If you're looking for a career change that features management potential, consider becoming a spa manager. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, projections for employment from 2010 to 2020 in personal care and service occupations were anticipated to grow by 27 percent over the next decade. The Bureau concludes that as consumers become more concerned with health, beauty and fitness, the number of cosmetic and health spas will rise. This means the demand for spa managers is also on the rise.
The description of the spa manager position continuously evolves. Programs of study specific to the occupation are hard to find. However, employers in the spa industry prefer managers with college degrees. Compatible fields of study include human resources, marketing, hospitality, mass communications, merchandising and business management. The industry's increased reliance on online booking, social media promotions and social networking makes knowledge of search engine optimization or content management a plus. Certification in a spa-related field, such as massage therapy, can bolster your resume.
The spa manager juggles multiple responsibilities. A varied background is helpful in this position. The type of experience preferred by spa industry employers depends on the work environment. A day spa with a hair salon may want someone who has a background managing hair stylists. A spa owner with a large retail business usually hires people with product merchandising or retail sales experience. Because medical spas handle health insurance and sensitive patient data, they may require experience in a doctor's office. Build your experience in the environment you want to work.
Entry Level Positions
The path to spa management often begins with an entry-level position. Entry-level front desk or receptionist positions in the salon, medical and hospitality industries provide a stepping-stone to advancement. Look for titles such as front desk coordinator, spa coordinator or concierge. Study the job description for duties that require more than answering phones and taking appointments. Spa coordinators handle many of the same duties of as spa managers. If applying for a receptionist position, negotiate for the title of spa coordinator. Having that title on your resume helps land future management jobs.
After gaining an entry-level position, accumulate management skills. Immerse yourself in the industry -- attend spa trade shows and enroll in seminars and workshops on spa management. Subscribe to spa industry magazines and read books about customer service, staff sales and spa marketing. Ask your employer about management training opportunities. Demonstrate to the general manager or owner that you are serious about a career in management. Seek out a mentor in the industry. Also, assume additional responsibilities in the spa's day-to-day operations. Displaying leadership qualities serves notice that you're ready to take charge.
ML Corbett covers interior design, real estate and small business, among other topics. A former day spa owner and marketing manager for an international fragrance company, Corbett knows the ins and outs of the beauty industry. Her work has appeared in "Essence," "Black Enterprise" and on HGTVGardens.com.