Confessions of a Beauty Therapist: How to get into the industry

In South Africa, beauty therapist jobs offer a number of lucrative opportunities. A great industry to work in, therapists in this sector have a wide range of specialisations with various types of employment available ranging to include nail technician jobs and makeup artist jobs.

beauty therapist jobs

With so many specialisations within the field of beauty, you are sure to find one that entices your senses and flairs up your passion.

Beauty Therapy Specialisations

There are a huge number of specialisations within the field of beauty therapy. Whether you want to assist with weight loss or get into the movie industry with makeup artistry, the Beauty Industry is for you.

Nail Technicians

A nail technician is well trained in various techniques, including finger- and toenail grooming, moisturising of the hands and feet, massages to improve circulation, the removal of dead skin as well as cuticle treatments.

Nail technicians’ steady hands can create the most beautiful manicures and pedicures, decorative airbrush designs, stunning tips and gel overlays. Beauty therapist jobs within this field allows you to take advantage of the many new developments in nail treatments and learn all about Gelish applications, acrylic nail sets, nail sculpting and more. Nail technician jobs are fun and leaves room for continuous training as new technologies, products and techniques are developed.

nail technician jobs

Nail art is also an extremely popular practice among many women, allowing you to explore your creative side and create beautiful pieces of art on a small, widely seen, canvas.

Makeup Artists

Using a number of products and techniques, a makeup artist is able to transform a person’s appearance, be it for a wedding or a monster in a movie. Professionals active within makeup artist jobs are also sometimes referred to as a beautician or cosmetologist.

Employment opportunities for these types of beauty therapists are available in a number of industries, and with a good and solid education you can go into special effects, high fashion, theatre and even find employment at spas where you can give people makeovers or prepare a bride for her big day.

Massage Therapists

Massage therapy involves treating clients with touch. Through touch, massage therapist jobs require you to be able to work the various soft-tissue muscles in the body, helping to reduce stress, relieve pain and even help with injury rehabilitation.

massage therapy jobs

Massage therapy entails using your hands, forearms, feet and elbows to treat a client and work their tensed or injured muscles and soft-tissues. Within this field, you can also specialise in a number of different massages and treatments including deep-tissue massages, Swedish massages and sport massages.

When it comes to massage therapist jobs, having more specialities will help you in your career and the advancement of that career. Your skills spectrum can also be wide within this field – a sport injury, for example, will be treated much differently than a foot massage for an elderly person would.

There are also many courses available to you within massage therapy, helping you to continuously improve your speciality and improve your skills in other massage techniques.

Skincare Specialist

Skincare specialists are specialised professionals that fill beauty therapist jobs focussing on cleansing in order to help you achieve a healthy skin. Skincare specialist can find employment in a number of environments including spas and even medical offices.

With various types of training, these types of beauty therapists are able to evaluate your skin, make skincare product recommendations and even remove unwanted hair through laser or sugar treatments. As a skincare specialist you will do facials, skin peels, scrubs, skin rejuvenation and so much more.

Training for Beauty Therapists

When it comes to training for beauty therapists, South Africa offers a wide range of institutions that has various courses and programmes available.

Listed below are some of the institutions that offer training, but do know that this is not a full list. Many spas and hair salons also offer signature training courses and programmes.

College SA

If training for beauty therapist jobs are at the top of your list, College SA offers a number of Certificate, Advanced Certificate and Diploma courses for you to choose from. In terms of nail technician training, you can choose from a short course, certificate course, advanced certificate course and a 24 month diploma course in Nail Care.

Looking to specialise and find awesome massage therapist jobs? College SA also offers a short course, certificate course, advanced certificate course as well as a two year diploma course in Massage Techniques.

beauty therapy training

College SA also offers other beauty therapy training including Lash and Brow courses, Makeup Application courses and Facial Skincare Courses.


Damelin also has a City & Guilds Beauty Therapy programme. A two year long, full-time study programme that can help you pursue a career as a salon or spa manager, a cosmetic sale consultant or a health and skincare therapist.


INTEC College offers three certificate programmes. The first is the INTEC Make-Up Artist Short Course Certificate which can be completed in six to 12 months. Taking a look at the history of makeup, you will learn a variety of skills ranging to include the theory of lighting and colour, how to identify eye and face shapes, the importance of makeup in effects, basic skin type analyses and more.

The INTEC Beauty Practitioner Professional Certificate is a 24 month course and includes a range of subjects and course content including body massage therapy, hair removal, facial skin care, nutrition and physiology and anatomy.

Another option available from INTEC is their 18 month Beauty Care and Health Certificate that includes three modules – Beauty and Personality, Hair and Body, and Nutrition and Fitness.

Other institutions that offers training within the field of beauty therapy include the College of Cape Town, the Beauty Therapy Institute, Planet Nail, Healing Hands and branded franchises like Sorbet.

working as a makeup artist

Remember to do your research about each of the institutions before deciding where to study. You can visit the South African Association of Health and Skincare website to see a list of SAAHSP and CIDESCO recognised training providers.

Some of the SAAHSP recognised training providers include the Beauty Therapy Institute, Dermatech and Potch Akademie, while CIDESCO recognised providers include the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Hydro International and the Tshwane University of Technology.

Finding a job or starting your own business

In many cases, trained professionals with experience in beauty therapist jobs may decide to break away from the franchises and start their own small business. A very creative and competitive market in South Africa, it is important to approach any business with a sober mind.

Remember that, while you might have a solid background in beauty, starting your own business does require financial and management savvy.

According to PayScale, beauty therapists in South Africa earn an average salary of R 67 590 per year while nail technician jobs pay an average salary of R 53 062 per year. A massage therapist on average earns about R 77 118 per year while makeup artist jobs pay an average salary of R 108 000 per year.

Looking for a job in beauty therapy? Here are some of the positions on offer from Job Mail:

Spa Therapist

Requiring one to two years’ experience, a spa in Fourways is looking for a dynamic person to fill a position at a top spa.


Nail Technician Jobs

Perfect 10 Woodlands is looking for three nail technicians with two years’ work experience. If you would like to earn a basic salary plus commissions, these might be one of the nail technician jobs for you.


Beauty Therapist

If you are looking for a beauty therapist position, a salon in Norwood, Johannesburg, is looking for a fast-learning and capable employee to join their team and undergo the best laser training.


Spa and Beauty Therapist Jobs

A five star resort in the world famous Garden Route is looking for both junior and senior spa therapists to join their team. If you are able to work under pressure, have relevant qualifications and experience, you are welcome to submit your CV.


Massage Therapist

If you are looking for massage therapist jobs, there is an opportunity for a fully qualified massage therapist with experience in Swedish aromatherapy and reflexology.


Ready to find the ideal makeup and beauty therapist jobs? Register your CV on Job Mail today and start applying for jobs in your area – from nail technician jobs to massage therapist jobs, you will find it on

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6 Responses

  1. marlene says:

    I don’t have qualififcations, but I’m eager to learn and be trained. I’m interested in Beauty theraphy, if there’s any company that can hire me and train me, I am available or contact me on 0745055192. Thank you

  2. deirdre says:

    looking for work in capetown or langebaan area have my nail tech certificate willing to learn

  3. NANDI says:


  4. Thandeka says:

    Hi,I’m Thandeka I’m looking for a job, I have a certificate for fully body massage with hot stone but non experience ,I can even volunteer if its needed so that I can get more experience. 0842545225

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