How to Become A Beauty Therapist South Africa

A beauty therapist is a professionally trained face and body care expert. They can be certified to deliver a wide range of treatments or they can choose to specialize in certain areas like massage, facials or waxing.

Is a beauty therapist a beautician?

Beauticians and beauty therapists perform a broad range of beauty services for their clients, including nail treatments, makeup, lash and brow treatments, hair removal, massage and body treatments, and facials.

What is the role of a beauty therapist?

Beauty Therapist responsibilities include conducting skin analyses, giving massage treatments and using temporary and permanent hair removal techniques. To be successful in this role, you should have experience with beauty therapies and good knowledge of skin and body care products.

What is beautician job?

Beautician responsibilities include removing hair, recommending skin care therapies and managing client appointments. You should be well-versed in beauty treatments, including hairstyling, makeup, facials, hair removal, manicures and pedicures.

How to Become A Beauty Therapist South Africa

What qualifications do I need to become a beauty therapist?

A career within the beauty industry can be a fulfilling and rewarding one. If you are looking to begin your career as a beauty therapist, you will need to gain a number of qualifications that are recognized and required across many salons and spas.

In last week’s post, we looked at the different beauty treatments that you can be trained for. To help you take the next step in your career, we’ve put together a handy guide for you to discover which beauty courses you will need to take in order for you to qualify as a beauty therapist in your chosen specialism

What does a beauty therapist do?

Beauty therapy is a wide term that covers a number of treatments applied to the body and face. Beauty therapy doesn’t cover any medical procedures such as facial fillers, but it does include training for a number of services such as:

Facials and skincare

Hair removal


Make-up application

Lash and brow treatments – such as shaping and tinting

Manicures and pedicures

The treatments themselves are just part of the responsibilities you will have as a beauty therapist. You will also need other key skills so you can carry out proper health and safety protocols, maintain high levels of hygiene, understand what beauty products you need to use and be able to build strong relationships with clients. You might need to analyze and advise clients on what treatments they would benefit from, plus manage their appointment times.

The beauty industry is also extremely fast moving with new styles, techniques and trends emerging, allowing you to constantly learn new skills and apply some creativity – so, there is plenty to get stuck into!

How to Become a Beauty Therapist – What are the entry requirements?

So, what qualifications do you need to be a beauty therapist?

For those who wish to be fully qualified beauty therapists, you will need to complete an NVQ Level 2 and 3 in Beauty Therapy.

Whilst studying for these, you can start gaining experience through working as an assistant in a salon. This will provide you with skills and knowledge that will be vital for when you do qualify.

Some salons will accept junior trainees who have gained their NVQ Level 2 and allow them to continue studying for their NVQ Level 3 while working with them. However, there are also salons that will only accept fully qualified therapists who are fully trained at Level 3.

In order for you to be able to reach Level 2, you will need to undertake the following beauty courses which are accredited across the beauty board which you’ll need to begin your career:

Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Beauty Techniques

Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Beauty Therapy Services

Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Hair and Beauty Services

Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Beauty Salon Reception

Once you have gained these qualifications, you can then continue with further studies whilst you are working to enable you to qualify as a beauty therapist.

Below is How to Become A Beauty Therapist South Africa

To work in beauty services, you’ll usually need a VET qualification in beauty. If you can find an apprenticeship or traineeship position, you can start learning on the job.

To become a beautician, you’ll need a Certificate III in Beauty Services. This usually takes around six months to complete, but there are also flexible online study options available so you can take it at your own pace.

To become a beauty therapist, you will need at least a Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy. Most beauty therapists have a Diploma of Beauty Therapy, which is the preferred qualification in the industry, and will often give you more job opportunities to choose from.

Where can I study for beauty therapy qualifications?

The courses listed above are usually studied at college on a full-time or part-time basis. However, if studying at college isn’t the best option for you, you may wish to train privately in a beauty school.

Beauty schools are great if you’re looking for a course that’s quicker and that may be more suited to your lifestyle, but it’s vital that you make sure you will receive recognised certificates for this. Bear in mind that private courses may be a lot more pricier than those available at college.

If you are studying beauty privately, ensure that the course will give you qualifications that are identified by CIBTAC and CIDESCO. For those looking at studying hair privately, make sure the course provides you with certificates recognised by the Hairdressing and Beauty industry (HABIA).

For those looking at studying for an apprenticeship, you’ll be able to join a salon and be trained on the job. These are run by the Government and are great for budding beauty therapists to begin learning straight away whilst also gaining an acknowledged award.

What qualifications do I need to be able to work as a beauty therapist?

For you to become a fully qualified beauty therapist, it’s important for you to complete a Level 3 NVQ qualification at college – although the chances are you’ll already be working as a beauty assistant so this will be while you are working. Many jobs in this industry require you to be trained in the following areas (subject to your chosen field):

Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Beauty Therapy (you’ll have the choice to study from make up, nails and spa treatment)

Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Advanced Beauty Therapy

Level 3 Diploma in Beauty Therapy Treatments

What do the beauty qualification courses usually involve?

Although many of the beauty courses will be based on practical work, there will also be a theoretical element to it. Being a qualified beauty therapist isn’t always just about making a client look good, it’s about understanding the impact procedures will have on their body.

Therefore, it’s important for trainee therapists to learn about the basics of the body, physiology and dermatology before undertaking any treatments on clients.

Before you choose the beauty course you’d like to study, it’s important for you to find out what type of activities you will be expected to do and make sure that it’s the right one for you.

Tasks and responsibilities of a beauty therapist in South Africa

Consult with clients

Conduct skin analyses

Suggest beauty treatments and therapies

Perform face and body treatments

Educate clients and give advice

Sell skincare and makeup products

How long does it take to become a beautician in South Africa?

They are employed in beauty salons, health spas and medical centers. College SA offers two different certifications in Facial Skin Care – a proficiency course that has a study period of eight months and four subjects and then you can advance to do the skills course that has four subjects to complete over nine months.

How do I start a beauty therapy career in South Africa ?

Before you can work as a beauty therapist, you will need to undergo training that will equip you with the necessary theoretical knowledge and practical skills. You can obtain training by enrolling for a beauty therapy course at a reputable college or beauty school, or by applying for an apprenticeship.

What is a level 3 beauty therapist?

The Level 3 Diploma in Beauty Therapy is an advanced, varied, and hugely interesting qualification where you will learn how to apply and master a range of beauty techniques from Indian head and stone body massage, right through to electrotherapy treatments.

Is beauty therapy a good career?

Becoming a beauty therapist can be an extremely rewarding career. Alongside your knowledge and specialism in beauty treatments, you will be able to release your inner creative side, while also discovering new trends and skills.

How long does it take to become a skin therapist in South Africa ?

Requirements vary from state to state, but you’ll typically need to complete between 600 and 750 hours of training to receive your certification. There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a skin therapist.

Do you need to go to university to be a beautician?

To be a qualified beautician you will need a level 2 or level 3 qualification in beauty therapy, at minimum. Some beauticians start their careers by working as an assistant in a spa or clinic. Some people complete their training on the job, studying at college for one day a week.

Is being a beauty therapist stressful?

In actual fact the career of the beauty therapist can be very challenging both mentally and physically. A beauty therapist working in a salon or spa can be faced on any working day with a number of difficult situations that, with the correct attitude and knowledge, are easily dealt with or avoided altogether.