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Industry Insights


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 & Hairdresasing is delivered by Contour College

Information sourced from the most recently available Skills Forecast, the Personal Services IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast.

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.


After a significant increase between 2018 and 2019, employment levels for Beauty Therapists have declined by more than 50% in 2020, from 41,800 in 2019 to 20,600 in 2020. Strong growth for Beauty Therapists is expected however, with employment levels projected to reach 50,700 by 2024. Growth is predicted across all occupations in the Hairdressing and Beauty Services industry to 2024, with the largest growth projected for Beauty Therapists, with a rise of around 20% by 2024.


Training snapshot


There were approximately 23,000 program enrolments in Beauty-related qualifications in 2019 and close to 7,950 program completions. Enrolments and completions have been on a downward trend since 2015, with figures decreasing each year. Most Beauty-related program enrolments are at the certificate III (54%) or diploma or higher (27%) level, with qualifications relating to beauty therapy (35%), beauty services (28%) and make-up (17%) accounting for the highest portion of program enrolments. Beauty Therapist, Hair or Beauty Salon Manager and Make-Up Artist were the most common intended occupations in this sector in 2019.


Beauty-related qualifications were predominantly delivered by TAFE institutes (49%) and private training providers (41%) in 2019. Private training providers tended to deliver more of the qualifications in the areas of intense pulsed light and laser hair reduction (95%), beauty therapy (62%) and nail technology (54%). Overall, most training was Commonwealth and state funded (63%), particularly for training delivered by TAFE institutes (89%) and schools (88%). Private training providers had the highest proportion of domestic fee for service at 68%.



Approximately three quarters of Beauty-related training was delivered to students from either Victoria (30%), New South Wales (30%) or Queensland (15%). Training was also mainly delivered in New South Wales (37%), Victoria (29%) and Queensland (13%).


After peaking at approximately 780 in 2010, apprentice and trainee commencements have declined overall to approximately 290 in 2019, this also represents the lowest figure recorded since 2010. Completions peaked at close to 420 in 2011 followed by a steady decline to the lowest level of around 130 in 2017. Slight increases have been noted since 2017, with close to 160 completions recorded in 2019.


Apprentices and trainees in this sector mostly had an intended occupation of Beauty Therapist. As at December 2019, more than half of the apprentices and trainees in training were reported by New South Wales (52%), followed by Victoria (19%) and Western Australia (15%).


Priority skills source: Personal Services IRC Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work 2019.

Job vacancy occupations in demand source: Burning Glass Technologies’ Labor Insight™ Real-time Labor Market Information tool.