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Esthetician Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Schools with esthetician programs prepare students to become healthcare and salon workers specialized in the preparation of clients' skin for treatment. School programs for estheticians most often include associate's degrees and certificate programs, which will prepare the student for their state's licensing procedures.

Esthetician programs are often offered at cosmetology or beauty schools. These programs prepare students for state licensure and entry-level work in the field.

10 Schools with Esthetician Programs

Certificate or diploma programs are available from the public and private schools listed below.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2015-2016)
Academy for Salon Professionals Los Angeles, CA 2-year, Private for-profit Diploma/Certificate $7,175 (total program tuition)*
Academy of Career Training Kissimmee, FL 2-year, Private for-profit Certificate $3,095 (total program cost)*
Aesthetic Science Institute Latham, NY 2-year, Private for-profit Certificate $9,600 (total program tuition)*
Athens Technical College Athens, GA 2-year, Public Diploma $89 per credit hour*
Beauty Schools of America - Palm Beach Academy Miami Beach, FL 2-year, Private for-profit Diploma $12,142 (total program tuition)**
Bluegrass Community and Technical College Lexington, KY 2-year, Public Certificate $3,704 (in-state), $12,536 (out-of-state)**
Columbus Technical College Columbus, GA 2-year, Public Certificate $2,694 (in-state), $4,830 (out-of-state)**
Elite Cosmetology School Yucca Valley, CA 2-year, Private for-profit Certificate $6,667 (total program tuition)**
Gaston College Dallas, NC 2-year, Public Certificate $2,562 (in-state), $8,708 (out-of-state)**
Jacksonville Beauty Institute Jacksonville, FL 2-year, Private for-profit Diploma $4,670 (total program tuition)**

Sources: *School Website, **National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Consider the following factors when searching for an esthetician school:

  • Make sure your school adheres to all standards required to pass state licensing.
  • Examine the coursework offered by the school, which should be broad but also include specialized courses such as body care, makeup application, as well as management and business classes.
  • Look for a school that offers on-the-job learning, perhaps through internships, or even job placement.
  • Find an esthetician program that offers courses emphasizing communications and customer service skills.

Certificate Programs

Certificate programs for aspiring estheticians are designed to prepare students to take the state licensure exam required for entry into the field. Students take basic science courses in the biology and chemistry of skin and skincare procedures, as well as more specific classes in topics like hair removal, makeup artistry and skin resurfacing. They also study salon sanitation and standard business practices. Depending on the program and the state's requirements, certificate programs can last between 600 and 1000 hours. In order to meet state requirements, a certain number of these hours is dedicated to hands-on training in real salon settings.

Associate's Degree Programs

Associate's degree programs for aspiring estheticians are rare, but a few schools allow undergraduates to major in this topic. Programs generally include the same coursework as certificate programs in order to prepare students for state licensure, but they also include general education requirements. A similar associate's-level option is a degree in cosmetology, but it's important to note that these broader programs may not include all of the skincare-focused courses needed to earn esthetician licensure.

Schools all across the country provide programs in esthetics, commonly private or technical institutions. They typically award either a certificate or diploma and may offer internships in addition to the usual coursework.

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