Esthetics Instructor: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

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

Essential Information

Esthetics instructors teach students the practices of skin care, waxing, tweezing, body treatments and makeup application. To prepare for this career, aspiring instructors must first complete a state-approved esthetics or cosmetology program, then pass the state licensing exam for estheticians or cosmetologists. Connecticut was the only U.S. state as of 2012 that didn't have licensing requirements for skincare specialists such as estheticians. After gaining work experience as licensed estheticians, candidates can then enroll in an instructor training program. Finally, an additional state license as an esthetics instructor is required.

Required Education Esthetics instructor training program
Other Requirements Work experience as an esthetician or cosmetologist
Licensure State license as a cosmetologist or esthetician required in almost all states; state license as an esthetics instructor also 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

Job Description

An esthetics instructor teaches the theory and practice of cosmetology to those who wish to become certified estheticians or cosmetologists themselves. They trains students to apply makeup and facials, tweeze and wax unwanted hair, and give body treatments such as mud or seaweed wraps in preparation for the certification exam. An instructor may also teach practicing certified estheticians who wish to fine-tune their skills through continuing education. An esthetics instructor may work for a variety of cosmetology institutions, salons and spas or even advise state board of cosmetology committees.

Duties of an Esthetics Instructor

To prepare students to become skilled estheticians, esthetics instructors must have extensive, first-hand knowledge and experience in proper hygiene, sanitation and safety practices required for successful cosmetology practice. They must be able to teach esthetics theory with a well-designed curriculum as well as successfully demonstrate techniques on live models and volunteers. An esthetics instructor should have excellent communication and organization skills and be able to appropriately assess students' progress and take the necessary steps to ensure their complete and effective education.

Training and Licensing Requirements

Becoming a Licensed Esthetician

All esthetics instructors must start out as licensed, practicing estheticians or cosmetologists. To become licensed, an aspiring esthetician must attend a cosmetology program approved by the state board and complete about 600 hours of training. Candidates must also pass a practical skills exam to obtain licensure.

Becoming a Licensed Esthetics Instructor

Aspiring esthetics instructors must attend cosmetology school and receive around 500 hours of instructor training, during which they may take courses in teaching methods, curriculum planning and cosmetology law. Most schools require that aspiring instructors assistant-teach courses of their own as part of their training. Program graduates must pass the written exam given by the state cosmetology board to receive their esthetician instructor license.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't have salary or employment outlook data specifically for esthetics instructors. However, the BLS reported that skincare specialists were expected to see 40% growth in employment from 2012 to 2022. The median salary for skincare specialists was $28,940 as of 2013.

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