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Overview

This page provides information and data on the Beauty sector, which is one component of the Personal Services industry.

The Beauty sector involves the provision of personal services in the areas of relaxation and cosmetics. Some beauty businesses may use specialised products and equipment to provide services such as laser hair removal and cosmetic tattooing, as well as the more traditional skin, hair and nail care related services.

Vocational education and training is required for occupations involved in:

  • Massage
  • Facials and facial peels
  • Make-up services
  • Nail care
  • Hair removal (including laser hair removal)
  • Cosmetic tattooing and piercing
  • Micro-dermabrasion
  • Spa therapies.

Nationally recognised training for Beauty is delivered under the SHB - Hairdressing and Beauty Services Training Package.

For information on Hairdressers, please visit the Hairdressing industry sector.

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

As no data is available for the Beauty sector specifically, the occupation ‘Beauty Therapist’ has been used as a proxy for employment trends within the sector.

Employment levels for Beauty Therapists have fluctuated since 2002, with a significant increase between 2018 and 2019 before declining by more than 50% in 2020. Employment levels increased by 76% in 2021, and have stayed steady at 35,400 in 2022 with projections indicating an increase of 20% by 2026, to reach 42,400. Growth is predicted across all occupations in the Hairdressing and Beauty Services industry to 2026, with the largest increase projected for Beauty Therapists, with a rise of 12%.

Training trends

Training snapshot

There were approximately 22,610 program enrolments in Beauty-related qualifications in 2021 and 7,240 program completions. Enrolments have declined 28% since 2017, falling each year until an increase in 2021, while completions have continued to decline over the same period. Most Beauty-related program enrolments in 2021 were at the certificate III (53%) or diploma or higher (28%) level, with qualifications relating to beauty therapy (37%), beauty services (31%) and make-up (13%) accounting for the highest portions. Beauty Therapist, and Hair or Beauty Salon Manager were the most common intended occupations in this sector in 2021.

Just over half of all Beauty-related qualifications in 2021 were delivered by TAFE institutes (51%), with private training providers delivering 38%. This varied depending on qualifications, for example, private training providers delivered 90% of the qualifications in the area of intense pulsed light and laser hair reduction and TAFE Institutes delivered the majority of make-up (69%) and beauty services (62%) qualifications.

For overall enrolments in 2021, most training was Commonwealth and state funded (67%), particularly for training delivered by TAFE institutes (90%), universities (90%) and schools (86%). Private training providers had the highest proportion of domestic fee for service funding (61%).

Over three quarters of Beauty-related training for enrolments in 2021 was delivered to students from either Victoria (32%), New South Wales (26%) or Queensland (19%). Training was mainly delivered in Victoria (32%), New South Wales (30%) and Queensland (19%).

After peaking at approximately 660 in 2012, apprentice and trainee commencements declined overall to approximately 290 in 2019, before increasing each year since to over 540 in 2021. Completions peaked at roughly 380 in 2012 followed by a steady decline to around 130 in 2017. Slight increases were recorded the following two years, reaching close to 190 completions in 2019 before declining to just under 120 in 2021.

Apprentices and trainees in this sector mostly had an intended occupation of Beauty Therapist. As at December 2021, close to half of the apprentices and trainees in training were reported by New South Wales (49%), followed by Western Australia (16%) and Victoria (12%).

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, visit NCVER’s Data Builder.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of Total VET.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

 

Industry insights on skills needs

The Personal Services IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast acknowledges the importance of technical skills in order to perform job tasks, however, a range of soft skills were highlighted as key priority skills for those involved in the Personal Services industry (including Beauty Services), including:

  • Teamwork and communication
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility
  • Self-management
  • Creativity.

In addition, the following generic skills were highlighted as key for the Personal Services industry (inclusive of Beauty Services):

  • Customer service / Marketing
  • Communication / Virtual collaboration/ Social intelligence
  • Design mindset / Thinking critically / System thinking / Solving problems
  • Learning agility / Information literacy / Intellectual autonomy and self-management
  • Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN).

