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What are the different levels/qualifications of beauty therapy?

Beauty therapist

Beauty therapy is an increasingly popular career choice for those with a love for creating fashionable and fierce looks for both themselves and others. In fact, according to New Zealand statistics, there is a steady demand for skilled and diverse beauty therapists to enter this industry, with more and more men and women turning to self-care services.

Have you considered pursuing a career in beauty therapy but are unsure where to begin? Then look no further, as here we’ve compiled a guide to what a beauty therapist does and the training you’ll need to enter this thriving and sought-after field! 

What does a beauty therapist do?

First thing’s first, here’s what a beauty therapist does: A beauty therapist carries out cosmetic treatments for their clients, which are typically non-medical. They can work in salons, spas, or in their home. 

Beauty treatments can include skin analyses and facial care, hair waxing and massage. Some beauty therapists choose to specialise in a specific skill, such as a nail or lash technician (or both!), and perform a variety of admin tasks such as receiving bookings, arranging appointments and maintaining client records.  

Beauty therapists are also a source of knowledge and expertise for clients, advising on suitable skincare, treatments and makeup application. They can perform manicures and pedicures and other specialised hand and foot treatments, as well as treating clients’ unwanted hair growth through waxing and the use of lasers or electrolysis. 

The great news is that this is an incredibly flexible career, with the option for beauty therapists to work both part-time and full-time. As with any job, the passion you have for this industry will determine how fulfilling your career will be!


There are many different routes you can take to become a qualified beauty therapist, and these routes will differ depending on the type of service you’d like to provide. 

If you’re beginning your beauty training from scratch, it may be best to complete some short beauty courses first to see if this is the best career for you. The benefit of kickstarting your training in this way is that you’ll gain practical experience and be able to hone your skills in a way that is flexible, affordable and self-paced, all whilst confirming that this is definitely the role for you.  

It may also inspire you to pursue further higher study, such as becoming a medical-grade aesthetician. Whatever you choose, this is a career path with wonderful prospects for those who are invested and passionate about developing their skills! 

But it’s important to note that there are a number of accreditation routes, depending on the services you’d like to provide. These are:

  • Private Accredited Qualifications (Short Beauty Courses)
  • Level III/IV Certification (Esthetician Courses)
  • Third Level Dermal Science/Dermal Therapy Courses (Further Training)

Let’s take a closer look at what your journey to becoming a beauty therapist can entail. 

What does a beauty therapist do infographic

Short beauty courses

When it comes to providing beauty services in New Zealand, some are deemed as “regulated” services and others are specified as “non-regulated”. This means that there are some services that require a Government Accredited qualification, whilst for others, a Privately Accredited qualification will suffice. 

Here at New Zealand Beauty School, we are an industry-leading Private Training online school and the courses we offer are based upon non-regulated services. Our video tutorials, tutor support systems and quality of course content are second to none in the online beauty arena, with our education designed to take you from a beginner to a true pro.

Our courses also cover all the core beauty services, including eyebrow henna, lamination, tint and wax; eyelash extensions, eyelash lift and tint, eyelash tech; facial waxing and tinting, facials; hair extensions; manicures and pedicures, nail tech; professional makeup artistry and spray tanning. You can choose to complete one, two or a combination of our beauty short courses.

Short courses are wonderful for providing a comprehensive knowledge of all of these core areas, without taking years for you to complete or draining your bank accounts. In fact, beauty schools are the perfect solution if you’re looking for a course that will kickstart your career even quicker, with studies that fit around your current responsibilities and workload. 

What’s even better is that with New Zealand Beauty School, you’ll receive a certification of completion for any course you successfully complete. This certificate can be displayed for your clients to see or shown to potential employers, demonstrating your dedication and skills when applying to salons and spas for work. Our courses also include a beauty starter kit, which includes everything you need to hit the ground running as you embark on your new career!

Work experience

Once you’ve mastered your short course and begun working as a beauty therapist, you’ll learn in the best possible way – on the job! Putting the theory into practice is the best learning curve, after all. 

Real-life experiences are how we apply our beauty learning and where we’re best able to exercise customer service and day-to-day management of client and salon admin. Building trusted client relationships and working on your communication and interpersonal skills will be essential to succeed as a beauty therapist. What’s more, as you gain experience, you can use positive reviews from previous clients to help attract new customers! 

Whilst the average salary for a beauty therapist in New Zealand sits at around $55,000 per year, depending on the geographical region you work in and your qualification level this can rise to $65,000 per year or even higher. 

What does a beauty therapist do infographic

Level III/Level IV Certification

So you’ve completed a short course in beauty therapy and begun gaining hands-on experience. What comes next?

You can next build on this foundation and deepen your knowledge further by studying for a TAFE certification. Whereas short beauty courses can be completed in a few short weeks or months and fitted around your schedule, TAFE certifications generally take longer. The two options available for aspiring beauty therapists are (i) Certificate III in Beauty Services and (ii) Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy.

Certificate III in Beauty Services: This certificate teaches how to perform beautician services, such as makeup application, manicures and pedicures. It takes approximately six months to earn your Certificate III in Beauty Services.

Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy: This certificate trains candidates to become beauty therapists. Students learn how to perform a variety of services, including massage and skincare procedures, how to schedule appointments and manage their time. A Certificate IV course takes approximately one to two years to complete.

Further training

Once you’ve taken those first steps into your career in the world of beauty, you might find there is a particular area you enjoy and would like to pursue an apprenticeship or further training in. 

Diplomas are offered by many institutions and cover specialisms such as Salon Management or Intense Pulsed Light and Laser for Hair Reduction. There are also advanced diplomas in Cosmetic Dermal Science or options to study Dermal Therapy, for instance. 

This additional expert training may require a further investment of your time and money, but if you’re committed to forging a successful career in this space – it may be a possibility in the future for you!

Really, the possibilities are endless – are you ready to begin? Then take the next step with us today!

With 24/7 online access to your course, no restrictions to suit your schedule, and access to a variety of learning formats including ebooks, self-assessment tests and assignments – Australian Beauty School courses are the best solution to help get you started on your new career path. 

Our tutor support service is also available to you via phone and email 6 days a week, meaning you’ll receive all the help and guidance you could possibly need throughout this process, with our tutors always happy to answer any questions or help you to overcome any small niggles. 

Plus, as we mentioned before, with our online short beauty courses you’ll also receive your very own professional Beauty Kit, filled with top equipment and products. So you’ll not only learn these skills with the best tools to hand – but you’ll also be able to immediately use this equipment as you start off in your career. 

So, what are you waiting for? Contact one of our course consultants today!

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