Beauty therapist


Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would give people special treatments for their face and body to help them look their best and feel good.

You’d welcome clients to the beauty salon and chat to them about what they want. You’d tactfully suggest treatments you feel they might like or which might benefit them. You’d help them relax and feel pampered.

You would:

  • Answer the telephone and welcome visitors to the salon
  • Book appointments
  • Carry out beauty treatments
  • Check and order supplies
  • Keep notes of clients’ medical histories and treatment programmes

The treatments you’d provide could include:

  • Facials, to cleanse, massage and tone the skin
  • Applying and advising about make up
  • Shaping eyebrows and colouring eyelashes
  • Manicures, pedicures and other nail procedures like extensions and nail art
  • Removing unwanted facial and body hair
  • Electro-therapy treatments to improve body tone and shape
  • Non-surgical skin improvement
  • UV (ultraviolet) and spray tanning

You might offer other treatments such as massage, aromatherapy, hydrotherapy and reflexology.

Occasionally you might need to refer clients to their doctor, for example, if they have a severe skin problem.

You would earn a commission on any beauty products that your customers buy from you, so good sales skills would be valuable.

Working conditions


Your working hours would typically be 9am to 5pm, including Saturdays. Some salons offer evening appointments.


You could work in a high street salon or beauty clinic, health spa, hotel, or on a cruise ship. You could also be self-employed, either working from home or visiting clients in their own homes.


If you are self-employed, you may be visiting clients in their own homes.

UK employment status



Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Explaining things
  • Persuading people
  • Helping customers
  • Being tactful
  • Working with your hands
  • Working with numbers

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.


A Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) in Beauty; or relevant work-based experience and qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Beauty Therapy (SVQ level 1/2/3).  

You can enter some Beauty National Certificate or National Qualification courses (SCQF 2-6) with no formal qualifications but some courses ask for National 4/5 qualifications (SCQF level 4/5).

You can enter Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma courses (SCQF level 8) with National 4/5 qualifications and one to two Highers or equivalent qualifications.

Useful subjects

  • English
  • science subjects, in particular Biology/Chemistry

Helpful to have

  • Qualifications and experience that demonstrate a good eye for visual effect, communication and customer care skills, such as Skills for Work Beauty (SCQF level 6).
  • Skills for Work Hairdressing (SCQF 4/5)