Skip to main content

Careers in beauty therapy and hairdressing


    Are you passionate about style and beauty, enjoy being hands on and love working with people? If so, a career in beauty therapy or hairdressing might be for you. Not only do these careers allow you to use your creativity, but they’re both in demand and offer lots of exciting opportunities for you to explore.

    Read on to find out more about where a qualification from TAFE International Western Australia (TIWA) in these growing industries can take you.

    What is beauty therapy and hairdressing?

    Beauty therapy(opens in a new tab) is an exciting career where you can help people look and feel their best. Beauticians and beauty therapists are able to provide clients with a wide range of beauty services, like waxing, nail services and spray tanning. In addition, beauty therapists can also perform more advanced treatments, like microdermabrasion, facials and massages.

    Hairdressing(opens in a new tab) is a great career if you enjoy working with people. Hairdressers provide a range of hair services, including cutting, washing, colouring and styling. They can also provide advice on how to manage hair and scalp conditions.

    The beauty therapy and hairdressing industries

    Beauty therapy is a popular profession in Australia. Currently, there are almost 40,000 people employed(opens in a new tab) as beauty therapists, and the global market is expected to grow annually by 5.86%(opens in a new tab). Beauty therapists can also become specialists in certain beauty treatments, offering services as nail technicians(opens in a new tab) or electrologists(opens in a new tab).

    In addition to a wide range of technical skills learned through an approved qualification, beauty therapists should have soft skills in communication, customer service and decision making.

    Hairdressing has always been a strong industry, and today there are over 74,000 hairdressers working in Australia(opens in a new tab). What's more, strong growth in the hair care industry is expected, with an expected global market increase of 4.38%(opens in a new tab). While many hairdressers offer a range of services, some may specialise in one area, like those working as colour specialists or barbers.

    Hairdressers are required to have the technical skills to cut and style hair, but being a hairdresser is not just about technical know-how. According to National Industry Insights(opens in a new tab), some of the top skills needed by people in the hairdressing industry are teamwork and communication, emotional intelligence, and creativity.

    Careers in beauty therapy and hairdressing

    Beauty Therapist

    Beauty therapists offer clients a range of beauty treatments and often work in salons and spas alongside other beauty professionals. Depending on the day and place of work, beauty therapists may need to complete a range of tasks, such as:

    • analysing and discussing skin concerns and characteristics with clients;
    • performing treatments like facials and massages;
    • carefully performing specialised treatments like electrolysis or microdermabrasion; and
    • ensuring hygiene and cleanliness standards are maintained.

    The average salary for beauty therapists in Australia is AUD$60,000 per year(opens in a new tab). The SHB50121 Diploma of Beauty Therapy qualification from TIWA will prepare you for a career in the beauty industry and give you the skills to start your own business.


    Most hairdressers work in salons, especially when they are first starting out. Experienced hairdressers may choose to work independently or start their own salon. Some general day-to-day tasks a hairdresser might complete include:

    • washing hair and applying treatments to treat specific hair concerns;
    • cutting and styling hair for men and women;
    • bleaching and colouring hair, and being aware of chemical safety standards for colouring products; and
    • maintaining health, safety and cleanliness standards.

    The average yearly salary for a hairdresser in Australia is around AUD$50,000(opens in a new tab). Study TIWA’s SHB30416 Certificate III in Hairdressing to begin your hairdressing career.

    Nail Technician

    A beauty therapy qualification can also lead to specialised roles, such as nail technician(opens in a new tab). Nail technicians provide nail services to clients, including manicures and pedicures. General tasks for a nail technician might include:

    • cleaning, filing and shaping fingernails and toenails;
    • applying nail polish, acrylic nails or treatments;
    • designing and applying nail art; and
    • ensuring health and safety standards are met and hygiene is maintained.

    The average salary for a nail technician in Australia is between AUD$50,000 and AUD$60,000(opens in a new tab) per year.

    Advanced Skin Therapist

    With a qualification in beauty therapy, you can also look into a career as a skin therapist. In this role, you would deliver facial treatments in spas or salons, or in your own business.

    Clients come to skin therapists seeking advice and targeted personalised treatments. Responsibilities may involve:

    • cleansing skin and performing extractions;
    • facial massages;
    • applying products;
    • advising clients on the best way to look after their skin; and
    • organisational tasks.

    Additional key skills skin therapists need to have include expert product knowledge, customer service, problem-solving and organisation. The average salary for skin therapists with a beauty therapy qualification in Australia is approximately AUD$60,000 per year(opens in a new tab).

    Getting started

    If you’re interested in finding out more, you can contact TIWA for advice(opens in a new tab) on how to navigate your study and career journey.

    Last updated on July 31, 2023