The job vacancy information incorporates both the Hairdressing and Beauty Services industries as more specific industry information is unavailable. The top beauty related occupations in demand are Hairdresser, Beauty Therapist, and Hair or Beauty Salon Manager, with the top employers listed as Justcuts Incorporated and Apprenticeship Central.

As revealed in a National Skills Commission report, employment has rebounded strongly against the backdrop of declining COVID-19 cases and easing restrictions, with Beauty Therapists being one of the top ten rebounding occupations. Predictions made by the Australian Government Labour Market Insights suggests moderate future growth for Beauty Therapist jobs, a view also held in the National Skills Commission’s Skills Priority List: June 2021 which lists Beauty Therapists in ‘occupations not in national shortage, with moderate future demand’.

According to SkillsIQ’s report Beauty Services, Skin Therapy and Cosmetic Tattooing: Case for Endorsement, technologies used in beauty treatments have advanced rapidly. SkillsIQ is undertaking a comprehensive update of the Beauty Training Package Products to increase the level of nationally recognised training in the skin therapy, cosmetic tattooing and spa industries. Attention has been focused on skills and knowledge across areas including machinery, advancement in chemical treatments, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), laser skin treatment and underpinning knowledge of skin and wound healing.

The Personal Services IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast reports that in the beauty subsector, increased demand for beauty services such as spa treatments, massages, relaxation and other beauty treatments will help drive this growth. Demand for these types of services is also being driven by increasing health consciousness among consumers, with individuals seeking out products and services related to enhancing their image. Also supporting this growth is the adoption of specialised equipment and technology, including those used for facial peels, laser hair removal, skin rejuvenation and cosmetic tattooing. These findings are largely reflected in a South Australian Training and Skills Commission (TASC) report which highlights growth in the industry is being driven by increased community image consciousness; salons diversifying into beauty, nails, make-up and massage services; and the introduction of visual enhancement treatments such as Pulse Light, facial peels, laser hair removal, skin rejuvenation and cosmetic tattooing.

The industry however, is not without challenges, with this aforementioned TASC report also highlighting the following concerns: competition from home hair and beauty products, especially through discount pharmacies, supermarkets and the internet; emergence of personal hair and beauty imagery on Instagram and DIY through online videos; decreasing size of the average salon which creates apprenticeship placement and skill development challenges; and the rise of low cost high volume nail, massage and basic beauty service businesses which operate with very few staff trained through the accredited VET system. 

The introduction of new and specialised equipment and technology in the Beauty Services industry is changing the market in which many businesses operate. The Personal Services IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast also discusses the de-regulation and lack of appropriate regulation within the industry, highlighting the need for licencing to be reintroduced, especially for beauty treatment services like intense pulsed light (IPL), laser equipment and cosmetic tattooing.

Attraction and retention of workers continues to be of concern across the Personal Services industry, as outlined in the Personal Services IRC’s Skills Forecast, with difficulty in attracting and retaining highly skilled and qualified staff largely attributed to views held by influencers of young people, including the industry not being valued as a feasible career pathway.

Links and sources

Below is a list of industry-relevant research, organisations and associations. Hyperlinks have been included where available.
 

IRC and skills forecasts

Personal Services IRC

 

Relevant research

Beauty Services, Skin Therapy and Cosmetic Tattooing: Case for Endorsement – SkillsIQ

Labour Market Insights – Australian Government National Skills Commission

Service Sector Workforce Insights – Training and Skills Commission (TASC)

Skills Priority List: June 2021 - National Skills Commission

The Shape of Australia’s Post COVID-19 Workforce - National Skills Commission

 

Industry associations and advisory bodies

Aesthetics Practitioners Advisory Network

Hair and Beauty Australia Industry Association

 

 

Data sources and notes

National Skills Commission 2022, Occupation Employment Projections viewed 10 August 2022, https://www.nationalskillscommission.gov.au/topics/employment-projections

  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2026
    • 1421 Retail Managers
    • 3911 Hairdressers
    • 3995 Performing Arts Technicians
    • 4511 Beauty Therapists
    • 4518 Other Personal Service Workers
    • 5421 Receptionists.

