Beauty therapists carry out a whole range of treatments to the face and body that are designed to help their customers look good and feel better about themselves.
Most people who work in the industry begin as trainees with hair and beauty salons, where they can learn skills such as giving facials, eyebrow shaping, manicures, massages and aromatherapy from experienced staff. These junior roles usually involve some reception work and the chance to study towards relevant qualifications.
Workers who wish to make a long-term career in the industry require a level 3 NVQ or City & Guilds in beauty therapy to be considered fully qualified. Once they have their certificates, they are in a position to apply for more senior jobs.
As well as beauty salons and hairdressers, gyms, spas, hotels, cosmetics retailers and cruise lines all recruit qualified beauticians, so there are plenty of employment opportunities - both full and part-time - available for skilled and personable staff. Salaries are usually in the range of £13,000 to £18,000.
Registering with specialist recruitment agencies is a good way to find the right beauty therapy job. In addition to permanent positions, agencies also supply experienced therapists on a temporary basis to help employers cope with busy periods or times when their own staff are on holiday or maternity leave.
The other options open to beauty therapists are to become self-employed and run a mobile service providing treatments in clients' homes, or to open their own salon.