Esthetician Schools in California
Between California's thriving beauty industry and outdoorsy population, estheticians are in high demand in the Golden State. In fact, California employs more estheticians than any other state in the country.
Browse our directory of esthetician schools in California, or skip ahead to learn about the state's esthetician licensing requirements and job outlook.
Browse All Esthetician Schools in California
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Chula Vista, CA 91911
1073 East Main Street
El Cajon, CA 92021
13266 Poway Road
Poway, CA 92064
1024 East March Lane
Stockton, CA 95210
72-840 Highway 111 Suite V417
Palm Desert, CA 92260
2822 F Street Suite H
Bakersfield, CA 93301
731 West Shaw Avenue Suite A
Clovis, CA 93612
780 Loughborough Drive
Merced, CA 95348
75-030 Gerald Ford Drive Suite 203
Palm Desert, CA 92211
6500 South Mooney Boulevard
Visalia, CA 93277
1679 East Monte Vista Avenue Suite 200
Vacaville, CA 95688
16852 Devonshire Street
Granada Hills, CA 91344
3100 Mchenry Avenue
Modesto, CA 95350
18442 Sherman Way
Reseda, CA 91335
Asian-American International Beauty College – Accredited
Westminster, CA 92683
Inspire Academy of Barbering and Cosmetology – Accredited
Stockton, CA 95203
International Academy of Cosmetology & Barbering – Accredited
South Gate, CA 90280
International College of Beauty Arts & Sciences – Accredited
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Jama's Beauty & Barber College – Accredited
Canoga Park, CA 91304
Paul Mitchell The School East Bay – Accredited
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
Paul Mitchell The School Sacramento – Accredited
Sacramento, CA 95825
Paul Mitchell The School Sherman Oaks – Accredited
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
Paul Mitchell The School Temecula – Accredited
Temecula, CA 92591
San Francisco, CA 94103
The Brothers & Sisters BarberCosmo Academy – Accredited
Oakland, CA 94601
You must attend a school that meets any licensure requirements as defined by your state. Most states require that you graduate from an accredited or state-approved school.
Esthetician Schools Near Me
- 600 education hours are required to become licensed.
- You must renew your license every 2 years.
- 0 continuing education hours are required to renew your license.
- The average salary for estheticians in California is $51,340 ($24.68/hour).
- There is a predicted 47% job increase between 2020–2030 for estheticians. This is much higher than the expected national growth of 17%.
Estheticians—also known as skincare specialists or full specialists—are highly-trained beauty professionals who perform a wide range of treatments on their clients, from facials and exfoliation to massage, hair removal, and more. To become an esthetician in California, you need to meet the following requirements:
*Some violations may be overridden with proper documentation.
Esthetician Salary in California and Projected Job Growth
Average yearly salary for esthetics in California
In California, licensed estheticians earn a mean salary of $51,340 per year, or $24.68 per hour. However, the amount you can earn varies across the state and depends on several factors, such as where you're based, your experience level, and the services you offer.
Estheticians at the lower end of the scale earn around $29,280, whereas those at the top can make $99,840 or more.
The highest-paying metro areas for estheticians in California are:
|Metro Area||2022 Median Salary|
|San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA||$42,940|
|San Diego-Carlsbad, CA||$42,350|
|Santa Rosa, CA||$40,900|
Table information from O*Net (2023)
The job growth for Californian estheticians is also looking good, with an expected increase of 47% between 2020-2030. That translates to around 1,380 new positions opening yearly—much higher than the 17% increase expected nationally.
California Esthetician License Requirements
Required to earn a esthetics license
To become an esthetician in California, you must undergo 600 clock hours of training. Schools are expected to break these hours down as follows:
Schools are given substantial flexibility in meeting these criteria. For instance, regarding facials, schools need to provide a minimum of 70 hours in manual, electrical, and chemical facials and 15 hours in preparation skills.
This leaves them 265 hours to divide up how they see fit.
A unique requirement for the health and safety coursework is instruction in physical and sexual abuse awareness. California beauty professionals are mandatory reporters, meaning they must report suspected abuse to authorities.