 

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2022, 6291.0.55.001 - EQ08 - Employed persons by Occupation unit group of main job (ANZSCO), Sex, State and Territory, August 1986 onwards, viewed 1 August 2022, https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/employment-and-unemployment/labour-force-australia-detailed/may-2022

  • Employed total by ANZSIC 4 digit ‘4511 Beauty Therapists’, 2002 to 2022, May Quarter.

 

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work, TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by 4 digit 9511 Hairdressing and Beauty Services Industry, and 4 digit level occupations to identify the relevant Training Package related occupations in the industry as a proportion of the total workforce (excluding inadequately described, not stated and not applicable).

 

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET Student and Courses from the following training packages or qualifications:

  • SHB Hairdressing and Beauty, SIB Beauty & WRB Beauty Training Packages
  • Beauty Services
    • SHB30115 - Certificate III in Beauty Services
    • SHB30121 - Certificate III in Beauty Services
    • SIB30110 - Certificate III in Beauty Services
    • WRB30104 - Certificate III in Beauty Services.
  • Beauty Therapy
    • SHB40115 - Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy
    • SHB40121 - Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy
    • SHB50115 - Diploma of Beauty Therapy
    • SHB50121 - Diploma of Beauty Therapy
    • SIB40110 - Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy
    • SIB50110 - Diploma of Beauty Therapy
    • WRB40105 - Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy
    • WRB50105 - Diploma of Beauty Therapy
    • WRB50199 - Diploma of Beauty Therapy.
  • Intense Pulsed Light and Laser Hair Reduction
    • SIB70110 - Graduate Certificate in Intense Pulsed Light and Laser Hair Reduction
    • SHB60118 - Advanced Diploma of Intense Pulsed Light and Laser for Hair Reduction.
  • Make-Up
    • SHB30215 - Certificate III in Make-Up
    • SHB30221 - Certificate III in Make-Up.
  • Nail Technology
    • SHB30315 - Certificate III in Nail Technology
    • SHB30321 - Certificate III in Nail Technology
    • SIB20210 - Certificate II in Nail Technology
    • WRB20104 - Certificate II in Nail Technology
    • WRB30204 - Certificate III in Nail Technology.
  • Retail Cosmetics
    • SHB20116 - Certificate II in Retail Cosmetics
    • SHB20121 - Certificate II in Retail Cosmetics
    • SIB20110 - Certificate II in Retail Make-Up and Skin Care
    • WRB20204 - Certificate II in Make-up Services
    • WRB20304 - Certificate II in Retail Cosmetic Services.

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages. Superseded qualifications are clustered under the name of the most current version.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2017 to 2021 program enrolments
  • 2017 to 2021 program completions
  • 2021 subject enrolments.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document. 

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.  

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place.  This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

SHB, SIB & WRB Training Package apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee collection, including:

  • 2012 to 2021 commencements
  • 2012 to 2021 completions 
  • apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2021 collection, by qualification and state and territory.

 

Job vacancy data have been extracted from Lightcast 2022, Labor Insight Real-time Labor Market Information Tool, Boston, viewed August 2022, https://lightcast.io/apac.

Data shown represent most requested occupations and employers according to internet job postings in Australia between July 2019 and June 2022 filtered by ANZSIC and ANZSCO classification levels listed below.

  • Generic Skills/Occupations
    • ANZSCO major groups excluding Clerical and Administrative Workers, and Sales Workers
    • 9511 Hairdressing and Beauty Services.
  • Employers
    • 391111 Hairdresser
    • 142114 Hair or Beauty Salon Manager
    • 411611 Massage Therapist
    • 451111 Beauty Therapist
    • 451812 Hair or Beauty Salon Assistant
    • 9511 Hairdressing and Beauty Services.
Updated: 30 Nov 2022
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