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Online Spa Management Degree Program Information

Spa managers handle the business operations of a spa, with duties ranging from overseeing accounting to hiring employees. While a small number of schools offer spa management programs in face-to-face formats, only a few offer online programs. This article looks at the course requirements and other information for certificate and associate's degree programs in spa management.

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Essential Information

Campus-based spa management degree programs are rare, and online programs are even less common. Online certificate programs in spa management are more widely available. Many times, these programs are part of a college's hospitality and tourism department. Spa managers do not have to be licensed or certified, unless they perform cosmetology services as part of their jobs.

Courses in these programs include management for the hospitality industry, which covers employee relations, inventory management and sales. Other courses look at sanitation requirements for the spa industry. Courses involving spa cuisine, massage and esthetics may be included as well.

Related Programs of Study

If a spa management program doesn't seem like a good fit for you, there are many other programs of study that would allow you to use your business and customer service skills. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Cosmetology
  • Hotel and lodging management
  • Culinary operations management

Overview of Online Spa Management Programs

Spa management certificates typically require completion of 5-7 core and elective courses. Some schools allow students to transfer coursework in cosmetology programs to spa management programs. Cosmetology programs may require practical experience, which cannot be completed online. Spa management associate's degree programs require completion of 96 credit hours or more, including general education courses.

Common Online Spa Management Courses

From retail sales and marketing to cleanliness of a spa, students in these programs learn to manage many aspects of a spa business. Staff management, sanitation, safety and customer service training are all available online.

Retail Management in the Hospitality Industry Course

Students explore retail planning, from staffing issues to stocking products in a spa. Topics include staff training techniques and determining the correct mix of products for a spa to buy and sell.

Spa Hygiene and Sanitation Course

This course includes an overview of state and federal requirements related to sanitation in spa facilities. Students analyze spa treatments and operations for client and practitioner safety.

Customer Service in the Spa Industry Course

Students learn how to interact with customers successfully to keep them coming back. They also study how to provide quality customer service, communicate with clients and manage crisis situations. Concepts like management theory, decision-making and leadership are covered.

Career Information

According to O*Net Online, there were 213,000 individuals employed as spa managers in 2008 ( In 2009, these workers earned an average of $16.99 per hour, or just over $35,000 on an annual basis. The field of spa management is projected to add approximately 90,000 jobs from 2008-2018.

Continuing Education

Bachelor's and master's-level degree programs are available for individuals interested in further education in the hospitality and tourism field. Some of these programs are available online, but are more commonly offered in the traditional face-to-face format. Hospitality certificate programs are also available.

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