This is because California recognizes that beauty professionals work closely with clients and have a unique opportunity to spot signs of abuse, such as bruising.
In addition to training hours, you'll need to perform specific types of treatments a minimum number of times:
In addition to ensuring your school provides training that follows those rules, you need to verify your school is approved by the state board. A school can have its license revoked if the following occurs:
Can I Apprentice as an Esthetician in California?
No, you may not apprentice as an esthetician in California.
California Esthetician Licensing Requirements
As of January 1, 2022, estheticians in California no longer need to complete a practical exam. Instead, you only need to pass a written test. You may sit for your exam after you've completed all of your training. However, you may also apply to take the exam when you've completed 75% of your training hours, allowing you to take the test sooner.
The $115 fee, which you must pay before taking your test, covers your exam and your license. The test is administrated by PSI Exams, which has many testing sites around the state. You can find a full list of locations on PSI's exam bulletin.
Bring your photo ID and stow away any electronic devices or notes when you arrive at your testing location.
The test can be taken in English, Korean, Spanish, or Vietnamese. If you don't speak, read, and write English at a minimum of a 10th-grade level, you can request an interpreter present during your test.
If you have a diagnosed disability requiring accommodations, you may request that accommodation during your test. Your application needs to include information about the professional who diagnosed you, documentation of your disability, why it allows for accommodations, and which accommodation(s) you need.
Accommodations options include the following:
The California esthetician exam consists of 85 questions (75 scored and ten pre-test) covering scientific concepts, skincare, and other services. You have one and a half hours to finish. You must achieve a grade of at least 57 (75%) to pass.
California Esthetician Licensure Reciprocity
If you move to California and were trained or licensed as an esthetician in your former state, you may be eligible to gain your California license via reciprocity.
Those who trained as an esthetician elsewhere but didn't receive a license need to complete the following steps:
If you're approved to move forward but don't have 600 hours of school training, you can enroll in a California training program to make up the difference. Apprenticeships don't transfer. You'll receive your license on the day you pass your tests.
If you're a trained esthetician in another state and have been issued a license, you must submit a reciprocity application and pay any required fees. If you do this online through their BreEZe program, it takes an average of three fewer weeks to process than if you send your application via the mail.
Apprentice licenses, Puerto Rico and Guam licenses, and Florida's full, facial, and nail specialist licenses don't qualify for reciprocity in California.
Active-Duty Military and Spouses
If you're a spouse or domestic partner of an active-duty military member stationed in California, submit your marriage license or domestic partnership certificate, proof of your significant other's current service, and the items above to expedite your application.
Esthetician Specialties in California
With additional training, you can offer your clients a wider variety of specialized services, particularly in the medical esthetics field, a big business in California.
There is no separate license for medical estheticians in California—you can become one with your standard license, though advanced training is recommended. However, because medical esthetics are so popular in the state, they are strictly regulated.
Licensed estheticians must not:
Microdermabrasion procedures are allowed if the treatments don't go deeper than the epidermis. Only licensed tattoo artists can perform microblading in the state, so this is off-limits to all estheticians.
California Esthetician License Renewal
License renewal period
Continuing education required
You need to renew your California esthetician license every two years. If your renewal application is postmarked on or before the expiration date, renewal is $50; if it's postmarked later, it's $75. Renewing online is also an option.
Active-duty military or California National Guard members may have their renewal fees waived.
There are no continuing education requirements for esthetician license renewal, though it's always a good idea to keep learning.
If you don't renew your license within five years of its expiration, it will be canceled by the state and can't be renewed simply by paying the fee. So, if you're in this situation, you must reapply for a license and sit for your tests again.
Contact the California State Board of Esthetics
Resources for Estheticians in California
California State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology
This is the official state resource for all licensure and legal aspects of California's beauty industry.
Professional Beauty Federation of California
This membership organization strives to improve the California beauty industry's image and professionalism.
California Estheticians • Esthetician Advocacy Group
This group aims to keep licensed California estheticians up to speed with current events and rulings, State Board inspection advice, and professional experiences.
California Estheticians Group
This is a private space for California estheticians to discuss ideas and questions with other professionals in the field.