Unusual careers: What it takes to be a spa professional
A career in the wellness industry can bring in anything between Rs 10,000 to a lakh per month, depending on one's knowledge, position, skills and experience.
Hotels have them to pamper their guests; every major metropolis has at least a dozen to cater to the needs of us stressed out city folk; even cruise ships have one!
It's true; the global spa market has grown by leaps and bounds in recent times thanks to consumers spending more time and resources on their physical appearance and wellbeing.
In fact, exclusive spas once frequented by the cream of the society have now become the norm in today's fast-paced world and more affordable options are mushrooming.
Visiting a spa has become less of a luxury and more of a necessity today, and hence spas are flourishing the world over.
In recent times, the wellness industry has been rated as one of the fastest growing industries in the world.
With more than 75,000 spas and wellness centres around the world, opting for a career in the spa industry is a lucrative move.
Says Vrinda Seddon, Academy Director, Svastii Wellness Academy, "The wellness industry is an almost recession-free industry.
The industry has more than 12,000 job vacancies waiting for skilled labours.
The industry in India is worth few billion US Dollars itself with almost 5,000 more projects in the process of completion in next 3-18 months across India."
Whether you are keen to run your own spa as an entrepreneur or you wish to enter the lucrative market of spa therapies, one thing's for sure; the growing demand for all things spa is evident!
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How to join the spa industry
A spa, like a restaurant, is a part of the service or hospitality industry.
If you lack the passion to serve others, this could be the wrong profession for you.
If, however, you are inclined to help people achieve a holistic lifestyle of wellness that concentrates on the body, mind and spirit, the spa industry might just be the right match for you.
A certified training course is a must to get an edge in this industry.
Spa operation courses for budding entrepreneurs require a minimum qualification of a class 12 certificate, while those who have a 10th standard qualification are eligible to embark on spa therapy courses at most institutes.
Besides these basic qualifications, it helps if you have a pleasing personality, patience, a good pair of hands and the ability to control your strength.
Visiting wellness-related seminars and exhibitions is a great idea to keep up-to-date with new trends and practices in the spa industry.
Photographs: Rediff Archives
A number of recognised Indian and international courses offer one the opportunity to make a career in the wellness industry, right from spa management to spa therapy.
Short-term certificate courses as well as 1-year diplomas with ITEC, CIDESCO or/and CIBTAC certification are the ones to look at.
For instance, Svastii Wellness Academy in Mumbai offers courses affiliated to ITEC and CIBTAC through its School of Spa, Holistic, Eastern and Chinese Therapies.
The 48-hour Spa Management course teaches students how to start up a spa, concentrating on SWOT analysis, problem solving, e-commerce, menu design and concept building, amongst a host of other key areas vital to a start-up.
While the 100-hour basic spa programme teaches potential spa therapists different kinds of massages, wraps and scrubs, the 104-hour Advanced spa programme imparts detailed and hands-on knowledge of specialised lymphatic and Thai massages along with Balinese body therapies.
Give yourself a progressive edge by doing both these courses.
"The price range of courses offered at Svastii Wellness Academy is from Rs 10,000 for a workshop to Rs 1 lakh for a full-time level 3 Diploma course, depending on subject and level.
These courses can be customised to suit the requirements of learners," explains Seddon.
Photographs: Rediff Archives
'There is scope for business expansion in this industry'
Ananda Spa Institute is one of the few Indian institutes to offer long-term training programmes covering therapies from all over the world.
Furthermore, the Hyderabad-based institute also takes care of student placements in well-known spas.
The course fees start at Rs 95,000 and go up to Rs 2,20,600.
The internationally renowned Christine Valmy Salon and Day Spa provides ITEC+CIBTAC certification and diplomas in a variety of fields in the aesthetics and beauty industry.
A certificate from the Christine Valmy International School of Esthetics is recognised worldwide and the Mumbai centre offers specialised spa courses.
Cashing in on the boom in the wellness industry, a new spa training institute was recently set up in Nagaland.
Known as NIAPA (North East India Academy of Performing Arts), this academy has tied up with the famous wellness company, JCKRC & Co, to offer a seven-month Spa Expert spa course.
Akounuo, a former Miss India contestant and proprietress of NIAPA explains, "Having studied market trends, I feel that with the proper training facilities offered at our institute, and the subsequent placement in the spa industry, a career in this field will prove to be a lucrative one. There is scope for business expansion in this industry."
Photographs: Rediff Archives
You can earn up to a lakh per month
A career in the wellness industry can bring in anything between Rs10,000 to a lakh per month, depending on one's knowledge, position, skills and experience.
Good pay packages, low-stress environments, fast-paced career growth and potential opportunities to work all over the world make working in the wellness industry a great option for adventurers.