If you’re visually creative, detail-focussed, fanatical about keeping up with the latest trends and great with people, a career in the beauty sector could be for you.

Generating £6.2 billion revenue each year and employing over 200,000 people across the UK, the beauty and wellness industry is one that keeps on growing. Let’s face it, we all like to look good and with a broad range of jobs to choose from, it’s a popular career choice for those just starting out.

A career in the beauty sector could see you work in a variety of settings beyond the traditional salon. From TV and film to events and fashion, the possibilities are endless and offer high levels of job satisfaction – getting to see happy reactions from your customers every single day!

Hear from Whitney, a Hairdressing Apprentice with Terence Paul Hair salons in Cheshire. Established 39 years ago, Terence Paul is now the largest privately owned hairdressing group in the North West, with five salons across Greater Manchester in Bramhall, Didsbury, Hale, Knutsford and Wilmslow. Their belief in the need to train their team to the highest possible standards lead to the opening of the Terence Paul Hairdressing Academy. They have an energetic, fashion-conscious, fun-loving team, who are expertly trained to give professional consultations to suit the requirements of each individual client.

Find out more about Whitney’s journey as an Apprentice Stylist, what a typical day involves and what she loves most about her job. If you’re interested in following in her footsteps, you can learn more about Terence Paul’s apprenticeship programme too.

Labour Market Information

In recent times, the beauty industry has faced its setbacks due to forced closures, face masks and enhanced cleaning and hygiene procedures during Covid-19. But it’s safe to say the hair and beauty industry is pretty recession proof (as long as hair and nails keep growing, they’ll need cutting and styling!) and has made a quick return to business as usual.

That’s not to say the sector hasn’t been without change. In fact, it’s constantly evolving as new beauty trends and technologies emerge, with many in the profession now choosing to specialise in a particular area of expertise to meet growing customer demands. From aesthetics to Botox, beauty tech to brow lamination, if you want to be successful in your beauty career, you’ll need to have your finger on the pulse of the latest developments.

Fortunately, a tour of the latest beauty and hairdressing employers in our town and district centres will quickly help you understand how the sector is evolving, plus there’s plenty of dedicated student and adult courses to help kickstart and develop your career at our local colleges.

Starting Salary

£8.91 per hour or £14,000 per annum

Typical Salary Range


Working Hours

35 to 40 hours per week, including evenings and weekends

Working in Hair & Beauty

To pursue a career in the beauty and wellness sector, you will need to be able to demonstrate skills like:

  • Creativity
  • Customer service and people skills
  • Interest in fashion, beauty and knowledge of current trends
  • Understanding of health and safety requirements
  • Communication skills
  • Willingness to learn
  • Organisation and time management
  • IT and administration skills
  • Negotiation and influencing
  • Initiative
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Practical and technical skills

Most hair and beauty recruits follow a set career path, usually taking on an apprenticeship after school which allows you to gain professional qualifications and practical experience. You can also attend a local college and study for an NVQ/SVQ, BTEC or even a T-Level.

Whether you choose to stay on at college, attend a private beauty school or start an apprenticeship, gaining qualifications at some stage is a must. These start at Level 1 and usually go up to a Level 3, such as a Diploma in Level 3 Hairdressing or Level 2 Nail Services Technician.

That doesn’t mean heading off to university isn’t an option though. Foundation level degrees (and in some cases full honours degrees too) typically last 1-2 years and give you a more in-depth insight into what the industry involves such as media makeup for working in the TV arena or the importance of marketing and PR.

With time and experience under your belt, you could progress into management, focus on a particular area of expertise or even start your own beauty business.

With training and further qualifications, you could move into a teacher or assessor role for students and apprentices.

With a wealth of customer service and transferable skills, you could also choose to move into another sector such as fashion or retail management.

View related careers in Retail and Fashion

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