Aesthetician Training Programs and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an aesthetician. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and state licensure to find out if this is the career for you.

Essential Information

Aestheticians provide specialized skin and body treatments to clients. They need a high school diploma or the equivalent and must complete a state-approved training program to enter this rapidly growing field. The training programs consist of instruction in analyzing the skin, providing treatments and applying makeup. Students get hands-on experience working with clients. After completing training, they can pay a fee and take examinations to obtain state licensure to practice.

Required Education State-approved training program
LicensingState license required
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* 40% for all skincare specialists
Median Salary (2013)* $28,940 for all skincare specialists

Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Training Programs for Aestheticians

Aesthetician training programs aren't usually offered as traditional diploma or degree programs, although some institutions may distribute a Certificate of Completion to those who successfully pass. Most states require that aspiring aestheticians complete training programs at state-licensed educational institutions, such as cosmetology schools or beauty academies. Training programs typically consist of several hundred hours of classroom time inclusive of hands-on experience. Typical areas of study include skin-care analysis and treatments, make-up application and waxing techniques. Additionally, schools may offer classes in retail business practices and product sales.

Licensing Requirements

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals working in the personal appearance fields, such as aestheticians, must obtain licenses through their state boards of cosmetology to practice ( Licensing requirements vary by states, but many require aestheticians to obtain a high school diploma or its equivalent, complete training programs at state-approved schools and pass state-issued examinations. Many states also require that aestheticians renew their licenses throughout their careers.

Job Requirements

An aesthetician must know how to properly evaluate client's skin and then select the proper products - such as lotions, creams and make-up - to beautify and enhance it. Aestheticians must also possess strong interpersonal skills to develop rapport with clients and build a steady base of regular customers. They need to know how to market products to customers. Additionally, aestheticians must keep abreast of industry trends, including the latest products and services, to continually deliver the most effective treatments to their clients.

Career Outlook

The BLS predicted that employment for skin care specialists, also known as aestheticians, would grow by 40% between 2012 and 2022, which is significantly faster than average. In May 2013, skin care specialists earned an annual median salary of $28,940, the BLS reported. Most aestheticians advance their careers by building solid client bases over many years, which typically leads to higher income levels. Experienced aestheticians may also gain advancement opportunities through specialization, opening their own salons, selling beauty products or working for state cosmetology boards.

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