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How to Become An Esthetician

Having a beautiful skin requires a lot more than mere over the counter fashion merchandize. There are professionals out there who can help you pick the right skincare product. These are estheticians or skincare specialists.

If you wish to help people beautify themselves consider becoming an esthetician. They beautify and cleanse the face and body of their clients to enhance their personal appearance.

Duties and Work Environment

Beautifying and cleansing is not all that estheticians do; by beautifying the appearance of their clients, they boost their self-confidence.

Some of the common tasks that estheticians perform on regular basis are:

  • Examining clients' skin to evaluate skin condition and appearance
  • Selecting and applying cosmetic products such as creams, lotions, and tonics
  • Cleansing clients' skin with water, creams, or lotions
  • Demonstrating how to clean and care for skin
  • Treating the facial skin to improve or maintain its appearance

Estheticians must also stay abreast of latest industry trends, products, and treatments.

Considering Becoming an Esthetician?

Communication and interpersonal skills matter the most in this industry. Though estheticians may get some walk-in customers, they must be able to build professional relationships since having a loyal client base is critical for success in this career.

Forbes has listed estheticians in its list of 8 Careers that are Build on Relationships. So before you take the plunge you should remember that you must possess the mentioned skills, so that you may broaden your client base.

In addition, good estheticians should be able to work with their hands. Arm-hand steadiness, finger dexterity and near vision are also important for those in this field. The work may require working in close physical proximity to a client in a private setting.

How to Become an Esthetician

Beauty schools and community colleges offer training programs for aspiring aestheticians. You may enroll in a certificate program or an associate degree to gain comprehensive education in skin care. These programs may take 4 months to 2 years to complete.

Formal training in skincare involves getting trained under the supervision of experienced instructors. Students are taught theory through textbooks. They further attend in-class lectures, and may be given the opportunity to work with real clients in a student salon or spa setting.

Esthetician training programs will expose you to a range of courses that will help you gain knowledge and skills. Some of the topics you may study are:

  • Skin and hair anatomy
  • Cosmetic chemistry
  • Cosmetic application techniques
  • Hair removal and hair tinting and coloring
  • Laser theory and treatment

Some programs may also covers topics such as yoga, massage, and body wrapping, pharmacology and nutrition. You may also have to study business-related courses including salon management and state cosmetology law.

Esthetician License

All states require aestheticians to be licensed. Licensing requires students to possess a high school diploma, complete a state-approved training program and pass an examination. Licensing exams typically includes a writing section and either an oral portion or practical skills demonstration section.

How to Become a Medical Esthetician

Skin care professionals can also opt to become medical estheticians, who generally work in physicians or dermatologists offices. Medical estheticians work under the supervision of physicians and dermatologists, where they provide numerous esthetic treatments.

Some advanced training is required to get the medical esthetician license, covering courses in physiology, chemistry and pathology of the skin, and hygiene. Some states, however, do not differentiate between a medical esthetician and non-medical esthetician for licensing purposes.

Work Settings

A typical day for an esthetician begins with checking the appointment calendar and confirming a client’s appointment and knowing what services he/she will require.

Estheticians must be organized and prepare accordingly.  From organizing the equipment to cleaning and sterilizing them, estheticians do it all.

Estheticians spend a part of their day consulting with the clients, discussing their needs and preferences. Based on that, estheticians determine the type of treatment they must provide.  Cleansing the clients’ skin with water, special soaps, creams or lotions that are suitable for their skin types, extracting blackheads or providing hair removal services such as waxing are some of duties estheticians perform on daily basis.

Career Outlook and Options

Acquiring the required knowledge and skills in the field does not guarantee a job. However, opportunities are available in spas, salons, and resorts. Individuals who become estheticians could also find opportunities in beauty consulting, cosmetics marketing. Experienced estheticians may work as training instructors.

Some of the job titles you may possibly hold are:

  • Esthetician
  • Skin Care Specialist
  • Medical Esthetician
  • Medical Spa Manager
Employment Trends

Your decision of becoming an esthetician can be a smart career move as the future looks bright for estheticians. According to O*NET OnLine, jobs for esthetician are likely to grow at the rate of 22% or higher between 2012 and 2022.

Is this the Right Career Choice for you?

While the career prospects look favorable, in the beginning, you may need to put in some unpaid hours till you build up a client base. However, once you do with acquiring and upgrading the requisite skills, this may turn out to be the profession you always wanted.

States with the highest employment level in this occupation:



Employment per thousand jobs

Location quotient

Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage

California 1660 0.11 1.26 18.13 37720
Florida 1130 0.14 1.68 17.97 37370
Illinois 960 0.16 1.92 17.9 37240
Texas 760 0.07 0.78 16.62 34570
New York 650 0.07 0.85 20.12 41840


How to become an Esthetician in Texas?

To become an esthetician in Texas, you will first need to complete a state-approved esthetics program. You will then need to take the esthetics exam, which will be both in written and practical forms. This exam would cover topics such as sanitation, disinfection and safety, client consultation, basic facial treatments, hair removal, facial makeup and so on. Following this, you will need to get licensed through the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. This license will need to be renewed every two years.

How to become an Esthetician in California?

Preparing to become an esthetician in California starts with completing a program of Esthetics through an approved institution. An approved program would require 600 hours to complete and would cover topics such as reflexology, skin conditions and disorders, hair removal and waxing, cosmetic sciences and so on. Following this, you will need to complete the Esthetician Application for Examination and submit it along with the initial license fee. You will then be required to take and pass the written and practical esthetician exam under the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology. Once you are issued a license, you can begin working in various esthetics salons in California. Your license will need to be renewed every two years.

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