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What is a beauty therapist?

A beauty therapist, or beautician, is a person who specialises in providing cosmetic & non-medical face and body treatments and recommending appropriate products and aftercare. 

Beauty therapy treatments can be customised to a client’s needs and help them maintain their physical appearance, feel pampered, and gain confidence. They might include facials, massage, manicures, pedicures, or hair removal. 

Beauticians can work in beauty, tanning, or nail salons, provide mobile services, work from their own home, at spas, or in retail settings like makeup or skincare counters. 

What treatments do beauty therapists do? 

Beauticians are trained to provide a range of treatments and services. Some therapists choose to specialise in a particular type of treatment while others perform various tasks on a typical work day. 

Some of the treatments a beautician might do on a daily basis include: 


These are a skincare treatment tailored to a client’s needs depending on their skin type, condition, and requirements. Beauticians are typically trained to offer a range of different facials targeting different issues such as acne, ageing, or aromatherapy. Some are also trained in more high-tech facial treatments like electrotherapy or microdermabrasion. 


Beauty therapists can offer various massage treatments either for the full body or targeting specific areas (e.g. head & shoulders or back & neck). There are many types of massage a beautician may be trained in, including aromatherapy, swedish, hot stone massage, relaxation massage, reflexology, and Indian head massage. 

Body treatments

Various body treatments a beautician might administer include scrubs & exfoliation, body wraps, or spray tans. 

Hair removal

This might include temporary hair removal such as waxing and sugaring, or more permanent hair removal therapies like electrolysis, laser hair removal, or IPL.

Eyebrow & eyelash treatments

These therapies can include eyebrow shaping, waxing, or threading, as well as eyelash extensions, perming, and tinting. 

Nail treatments

Beauty therapists are trained to provide manicures and pedicures, as well as apply nail extensions and nail art. 

Hair & makeup 

Some beauticians are trained in hair & makeup and can offer services like bridal or special event hair and makeup, or even costume makeup for film, theatre, and TV. 

How do I become a beauty therapist?

To work as a beautician in Australia you need to complete a formal qualification such as a Certificate III in Beauty Services, a Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy, or a Diploma of Beauty Therapy. 

Enrol in various beauty courses online

Starting your career in the beauty industry is easier than you think! These online beauty courses will help you kickstart a career you love  and prepare you for providing a range of beauty services. 

Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy

This certification prepares you for a range of beauty services, including waxing, lash and brow treatments, manicures, tanning, basic makeup services, eyelash extensions, body treatments, body massage, and guiding clients on the right beauty products to use. 

Upon completion you will be eligible to work in day spas providing spa treatments or in beauty salons. 

Diploma of Screen and Media (Specialist Makeup Services)

This is regarded as one of the most detailed, comprehensive, and inspiring courses in Australia. You will learn a variety of different subjects that will help you forge a career as a film and TV hair and makeup artist. In this course you will learn the specialist skills and techniques used to create makeup for film, fashion, and stage. 

With this qualification you could provide treatments to actors, musicians, models, and more.

Certificate Course in Professional Makeup Artistry

This course is designed for makeup beginners, especially those who want to get started without investing too much on a qualification. The budget course covers a wide range of subjects, including human facial features, makeup for photography, makeup products and equipment, and more. 

You will learn all the practical skills and technical aspects required to create your own professional portfolio and embark on a career as a makeup artist.

Certificate III in Nail Technology

This course is designed for anyone who wants to make a career in nail art or nail technology. You will learn everything you need to help you become a nail technician, including applying nail art, gel and acrylic nail enhancements, hygienic work practices, and business management. You’ll also learn a range of well-developed technical customer service skills, including advising clients on nail care brands and services. 

Upon completion, you can work in a nail or beauty salon, or choose to start your own nail parlour and be self-employed. 

How long does it take to finish a beauty therapist course?

This will depend on which beauty course you choose to study. For example, a Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy can be completed in around 18 months. A Certificate III in Nail Technology can be completed in around 12 months. Other courses will vary.  

How much does a beauty therapy course cost?

The cost of a beauty therapist course will depend on which certificate you choose to study and the registered training organisations you enrol with. Many institutions offer payment plans and may even offer a discount for some students. Read through the different certifications and enquire now to get a free course pack! 

What makes being a beauty therapist a good career choice?

There are many reasons why you may want to pursue a career in cosmetology and work as a beautician. Firstly, beauty therapists are always in demand. Secondly, you will be making a difference in people’s lives as you help them look and feel their best. 

Other reasons why the beauty industry is an excellent career choice include: 

Interesting working environment

The beauty industry is not boring. Unlike traditional 9 to 5 work, working in beauty services is extremely fast-paced with lots of customer interaction. You’ll meet lots of different people everyday and keep learning on the job as you encounter clients with different skin or hair. You’ll also be staying up to date with various fashion and beauty trends, so things will never be stagnant for too long! 

Help others feel good

One of the most rewarding aspects of the beauty industry is that you can infuse confidence in others. Working in beauty salons is a selfless career path as you are helping others look their best so they can feel confident and happy with their appearance. 

Grow your own business

There is a huge opportunity for beauty therapists to start your own salon and grow your own client base. Once you are familiar with the ins and outs of beauty salons, you can become an entrepreneur. As a result, you can start creating your own schedule and the kind of environment you thrive in. 

You can be creative

The beauty industry is very creative, and when you work in beauty salons you can express that creativity everyday. You will constantly be learning and practising new makeup or nail trends and get to show clients and receive feedback and recognition for your creativity. You can also experiment with new colours and textures in makeup and turn your client’s nails into stunning masterpieces. It’s just like being an artist, except you work in a beauty salon. 

Customer interaction

One of the most rewarding aspects of cosmetology is that you are constantly interacting with others. You will meet people from various backgrounds and build relationships as they keep returning over time. If you choose to start your own salon, these can then become lifelong clients. 

Beauty courses – Summary

If you’re creative and love working with people then a career in beauty is perfect for you. Browse our online beauty courses and learn all the beauty therapy skills you need to create a fulfilling career helping others look and feel gorgeous! 


    1. Which course is best in beauty?
      This depends on your interests:

      • Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy is the best all rounder for working in beauty salons & giving spa treatments
      • Certificate Course in Professional Makeup Artistry is a great beginner’s course that teaches you makeup skills
      • Certificate III in Nail Technology is for people who want a career as a nail technician
      • Diploma of Screen and Media (Specialist Makeup Services) is for anyone who wants to work as a makeup artist in film or TV
    2. How do I become a beautician in Australia?
      The best way to start is with the Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy. You will learn various skills like massage, facials, makeup, waxing, and nail care.

    3. What is the highest beauty qualification in Australia?
      The most prestigious beauty qualification in Australia is a CIDESCO Diploma which is recognised by employers worldwide.

    4. How long does a beauty therapy course take?
      This depends on the course you enrol in and the training provider offering the course.

    5. How much do beauty therapists get paid in Australia?
      The average salary for a beautician in Australia is $58,500 per year. Entry-level positions start at $53,625 and high-level workers can earn up to $73,418 per year.