Spa Management Degree Programs and Education Requirements
Get the facts about undergraduate spa management degree programs. Explore typical prerequisites and common coursework, and learn about popular career options and certification after graduation.
Prospective spa managers can pursue associate's degrees in spa management or bachelor's degrees in hospitality management with a spa management emphasis. In general, these programs include classes in accounting, marketing, customer service, spa treatments, spa cuisine and personnel management. Internships are common at both levels as well. Some associate's programs only admit licensed massage therapists, estheticians or related beauty service providers. Graduates of both associate's and bachelor's programs may qualify for voluntary certification.
Associate's Degree in Spa Management
Students interested in a 2-year spa management degree can work toward an Associate in Occupational Studies in Spa Management or an Associate in Applied Science in Resort and Spa Management. Students gain foundational skills in spa services and learn overall business management strategies.
A high school diploma or GED is required. Upon admission, incoming students may be required to take college placement tests. Some schools may require students to currently have, or have once possessed, a license in massage, cosmetology or esthetics.
Spa management students are generally required to complete an internship. They take general education classes as well as spa management classes in:
- Customer relations
- Personnel management
- Design and marketing strategies for spas
- Computer technologies in spas and resorts
- Designing nutritious meal plans for spa clientele
Popular Career Options
Spa management associate degree holders can work in health and day spas and luxury resorts. Job titles may include:
- General spa manager
- Spa designer
- Menu planner
- Personal services consultant
- Spa marketing manager
Professional Certification and Continuing Education Information
Professional spa management certification is available on a voluntary basis. The International Spa Association (www.experienceispa.com) offers a Certified Spa Supervisor credential. To be eligible for certification, applicants have to meet minimum requirements and pass examinations.
Bachelor's Degree in Spa Management
Undergraduate programs leading to a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality, Resort and Recreation Management often offer a specialization in spa management. Students focus on the business and operational sides of spa management while learning about health and wellness, exercise and spa services.
Spa management majors must submit official documentation reflecting graduation from high school or passing of the GED exams. ACT or SAT scores must also be sent.
Undergraduate spa management students are required to obtain professional work experience. They must complete all coursework with a 2.0 GPA or higher. Spa management classes consist of:
- Types of spa treatments
- Client wellness
- Group exercise activities
- Nutrition therapy
Employment Prospects and Salary Information
From May 2012 to May 2013, the number of spa employees throughout the U.S. rose from 339,400 to 343,600, noted the International Spa Association. Furthermore, in 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that lodging managers, who direct accommodations like spas, earned a median salary of $46,810 annually.
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