Spa Manager Careers: Salary Info & Job Description

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What are the pros and cons of a spa manager career? Get real job descriptions as well as career outlook and salary info to see if becoming a spa manager is right for you.
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Pros and Cons of Spa Manager Career

Spa managers oversee the daily happenings of a spa facility. Read the pros and cons of becoming a spa manager to see if it's the right career path for you.

Pros of a Career as a Spa Manager
Could find employment with a high school diploma*
Opportunity to help people by promoting a healthy lifestyle***
Tranquil work setting***

Cons of a Career as a Spa Manager
Low wages ($18/hr. median; lower than national average)*
Pressure to meet sales goals***
Could work weekends***

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), ***May 2012 Job Listings.

Career Information

Job Description and Duties

Spa managers work in businesses that provide various types of cosmetic, athletic and health and wellness services. These could include massage, personal training, holistic health care, yoga or Tai Chi as well as cosmetic services such as hairstyling, facials, manicures and body waxing.

As a spa manager, you would oversee the day-to-day operations of the enterprise. This might involve handling the finances associated with the business and hiring and supervising other staff members. In some jobs, you might be responsible for the overall financial success of the business. You'd also provide customer service and make sure that state-mandated health and hygiene standards are met. Other duties could include conducting inventory and ordering supplies, maintaining and coordinating a schedule for the facility, making sure spa equipment is in working order and planning special activities and services.

Salary Info and Career Outlook

PayScale.com reported in July 2015 that hair salon and spa managers earned between $23,000 and $57,000. The BLS placed the median salary at about $35,250 as of 2014 for first-line supervisors of personal service workers, with jobs predicted to increase about as fast as the average from 2012-2022.

Career Skills and Education Requirements

The BLS states that the typical entry level of education for first-line supervisors of personal service workers, which includes spa managers, is a high school diploma. However, some employers seek college graduates, though many do not specify a major.

Some of the qualities needed for the job, according to the BLS, are group communication, creative thinking and problem-solving ability and management experience. Job ads show that employers seek people with leadership, marketing and sales skills.

Job Postings from Real Employers

Most job ads specify a preference for people with experience in hiring, management, public speaking and computers. Below are real job postings from across the country advertising for spa managers in May 2012:

  • A national spa chain with a location in New Jersey is looking for a spa manager to lead a massage therapy clinic. The right candidate will have at least three years of experience, a bachelor's degree and experience with salon and spa software.
  • A holistic spa in Florida is seeking a spa director to oversee all of the daily aspects involved in the business. This facility provides massage services, fitness classes and other spa-related services in its fitness center. The preferred candidate will have personal trainer certification, three years of experience as a spa manager and knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel.
  • An upscale spa in Iowa is looking for a salon and spa manager with three years of retail management experience and proficiency with office equipment and computers.

How to Make Your Skills Stand Out

Because many employers are looking for someone with computer skills, if you don't already have them, you might consider familiarizing yourself with commonly used office applications such as the Microsoft Office suite, available on most computers. You could also obtain formal training in spa and salon software such as Millennium.

Although it's not required for the career, some employers seek candidates with college degrees. A degree program in business management or marketing can provide you with skills in customer service and staff management. Some programs offer internship opportunities as well, providing valuable experience.

Other Careers to Consider

Skin Care Specialist

If you decide that becoming a spa manager isn't the right career for you, but you're still interested in a career working in a spa setting, you might consider a career as a skin care specialist. Skin care specialists work directly with clients, providing a variety of treatments including hair removal, cleansing and consultations. Education requirements typically include completion of a cosmetology program. This postsecondary training is typically available at vocational schools. The BLS anticipated a 25% job growth from 2010-2020, which is considered to be faster than average. The median salary as of May 2011 was about $29,000.

Hairstylist

If you'd rather spend your days cutting, coloring and styling clients' hair, you could become a hairstylist. Many hairstylists are self-employed, but some work in a salon or spa setting. They often work night and weekend hours to accommodate clients' schedules. To become a hairstylist, you need to complete a cosmetology program at a vocational school; programs are sometimes offered at high schools. You also need to become licensed. Hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists earned a median salary of around $23,000, as reported by the BLS in May 2011. In addition, the BLS anticipated an average job growth (about 14%) for barbers, hairdressers and cosmetologists from 2010-2020.

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Ashford University

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  • B.A. - Business Admin
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Grand Canyon University

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  • MBA
  • Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management

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Colorado State University Global

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  • MS - Organizational Leadership
  • BS - Business Management
  • BS - Organizational Leadership

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Northcentral University

  • PhD in Business Admin - Management
  • Doctor of Business Admin - General Business
  • MBA - Marketing
  • Master of Business Admin - General Business

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Herzing University

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  • B.S. - Business Management: Business Admin Concentration
  • Associate of Science - Business Management

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Full Sail University

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  • M.S. - Internet Marketing
  • B.S. - Music Business

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Utica College

  • MBA - General

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