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Career Paths

Spa and Wellness Operations

Management

Spa and Wellness Management positions may include Spa Supervisor, Assistant Spa Manager, Spa Manager, Spa Operations Manager, Spa Treatments Manager, Assistant Spa Director, Spa Director or Director of Spa and Wellness, Group Spa Director or Area Director, and Vice President of Spas; with career paths usually flowing in that order depending on the size of the spa and wellness facility. Managers or leaders are usually responsible for the daily operations including human resource management, marketing, business planning and development, front desk and guest management, retail management, financial management, facility maintenance, food and beverage management, product and treatment knowledge, and fitness management.

Prior to a spa and wellness management position, experience in spa customer service or spa therapy positions is common. These positions may require an academic degree, however they can be in a variety of disciplines and on-the-job experience may supplant the need for an academic degree. Spa Management concentrations are growing within hospitality programs and provide students with a greater understanding of the realities of spa management.

Guest Service

Spa and Wellness Customer Service positions may include Spa Receptionist, Spa Coordinator, Spa Concierge, Spa Guest Service Representative, and Spa Reservationist. They are generally entry level positions that have a direct impact on the daily operations of a spa and wellness facility. Spa Customer Service responsibilities may include reception duties, guest consultation and programming, the sale of treatments and products, and facility and equipment preparation.

Spa and Wellness Customer Service positions do not usually require formal training or education, however prior customer service experience is a plus and the ability to effectively communicate and work with others is a must.

Support Staff

Spa Attendants or Locker Room Attendants provide critical support to spa and wellness facility operations. Their primary responsibilities include orienting guests to the facilities, maintaining the cleanliness of the facilities, maintaining inventory and supply needs throughout the facility, and attends to guests needs.

Spa Support Staff positions do not generally require formal training or education, however the ability to communicate and work with others is generally required.

Spa and Wellness Therapy

Spa and Wellness Therapy positions include Massage Therapy, Estheticians, Nail Technicians, Hair Technicians, or complementary therapies. These positions have a direct impact on the guests well-being by providing the services for spa and wellness facilities. Massage Therapists usually provide massages and body treatments; Estheticians provide skin care and waxing services; Nail Technicians provide hand and foot treatments; Hair Technicians provide hair services and treatments; and complementary therapies include traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic treatments, naturopathy, hydrotherapy, and other forms of local or traditional treatments.

Spa and Wellness Therapy positions usually require a license or certification to be able to practice the specific therapy and most spa and wellness facilities also have their own training program reviewing their specific treatment offerings. Within the spa and wellness facility, Spa Therapists may advance to training or lead positions and eventually into Spa Management.

Fitness Opportunities

Spa and wellness facilities often include a traditional gym or various recreational activities for guests to enjoy. These fitness opportunities are integral to a wellness lifestyle and provide guests with the physical activity they need to stay well. Fitness positions can include Fitness Attendant, Wellness or Fitness Coordinator, Fitness Instructor or Group Fitness Instructor, Recreation Supervisor or Manager, Fitness Manager, Activities Director or Program Director, Director of Recreation or Fitness, and Corporate Fitness or Recreation Manager.

Similar to that of therapy and guest service positions, fitness opportunities within spa and wellness facilities can often lead to management positions. Entry level positions for Attendants or Coordinators do not usually require formal training or education, while Fitness Instructor or Personal Trainer positions usually require certification or degrees in the specific type of instruction being provided. Management positions may require an academic degree, however they can be in a variety of disciplines and on-the-job experience may supplant the need for an academic degree.

Health and Medical Wellness

According to the Medical Wellness Association, medical wellness is "an approach to delivering health care that considers multiple influences on a person's health and consequently multiple modalities for treating and preventing disease as well as promoting optimal well-being". This approach may happen within a Medical Center or within a spa setting. Services can include acupuncture, aquatic therapy, Ayurvedic treatments, behavioral therapy, body assessments, chiropractic treatment, equestrian therapy, medical consultation and treatment, nutritional diagnosis and guidance, personal coaching, preventative and integrative, relationship therapy, spiritual development, stress management, or trauma therapy.

Positions at Health and Medical Wellness centers can include those discussed in other sections, along with those specific to the treatments or medical services provided. Individuals may begin their career in a healthcare setting or studying specific health fields and move to a wellness center for the unique integrative approach to health that these facilities provide. Medical wellness careers can also begin by working at reception and eventually gaining certification in specific health fields or treatments.

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