Day Spas

Comparison of Spa Jobs - Salaries, Hiring Trends & Certifications

Looking for a Spa or Salon career? Learn about the types of employment opportunities at Spas, salaries, job prospects and certification requirements. Make an informed career choice.

1. Types of Spa jobs

The Spa and Salon industry employs trained and certified Cosmetologists and Massage Therapists in addition to typical management and administrative personnel such as Spa or Salon Managers, Spa Directors and Receptionists.

There are several specializations in Cosmetology that one can choose to get certified in. Esthetician (aka Skincare Specialist), Hair StylistManicurist or Nail Technician are among these specializations. Most job openings that are posted online are for these specialized positions. Each of these careers has distinct training and certification requirements, salary range and availability & growth of job opportunities.

2. Salary comparison of jobs at Spas

The bar chart on the right shows the average salaries by specialization in the State of your current location. Your location is determined based on your IP address. If this is not the location you are interested in, you can choose a different location by going to Indeed’s Salary tools.

The salary of the highest paying career, Spa Manager is considerably higher than that of the lowest paying positions of a Hair Stylist, a Nail Technician and a Spa Receptionist. Estheticians & Massage Therapists are right in between with Estheticians making slightly more than Massage Therapists.

3. Trends in job opportunities

The line graph on the right depicts the relative trends in percentage growth of the various Job postings on the internet.

Hair Stylist, Nail Tech and Esthetician positions have been on the rise since January 2012. The percentage growth of Hair Stylist & Esthetician positions has been mostly negative over the past few years.

On the other hand there has been a consistent positive percentage growth in Massage Therapist jobs and Nail Tech positions.

Of particular interest is the period during late 2008 and 2009 during the peak of the recession. During this period there was a positive growth only in Massage Therapist positions. Perhaps the bad economy was the cause for the increase in demand for stress relief and the decrease in demand for beauty services.

On an absolute scale (2nd line graph on the right), there are a lot more Massage Therapist Jobs being posted online than Esthetician jobs.

4. Training & certification requirements in the United States of America

Esthetician or Skincare Specialist, Hair Stylist & Manicurist careers require a high school diploma or equivalent and graduation from a State licensed Cosmetology school or program. After graduation, a state licensing exam must be passed. The exam consists of a written test, a practical exam and/or an oral test. The licensing requirements vary by State.

The Massage Therapist career requires a high school diploma or equivalent and graduation from an accredited training program. After graduation, most States require a license or certification, which involves passing an exam administered by the State or one of the organizations listed in Reference #3 below.

5. Career Recommendations

In addition to Spas, other businesses such as Chiropractors, Hospitals, Gyms & Fitness Centers and Yoga Studios hire Massage Therapists. So, there are more opportunities and the prospects of continued employment are much greater for Massage Therapists. This combined with the fact that Massage Therapy job postings were a lot more resilient to poor economic conditions suggests that a career in Massage Therapy is very likely going to be more rewarding and secure over the long term compared to a career in Esthetics.

If your passion lies in Hair Styling or Manicure & Pedicure, by all means you can start there.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article and wish you good luck in selecting a career path and finding the right Cosmetology school or training program.

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Kiran Nanisetti
I'm a Small Business Consultant and an Internet Marketing Professional. I leverage my 18 years of experience in Marketing, Product Management and Software Engineering to help Day Spa and Beauty Salon owners acquire new customers and grow their business. You can inquire about my services by connecting with me on LinkedIn.
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