Study Shows Spa Industry Filled with Loyal Employees and Meaningful Careers

Spa Director
ISPA Foundation announces findings of inaugural work force study. // Photo credit: DragonImages/iStock/Getty Images Plus

The spa industry is filled with a number of meaningful career opportunities and loyal employees ready to fill them, according to the findings of the International Spa Association (ISPA) Foundation’s inaugural work force study. In the fall of 2017, the ISPA Foundation announced the launch its first ever research-driven study, which aimed at analyzing the recruitment, retention, and engagement of spa industry professionals. With the study concluded, the results show a loyal workforce full of positive professionals.

“The ISPA Spa Workforce Study was groundbreaking,” says Colin McIlheney, global research director for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the firm commissioned by ISPA to conduct the study. “It was designed to be inclusive and encourage participation across all types of roles and was a great success. Perhaps the highlight of the research was the very positive view so many staff had of working in the spa industry. This was amplified when they had an enabling work environment which encourages them to contribute to their maximum potential.” 

The study had more than 1,200 participants working within all levels of the spa industry, offering insights on job satisfaction, workplace environment, employee benefits and more. Major findings included:

Spa and Wellness Show

IECSC Florida | October 6-7, 2019

Join us in Fort Lauderdale for the 22nd IECSC Florida event! The conference program features dozens of sessions and a variety of specialized tracks taught by industry experts. Don’t miss our Beauty Education, free Healthcare & Wellness Session and six CBD-focused classes – all new for 2019! Register by September 3 and save $10 per day on admission and up to $100 on conference. Exhibit hall admission includes access to 200+ exhibitors and 30+ free classes. Don't miss IECSC Florida – the southeast’s leading spa and wellness show!
  • A strong word-of-mouth culture regarding hiring.
  • A high importance of loyalty towards employers.
  • The popularity of positive culture and working environments.
  • 87 percent of management respondents would like a long-term career in the spa industry.
  • Flexible scheduling and the ability to balance work and home life are of high importance to service providers.
  • Training and education of high quality service providers including massage therapists, estheticians and nail technicians is a challenge for management due to the increased demand of employees.
  • 49 percent of respondents had worked in the spa industry for over a decade.
  • 76 percent have worked for less than five employers throughout their careers.

“This research amplifies the many positive aspects of pursuing a career in the spa industry,” says Lynne McNees, ISPA president. “The ISPA Spa Workforce Study will help spa industry leaders garner a better understanding of what motivates employees to accept a job, remain loyal and engaged.  With nearly 33,000 vacant position in the U.S. spa industry alone, expanding the workforce is a top priority for ISPA.” 

All ISPA members receive full complimentary access to the study when using their member login at The research will be highlighted at the 2018 ISPA Conference & Expo, Sept. 24-26 in Phoenix, AZ.


ISPA to Present 2018 Visionary Award in Memory of Lori Hutchinson

Get Your Dream Job Thanks to ISPA and the Beauty Changes Lives Foundation

ISPA Foundation Announces New Workforce Study

Suggested Articles

Prioritizing your own health in the weeks and months before surgery is essential for proper recovery. Here are a few doctor-recommended tips to get you…

Le Marché by NP products make it easy for spa-goers to continue their self-care at home.

The news comes shortly after Hong Kong has been in the spotlight as political protests have made travel to the region increasingly difficult.