Spa Manager: Educational Overview & Career Info

Sep 09, 2019

A spa manager requires some formal education. Learn about the degree programs, job duties and requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

A career as a spa manager requires not only customer service skills but also knowledge of spa treatments. Experience in the hospitality industry is usually required. While academic requirements can vary, some education at the undergraduate level is typically preferred.

Essential Information

Spa and health club managers supervise workers, schedule appointments and handle customer concerns. Degree requirements for these positions vary, although many employers prefer applicants with an undergraduate degree in a related field, such as an associate's degree in hospitality management with a concentration in spa management. Spa managers need to understand the services and treatments offered in a spa as well as having understanding of business, such as accounting, advertising and staffing. Professional certifications are available to spa managers.

Required Education No specific requirements; associate's degree preferred
Certification Voluntary
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028) 11% (all first-line supervisors of personal service workers)*
Median Salary (2019) $40,892 (spa managers)**

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

Spa Manager Educational Overview

Degree Programs

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employers sometimes require entry-level managers in the arts, entertainment and recreation industry, which includes spas and health clubs, to have an associate's degree. Degree options include an Associate in Science in Hospitality Management with a concentration in spa management, Associate of Science in Spa Management, Associate of Technical Study in Spa Management and Associate of Applied Science in Hotel and Resort Management, among others. Depending on your previous experience or career goals, you may pursue a Spa and Hospitality Management Certificate, a Bachelor of Education in Sport Management or Bachelor of Science in Resort Management with a concentration in sport/spa or entertaining operations.

Undergraduate degree programs in hotel and resort management cover the core principles of the hospitality industry, food and beverage planning, resort accounting and event planning. Spa management degree and certificate programs train students in a range of spa activities and traditional esthetic treatments for the operation and management of day, resort, medical or destination spas. Both types of programs typically include class work in advertising and marketing, general accounting, facilities management, business law, cost and budgeting, sanitation and personnel management.

Additional Requirements

According to the BLS, management workers in the recreation industry, such as spa and health club managers, often need relevant work experience. For example, spa managers may have previous experience as massage or skin care specialists, which can provide them with experience such as addressing customer needs and scheduling appointments. Similarly, health club managers may have previous experience as personal trainers or exercise instructors or some familiarity with health club maintenance and client retention strategies.

Voluntary Certification

Depending on their education and professional experiences, spa and health club managers may qualify for professional certification. The International Spa Association offers a voluntary Certified Spa Supervisor program for spa managers. The Club Managers Association of America also offers a voluntary Certified Club Manager program.

Salary Expectations

According to PayScale.com, the median annual wage of a spa manager was $40,892 as of 2019. Traits that potential employers may be looking for include excellent customer service skills and experience or aptitude in managing people and operations.

Jobs as a spa manager don't always require formal education, though an associate's or bachelor's degree is often preferred. A career as a spa manager does require some knowledge of management, customer service, accounting, hospitality and expertise in spa treatments offered.

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