Types of Spas
Knowing more about the industry will help you to find the right career for you. The following is a partial list of types of spas available today:
- Club Spa: This fast-growing segment of the spa population is often found in big cities. Club spas combine fitness equipment with spa facilities, so you can work out and then relax afterwards with massages and spa treatments.
- Cruise Ship Spa: For spa employees who like the idea of travel, working at a cruise ship spa is a great idea. Often cruise ship spa employees are contracted out to various cruise ship lines and experience travel to all sorts of different locales.
- Day Spa: The most typical type of spa, a day spa features various treatment facilities under one roof. Sometimes combined with a hair salon, other times as a stand-alone business, day spas can be found in almost any city in the country.
- Destination Spa: For those looking for a real getaway, a destination spa can offer it. These spas are often found in remote areas such as mountain resorts or vacation cities. They offer an all-inclusive relaxation experience, with fitness programs, organized activities, and various classes that customers can attend, along with typical spa treatments.
- Hotel Spa: Hotel spas combine the idea of a getaway with a relaxing spa treatment that is available to customers at any time. Most hotel spas are also referred to as “resorts” and offer massages and treatments in customers’ rooms as well as in a main spa facility.
Types of Spa Jobs
The roles of employees at various spas will not vary widely from location to location. Most feature a basic hierarchy of employees, and some require training. Here’s a small sampling of available spa jobs:
- Aesthetician: Responsible for recommending skin care and certain types of treatment for various skin conditions, they design treatments that fit into a client’s lifestyle and budget and offer tips for daily maintenance as well as all-over corrective procedures. Aestheticians must undergo fairly rigorous beauty school training and are often members of national foundations that keep them up-to-date on new developments through conferences and ongoing training.
- Massage Therapist: Massage therapists are trained in relaxation and medical massage. Although it’s not required in every spa environment, in order to become certified most massage therapists must learn how to deal with injuries through massage, and are medically trained to help heal pulled muscles or aches and pains. In a medical spa, they will put these skills to use; in a typical day spa, they may just be required to use relaxation massage to give clients a good experience.
- Spa/Fitness Attendant: These individuals offer support to therapists or aestheticians. In general, an attendant will do everything from clean and organize hair-cutting tools to cleaning and maintaining fitness equipment.
The hours and pay rate you can expect while working in a spa will vary greatly. As you can imagine, trained massage therapists will receive higher pay than assistants; a manicurist with several years’ experience operating her own business may be better paid than a hair stylist with limited experience.
If you’re expecting a typical 40-hour work week your best bet will most likely be a club spa or a day spa. Resort spas, cruise ship spas, and destination spas operate on a seasonal basis; while they may be open year-round, they certainly have a “busy season” and that is when their employees work the most hours and are in the highest demand.