Best Esthetician Schools: List of Top Programs in the U.S.

Research the training options for becoming an esthetician. Find out about the schools, locations and programs for this profession to make an informed education decision.

School Overviews

Estheticians, or skin care therapists, typically require a state license in order to perform cosmetic treatments such as waxing, cleansing, massage, exfoliation and facials. Training required in order to obtain the license varies according to state; a specified number of education hours in a state-approved program is generally one of the requirements. Successful completion of exams may also be needed. Some states may offer various levels of licensing, such as a basic license and a master license.

Rankings of esthetician programs to fulfill the education requirement aren't currently available, so the schools discussed below are representative of the cosmetology and esthetician training programs offered. Some schools use an alternate spelling of aesthetics.

1. Johnson County Community College in Overland Park Kansas

School Highlight: Graduates of the esthetician certificate program at JCCC are ready to take the written and practical exams administered by the Kansas State Board of Cosmetology for Estheticians.

In addition to an esthetician certificate program, students with prior professional experience and a current esthetics license can participate in an advanced training program offered by Johnson County Community College. A physical examination, personal interview and entrance exam are required for both programs. The advanced program offers a mixture of classroom lectures and hands-on work in a salon environment. Course topics include spa theory, makeup techniques, microderm abrasion, manual lymphatic drainage and airbrushing.

2. Bluegrass Community and Technical College in Lexington, Kentucky

School Highlight: The licensing preparatory program at BCTC is open to new students once every three semesters.

The esthetician certificate program offered by the cosmetology department at Bluegrass Community and Technical College can be completed in as few as three semesters. During each semester, students take four to five classes. Class topics include skin care history, sanitation, the physiology and histology of skin, human anatomy, professional regulations, depilation techniques, cosmetic chemistry, skin diseases and salon management. This school is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Top Esthetician Schools

School Name Distinction Location
Cape Fear Community College This school offers both an Esthetics Technology Certificate and an Esthetics Technology Instructor Certificate Wilmington, NC
Clover Park Technical College A four-quarter Esthetics Sciences associate's degree program at CPTC includes 1,200 hours of technical instruction Lakewood, WA
McLennan Community College This school reports an 87% employment rate for graduates of its one-year Esthetician Certificate of Completion program (2012-13) Waco, TX
Mott Community College The Esthetician Salon Management Certificate of Achievement offered at Mott provides the needed 400 hours necessary to qualify for the state board's exam Flint, MI
North Central Texas College This school's aesthetics program requires 22 credits and 750 contact hours Gainesville, TX
North Shore Community College An Aesthetics and Skin Care Basic Certificate from NSCC fulfills the 300-hour state requirement for license eligibility Danvers, MA
Red Rocks Community College The Esthetician Certificate at RRCC calls for 20 credit hours spread over nine courses Lakewood, CO

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