Choosing an Esthetician School Near Me

Whether you are deep in your research for an esthetician program or have just started thinking about esthetics school, you want to be confident that you’re making the right choice. Here’s a guide to choosing between esthetician schools that are near you and finding one that can help you achieve your career goals.

Steps for Choosing an Esthetician School Near You

Choosing an esthetician school is a big deal, and it can be hard to know where to begin. We've created this handy guide to help you figure out, step by step, how to determine which program is right for you.

These steps don't necessarily need to go in this order, but this can serve as a general guide when you begin your journey.

Step 1: Make a Candidate List of Esthetician Schools Near You

When comparing esthetician schools, start by making a list of your favorite options. You can begin your search using our esthetician school directory to search your metro area for esthetics programs—our Beauty Schools Directory team has compiled information about schools by program offered, with school profile pages that allow you to compare schools apples-to-apples, along with quick links to the schools’ websites, and if available, their Facebook or Instagram profiles.

You can supplement this if you’d like by performing a web search for "esthetician school near me." Make sure your browser settings allow the site to see your location or at least get more specific, like "esthetician schools near [my town]." Using map functions, you can even see your options within a certain number of miles and whether their locations will work for you.

Step 2: Check for Accreditation

An accredited esthetician school has met educational standards established by an established accreditation institution whose purpose is to ensure quality education. When looking for esthetician schools near you, be sure to check their accreditation statuses.

Broadly, there are two reasons you should care about accreditation and different institutions that may accredit esthetician programs:

Accreditation for licensure eligibility.

In most states, esthetics licensing will require that you have graduated from an accredited esthetician program. Programs that are accredited must meet certain standards of quality, because a known third party has reviewed the school’s curriculum and teaching. Accredited schools will likely have a much stronger reputation, which helps you find employment after graduation.

For the purpose of pursuing an esthetics license, the following three types of organizations can accredit: the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences (NACCAS), the Council on Occupational Education (COE), or your state’s board of esthetics or cosmetology. Sometimes schools have more than one of these accreditations, but any one of these should be sufficient to satisfy your state’s esthetics licensure requirements for esthetics education.

Accreditation for federal financial aid eligibility.

If it is important to you that you be eligible for federal financial aid to pay for esthetics school, then your chosen school must be a Title IV school. This is a rigorous federal designation that requires a lot from the school, including being accredited by a U.S. Department of Education-approved accrediting body—so many beauty or esthetics schools that offer great education do not pursue Title IV designation.

If the esthetician school you are researching is listed in Beauty Schools Directory, we already publish on each school’s profile whether our research turned up accreditation from the sources listed above.

To be doubly sure about accreditation status, because this information can change, check with your esthetics school of interest directly. Accredited schools will typically have this information very visible on their sites, though you can call them to find out as well. You may also want to search each accrediting organization's directory for the name of your chosen school through the links above.

Step 3: See What Programs the Esthetician School Offers

When searching for the right esthetician school for you, research which programs your school includes. Even if your heart is set on esthetics, you may want the option to also be trained in other specialties to potentially increase your job opportunities. Or, you may see a totally different program you've never heard of before!

One option to consider is a crossover program. These allow beauty professionals and students to broaden their skills and master an additional specialty. A crossover program requires passing an additional licensing exam to provide a greater variety of services. Some students choose to cross over cosmetology and barbering, hair design and esthetics, nail technology and hair design, and so on.

Step 4: Look at the Esthetician Schools' Reputations

When choosing a school, remember that reputation matters. A school's reputation can make or break your entry into the profession.

To gauge a school's reputation, start by talking to estheticians in your area. Ask them what programs have a solid reputation for producing successful estheticians.

Additionally, see what Google, Yelp, GlassDoor.com, and other websites say about a particular school or program. These often include reviews from students, customers, and employees—though be wary of ones that are too glowing or too nasty.

Finally, research a school's graduation, exam success, and employment rates after graduation. If a school's students graduate at low rates, fail exams frequently, or struggle to find employment soon after graduation, these could be red flags about their educational quality.

Step 5: Make Sure You Can Afford This Esthetician Program

An esthetics program's average cost is between $3,000 and $10,000. However, the expenses may vary based on the program's length, location, and the required training hours in your state. To determine whether you can afford esthetician school, begin by making a budget.

Remember that there are programs to help you pay for school. Financial aid for esthetician and beauty schools may include federal or state loans and grants, private options, and scholarships. Carefully review all the financial aid requirements to ensure your program or school qualifies.

Step 6: Get Your Skin Treated at the Esthetics School Salons

If you're wondering whether esthetician school is right for you, do some undercover work! Consider visiting a student salon as a customer to experience the student side of esthetician school.

Observe how students in the salon are supervised and treated by instructors. Take note of how they interact with customers and each other. And, of course, judge the quality of your beauty treatment.

There's even the simple matter of whether you like the vibe—does the student salon seem like a place where you'll flourish?

Step 7: Visit Esthetician Schools That Interest You

Once you've determined that esthetics school is for you, consider visiting the schools you've researched on a formal visit as a prospective student. You should bring a list of questions to ask while visiting schools. Consider asking:

  • What is the tuition?
  • What are the related costs? Will you need to purchase books, protective equipment, or a cosmetology kit?
  • How does financial aid work?
  • Does the school offer career or employment placement services?
  • What is the curriculum?
  • Is the program flexible, or will you need to follow a rigorous schedule?
  • How will you complete your training requirements?
  • What problems do students typically face?
  • What is the policy if you need to withdraw, transfer schools, or take a pause on your esthetics program?

A visit is an opportunity to get a fuller picture of what it's like to attend a particular school or program. Remember, the school probably wants you to enroll—so feel free to ask hard questions and get specific!

Step 8: Map Your Route and Plan Your Parking

When envisioning yourself in esthetics school, remember there are costs not covered by tuition alone. For example, you may need to pay for transportation or parking.

To avoid high costs, you could find out what time classes start each day, then research transportation or affordable parking options. You can use Google Maps with a set start or arrival time to see how long it would actually take you to get there in time for classes.

Also, find out if there is on-site meal availability. You may consider packing meals and snacks to lessen the financial burden. With some planning, you could minimize your expenses to maximize your budget.

Step 9: Check into Continuing Esthetics Education and Advanced Programs

Once you're established in your career, you may decide to pursue advanced esthetics coursework or continuing education opportunities.

Do the schools and programs you're researching offer that coursework? Some states have two-tier esthetic licensure systems that offer students pathways to becoming master estheticians.

You may also want to ask whether a school's career services program offers post-graduation educational opportunities or assistance toward your long-term career goals.

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