Esthetician & Skin Care Job Description, Career Options, Schools, & Salary

Esthetician, Skin Care & Medical Esthetician Job Description

Considering becoming an esthetician?

We often get questions from people who are looking for a career that blends the best of the beauty world with near-medical services. Esthetics and skin care careers just so happen to be a great blend of beauty treatments and near-medical skin care services. Beauty Schools Directory has answered common questions about the salary, job outlook, career options and other career information for estheticians to help you decide if this is the right career path for you. If you think becoming a licensed esthetician sounds right for you, simply enter your zip code in the box to the right to find schools near you.

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How should I locate, compare, and contact esthetician schools?

The first step to becoming a professional esthetician is to get the education and get licensed. If you're considering becoming a skin care professional, talk to esthetics schools about their programs, the cost of tuition at their campus, curriculum and any other questions you have. Everyone learns a little differently and has slightly different priorities when it comes to choosing the right college, so we created this handy step-by-step How to Choose a Beauty School checklist to help. We advise you to talk to a number of different campuses near you and get all your questions answered, so you can make a confident decision on which esthetician college will best meet your needs and set you up for success. We find that the average student considers 3 to 5 schools before making a final choice. It's an important life decision that should be considered with care after comparing your school options. Beauty schools nationwide are enrolling now! Find schools near you to get started.

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What is an esthetician?

Esthetician Giving FacialIf you love the field of cosmetology, but would like to specialize in the study of skin care, then an esthetician or medical esthetician career may be right for you. When you've received your license, your job at a salon or spa is to make the customer feel pampered and relaxed by providing facials, pore cleansing and exfoliation treatments, body wraps and polishes, foot reflexology, aromatherapy and spa treatments as well as hair removal and waxing treatments. Professionals who train to become estheticians also learn about beautifying the skin through a variety of services, including facials, skin analysis, makeup artistry, pore cleansing, microdermabrasion techniques, European facial treatments, spa treatments using body polishes and wraps, aromatherapy and skin care regimens, foot reflexology, depilation and waxing, and eyebrow shaping and lash tinting.

Schools also train you to recognize skin problems that require a dermatologist or a medical professional, and refer your clients for medical treatment if the skin problem is beyond the scope of the esthetician's job. Many skin care professionals also have the opportunity to become medical estheticians or paramedical estheticians and move into the medical field in places like dermatology offices or plastic surgery offices. To help you get your medical esthetician license, some advanced training may offer courses covering anatomy, physiology, chemistry and pathology of the skin, including bacteriology, disinfection, decontamination and infection control, first aid, and hygiene. However, some states do not recognize a medical esthetician license any differently than a standard esthetics license, so if you are considering this career path, be sure to check your state esthetician license requirements to make sure you know what training you need to complete.

Does becoming a licensed professional esthetician sound like a good fit for your personality and goals? Esthetics schools nationwide are enrolling now! Click the button below to find skin care schools near you.

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What qualities does a esthetician need?

A good esthetician should be able to work well with their hands, and have a kind and approachable manner. They must be comfortable working with clients one-on-one, and should also be able to make the customer feel relaxed and be knowledgeable about their skin care needs, as well as the products used by various skin types. Be prepared to put customers’ minds at ease by staying on top of product interactions and the latest products and techniques for all skin types. Some skills that will be useful in your skin career include being able to hold honest, genuinely helpful face-to-face discussions with clients. You should also be comfortable working in close physical proximity to the client in a private setting, and having physical contact with the client. Arm-hand steadiness, finger dexterity and near vision are also important according to O-Net.

What do I need to know about how to become esthetician?

Esthetician Inspirational Quote 1Becoming an esthetician will require specialized training at an esthetician school, or a cosmetology school with skin care specialist training programs. You will complete skin care training with experienced instructors by studying theory through textbook learning and in-class lecture, then practicing the techniques on mannequins and fellow students in the classroom, and later in your program, on real clients in a student salon or spa setting.

There is also a lot of safety and sanitation training involved. You will be expected to know and follow state law for safety procedures in the salon setting, particularly if you or the client were to sustain an injury of some kind. Once you've completed your training at the school, you will then need to take the state licensing exam and you'll need to pass it to earn your esthetician license and begin your new career.

What are the esthetician license requirements?

Training to become an esthetician takes an average of 600 hours in most states, but this does vary from state to state. Some states require as many as 1,000 hours and some require as few as 250 hours. Look at our state license requirements page to find out how many hours your state requires. We try to keep our esthetics licensing information as accurate and up-to-date as possible, but we always recommend you contact the licensing department for your state and your schools of interest to verify if there have been any changes in programs or required hours recently.

