In an esthetics program, students learn about types of cosmetics, chemicals and equipment used in esthetics, laser procedures and waxing. Some programs are more medically-focused, with courses on treating skin conditions such as acne as well as minor cosmetic surgery. Students also may get some business training in salon management.
During microdermabrasion training, students learn to evaluate a patient's skin and gain hands-on practice performing the procedure. All programs consist of classroom work, labs and practice on real clients. Applicants to both certificate and diploma programs are required to have a high school diploma or its equivalent, as well as ACT or SAT scores.
Certificate Programs in Esthetics
These programs generally train students to provide an array of skincare services commonly available at salons and medical clinics. Specific procedures that are usually covered include waxing, laser treatment, chemical peels, scar removal, desincrustation and microdermabrasion. Some programs have a stronger medical or paramedical focus than others, and they instruct students in theoretical topics such as infection control, alpha hydroxy peeling, acne treatment, medical ethics and minor plastic surgery.
Coursework generally covers practical topics in esthetics technology and techniques as well as theoretical background in how to observe, analyze and treat skin conditions. Possible topics include:
- Camouflage makeup
- Concepts in esthetics
- Cosmetic chemistry
- Esthetic machinery
- Salon practice in esthetics
Popular Career Options
Estheticians who are knowledgeable about microdermabrasion may work in salons, medical spas and day spas, dermatology clinics or plastic surgery offices. Possible titles include:
- Makeup artist
- Paramedical esthetician
- Product manufacturer representative
- Sales consultant
- Skincare specialist
Licensure and Continuing Education Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classifies estheticians as a subset of barbers, cosmetologists and other personal appearance workers (www.bls.gov). As such, they must be licensed by the state in which they wish they wish to practice. Licensure standards vary by state, but most require estheticians to have graduated from a state-licensed cosmetology or esthetician program, have a high school diploma and be at least 16 years old.
Estheticians in all states must pass a written competency exam. Some states also require an additional oral exam and/or a practical styling exam. For skincare specialists, additional state exams may be required. Those estheticians and cosmetologists who are interested in opening up their own business may be interested in taking continuing education classes in business, marketing and sales.
Certificate programs in esthetics provide training in microdermabrasion and other skincare topics that prepare aspiring estheticians for work in salons, medical clinics and day or medical spas. After graduating, students may need to be licensed by passing a state examination.