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How to Become a Licensed Esthetician Online

Dec 16, 2019

This article outlines the steps you can take to become an esthetician online. In it you will find the different procedures and services an esthetician may perform, the online courses and certifications you can take, and what kind of exams and legal requirements are mandated by your state for estheticians.

Career Overview for Estheticians

Estheticians perform several types of services and procedures on clients, most often in a spa or salon setting; these can range from skin cleansing and exfoliating, to makeup application, to nail treatments (like manicures and pedicures). There are esthetician diploma, certificate, and degree programs available as educational options depending on your interest level and skill in the field, and much of your coursework may be able to be completed online. However, an in-person apprenticeship or internship is typically required, and some online schools and courses will help you find opportunities to complete the practical portion of your training at a location that is convenient to you.

Required Skills Speaking, Active Listening, Service Orientation, Active Learning, Reading Comprehension
Job Growth (2018-2028)* 11% (skincare specialists)
Median Salary (2018)* $31,290 per year (skincare specialists)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Steps to Becoming an Esthetician Online

Many states allow online education for the theoretical portion of an esthetician program, although all states require a practical portion of education which cannot be completed online. Some online programs will support you in finding an apprenticeship or internship where you can complete your practical training, but typically one will need to find her own clients and establishment to work out of to gain practical hands-on experience and meet requirements.

Step 1: Research Your State's Requirements for Esthetics

Each state in the U.S. dictates the legal requirements for estheticians to be able to work and perform services. Most states require candidates to be at least 16 years old and possess a grade 10 education to qualify for a license, along with successful completion of state-specific tests. Typically, these tests are administered through the National-Interstate Council on State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC). The tests are comprised of a written (theory) exam and a practical exam.

Some states require a certain amount of practice hours to be completed by an esthetician before becoming licenced. The hours required can vary by state; for example, Pennsylvania requires 1,250 hours of n approved cosmetology curriculum whereas Texas requires 750.

Most states' licensing boards will have their minimum requirements posted online so you can easily understand what your state requires and better match your online education to your legal requirements.

Step 2: Select and Complete Your Online Training

Once you know what is required by your state to practice esthetics, you can select an online or distance learning program for the theoretical portion of your certification. Many schools offer online esthetician and cosmetology courses, and some offer a variety of training leading to certificates, degrees, or diplomas. When researching what online course or program you might like to take, consider your personal tastes and skill level in the field so you can undertake an education that is best matched to your abilities. For example, a diploma may provide more theory in esthetics, while a degree may cover more medical and science-based topics.

Your program may comprise taking online tests, attending webinars, watching videos, and completing assignments and readings. You may be required to work with others online for group assignments, or submit work completed on your own. There may be a practical assignment within your online training which may require you to upload videos or images of your work. In most programs you will be assigned work by an instructor or professor and will need to meet deadlines with your studies.

You may be required to take a theoretical exam through your online course, or you may be directed to the theoretical exam required by your state that is administered through the NIC.

Step 3: Complete Your Practical Training

You can use online research to identify where you can complete the practical training portion of your esthetics program in your state. You may choose to reach out to local salons or spas, or perhaps email treatment providers to request an apprenticeship with them.

The practical training, regardless of what state you are in, must be done in person and cannot be completed online. Your practical training allows you to practice your skills and knowledge that you have learned in your online theoretical training

Once you obtain an internship or apprenticeship to gain your required practical experience, you will be able to focus your skills on providing treatments and developing a client base. If you are working for a salon or spa, your employer may be able to provide you with feedback and additional training to enhance your abilities.

Step 4: Earn Licensure

In order to work as an esthetician you will need to become licensed in the state where you wish to practice. This involves passing a written and a practical exam. After passing the exams, you can submit your application online. You'll typically need to submit a fee along with your application.

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