According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs in the esthetics (skin care) industry are anticipated to grow by 25% through the year 2020, faster than the average for all careers. This is encouraging news for those pursuing careers in esthetics.

According to the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), the number of spas in the world was 105,591 in 2013, which is an increase of 47% since 2007. Revenue from all components of the spa industry has been growing by 7.7% annually, from $60 billion in 2007 to $94 billion in 2013.

Number and Types of Spa Facilities

The GWI’s most recent report provides facts and figures about six categories of spas, as follows:

Day/club/salon spas (59,339) offer a variety of spa services (e.g., massage, facials, body treatments, etc.) by trained professionals on a day-use basis. Club spas are similar to day spas, but operate out of facilities whose primary purpose is fitness. Salon spas operate out of facilities that provide beauty services (such as hair, make-up, nails, etc.).

Destination spas and health resorts (22,076) offer a full immersion spa experience in which all guests participate. All-inclusive programs typically include, in addition to spa and body treatments, a myriad of other offerings such as: fitness, mind/body, special diets and cleansing, personal coaching, nutrition counseling, weight loss, preventive or curative medical services, etc.

Hotel/resort spas (2,204) are located within a resort or hotel property, providing spa services on an à la carte basis to hotel guests and outside/local guests. Spa treatments and services generally complement a hotel stay or a wide range of other activities at a resort.

Thermal/mineral springs spas (5,009)include day-use spa facilities and destination/health resorts that incorporate an on-site source of natural mineral, thermal, or sea water into their spa treatments, as well as thermal and mineral water bathing or recreational establishments that offer spa services such as massage, facials, hydrotherapy, etc.

Medical spas (6,504) operate under the full-time, on-site supervision of a licensed healthcare professional, providing comprehensive medical and/or wellness care in an environment that integrates spa services with traditional, alternative, or cosmetic medical therapies and treatments.

Other spas (10,459) include all other facilities that are not captured by the categories described above, such as cruise ship spas, airport spas, mobile spas, as well as historically-/culturally-based facilities (e.g., Japanese onsen, Turkish hammams, Indian Ayurveda centers, etc.) that have incorporated spa-like services into their offerings.

Spas are known for their serene, spacious and comfortable environments.  Spa visitors are not referred to as customers or clients, but as “guests,” signifying the commitment of all staff members to be gracious, accommodating, and polite. Guests expect their privacy to be protected and their information to be kept strictly confidential. Spas provide customer service that not only meets, but exceeds, guests’ needs and expectations. Essential guest amenities include a choice of beverages and healthy, beautifully-presented snacks, cozy robes and slippers, and the opportunity to purchase products that are used in the services and treatments on the spa menu. Spas aspire to provide an experience that is personalized, relaxing to both mind and body, and restorative.

The menu of services at a spa typically includes “signature” treatments that make the best use of the facility’s equipment and the practitioners’ skills. Hydrotherapy is a treatment that uses fresh water, mineral water or sea water, mud, clay seaweed, and other products. Hydrotherapy equipment can include Vichy shower, Swiss shower, whirlpool tub with air and water jets, steam rooms, etc. In addition to hydrotherapy, spa treatments typically include many skin care treatments, hair styling and conditioning, massage therapy, Asian bodywork, Ayurvedic bodywork, aromatherapy, nail care, etc. In medical spas, treatments also include injectibles like botox and collagen, many types of laser treatments, high-acid chemical peels, diamond-tip microdermabrasion, most of which are performed by a medical practitioner assisted by an esthetician or other practitioner.

For an esthetician, having a job in a spa provides opportunities to:

  • use numerous types of equipment and products
  • fulfill your guests’ desires for an extraordinary experience
  • increase your income by receiving a commission on retail sales
  • be trained in signature services with creative combinations of products and techniques
  • minimize your stress level by working in a serene and nurturing environment
  • identify facets of the spa experience that you may want to incorporate into a private practice in the future
  • exchange treatments with other estheticians and other spa practitioners
  • stay aware of the latest trends in spa services and the spa industry
  • select continuing education programs that allow you to expand your repertoire of skills and knowledge and possibly receive financial assistance toward the cost of the programs
  • learn about the daily operations of various types of spas
  • explore possibilities for being promoted to a management position
  • experience a high level of job satisfaction.

In any setting, you will need to feel confident and be professional to succeed. During our 900-hour esthetics program at Health Works, students gain the skills, knowledge, and confidence they need to meet the expectations of their employers and clients or guests. As a requirement of our course in Professional Development, all of our students master interview skills, preparing a professional resume, and tailoring cover letters to each of the companies where they would like to work. In the final weeks of our program, all students are guided toward either having a job or starting a private practice by their graduation day.

To find out more about the esthetics program at Health Works Institute, click here.

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