British Columbia

British Columbia has deregulated their cosmetology and beauty services, making the province free of any licensing law except for massage therapy. However, beauty aspirants have the “optional certifications” from The Beauty Council, a recognised certifying body in the province.

Being certified by the council is important if a beauty professional wants to build their own business in the province. Many places in British Columbia require beauticians to be a member of the council as one requirement for a business license. Freelancing services, however, don’t need any certification.

Regulated Beauty Service in British Columbia, Canada:

Regulated Trade Skill in British Columbia, Canada

Massage therapists

Massage therapists in British Columbia are regulated under the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia (CMTBC). The law strictly prohibits the use of the titles “massage therapist”, “registered massage practitioner”, “massage practitioner” and “registered massage therapist” for individuals not registered with the CMTBC. There are exceptions, however, which are discussed further in the Health Professions Act:

To become a member of the institution, one must:

  • graduate from a recognised massage therapy program by the CMTBC,
  • register with a governing body that regulates massage therapy from any province in Canada
  • or complete the Prior Learning Assessment, which may include additional training, clinical experience or study that satisfies the registration committee, making sure that an individual’s skills and knowledge are substantially equivalent to those who finished training from a recognised program.

Check out the full CMTBC by-laws here:

Non-Regulated Trade Skills in British Columbia, Canada

Facialist / Makeup Artist / Waxing Technician

These trade skills have an optional certification for esthetics by the council. With an esthetician certificate, aspirants can learn multiple skills. They also have the option to get skilled in a specific trade by getting trained by a course provider of their choice.


Hairstyling is also another optional certification the council can provide. But like esthetics, aspirants have the option to not get the certification and just learn the skills through their chosen course provider.

Nail Technician

Nail techs are free to choose their training. They also have the option to get certified by the council.

Lash Technician

Lash techs in British Columbia are not regulated, so aspirants can learn the skills from any training provider. They can also be a member of the National Association of Lash Artists, an international regulating body recognised in many countries, to increase professional credibility.

Spray Tanning Technician

Spray tanning in the province doesn’t have regulations as well. Individuals have the option to choose the training provider they want to learn professional skills for the trade. Local and international training providers are acceptable.