Esthetician Salary: How Much Do Estheticians Make?
Estheticians, also called aestheticians and skincare specialists, earned a median of $34,090 per year ($16.39 per hour) as of 2019. The field anticipates rapid growth, with the number of jobs expected to increase by 17% between 2019 and 2029.
In 2019, on average, estheticians who work in physicians' offices—like medical and nurse estheticians—were generally paid the most, at $19.80 per hour. On the other hand, estheticians who work in travel or hospitality are generally paid the least, at $13.67 per hour on average.
Top earners in esthetics can make good money: The top 10% of estheticians in terms of pay earn more than $30 per hour as of 2019, while the lowest 10% in pay made under $9.85.
On this page, you'll learn more about how much estheticians are paid near you, including salary data by state and metro area. You'll also discover how estheticians are paid and what you can do to improve your salary as an esthetician.
Esthetician Average Pay by State: At a Glance
Esthetician salaries vary by state due to factors such as cost of living and the minimum wage.
State salary data is a blend of multiple locations in the state, from bustling, high-priced cities to rural, often lower-cost areas, so keep your specific location in mind when looking at this information.
How Much Do Estheticians Make in Each State?
Find out more about esthetician salaries and job requirements in your area through the links below.
|State||2019 Mean Salary||Anticipated 2016-2026 Growth|
|District of Columbia||N/A||N/A|
|New Hampshire||$32,810 ($15.77/hr)||13%|
|New Jersey||$37,590 ($18.07/hr)||24%|
|New Mexico||$39,380 ($18.93/hr)||10%|
|New York||$41,660 ($20.03/hr)||20%|
|North Carolina||$43,390 ($20.86/hr)||18%|
|North Dakota||$34,440 ($16.56/hr)||11%|
|Rhode Island||$22,730 ($10.93/hr)||N/A|
|South Carolina||$30,790 ($14.80/hr)||15%|
|South Dakota||$34,390 ($16.53/hr)||14%|
|West Virginia||$38,610 ($18.56/hr)||13%|
Best Cities for Esthetician Salaries
Below, you can find the highest-paying metropolitan areas for estheticians. However, when considering pay, don't forget to factor in the cost of living. Read our study of the top U.S. cities for esthetician pay when accounting for both salary and cost of living.
Top Metropolitan Areas for Esthetician Salaries
|Metropolitan Area||2019 Mean Salary|
|Olympia / Tumwater, Washington||$114,120 ($54.86/hr)|
|Portland / South Portland, Maine||$73,460 ($35.32/hr)|
|Denver / Aurora / Lakewood, Colorado||$68,590 ($32.98/hr)|
|Killeen / Temple, Texas||$62,930 ($30.26/hr)|
|Jackson, Mississippi||$56,290 ($27.06/hr)|
|Seattle / Tacoma / Bellevue, Washington||$56,030 ($26.94/hr)|
|Cheyenne, Wyoming||$55,820 ($26.84/hr)|
|Appleton, Wisconsin||$55,610 ($26.74/hr)|
|Santa Maria / Santa Barbara, California||$54,910 ($26.40/hr)|
|Medford, Oregon||$54,340 ($26.13/hr)|
2019 mean salary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2020).
Top Nonmetropolitan (Non-Urban) Areas for Esthetician Salaries
|Nonmetropolitan Area||2019 Mean Salary|
|Northeastern Wisconsin Nonmetropolitan Area||$62,090 ($29.85/hr)|
|Piedmont, North Carolina Nonmetropolitan Area||$53,450 ($25.70/hr)|
|Kansas Nonmetropolitan Area||$45,610 ($21.93/hr)|
|Central Missouri Nonmetropolitan Area||$36,980 ($17.78/hr)|
|Northwest Colorado Nonmetropolitan Area||$36,620 ($17.61/hr)|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2020).
Additional information about what "nonmetropolitan" means can be found on the BLS website.
How Are Estheticians Paid?
Estheticians are often paid differently than workers in other career fields, though similarly to many others in the beauty industry.
Firstly, some estheticians are paid by employers, while others are self-employed. The majority of estheticians are employed by others, particularly in salons and spas. As of 2019, only 27% of estheticians were self-employed.
Estheticians generally rent a booth or work on commission. If you rent a booth, you're often closer to being your own boss with your own pay rate and schedule. Working on commission means you're employed by a company and earn a base pay plus commission. In either case, tips are common.
If you work for a company, you must be paid at least your state's minimum wage. Most estheticians are paid hourly, though some are salaried. Whether or not you can be tipped if you're salaried is determined by your state or county.
How to Improve Your Esthetician Salary
The best way to improve your esthetician salary is by taking continuing education classes and gaining additional skills. The more specialized you're able to be, the more opportunities you may find available to you.
Continuing education courses can be found through local beauty groups, at conferences, or through esthetician schools. Your esthetician school may offer free continuing education to its graduates, as grads who can speak highly of them and find unique or lucrative jobs make the school look good.
You may also earn more as an esthetician if you work in a physician's office. Medical estheticians don't need a separate license, though taking relevant continuing education courses is a good idea. Nurse estheticians often make significantly more than medical or standard estheticians, but a nursing license is required.
And, of course, work experience is key! The longer you're employed, the higher your pay is likely to be. Try to avoid unnecessary employment gaps and keep your portfolio up to date if you decide to look for new jobs. If you find yourself in a rut, you can also look into unusual jobs in the beauty industry, which may or may not pay more but could earn you some valuable skills.