Students must also pass a state license exam at the completion of their training. The esthetics board exams typically consist of a written portion (sometimes law is included, sometimes it’s a separate exam), and a practical hands-on portion where you demonstrate in front of the exam proctors that you can perform the required esthetics services and follow all safety and sanitation guidelines. It can take several days to several weeks to receive your license in the mail after the exam depending on how quick your state board is. If you are looking to move into the medical esthetics field or some other skin care specialty, additional advanced courses may be required in your state, and in some of those states a paramedical esthetician license exam must be passed as well.

How long does it take to become a esthetician?

The length of the esthetics training program depends on how many hours your state requires to get licensed (see above.) How long it takes to become a esthetician depends on whether you are completing your training as a full- or part-time student, as well as how many training hours your state requires. Full-time school can take as little as 4 to 6 months to complete the program, whereas part-time students could take up to 9 to 12 months. You should discuss the length of the program and class schedules directly with the schools you are considering attending to help determine what is reasonable for you. Esthetician schools all over the country are enrolling new trainees like you right now! Click the link below to find schools near you.

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What are some of the esthetician career options?

Becoming an esthetician can lead to many different career paths, including employment at salons, spas or resorts. Licensed professionals can also serve as manicurists, pedicurists, makeup artistry or even salon and spa managers. Individuals who become estheticians could also find careers in cosmetics marketing, purchasing, or beauty consulting, while others move into the medical community as paramedical estheticians or training instructors. This is just a small selection of the job titles licensed estheticians can hold:

  • Esthetician/Skin Care Specialist
  • Medical/Paramedical Esthetician
  • Clinical Esthetician
  • Master Esthetician
  • Medical Spa Manager
  • Wax/Hair Removal Specialist

What is the average salary of an esthetician?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, esthetician salaries average $28,920 per year (2010 median pay), but salaries depend on a number of factors. Many estheticians choose to work part-time instead of full time, and salary has the potential to grow with experience, growing clientele, and increasing hours worked. Another thing the BLS data often does not account for accurately is the tips an esthetician may receive for their skin care services. For more information about beauty wages, compare the average esthetician salaries with the average cosmetology salaries.

BLS Skin Care Salary Data

What does the future outlook of job demand look like for skin care careers?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said in April 2012 that they anticipate a 25% growth in esthetics jobs through the year 2020, faster than the average for all careers. Also, a study was recently released stating that spa industry revenue grew 4.5%, faster than the U.S. economy overall, so we anticipate continued growth for skin care professions.

What does an esthetician’s typical workday look like?

Esthetician Extracting Blackheads

Check the Appointment Calendar - Every esthetician should begin their day by reviewing their appointment schedule and ensuring they know which clients are coming into the spa, and what services they’ll need. Many skin care specialists use the free time between clients to call and remind future appointments that they’re scheduled in the near future, which greatly reduces no-shows. Knowing the itinerary for the day can be very helpful for the skin care expert to mentally prepare.

Prepare the Office - Next, they will want to set up their room and get organized. They ensure their private room is clean, organized and tidy. With so many parts of the tool kit, it’s important to stay organized so the professional can find what they need quickly when a client is in the chair. They then sterilize equipment and clean work areas. Estheticians also often “set the mood” in their offices, sometimes through dimmer lighting, relaxing music, or pleasantly scented steam.

Consult with the Client - Because an esthetician is licensed to skin care and makeup services, and every single person’s skin has different needs, the specialist should always consult with the client about their challenges, preferences and skin allergies. The appointment generally begins with the client consultation, where you will ask a number of questions to learn what the client wants you to do. When you reach a full understanding of what the client wants, the services can then begin. This time should also be used to get to know your client on a more personal level – their tastes, interests, preferences, about their family, job, and so on. Building a personal relationship with your clients leads to customer retention and referrals.

Esthetician Inspirational Quote 2

Perform the Skin Treatment - This part could include cleansing the clients’ skin with water, special soaps, creams or lotions selected specifically for their skin types. You can talk the client through how to properly cleanse and care for their skin. You may apply creams, lotions, tonics and other solutions to address the specific client’s skin imperfections. Some clients may need blackhead extractions or hair removal services like waxing. Most facials and esthetics services involve some elements of gentle massage for relaxation and stimulating the skin. The goal is for every client to leave with their skin looking and feeling better than when they came in. Each appointment is completely custom to the client.

Schedule the Next Appointment & Ask for Referrals - When the appointment is complete, every esthetician should tell the client when they would like to see the customer next, and try to get them to book their next appointment before they pay and leave. Also let them know about any upcoming specials or promotions, and inform them of any referral discounts you offer if they send friends and family to your office. For example, “I can get you scheduled right now if you like. And don’t forget that if you refer a friend, you get 10% off your next facial!” Licensed skin care experts should remind their happy, loyal customers that they love referral business so you can continue to grow your clientele!

VIDEO: How to Become a Licensed Esthetician

Still have questions?

Not to worry! We have tons more information about how to become a cosmetologist, even answers to questions you never thought to ask. Otherwise, please contact us with your questions. No question is dumb, and we're here to help you find all the information you need to make an educated, confident decision to start your career off right.

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