What Are My Career Options in Spa Management?

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in spa management. Read on to learn more about career options along with salary, job outlook and other job statistics. Schools offering Hotel & Restaurant Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a Spa Manager?

Spa managers are responsible for supervising spa staff, overseeing inventory and managing finances. There are varying levels in spa management including spa supervisors and spa managers. A spa manager generally oversees all of the day-to-day operations in a spa, including making sure customers are happy and having a positive experience, managing staff, managing the finances and budget, and making sure the facilities are maintained. A supervisor may perform many of these same duties but they ultimately may report to the manager and provide them with assistance as needed. See the table below for some key career facts about these two positions.

Spa Supervisor Spa Manager
Degree Required High school diploma Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study N/A Resort and hospitality management
Key Responsibilities Assist spa manager, train spa staff and maintain inventory Oversee spa operations; manage spa finances and implement marketing strategies
Job Growth (2014-2024) 11% (for all first-line supervisors of personal service workers)* 7% (for all general and operations managers)*
Median Salary (2015) $36,634** $39,590**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

Typical Job Duties for Spa Managers

According to the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) Career Center website, spa managers are responsible for staff training and team building, equipment testing and purchasing, as well as marketing and public relations (www.hcareers.com). Additional responsibilities can include writing reports, administering payroll, selling memberships, placing retail orders, taking inventory and overseeing special events. Spa managers are sometimes referred to as spa directors.

Prior Experience Requirements

Job postings on the AHLA Career Center website note that most spa managers need 3-5 years of managerial experience. You'll also need to have strong interpersonal communication skills, as well as a good understanding of typical spa treatments. Most aspiring spa managers know how to implement sales strategies and prepare financial reports. A professional background in related personal care services, like manicures, pedicures or skin care treatments, is also beneficial.

What Kind of Academic Preparation Do I Need?

Some employers look for job candidates who hold a 4-year degree. Relevant programs may lead to a Bachelor of Science in Resort and Hospitality Management; some of these programs allow you to specialize in spa management. Typical coursework includes supervisory techniques, hospitality laws and human resources in the hotel industry. You might need to complete an internship at a resort or spa.

If you're not interested in pursuing a 4-year degree, earning a Certificate in Spa Management could help you gain some knowledge of the industry. Certificate programs are usually 1-2 semesters in length and include courses like spa marketing, daily spa operations and common treatments. In some cases, classes are offered in either an online or campus-based format.

What's My Job Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the overall number of personal care and service workers, all other, was expected to increase by 6% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). At the same time, the job growth for the first-line supervisors of those employees was expected to be 11%. Job growth will be driven, in part, by an increase in the number of health and cosmetic spas.

January 2017 data from PayScale.com stated that spa supervisors in particular earned a median salary of $36,634, while spa managers earned a median salary of $39,590 that same year.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are a number of professions you could pursue if you have an interest in spas and do not want to obtain a four-year degree. For example, a job as a manicurist or pedicurist involves providing foot and hand treatments to clients and giving them advice on how to properly care for their hands and feet. With a postsecondary training certificate and licensure, you could also pursue a career as a skin specialist. This professional provides skin treatments to clients, like facials, scrubs and wraps. They help with any cosmetic skin issues clients are experiencing, as well as provide advice on how to develop a good skincare routine. With both careers, those who manage or own salons would share many of the supervisory duties of spa managers.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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