Spa Managers


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Many spa managers have prior experience as spa attendants. Knowledge of spa treatments and services is useful for overseeing spa operations and employees. Take high school courses in anatomy, physiology, biology, and chemistry. Health courses will teach you about nutrition, fitness, and other issues of importance to the health-conscious patrons of resorts and spas. Business, math, and English classes are important for honing management and communication skills. Many spas offer treatment for both the body and the mind, so be sure to take some psychology courses to learn about the history of treating depression, anxiety, and other mental and emotional problems. Also take computer classes.

In addition to these classes, knowledge of CPR and first aid training are beneficial in this field. Check with your high school to find out if it offers such training or contact organizations such as your local Red Cross. Many spas require attendants to know CPR and first aid, and your training will give you an advantage when looking for a job.

Postsecondary Training

Spa managers with an associate's or bachelor's degree have the best job prospects. The field of study may vary. Some employers prefer to hire managers with a degree in business, management, human resources, or related areas. College courses in accounting, business, management, science, health, psychology, communications, English, and computer science are helpful. Most spa managers receive on-the-job training. 

Other Education or Training

Spa managers take continuing education courses to keep their knowledge current about the best practices in the spa industry. The International SPA Association and the Spa Industry Association offer a variety of continuing education classes and webinars to spa professionals. Contact these organizations for more information.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Spa managers who meet eligibility requirements and pass an exam may receive the Certified Spa Supervisor (CSS) designation offered by the American Hotel and Lodging Association Educational Institute. The International SPA Association also offers the CSS designation to spa managers who pass an examination and meet other requirements. Contact these associations for more information. 

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Spa managers usually have prior experience working in a spa or wellness center. Some come to the profession with prior experience managing a related business. Most spa facilities provide on-the-job training to spa managers. Strong organizational, leadership, and communication skills are essential for motivating employees, managing spa operations, and ensuring customers' needs are met. People come to spas and resorts for relaxation and rejuvenation, so it is essential that spa managers be calm and have a considerate, helpful approach to their work. Knowledge of business and management practices and customer and personal service principles is important in this profession. The ability to coordinate many activities at once while maintaining schedules and budgets is required. In addition, spa managers must have strong technology skills. They use various software programs in their day-to-day work, such as database user interface and query software like Bizlink Salon Manager and DaySmart Software Salon Iris; human resources software like Elite Salon & Spa Pay and Oracle Taleo; point-of-sale software such as TouchSuite Salon; as well as Microsoft Outlook and Excel.