Home Campus News Esthetics and Spa Management Students Use Hands-On Skills to Gain Employment

Esthetics and Spa Management Students Use Hands-On Skills to Gain Employment

November 27, 2012

Loyalist College is offering a January start for the two-year Esthetics and Spa Management diploma program, which prepares students for a career as a spa manager, instructor, nail technician, beauty consultant, make-up artist, or sales representative.

The market for spa services is growing rapidly, as people seek to reduce stress and feel younger. There is a demand for creative and caring trained spa professionals to work in hotel spas, salons, wellness centres, day spas, medical spas, luxury resorts, beauty counters and tourist destinations.  

“The program at Loyalist prepared me in terms of business, services, and skill set,” said Emily Brant, a Skin Therapist at local day spa Polish, who graduated from the program in 2009. “I enjoyed the hands-on classes the best! Putting my skills to work helped me to develop a comfort level, as well as acquiring the knowledge and confidence to succeed. I would recommend the program to anyone interested in the field.”

The Esthetics and Spa Management students operate an on-campus spa, The Spa at Loyalist, where they provide a full range of esthetics services. Working with real clients allows them to practise valuable hands-on skills using the sophisticated equipment and product lines available at professional spas.

“We offer state-of-the-art technology in our labs because we’re a newer program,” said Esthetics and Spa Management Professor Bridget Ferguson. “For example, we have a microdermabrasion machine and professional skin and nail care lines, including Dermalogica and Creative Nails.”

Bridget was instrumental in introducing the Esthetics and Spa Management program in 2006, building it from the ground up. Originally from Australia where she owned and operated an esthetics business, Bridget brings a wealth of experience catering to high-end clientele ranging from the Australian Ballet to beauty editors and top fashion magazines. She studied the technique of traditional Body Sugaring in the United Kingdom, and then returned to Australia where she manufactured a hair removal product and led an esthetics training school for women. Bridget has travelled to Los Angeles and Hawaii to learn more about global industry trends at the International Dermal Institute (IDI) International Congress.

“In today’s society, clients are more concerned about total body wellness, and what they put in or on their body,” explained Bridget. “It’s important that our estheticians are educated about products, so that they can answer clients’ questions and make recommendations.”

Last week, the program welcomed Jennifer Mather from Creative Nail Design, who demonstrated a new type of manicure using a product called Shellac. It cures almost instantly, and the result is a stronger, more beautiful polish that lasts longer than traditional manicures.

“The benefits of Shellac speak for themselves,” said Jennifer. “It’s something that everybody wants and everybody can wear. The Loyalist students are already using the product, so it’s great to come into the on-campus lab to teach them some of the more advanced techniques. When they graduate, having in-demand skills like these will give them an advantage in the workforce.”

Working in a client-based profession requires soft skills, which students learn in class and during their 180 hours of clinical experience in the Spa at Loyalist. Placements, which are offered during the final weeks of first and second year, also allow the students to make professional connections in the industry and demonstrate their skills in a real-world environment.

“A number of our grads have gone on to work at Beauty Works Day Spa in Belleville, Ste. Anne’s Spa in Grafton, Cosmo Prof in Kingston, and Refectocil in Toronto,” said Bridget. “Some have even started their own businesses or are working out of their homes.”

The Spa is open to the public, offering facials, waxing, manicures and pedicures, among other services. For more information please visit or call (613) 969-1913 ext. 2671.

If you have questions about the Esthetics and Spa Management program, please contact Professor Bridget Ferguson at Space is still available for January 2013.