Heidi Luken has graduated from Okanagan College’s esthetics and nail technology certificate program and is employed.

Heidi Luken has graduated from Okanagan College’s esthetics and nail technology certificate program and is employed.

Estheticians are in demand

Okanagan College esthetics and nail technology information nights will be held Tuesday at the Vernon campus

She’s only 19, but Heidi Luken’s esthetics career has taken off.

A month before graduating from Okanagan College’s esthetics and nail technology certificate program, Luken was hired by Ten Spot Beauty Bar, a trendy Toronto franchise that recently opened its first B.C. location in West Kelowna.

“I’ve had multiple job offers and I only graduated. I’m able to negotiate my wage,” said Luken.

“With the amount of knowledge you have, employers want you.”

In the past four years, nearly all of the college’s esthetics students have found work in the field before graduating.

Instructor Candice Timm takes calls from employers across B.C., as far north as the Yukon and from the eastern provinces, looking for fully qualified estheticians trained beyond manicures and pedicures to include skin and body treatments such as massage.

The spa industry is growing in the Okanagan Valley, Timm says.

A Canadian Tourism Commission report predicted strong growth in the spa sector – an average annual rate of 17 per cent. The Spa Association of Canada reported the industry’s tremendous growth was reflected not only in the number of spas, but the diversity of spas and therapies available.

Okanagan residents interested in an esthetics career can attend an information session Tuesday in Vernon and Wednesday in Kelowna to find out more about the Okanagan College program, which is accepting applications for September.

“It’s not so much about creaming and steaming anymore. The industry is more wellness-based,” said Timm.

“The public is becoming more aware of the benefits of health and wellness and de-stressing.”

Timm, a registered massage therapist, clinical esthetician and nail technician, is the main instructor at the college’s spa training centre in Vernon, which is open to the public for appointments from October to June.

She says the college’s partnership with Dermalogica is among the reasons why employers value the esthetics certificate, which includes an extra 200 to 300 hours of training over other programs.

“We include everything from artificial nail treatment to body treatment, including massage, exfoliation and body wraps, which are not usually included in a regular esthetics program,” said Timm.

“The feedback we get from employers is they’re thrilled with the level of professionalism and knowledge our students have.”

For Luken, who originally planned to study law, helping people look and feel great is satisfying. She says the college’s reputation, amazing instructors and professional spa training facilities made her studies worth it.

“I love what I’m doing. I like to be around people,” said Luken. “I feel like I can do anything I want to.”

Okanagan College esthetics and nail technology information nights will be held Tuesday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Vernon campus (E212) and Wednesday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Kelowna campus (E103).

For more information, visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/spa.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Okanagan Regional Library is holding a pair of online contests for its young readers. (File photo)
Okanagan Regional Library challenges young readers

Pair of contests online aimed at kids aged up to 18

Vernon Winter Carnival Cop John Fawcett (left) and Carnival director Paul Cousins are at Vernon’s Real Canadian Superstore on Anderson Way until 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24, selling raffle tickets for a 2019 Polaris Snowmobile plus $1,000 worth of gear from BDM Motorsports. Tickets are $20. Only 5,000 tickets are being sold. The draw will be made Wednesday, Feb. 17. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Vernon Winter Carnival prize sled on display

Grand prize in Carnival raffle draw is 2019 Polaris snowmobile and $1,000 in gear; tickets $20

With a hockey stick and ice bucket to ensure social distancing, volunteers with the Kal Rotary Club collected cash during a drive-thru donation event in Vernon Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Kal Rotary seeks local non-profits in need of Dream Fund support

The deadline to apply for this year’s $105K in Dream funds has been extended to Feb. 28

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

(Hal Brindley - Dreamstime)
Enderby farmers caught between coyotes and bylaw tickets

The Smith family is stuck in a Catch-22 between protecting their livestock and incurring noise complaints

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Auldin Maxwell stacks the 693rd block on the top of record-breaking Jenga tower on Nov. 29. (Submitted)
Salmon Arm boy rests world-record attempt on single Jenga brick

Auldin Maxwell, 12, is now officially a Guinness world record holder.

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

A Dodge Ram pickup similar to this one was involved in a hit-and-run in Lake Country on Saturday, Jan. 16. (Crime Stoppers photo)
Incident happened on Highway 97 in Lake Country just before 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16

Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers is asking the public for help to solve… Continue reading

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Kelowna Fire Department. (FILE)
Early morning downtown Kelowna dumpster fire deemed suspicious

RCMP and the Kelowna Fire Department will conduct investigations into the cause of the blaze

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Most Read