The area of beauty therapy is a flourishing and very rewarding career, with many therapists working in salons, spas or running their own business.
Not a typical science career, but a leaving cert level in biology and chemistry is advantageous with some courses requiring L.C. biology as a pre-requisite.
TYPICAL DAY A typical day for a beauty therapist can vary depending on whether she or he works in a salon, a hotel or on board a ship. Most therapists will work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. although many people now want treatments on their way to work so you may find yourself working from 7 a.m., particularly in city settings. A makeup artist may work in settings as varied as in a salon, on a film set or in a large department store. For those fortunate enough to be a makeup artist to the stars, work may involve travel, and good monetary rewards, but can come with long hours.
SKILLS USED IN THE JOB. As well as the technical skills that will be learned on courses, and through practice, beauty therapists, holistic therapists and makeup artists require good people skills. Communication with clients about their needs is vital and also an interesting and fun part of the job. If you don’t like people, don’t become a beauty therapist.
REWARDS Salaries vary but, for the ambitious, there is always the opportunity to open your own salon and become an employer rather than an employee.
ROUTES OF ENTRY Colleges of Further Education offer many Post Leaving Certificate courses in these areas. Some courses offer combined options eg hairdressing and beauty therapy in Cavan College of Further Education. In addition, some third-level colleges offer more specialised courses eg Dun laoghaire Institute of Art Design and Technology has a course in makeup for film and TV. Private colleges and beauty schools also offer courses.
DIFFERENT JOBS IN THE CAREER AREA Jobs vary from masseuse to beauty therapist to nail technician to makeup artist to teacher in further education college. Many therapists would specialise in makeup artistry or nail technician.
ADVICE ABOUT CHOOSING THIS AREA Initially, salaries may be quite modest. However, there is the potential to progress and remember, even when you are training, those all-important tips are an added bonus.
Make sure you choose a course that will give you a recognised qualification eg CIBTAC or CIDESCO.
If you interested in attending a college of further education (no fees) contact your nearest Vocational Education Committee or school offering PLC courses. (PLC courses are provided predominantly in the VEC sector, but some Community and Comprehensive schools and Secondary schools also offer courses.) Try www.education.ie for further information.