Beauty & makeup

Getting in

Do you have a passion for make up and finding out about the latest trends? Maybe you watch makeup tutorials online?

Are you a creative with good hand eye skills? 

Are you good with people person and a good communicator.

Would you be fine with working evenings and weekends?

If so then this job sector could be just what you are looking for.

Key Facts

  • The Beauty industry is booming with the average British woman spending £1,352 per year on beauty products and treatments to feel good.
  • The skincare, cosmetics and beauty retail industry makes over £17 billion per year. 
  • Over 50% of people working in the industry have level 3 qualifications and above.
  • In the UK many people are employed by cosmetic and skincare companies in store to demonstrate and promote products. 
  • Training to be a beauty therapist providing treatments will give you the option to work in a salon, hotel or run your own salon. You could also gain employment on a cruise ship.
  • The importance of tourism in the South West has led to extra hair and beauty jobs in hotels, health farms and spas.

Routes into this sector

  • GCSEs English, maths and science are usually required for beauty therapy. There is a lot of anatomy and physiology in the theory. Art and design could be useful for creative courses like media make up, body art or tattooing.
  • At 16 you have more options, you could do A Levels, which are general academic subjects, or develop your knowledge and skills for this sector through an apprenticeship or vocational qualifications.
  • At 18 or 19 you could do a higher education/degree level course, with 8 out of 10 A Level students choosing this pathway and half of all BTEC National students. However there are also other routes into your chosen career - through apprenticeships and vocational qualifications.

There are jobs in this sector you get train for through qualifications like an apprenticeship or vocational course at college. For some careers such as media make up,fashion or training to be a perfumier a degree would be useful. 

The majority of people in the beauty industry have level 3 qualifications and above. Media make up is highly competitive and may require you to have gained specialist skills in wig making, prosthetics and special effects make-up, as well as expecting you to have hair styling and cutting skills. There are degrees you can do in media make up which  can help you develop your creative skills and contacts. Eg Media Make up and Performance at University of the Arts Bournemouth.

Use the Course Search

Use the relevant search options on our Course Search to find college and university courses as well as vacancies for apprenticeships.

More help finding Courses and Training

Spotlight on Apprenticeships in Beauty Therapy

This apprenticeship is about improving people’s well-being by making them look and feel better. As an apprentice, you will work in a beauty salon, health spa or hotel assisting in the smooth running of the salon and supporting the beauty team.

A typical day as an Intermediate apprentice will involve welcoming clients, answering the phone, making appointments and keeping the salon tidy. You will also assist senior therapists and learn a range of skills and techniques, such as facial techniques, waxing, spray tan, brow treatments, manicures and pedicures and applying make-up.

As an Advanced Apprenticeship, you’ll work as a beauty therapist, learning techniques like body massage as well as more complicated treatments.

There can be lots of opportunities to progress - with further training you could become a make-up artist, run your own salon, or go on to study specialist areas like massage, aromatherapy, hydrotherapy or reflexology.

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