Spa Therapist Career Guide


A spa therapist combines spa-related services (cosmetology, massages, aromatherapy, manicures and pedicures, and/or hydrotherapy to offer a complete and fulfilling spa experience. If you are interested in becoming a spa therapist, you will more likely have training and experience in the areas of cosmetology and/or massage therapy.

It is important to note that there are not set regulations and/or standards that determine how to become a spa therapist. You may work at spas, resorts, gyms and/or hotels. Moreover, you may be able to seek employment as a contractor on cruise ships.

You will need to complete certain training requirements. This article will teach you everything you need to know to enter the field of spa therapy.

Educational Requirements

If you want to be a spa therapist, you will need to have experience in a variety of spa-related areas. You will also need to obtain a certificate or diploma from a spa or massage therapy training program. During your training program, you will need to enroll in the following courses: anatomy, Swedish massage therapy techniques, physiology, physical therapy, business and draping.

You will learn most of your techniques (shiatsu, reiki, hot stone therapy, deep massage therapy and pregnancy massage therapy) from on-the-job training. If you decide to take a different route to become a spa therapist by enrolling in cosmetology school, then you will learn how to chemically relax hair, cut and style hair, perform manicures, pedicures and eyebrow waxes.

Job Duties

As a spa therapist you will document your clients’ medical history, goals and desired results. You will also offer suggestions on how your clients can improve their diet and nutrition, physical condition and relax when stressed. Moreover, you may also determine painful and/or tense areas on your clients’ bodies.

As a spa therapist, you may perform the following services:

  • Hydrotherapy Treatments (Swiss showers, hydrotherapy baths, sauna treatments and/or steam therapy)
  • Aromatherapy
  • Candling (Heat therapy)
  • Nutritional and Diet Consultations
  • Fitness and Exercise Consultations
  • Massage Therapy (Swedish massages, lymphatic drainage massages, deep tissue massages, shiatsu massages, reflexology massages, Thai massages, sports massages and/or aromatherapy-inspired massages

Salary Prospects

You will more than likely charge between $20 and $50 per service (Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals, 2013). If you know how to perform more advanced spa-related services such as: candling or Thai massages, you will be able to charge higher fees. Although you may not work the typical 9 to 5 hours, you will receive steady work.

In fact, according to, as a spa therapist you can expect to earn approximately $40,000 per year. If you fall in the lower 10%, you can expect to earn $30,000 per year, while if you fall in the lower 10%, you can expect to earn approximately $70,000 or more per year (, 2013). You will more than likely work full-time and your schedule may vary considerably.

Career Outlook

The career outlook for spa therapy is positive. The field of spa therapy is expected to increase 20% by 2020 ( This increase will be spurred by the increase need for spa-related services such as massages and facials. People will always want luxury items and they will also always want to look nice so they will continue to seek out spa services in the future.

People may seek out spa therapists for medical concerns, stress, therapeutic needs or simply for relaxation. Spa therapists that have advanced skills will make the most money and have the most opportunities.

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