Looks aren’t everything, and beauty may only be skin deep, but people still want to look and feel good, and they’re willing to pay a lot of money to do so. So, if you’re good with people, and like making them feel good about themselves, then you might want to consider a career as a beauty therapist or aesthetician.
Fully qualified beauty therapists are able to offer clients the full spectrum of beauty-related services, from facials, manicures, and eye-lash tinting to massage, electrolysis, and even nutrition. It’s a diverse field with many areas for specialisation, such as glamour make-up and skincare. The skills are global, so you can take your qualification with you anywhere in the world, from cruise ships around the Med to Hollywood Boulevard.
It’s possible to build your qualifications step-by-step, working and learning as you go. Let’s look at some of the TAFE beauty courses available.
Certificate II in Nail Technology
Certificate II in Nail Technology is a nationally accredited TAFE program that is available from a number of different TAFE institutes and training providers in Australia. Online and classroom-based study options are available, and many course providers give students the choice between full-time and part-time study. In addition to the technical skills relating to ultraviolet gel nails, acrylic nails, manicures and pedicures, and the treatment of nail and skin disorders, you’ll learn things like workplace communication, client service, product displays, and environmentally sustainable work practices.
Certificate II in Retail Make-Up and Skincare
As with the certificate in nail technology, this nationally accredited course is available online and on-campus and on a full-time or part-time basis, depending on your education and training provider. On completion of the course, you’ll be qualified to work as a junior beauty therapist at a salon, and as a retail sales assistant at beauty counters. Subjects include how to design and apply make-up for a variety of purposes (weddings, photography shoots, etc.), how to demonstrate skincare products, and how to recommend hair, skin, and other beauty products, as well as how to conduct financial transactions, how to merchandise products, and how to apply safe working practices.
Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy
Choose your provider carefully when you decide where to study your Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy, because some offer bonus features, like work placements where you can get essential practical experience. The course qualifies you for Affiliate Membership of the Advanced Association of Beauty Therapists, and allows you to work as beauty therapist at a salon or onboard a cruise ship or at a resort. You can even set up your own licensed practice. Subjects covered include body massage, lash and brow treatments, waxing treatments, skin biology as it relates to beauty treatments, and body structures and systems in the beauty therapy context, as well as working in the retail environment, communication in the workplace, conducting financial transactions, and client services.
Diploma of Beauty Therapy
This step up from Certificate IV qualifies you for various managerial positions in beauty therapy, including positions in retail stores or pharmacies, health spas, and holiday resorts. Subjects include using electricity in beauty therapy treatments, interpreting the chemical composition and physical actions of cosmetic products, nutrition, electrolysis, male and female waxing, planning spa programs, reflexology, aromatherapy, and microdermabrasion.
There are at least two important beauty therapy associations in Australia that therapists should consider joining:
- The Advanced Association of Beauty Therapists (AABTh) considers itself the most prestigious organisation for practicing professional beauty therapists. It’s involved with government (education and health) and industry (skincare and healthcare companies) and is affiliated with the internationally-renowned CIDESCO diploma. Members benefit from continuing education opportunities, support services, good insurance rates, access to up-to-date industry news and developments, and, of course, professional credibility.
The Association of Professional Aestheticians in Australia (APAA) is the oldest association of beauty therapists in Australia. It’s dedicated to maintaining high standards of education and service within the industry and does this by maintaining good relationships with all parties concerned, including government and industry. In addition to professional credibility, membership provides other benefits, such as free legal advice, discounted insurance rates, access to specialist training opportunities, and pathways to higher learning.