How to Become an Aesthetic Therapist

Aesthetics is the next step up the ladder for a beauty therapist, as the thriving industry offers many employment opportunities, and you’re likely to earn a better salary and commission rate. Here are the steps you need to take to get there.

Foundation training in Beauty Therapy

The starting point for therapists is to complete a nationally recognised beauty therapy course, such as an NVQ. The minimum qualification level clinics will require all therapists to have is the NVQ level 3. This will provide you with the foundational skills for patient care, and the health and safety protocols to adhere to in a treating environment.

These qualifications are also necessary for businesses to be able to insure their therapists and operate legally. Equivalent qualifications will also be considered, but they must be from recognised providers. Clinics may require therapists to hold an NVQ level 4 qualification if they are to perform advanced laser and other device-led treatments.

Aestheticians need to complete recognised aesthetic treatment training courses in order to perform advanced treatments safely, but these will usually be organised by an employer and provided by the device or product supplier.

Training provided by employers

When in employment, your treatment training is likely to be governed by the particular clinic’s treatment menu, the popularity of certain treatments, and the skills of the other therapists in the team. For example, if you go to work for a clinic that specialises in laser hair removal, you will be trained to perform that treatment, and will gain good experience in that area.

If you wish to gain experience in a wide range of aesthetic treatments, look for roles in medical aesthetics clinics that offer a good selection of skin, face and body treatments, using a selection of devices and product ranges.

Finding entry-level vacancies

If aesthetic treatment experience is listed as ‘essential’ on a job advert, then that employer will be prioritising experienced aestheticians, and may not have the capability to provide extensive training. But, don’t give up as many clinics will take on junior therapists.

If you can’t find any good vacancies, try contacting clinics directly with your CV and a covering letter explaining your skills and ambitions, even if they aren’t currently advertising. A well-written, direct approach may show that you are confident, proactive professional and keen to work for that particular employer.

Practical experience

While training can lay the foundations for a career as an aesthetician, only solid work experience will help you move up the ladder to a senior position and a higher salary. You can be trained in all the aesthetic treatments under the sun, but to progress, you’ll need to demonstrate your skill and ability in the working environment.

When you secure your first job as an aesthetician, it may not offer everything you could possibly ever want from your career, but your success in this position will be taken into account by your next employer. If you exceed your targets, act with professionalism to all patients and colleagues, demonstrate that you are adept at treating, and stick at this first role for a reasonable amount of time, then you will probably be earmarked for promotion, or will have a good chance of being successful in future job applications.

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