Becoming a Master Esthetician in Virginia

When it comes to gaining a license in esthetics (also known as "aesthetics"), Virginia is a two-tier state. That means there are two licenses practicing estheticians can apply for—a standard esthetics license and a master esthetics license.

Gaining your master esthetics license allows you to perform a wider, more advanced range of treatments than the standard license. This can lead to higher pay, more exciting career options, and opportunities to specialize in certain fields, like microdermabrasion, chemical peels, or light therapy.

What Can a Master Esthetician Do in Virginia?

Master estheticians in Virginia can perform all services regular estheticians can, such as:

  • Body treatments
  • Facials and skin treatments (both by hand and machine)
  • Hair removal
  • Makeup application
  • Masks
  • Skin analysis and patient consultations

In addition, they can carry out additional treatments standard estheticians aren't allowed to perform, including:

  • Alpha and beta hydroxy peels
  • Enzyme treatments
  • Jessner chemical peels
  • LED light therapy
  • Lymphatic drainage
  • Microdermabrasion exfoliation
  • Trichloroacetic acid peels
  • Ultrasound and micro-current technology

Neither estheticians nor master estheticians can perform laser treatments in Virginia without extra training. To work with lasers, you must enroll in a separate program accredited by the National Council on Laser Certification (NCLC).

Requirements for Master Estheticians in Virginia

To be eligible to apply for a master esthetics license in Virginia, there are several legal requirements you must meet before you apply.

Most importantly, you must already hold a current Virginia esthetics license. Then, you need to complete one of the following educational pathways:

  • 600 training hours at a state-licensed master esthetics program
  • 2,000 hours at a master esthetics apprenticeship
  • The equivalent of one of the above from an out-of-state program

The state requires Master Estheticians to pass written and practical exams and pay licensing fees to the state board.

You must also fill out an application and disclose information about your past. These details include whether you've ever been subject to a disciplinary action relating to the industry, had an application to the Board denied, and have a criminal history.

If any of those apply to you, it doesn't mean you'll automatically have your application denied. But, you have to complete additional paperwork, and your application may be subject to extra review.

Master Esthetician Programs in Virginia

With so many options available, picking the right master esthetics program for you can feel daunting. Here are some options available in Virginia right now.

Aesthetics Academy of Virginia

The 600-hour Master Esthetics program at the Aesthetics Academy of Virginia is designed to move estheticians far beyond the basics. This includes advanced therapies and protocols that could open up the career options available to those who qualify. The curriculum covers dermaplaning, micro-currents, lymphatic drainage, ultrasonics, LED light therapy, and more.

Ali&Co + BRSE

At Ali&Co, students in the Master Esthetics program must already have learned the basics of skin care, hair removal, makeup application and more in their initial training. The master esthetics program teaches histology, lymphatic massage, and more. All master esthetics students are provided with a full practical kit on enrollment, so they can get started immediately.

American Spirit Institute

Students in the 600-hour Master Esthetics program at the American Spirit Institute are taught advanced anatomy and physiology, with a special emphasis on the skin. They can also access in-depth knowledge of cosmetic ingredients and pharmacology and study advanced treatments. Students are encouraged to attend field trips to medical spas and plastic surgery clinics to get an inside look at day-to-day life in the industry.

AVI Career Training

At AVI Career Training, the 600-hour Master Esthetics program includes chemical acid peels, intense pulsed light (IPL) facials with micro-current treatments, and more. It also covers advanced client care, business, and ethics. The school goes even further with training in cosmetic chemistry, stone therapy, diverse skin types, hyperpigmentation, rosacea, and more.

Azario Institute of Beauty

Azario Institute of Beauty instructors have over 30 years of combined experience. They offer several programs, including a Master Esthetics course, alongside refresher classes for those returning to the industry after a break. The curriculum covers topics like advanced extraction, microdermabrasion, lymphatic drainage, and light therapy.

Belle Santé School of Esthetics

Master Esthetics students at the Belle Santé School of Esthetics practice on paying clients, as well as each other, in a spa. The program covers advanced business subjects, infection control, skin care and procedures, and lymphatic drainage massage.

The Chrysm School of Esthetics

With campuses in Virginia Beach and Hampton, the Chrysm School of Esthetics offers its 600-hour Master Esthetics program on a hybrid basis. This means students spend 200 hours working remotely to learn the theories behind advanced treatments. They also 400 hours on campus, practicing their hands-on skills.

Cosmopolitan Beauty & Tech School

At the Cosmopolitan Beauty & Tech School in Annandale, students can choose from several programs, including a 600-hour Master Esthetics course. The curriculum is designed to advance successful esthetics students to the next level of training, with hands-on classes in skin and body treatments, safety protocols, proper work habits, business skills, and more.

Crown Cutz Academy Bristol

The Master Esthetics program at Crown Cutz Academy (formerly the Bristol School of Hair Design) mixes theory with hands-on training. It aims to help ensure students can launch into salon life after graduation. Classes cover techniques like chemical peels, microdermabrasion, lymphatic drainage, micro-current (non-surgical) facelifts, dermaplaning, and ultrasound facials.

Dermal Science International Aesthetics & Nails Academy

This school offers a range of courses, including a 600-hour Master Esthetics program. The curriculum covers advanced techniques, like chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and other intricate procedures. Classes can be taken full-time over 23 weeks or part-time over 46 weeks.

Eastern Virginia Career College

Students in the 600-hour Master Esthetics program at Eastern Virginia Career College are taught to perform advanced treatments like microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and lymphatic drainage. Upon enrollment, each student gets supplies, including a master esthetics kit. The program also grants each passing student a PCA Skin chemical peels certification.

