There are many different types of beauty therapy careers to choose from; there’s everything from lash extensions, eyebrow threading, and spray tans to facials, body wraps, waxing and massage therapies. 

The world of beauty therapy can be enriching, but sometimes it can also seem overwhelming when you don't know where to start or what type of career path would best suit your interests. That's why we've put together this blog post with all the information you need about the different career paths within the industry so that you can find a role that really excites you. 

Is beauty therapy a career?

As of 2020, the UK beauty industry is valued at £27 billion, and it’s one that continues to grow, which makes it a lucrative sector to join. But aside from the growth potential, a career in beauty is a way to make a difference in the lives of others and be able to work independently. 

Many people think that if they have an artistic flair, it would be very easy for them to become successful in beauty therapy. However, this isn't always the case and you need more than just creativity if you wish to pursue a career within the beauty sector. 

All beauty therapists must obtain a level two qualification as a minimum. Ideally, three qualifications are the best if you wish to stand out from the crowd. Not only that, but the more qualifications you hold, the more well-rounded your education will be and your ability to help clients will be greater.

If you’d like to pursue a career in beauty, a Beauty Therapy Level 3 course is an ideal place to start. It covers important aspects of becoming a beautician - whether that’s mastering skincare treatments, manicures and pedicures, waxes or makeup. In addition, you’ll always receive expert guidance on how to start a beauty business

Beauty Therapy Career Paths

What jobs can a beauty therapist do?

There are so many different paths you can take when it comes to a career in the beauty therapy industry. If you want to work in a salon, spa or clinic, choosing the right path that will lead you there is important. The good news is that with any of these options available, there's no wrong choice! 

Nail technician

A nail technician is someone who specialises in giving manicures and pedicures. They clean, shape, and polish nails to keep them healthy. A nail technician can also apply artificial or false nails to protect the natural nails when they are not strong enough for normal wear. 

Nail technicians require many skills, including manual dexterity with their hands, eye-hand coordination, a good memory for colours and shapes, and patience when working with customers. 

  • Expected salary: The average hourly rate for a nail technician is £8.42. The average yearly salary is £16k - £21k.
  • Qualifications: Acrylic nail extensions diploma, nail technician diploma level 3, electric nail filing diploma, gel nail extension diploma, gel polish nail art course, nail shaping course 

Makeup artist

Makeup artists are responsible for creating the looks of actors, professional models and everyday people. They often use cosmetics to enhance natural beauty or change a person's appearance. Some skills that makeup artists learn during courses include hairstyling, skincare and contouring. 

  • Expected salary: The average hourly rate for a makeup artist is £10.29. The average yearly salary is £17k - £73k.
  • Qualifications: Level 3 makeup artist diploma, foundation makeup course, bridal makeup course

Massage therapist

In general, a massage therapist is responsible for giving massages to their clients. They help with muscle tension and stress relief from the client's job or from everyday life. This can be done through different techniques such as a deep tissue massage or a Swedish massage, which are used on different parts of the body (depending on what needs more attention). The therapists also use hot stones and aromatherapy oils to give the client a relaxing experience. 

  • Expected salary: The average hourly rate for a massage therapist is £12.18. The average yearly salary is £17k - £93k.
  • Qualifications: Hot stone massage course, Indian head massage course, bamboo massage course, level 3 body massage course
Beauty Therapy Career Paths

Lash technician

A lash technician is someone who specialises in the care and maintenance of eyelashes. They are specially trained to use different treatments, tools, and products to enhance your natural lashes. If you choose to pursue a career as a lash technician, you can work at salons, spas or privately at clients homes. 

  • Expected salary: The average hourly rate for a lash technician is £10.72. The average yearly salary is £17k - £70k.
  • Qualifications: Lash lift course, eyelash extension course, level 3 lash and brow diploma, Russian lash course, strip and individual lashes course


Hairdressing is a job that requires many skills, experience, and attention to detail. A hairdresser must know how to use these tools properly in order to avoid damage to the client's hair. 

They also have responsibilities such as maintaining healthy relationships with clients by providing good customer service and creating an environment where clients feel welcome and comfortable throughout their time at the salon. 

  • Expected salary: The average hourly rate for a hairdresser is £8.27. The average yearly salary is £13k - £23k.
  • Qualifications: Certificate III in Hairdressing

Facial therapist

A facial therapist is a professional that helps people with their skin. They work with clients to improve the health, appearance and function of their skin. The focus of treatment may be on one or more of these areas: acne, wrinkles, sun damage or ageing. A facial therapist will also provide tips on maintaining healthy skin at home by following an established skincare routine.

  • Expected salary: The average hourly rate for a facial therapist is £8.37. The average yearly salary is £14k - £22k.
  • Qualifications: Facial and skincare diploma, level 3 luxury facial course

Is beauty therapy in demand?

Like many industries, beauty therapy is always in demand. However, the applicant pool for this industry changes often due to the fluctuation of the economy. 

Given that it’s incredibly beneficial to complete several courses, the fastest way to specialise and become a qualified beauty therapist is to complete online courses at Oxbridge. There’s no better time to start than now.