Beauty therapist

Hairdressing and beauty

Career outlook for beauty therapist

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

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


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  • Positive attitude
  • Building relationships
  • Verbal communication
  • Creative
  • Respecting
  • Attention to detail

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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)