How to Become a Spa Manager in 5 Steps

Explore the career requirements for a spa manager. Get the facts about job duties, educational requirements, potential job growth, and salary to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Hotel & Restaurant Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does a Spa Manager Do?

Spa managers handle the daily operations of a spa business. They take care of the bookkeeping, ensures their facility adheres to all health and safety regulations and handles all staff-related issues. They also coordinate various spa programs and promotions for their guests to enjoy and are responsible for ensuring their therapists attend training workshops in the latest industry techniques. The amount of client-contact is dependent on the size of the facility.

The table below provides a brief overview of this career.

Degree Required High school diploma
Key Responsibilities Handle staff-related issues, plan spa programs, set business goals and standards, ensure compliance with all health and safety regulations and codes
Job Growth (2014-2024) 11% (for all first-line supervisors of personal service workers)*
Median Salary (2015) $35,710**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; **ONET OnLine

What Is a Spa Manager?

A spa manager is an administrator who ensures that daily operations at a spa facility run smoothly. Their responsibilities touch major aspects of the business, such as human resources, physical plant and programming. Specific human resource duties may include hiring, training and supervising staff; scheduling work shifts and evaluating staff performance. Other duties can include planning spa programs and services; setting business goals and service standards; writing budgets; monitoring the functional condition of spa equipment and ensuring compliance with health, hygiene and safety regulations.

Step 1: Earn a High School Diploma

Although high school courses generally don't address spa management, you can apply the material covered in a high school curriculum to the duties of a spa manager. For example, math and language arts courses provide basic skills useful in budgeting, scheduling and communicating with subordinates. Career development courses in office management can improve your organizational skills and understanding of business processes.

Step 2: Gain Customer Service Experience

Many entry-level jobs in retail or food service will teach you customer service through daily directly interaction with the public. However, if you can obtain work as a front desk clerk or other entry-level position at a spa, you will also have the opportunity to study the spa's operations, as well as the needs and wants of its customers and the type of care customers expect. By demonstrating competence and leadership capability, you may even be able to rise to a spa manager position in time.

Step 3: Earn a Certificate or Associate's Degree

A number of community colleges offer certificate programs in spa management. Associate's degree programs are rarer, but those in the related area of hospitality management are more common. Courses provide you with an overview of the industry and introduce such concepts as business planning, spa marketing and treatments, such as aromatherapy, hydrotherapy and herbal therapy.

Step 4: Seek Employment

Your prospects will depend on the willingness of the public to spend their income on personal care services. According to O*NET OnLine, about 256,000 people were employed as spa managers in 2014. Employment growth from 2014-2024 was projected to be 9%-13%. The industry is expected to provide approximately 76,400 job openings as a result of growth, retirements and job turnover. The median salary of spa managers in 2015 was $35,710.

Step 5: Advance Your Career

Trading up - taking jobs at a succession of larger or higher end spa facilities - is one common way of advancing. Earning a bachelor's or master's degree in hospitality management would qualify you for executive-level positions. Finally, if you find a promising location and secure financing, you could open your own spa. You could also buy out an existing facility if the owner wants to sell.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you're unsure about becoming a spa manager, but are interested in pursuing a career in a managerial position, you may want to consider becoming a lodging manager or an assistant manager. Lodging managers work in full-service hotels and are required to earn a bachelor's degree in hospitality or hotel management prior to employment. Assistant managers are only required to have a high school diploma and several years of work experience to obtain a position.

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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