Esthetic Institute

At the Esthetic Institute in Vienna, students can choose from several programs and specialty classes, including a 600-hour Master Esthetics program, which can be taken on a part- or full-time basis. The curriculum intends to provide estheticians with advanced skills.

Hues Aesthetic Institute

The aim of Hues Aesthetic Institute in Fredericksburg is to welcome everyone. The school carries this ethos through all its courses, including its 600-hour Master Esthetics program. Classes are kept small, with a maximum of 12 students and can be taken on a part- or full-time basis.

Illuminate Beauty Institute

The 600-hour hybrid Master Esthetics program at Illuminate Beauty Institute combines virtual theory with hands-on practical sessions, aiming to help students fit training around other commitments. The curriculum covers treatments and techniques, including dermaplaning, chemical peels, intense pulse light therapies, and more.

Institute of Advanced Medical Esthetics

Students in the regular esthetics program at the Institute of Advanced Medical Esthetics can enroll in the 600-hour Master Esthetics course the day they graduate. However, class numbers are limited, so register early.

Institute of Epidermal Cell Therapy

At the Institute of Epidermal Cell Therapy, students in the 600-hour Master Esthetics program learn through a blend of Montessori teaching methods and hands-on experiences in the school's on-site spa facility. The program aims to prepare students for successful employment at skin therapy centers, medical spas, plastic surgery clinics, and dermatological practices.

LB Beauty Academy

Students at the Dermalogica-partnered LB Beauty Academy in Richmond can choose from several diploma courses and certificates in subjects like Master Esthetics. The 600-hour program can be taken during the day, in the evenings, or even as a hybrid online option—aiming to make it easy to find a flexible schedule that works for you.

Lilique Training Institute

The 600-hour Master Esthetics program at Lilique Training Institute in Fairfax aims to open up a new realm of opportunity for practicing estheticians. It offers education in techniques like microdermabrasion, chemical exfoliation, ultrasonics, micro-currents, IPL, and lymphatic drainage.

Lotus Professional Academy

Students in Lotus Professional Academy's 600-hour Master Esthetics program can choose to complete their studies in eight or ten months, with classes conducted on a hybrid model combining hands-on practical sessions with online theory learning. The curriculum covers advanced topics and techniques, like skin care, chemical exfoliation, and lymphatic drainage.

Miracle Beauty and Nails Academy

This Virginia Beach school offers many courses, including a 600-hour Master Esthetics program. The curriculum aims to train students in advanced manipulative skills, safety, work habits, and professional attitudes.

Miracle Universal Institute

The 600-hour Master Esthetics program at Miracle Universal Institute can be taken either on-campus or as a hybrid model and prepares students for an exciting and advanced career in skincare, makeup, and lashes. Combining classroom training and valuable clinical experience reinforces the knowledge and skills learned in past esthetics training and builds upon it to train students in bigger and better procedures.

Neroli Institute

The Neroli Institute has two locations in Virginia, with facilities in Vienna and Falls Church. The school offers several beauty programs, including a 600-hour Master Esthetics course. It covers topics like microdermabrasion, chemical exfoliation, and lymphatic drainage. Career guidance is also available.

New You Med Spa

Students can choose from various programs at New You Med Spa in Gainesville, including a 600-hour Master Esthetics course. In addition to classroom learning and practical hands-on lab sessions, students can practice their new skills on real customers in the school's spa facility under the supervision of licensed instructors.

NoVa Laser & Esthetics Training

The 600-hour Master Esthetics program at NoVa Laser & Esthetics Training is designed to provide students with a well-rounded education. It strives to teach the skills and knowledge needed to launch successful careers. The school uses new-age methods and a hands-on approach to ensure a thorough education in advanced skincare and treatments.

Rejuvenation Skin Institute

The Master Esthetics program at Rejuvenation Skin Institute takes 600 hours to complete and teaches students to perform advanced esthetic treatments, project a professional image, and communicate with clients effectively. Upon graduation, students should understand microbiology, anatomy and physiology, microdermabrasion, and more.

The Skin Care Center

The 600-hour Master Esthetics program from The Skin Care Center in Alexandria teaches advanced techniques and theory topics. Subjects include anatomy and physiology, skincare and modalities, chemical exfoliation, lymphatic drainage, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and photo facial light therapy.

Spectrum Beauty Academy

This Alexandria beauty school offers several programs and certificates, including a 600-hour Master Esthetics course. Students receive in-depth training and hands-on experience in subject areas from anti-aging and acne care to resurfacing and peels, microdermabrasion, light therapy, ultrasonic treatments, vacuum treatments, rosacea, acne, and extraction techniques, body and back treatments, and advanced waxes.

Starkey Medical School of Esthetics

This prestigious beauty school offers three programs, including a Master Esthetics course that teaches students various advanced techniques like chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and lymphatic drainage. In addition, many Starkey students are hired in med spas or medical offices, including in Starkey's clinics in Salem and Blacksburg.

Sthree Skin Care Academy of Esthetics

The Sthree Skin Care Academy of Esthetics offers four options for budding beauty students, including a Master Esthetics course. The program is aimed at experienced estheticians who want to master their craft, improve techniques in previously learned areas, and become acquainted with more technical facial devices.

Sylvain Melloul International Hair Academy

The Sylvain Melloul International Hair Academy, located in Lynchburg, partners with industry-leading names, including L'Oreal Professionnel, Mizani, Morgan Taylor, and Dermalogica. It offers several programs, including a Master Esthetics course. It aims to take estheticians to the next level with confidence in their craft and the know-how to build their own brands, market themselves, and grow a strong clientele.

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