In most states, estheticians are licensed through the state cosmetology board, which requires completing an approved training program and passing a written exam. Some states call for a practical examination as well. Students should make sure any program they are considering meets their state's standards for licensing.
Applicants to an esthetician program may be required to have a high school diploma or its equivalent, and most states require that applicants for licensing be at least 16. These programs can usually be completed in six months or less.
Students learn about sanitation and safety practices and are informed about various skin disorders. They study procedures such hair removal and spa treatments and gain experience working on real clients. Many programs also include some business courses such as accounting and sales. Students may receive a certificate or a diploma at the completion of the program.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Aesthetician and Skin Care
- Barber and Hair Cutting Services
- Beauty Salon Management
- Cosmetology, Hair, and Nail Instructor
- Facial Treatment Specialist
- Hair Design
- Make-Up Artist
- Nail Technician - Manicurist
- Permanent Cosmetics and Tattooing
Diploma or Certificate in Holistic Esthetics
Some schools that offer esthetician training programs take a holistic approach that emphasizes natural therapies and product ingredients. However, much of the curriculum is often similar to a non-holistic program. Students learn about skin disorders, sanitation, equipment, hair removal, business practices and various spa treatments. In addition to classroom learning, students also receive practical training. Students generally gain a basic understanding of anatomy, skin physiology and chemistry, as well as skin types and skin care regimens. Common topics include:
- Skin disorders
- Body exfoliation
- Aging treatments
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of employed skin care specialists - including estheticians - is expected to grow 12% from 2014-2024. During this time, more people may pursue treatments that reduce aging signs, improve appearance and reduce stress, which could lead to an increase in employment opportunities for estheticians. As of May 2015, skin care specialists earned a median salary of $30,090, reports the BLS.
Licensure and Continuing Education Information
Requirements for esthetician licensure vary according to each state's cosmetology board, although candidates usually must pass written and practical exams. Master esthetician programs are available to individuals who complete basic esthetician training. These programs provide advanced coursework in skin care procedures and prepare students for Master Esthetician certification. Additionally, holistic estheticians can take continuing education courses to stay current on new procedures and products.
Individuals seeking holistic esthetician training will likely need to enroll in traditional esthetician programs, but should look for programs that include natural skincare and products courses. Upon completion of fundamental esthetician training, graduates can take master esthetician courses to advance their careers or to stay current with new trends and techniques in the industry.