How to retrain in beauty or complementary therapies

If you have an interest in complementary therapies or beauty there are many possibilities open to you. Most local colleges offer courses in a range of relevant subjects which could start you on the road to a new flexible career. Look at the length and structure of the courses. Some qualifications can be gained part time or by attending weekend workshops over a period of months. It can take several years to train to in therapies such as osteopathy, chiropractic or homeopathy.

Working as a beauty therapist or complementary therapist can fit well if you need a flexible career. You can offer your services at times that suit you, and some people convert a room in their home, which minimises travelling time. You need to work out childcare, as a relaxing massage would not be so relaxing if your toddler was playing in the corner of the room.

Beauty training

If you want to train, check out your local college. For Beauty Therapy an NVQ is a good grounding, and can be taken part time over a couple of years. ITEC diplomas are practically based, and will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to work in a range of beauty and complementary therapies such as massage, reflexology and aromatherapy.

Therapy training

The Research Council for Complementary Medicine lists universities offering a range of courses on their website, and also has details of the professional bodies for most of the complementary therapies listed below. The professional bodies can put you in touch with training colleges. Courses range fora few weeks to several years – watch out forshort courses as they may not qualify you to actually practise safely on clients.  Ask what you will be able to do at the end of the course as part of making sure the course is right for you.

Morag says: “I worked in engineering and manufacturing, and took a part-time project manager position for the local council when Marlon was 18 months old. Although I enjoyed working there I wanted something more flexible to fit around school hours in preparation for my daughter starting school”. Morag had practiced yoga for seven years and felt becoming a yoga teacher would help her escape the constrictions of work. “Whilst on a training weekend, I met a colleague who had done YogaBugs training and was so enthusiastic about it that I contacted them straight away. It hadn’t occurred to me to teach children. The minimal requirement to train with them was two years continual yoga practice, which I had and so I could train, start teaching and earn an income straight away,” explains Morag. Before she took the course, she thought ahead and wrote to her local schools before they broke up for summer to invite them to book a free taster session at the start of the September term. She now teaches six half hour classes each week, including one at a private pre-school, and a lunchtime class at her daughter’s school. She says, “For the hours that I can to work, I earn enough money to contribute to the basic household costs whilst I build my reputation and take care of my children. The income also means I can sometimes put a little money aside to help contribute towards family holidays. The course cost £495 and I earned this back in the first six weeks of teaching. I’m now ready to put more hours in and have developed a plan so schools make YogaBugs part of their curriculum classes and I teach within school hours. Parents have asked me to take the Yoga’d Up course so that I can continue to teach their children as they reach eight. When my children become more independent, I will probably place the emphasis on adult teaching”.


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