careers guide nails 08 hrSector Overview

The Beauty industry is all about helping people look good, feel good and achieve a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Here is an industry constantly evolving through changes in the development of improved products, innovative techniques and new technologies. A career in the Beauty industry provides the opportunity to work in a range of work locations including salons, day spas, hotels or even from home.

There are three specialised areas in the Beauty industry:

Beauty Therapy - is the treatment of skin and body. Beauty therapists work mainly in salons, day spas, cosmetic surgeries, on cruise ships, are self-employed or can own their own business. Providing a wide range of face and body treatments requires beauty therapists to have a thorough understanding of the human body and its key systems, including skin biology, anatomy and physiology, nutrition and cosmetic chemistry.

Make-up Artistry -  Makeup artists provide services to specialised clients or customers working in the film, bridal, stage, fashion, photography, television and the retail industries. They are often self-employed and work as freelancers. Competition for jobs is strong and getting involved in work experience is a great way of improving your employment opportunities.

Nail Technology - Nail technicians perform manicures and pedicures including decorative nail art, application of artificial nails, nail repair, and other specialised hand and foot treatments. Nail technicians often work within beauty salons or have businesses which are totally dedicated to providing nail services.

For more information on occupations, related job tasks and work environment characteristics visit the sites below:

Job Roles

  • Beauty Therapist
  • Nail Technician
  • Make-up Artist
  • Retail Cosmetic Assistant or Cosmetic Consultant



  • Certificate II in Retail Cosmetics
  • Certificate III in Beauty Services
  • Certificate III in Make Up
  • Certificate III in Nail Technology
  • Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy
  • Diploma of Beauty Therapy
  • Diploma of Salon Management
  • Graduate Certificate in Hairdressing Creative Leadership


Training Options

The above qualifications may be available as a full-time or part-time course through a SA Registered Training Organisations (RTOs). To see a list of RTOs who are approved to deliver Beauty qualifications click HERE.
Please visit each of the RTOs websites to find out what qualifications they deliver and if they have an office in South Australia.

The following qualifications can be taken up as Traineeships or School-based Traineeships:

  • Certificate III in Beauty Services

To find out more please visit or SA Traineeship and Apprenticeship Services.

If you are still in school consider VET in SACE as a training option. Whilst in your senior years this initiative allows you to select industry relevant subjects to be counted towards your SACE and a national recognised qualification. For more information on what subjects are available check out the VET Recognition register

Personal Characteristics

  • Good communication skills
  • Helpful and attentive
  • Accommodating and non judgemental
  • Well groomed at all times
  • Good health
  • Pleasant and tactful
  • Genuine interest in people
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Sensitive when dealing with clients for body and facial treatments


Industry Entry

Start off your career exploration by approaching a beauty salon to take you on for some work experience. Look into what the career involves on a daily basis and what the long term goals can be for your career development. Engaging in some work experience will allow you to test if your temperament and personality are suited to the industry. 


SSSA - Careers Snapshot video
The Job I Love - Careers Guide
Skillsone Beauty Videos


General Career Links
SA Traineeship and Apprenticeship Services

Industry Links
The Hairdressing and Beauty Industry Association (HBIA)
The Australian Association of Beauty Therapists (AABTH)

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