Personal Care And Service

From the name of the category, it might seem like the only career opportunities here are in elderly and home health care, but there are a wide variety of opportunities to contribute and work in a profession that provides a tangible value to those who receive it.

The beauty and self-care industry is also an enormous aspect of this category, and encompasses everything from skincare to hairdressing. These workers have the ability to improve someone's appearance or provide quality pampering in a relaxing environment. Other careers provide needed and welcome services that focus on caring for and attending to the needs of those who need assistance, like with child care or even animal care. Workers in this category also develop and direct recreational activities in a variety of circumstances-camp counselors, recreation leaders, and even gambling dealers help participants make the most of their experiences.

Additional job opportunities are often available for supporting the organization, company, or business that provides the service or care. Businesses like salons offer a variety of services and employ a team of workers who specialize in one form of body care or more. Managers and service coordinators are also needed to direct and supervise care and services and ensure a high rate of customer satisfaction.

Responsibilities may include:

  • Evaluating a client or customer's needs
  • Performing requested services at the highest possible quality
  • Engaging with the client or customer to make them feel comfortable and help them enjoy their experience
  • Demonstrating techniques for clients to try themselves
  • Providing useful information abdout the activities or services offered
  • Organizing, directing, and supervising recreational activities


While these careers may not require graduate degrees, there can be more work involved than just a high school diploma. In many cases, formal training and licensing is necessary to be able to work legally. Outside of learning the practical skills of their occupation, workers often choose to get educated to gain a deeper, more complete understanding of their vocation, its purpose, and their role in providing it. Fitness trainers, for example, can benefit from degree programs in physical education, anatomy, nutrition, and other fitness and health-related subjects..

A four-year college degree is not typically necessary, but future workers still need a thorough education. Just how thorough depends on the kind of mechanist, machinist, or technician you wish to be. Because several of these categories of focus involve critical and intricate work, workers frequently need licenses and certifications in order to work professionally. Graduation from a formal educational program can add to a resume when applying for jobs, because the employer knows the person has been thoroughly trained.

Many of the beauty and self-care professions demand completion of training that has been approved of or accredited by the state. The specific requirements can vary depending on the state and its regulations. Skin care specialists, cosmetologists, and manicurists must complete such training and have licenses from the state. They must pass an exam and a skills test in order to earn them.

On-the-job training is common, even after passing the state exams, as workers expand their knowledge and skills to offer more to customers. For other care and service workers, on-the-job training is common, and sometimes the primary means of learning the tasks and duties of the work. Animal care workers, while generally preferred to have a high school diploma, can learn what they need on the job without additional outside education (although it can be a bonus).

A few job paths require higher education either at the beginning or later on when career advancement opportunities become available. Recreation workers usually need a bachelor's degree in their field, and some people even earn doctoral degrees.


  • Business skills Workers often take jobs independently or with small businesses. Understanding the financial, operational, and managerial requirements for running a business can boost their own success or greatly contribute to their company's.
  • Communication skills. As anyone who has worked in retail will tell you, even when customers want or need something, they cannot always express what that is. Workers have to explain the services they offer and communicate with the customer through the experience in order to ensure a positive outcome.
  • Customer-service skills. Most (if not all) of the work in this category is centered around customer service. Workers often provide skills and services directly to them, and their approval and appreciation are critical for the success of a business. Knowing how to interact with customers, assess their needs, and meet their expectations is a fundamental aspect of these careers.
  • Patience. This is an excellent quality for people working with and supervising children, animals, or customers who have trouble conveying what they are looking for in their experience.
  • Physical stamina. Whether standing on your feet styling hair, or chasing kids (or pets) for bath time, having ample stamina and energy is definitely needed to maintain a busy and active work environment.
  • Problem-solving skills. With beauty treatments and personal care in particular, workers must be able to assess the client and his or her needs and incorporate that knowledge into services offered to them. Talented professionals can deduce what the client wants before the client knows herself (or himself)!


Job growth in this industry will occur at approximately the same rate as the national average for all jobs. In the last decade, awareness of and appreciation for personal care and services has notably risen. The aging of the baby boomer generation, and a priority to health and wellness overall, will cause many people to seek out these services.

In the case of gaming service occupations, there will be similar growth, but competition for these jobs is fierce at casinos. With other occupations, formal education will help make job applicants more competitive. For jobs that do not have such options, as with gaming services, work experience in similar, previous positions will make a difference.

  Occupation Description Entry-Level Education 2012 Median Pay
Animal care and service workers Animal care and service workers

Animal care and service workers provide care for animals. They feed, water, groom, bathe, and exercise pets and other nonfarm animals. Job tasks vary by position and place of work.'

Service workers learn on the job $19,970
Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists

Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists provide hair styling and beauty services.'

Postsecondary non-degree award $22,770
Childcare workers Childcare workers

Childcare workers care for children when parents and other family members are unavailable. They care for children’s basic needs, such as bathing and feeding. In addition, some help children prepare for kindergarten or help older children with homework.'

High school diploma or equivalent $19,510
Fitness trainers and instructors Fitness trainers and instructors Fitness trainers and instructors lead, instruct, and motivate individuals or groups in exercise activities, including cardiovascular exercise (exercises for the heart and blood system), strength training, and stretching. They work with people of all ages and skill levels.' High school diploma or equivalent $31,720
Funeral service occupations Funeral service occupations

Funeral service workers organize and manage the details of a funeral.'

Associate's degree $51,600
Gaming services occupations Gaming services occupations

Gaming services workers serve customers in gambling establishments, such as casinos or racetracks. Some workers tend slot machines deal cards, or oversee other gaming activities such as keno or bingo. Others take bets or pay out winnings. Still others supervise or manage gaming workers and operations.'

High school diploma or equivalent $20,210
Manicurists and pedicurists Manicurists and pedicurists

Manicurists and pedicurists clean, shape, and beautify fingernails and toenails.'

Postsecondary non-degree award $19,220
Recreation workers Recreation workers

Recreation workers design and lead leisure activities for groups in volunteer agencies or recreation facilities, such as playgrounds, parks, camps, aquatic centers, and senior centers. They may lead activities such as arts and crafts, sports, adventure programs, music, and camping.'

Bachelor's degree $22,240
Skincare specialists Skincare specialists

Skincare specialists cleanse and beautify the face and body to enhance a person’s appearance. '

Postsecondary non-degree award $28,640

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