Booming Billion Dollar Industry Gives Beauty Careers A Face Lift
The health and wellness industry is booming, now estimated to be worth an annual $2.5 billion, providing more opportunities for job-seekers beyond traditional natural and beauty therapy practice and into business management, according to Australasian College of Natural Therapies.
"Australians are increasingly turning to natural therapies and alternative medicines as they become more health-conscious. Society has become more aware of the options available beyond mainstream medicine that can help improve their quality of life," says Janet Olliver, ACNT head of college.
Olliver says with over five million Australians visiting complementary healthcare practitioners annually, there has been a corresponding dramatic growth in demand for these services.
"Therapies such as massage, complementary medicine and aromatherapy, are sought after by an increasing number of people every year. With fewer than 6,000 naturopaths Australia-wide, the demand for skilled practitioners will continue to climb in the next few years," Olliver says.
According to Olliver, this growth will also provide expanding career prospects for graduates spanning across the industry.
"The broad range of job opportunities within the wider health and wellness industry, in both the public and private sectors, means graduates can often create their own career path. From working as a naturopath or massage therapist in a medical or health centre to running your own health practice as an independent practitioner," says Olliver.
According to Olliver, the industry also allows for a unique work-life balance, suited to people looking for rewarding, yet flexible careers.
"A career in natural therapies tends to attract people that seek to make a positive impact on a person's life. The work environment offers practitioners more control over their working hours and direction of their career whether it be in sports therapy, manual or natural therapies," Olliver says.
2008 ACNT Sydney Beauty, Spa and Aromatherapy graduate, Chantha Sok, is building a career in the health and wellness industry after securing a position with major beauty therapy chain, Beauty Grace.
"Funnily enough, it was my first visit to Beauty Grace in as a customer that inspired me to pursue a career in natural therapies.
"I started as a Junior Therapist with Beauty Grace in 2008 and within six months was promoted to Associate Therapist. I have recently been promoted to Manager of our Bondi Junction 'David Jones Dermalogica at Beauty Grace' Branch," says Sok.
Sok says the knowledge and skills gained through studying at ACNT has provided with a solid foundation to be successful and hopes to open her business in the future.
"The course was very hands-on and provided students with the opportunity to a get a feel for the industry, "she says.
"The responsibilities in my current role extend beyond natural and beauty therapy treatments. It includes managing and motivating the team, reaching our salon targets, working with the marketing manager and reporting to our operational and general managers," Sok says.
First year ACNT naturopathy student, Julie Taukave, is part of ACNT's first intake of students in Brisbane and says she chose to study with College because she was impressed with the high-standard of teaching and content from lecturers.
"The lecturers are very attentive to the needs of the students and are really involved in the learning process. As they are all industry practitioners, they provide an abundance of knowledge which they bring from their clinic into the classroom," Taukave says.
Taukave says she is looking forward to second year, when she will get a chance to experience 'the real world' through the clinical component of the course.
"My first year of study has been about laying the foundations and getting a solid grasp of the theory behind the practice. However, even though clinical hours start in second year, practical experience, demonstrations and industry touch points have been integrated into the course from day one," Taukave says.
Olliver says ACNT courses combine compulsory clinical hours with theory, to challenge students to 'think outside the box' and ensure they are constantly providing care that is relevant to the changing health needs of society.
"We encourage students to think critically and develop new ways of doing things; always striving for best practice," Olliver says.
ACNT's courses (including Natural, Manual, and Beauty Therapies and Sport and Fitness) have been developed in consultation with leading academics and industry bodies, such as the Australian Natural Therapists Association (ANTA), Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS) and the Australian Association of Massage Therapists (AAMT).
All Australian students applying for courses can apply for VET FEE-HELP. For more information please call the ACNT on 1300 017 267 or visit www.acnt.edu.au