Esthetics Instructor Certification: Certificate Program Outline

Sep 19, 2019

Esthetics instructors teach classes in cosmetics and other beauty-related topics. An undergraduate degree can be beneficial to those seeking this career option, but it is not required. Otherwise, they may pursue a certificate or associate's degree to qualify for licensure.

Essential Information

Many cosmetology schools offer training programs for those who wish to teach esthetics to others. Graduates can become licensed esthetics instructors and teach both pre-licensing and continuing education classes in skin care, makeup application, massage techniques and hair removal. Educational requirements for esthetics instructors vary, but some formal undergraduate education is typically needed.

Required Education Variable; often a certificate or associate's degree in esthetics or cosmetology, but some instructors may need bachelor's degrees
Other Requirements Work experience in esthetics
Licensure Both general esthetician license and esthetician instructor license required
Exam Requirements Instructor licensing exam required
Median Annual Salary (2018) * $40,000 for all cosmetology instructors
Job Outlook (2018-2028)* -1% for career and technical instructors, including those at cosmetology schools**

Source: *, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Esthetics Instructor Certificate Programs

An esthetics instructor certificate program prepares someone to become licensed as an instructor of beauty school students. States usually require esthetics instructors to hold a valid esthetician license and job experience to enroll. Some schools may require applicants to pass an admissions exam.

The curriculum for certificate programs varies by state, but typically includes training in teaching methods, student evaluations, safety, ethics and educational psychology. On top of that, participants go over the skills and knowledge learned in their original cosmetology training program, such as skin care, hair care and nail care. Programs require certificate candidates to spend hundreds of hours teaching esthetics students under the supervision of licensed esthetics instructors. State laws may allow certificate candidates to substitute work experience for some of the instruction hours in a program.

Certification Information

In addition to earning a certificate in teaching esthetics, an aspiring esthetics instructor must usually pass a licensing exam and submit an application to the cosmetology licensing board in his or her state prior to working as a teacher. This licensure may also be casually referred to as certification; however, there is no mandatory certification for esthetics instructors outside of licensure. Some states honor reciprocity for those transferring with a license from another state, while others require that esthetics instructors undertake new training to grasp the state's unique laws and guidelines for the profession.

Some professional groups and industry vendors sponsor voluntary certification programs for estheticians and esthetics instructors. These usually test a candidate's expertise in a specific area of esthetics, the use of a vendor's products or the ability to properly train students in the use of products. The certification does not, however, replace the need to complete a state-approved course of study to become a licensed esthetics instructor.

Esthetics instructors need to obtain a variety of certifications in order to teach, such as a certificate in teaching esthetics and an esthetician or cosmetology license. They may also consider an undergraduate degree in cosmetology or a related field and should have some work experience.

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