Aesthetician: Employment Outlook and Career Profile for Aestheticians

Sep 13, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an aesthetician. 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.

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Aestheticians are required to complete specialized training programs in order to qualify for mandatory professional licensure. Depending on the type of program they complete, aestheticians may work in a general capacity with the public, or they may work in medical aesthetics.

Essential Information

Aestheticians, also known as skin care specialists, work to enhance their clients' appearance and help them maintain healthy skin. To qualify to use various skincare treatments and procedures on clients, potential aestheticians need to complete state-approved training programs and obtain licensure.

Required Education State-approved program; on-the-job training
Other Requirements Licensure
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028) 11% (much faster than average for all occupations)*
Median Salary (2018) $31,290*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Employment Outlook for Aestheticians

Individuals often seek skin treatments for relaxation or for medical reasons. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expected skincare specialist jobs to increase 11% during the 2018-2028 decade in response to a growing demand for those services ( The BLS also expected good job opportunities, especially for experienced specialists.

Salary Information

Skincare specialists earned a median annual income of $31,290 in May 2018, as reported by the BLS. Personal care centers and doctors' offices had the highest employment levels at that time.

Career Profile

Aestheticians offer various services that cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize skin. In a session, they could start by determining a client's skin type and specific needs, recommending certain treatments or daily skin regimens. They might apply cleansers, scrubs, body wraps, facial masks, moisturizers, peels or tonics to help improve the skin on the face, hands, feet or body. They may also perform massages, makeup application, hair removal and eyebrow shaping.

Medical aestheticians can work with burn victims, cancer patients, plastic surgery recipients or those have dealt with some other skin-altering treatment or trauma. Many of the same services are provided by medical aestheticians as those who work in a salon, though different treatments or products could be used. Additionally, a medical aesthetician might teach patients how to apply makeup, choose skin care products and take care of their skin properly.

Education Requirements

Aesthetician training is available at vocational schools, community colleges and private institutions. Cosmetology associate's degree programs commonly teach students a broad range of personal care services in addition to skin care; however, some concentrate on aesthetics. Courses generally cover bacteriology, hair and nail care, makeup application and facials. Students also learn about state laws, ethics and business skills in addition to general education topics. Aesthetician certificate programs focus on skin conditions, chemical skin treatments, facials, skin mapping, hair removal procedures and makeup application.


All states require aestheticians to obtain a license. To qualify for licensure, individuals must meet academic standards, which usually consist of completing high school as well as an approved cosmetology training program. State licensing departments test the knowledge and skills of aspiring aestheticians before issuing a license. In some cases, a general cosmetology license is sufficient to practice, though some states have specific licensure or endorsement requirements for aestheticians.

The employment outlook for aestheticians is excellent, with job opportunities expected to increase 11% between 2018 and 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. To qualify for licensure and work in the field, individuals may complete cosmetology associate's programs that focus on aesthetics, or they can earn aesthetics certificates.

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