions such as acne, applies skin rejuvenation therapies;
  • Recognises problems and refers clients to medical practitioners if appropriate;
  • Advises clients on diet and exercise to assist in weight loss and slimming;
  • Maintains client records, sells and advises on cosmetic products and services, and ensures appropriate health and safety issues are addressed.
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