What's the Difference Between an Aesthetician and Esthetician?

Estheticians and aestheticians are both licensed skin specialists. They are trained to analyze and cleanse skin through a variety of techniques. Estheticians can be found in spas and salons, while aestheticians typically work in medical settings. View article »

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  • 0:44 Esthetician Job Description
  • 1:14 Medical Aesthetician…
  • 1:50 Education & Licensure…
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Video Transcript

The Difference Between an Aesthetician and an Esthetician

There are estheticians, such as skincare specialists, who work out of salons and spas, and medical aestheticians, who work in medical settings. The main differences between the two are the types of clients they work with and the settings in which they work.

Esthetician Job Description

Traditional estheticians, also known as skincare specialists, clean skin through skin exfoliation, massage, aromatherapy and facials. They also analyze skin for problems and temporarily remove hair. Estheticians may apply makeup and consult individuals on the best products for their skin type. Estheticians can be found in beauty salons, resorts, fitness clubs and spas.

Medical Aesthetician Job Description

Medical aestheticians, also known as clinical or paramedical aestheticians, are skincare specialists that work with cancer patients, burn victims and others with health-related issues. They treat and maintain facial skin that's been damaged because of fire, surgery, chemotherapy treatments and other incidents. Medical aestheticians are responsible for helping patients cleanse and moisturize their skin, as well as choose and apply the right makeup. Medical aestheticians work in hospitals, burn units, trauma centers, reconstructive surgery centers and other healthcare facilities.

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Education and Licensure Requirements

Estheticians and aestheticians typically complete formal education in cosmetology or esthetician training. Programs are available as associate degree, certificate and diploma programs. Regardless of the type of program, an esthetician must complete practical training to be eligible for licensure.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), all states require personal appearance workers, such as skincare specialists, to be licensed. Licensure requirements vary by state, but typically include formal training and a high school diploma.

Career Outlook and Salary Information

According to the BLS, employment growth among skincare specialists is expected to be much faster than average, at a rate of 12% from 2014 to 2024. Salaries for skincare specialists and medical aestheticians vary depending on their years of experience. Naturally, individuals with one year of experience may earn less than those with five or more years of experience. As of 2014, skincare specialists in general earned a median hourly wage of $13.97, according to the BLS.

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