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What Is An Esthetician? Job Description & Training Options


Flawless skin isn’t something everyone is born with. A little tweaking here and there might be necessary, not just to have good skin, but to gain confidence. That’s where an esthetician comes in. What’s an esthetician, you ask? An esthetician is a highly trained skincare professional who specializes in the treatment of skin.

What You’ll Do

Estheticians are also called “skincare therapists,” and for great reason. Part of your job description is being consulted for advice on skin woes—dryness, age spots, acne, or whatever else displeases the client. You’ll give direction as to which products and care routines work best for what she’s facing. Or, people may visit you simply to relax, feel pampered, and keep their skin in good condition.

An esthetician is not only well-versed in how to take skin from good to great but also knowledgeable in skin conditions. You are able to recognize problems that would be better treated by a dermatologist and recommend when clients should visit one.

As a skincare expert, you can offer a wide range of procedures to achieve the results clients want, including facials, waxing, microdermabrasion, and other spa treatments.

Where Do Estheticians Work?

Estheticians work in a variety of places. Salons, day spas, mobile salons, and medi-spas are where you can call home. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, three in 10 estheticians are self-employed, so you could work from your own house or storefront as well.

And while many estheticians are seen in spas, you can also be found in dermatologists’ and plastic surgeons’ offices. Here, you've been trained as a medical/paramedical esthetician to prepare the skin for surgery or lasers and care for it after. A more advanced training and licensing is needed to be able to work as an esthetician in the medical field, but then you can offer more specialized procedures: botox, chemical peels, and light treatments.

How To Become An Esthetician

Estheticians require specialized training at either a cosmetology school that offers skincare education or at an esthetician school. It takes between 4-9 months to complete training, depending on if you choose to go full or part time. Before you can work as an esthetician, you have to be licensed. To obtain your license, you’ll undergo rigorous training, completing between 260-600 hours of class time. You then have to pass state boards, exams that are both written and hands-on.

How Much Will You Make?

The middle ground of esthetician income is $30,080, according to bls.gov. If you talk to those in the trade, many report earning much more, and many say they have trouble supporting themselves. However, those who say they really love the career feel they do well in it. Passion increases your drive to book clients and recommend products. Estheticians report that selling clients products they actually need increases your income, possibly up to 50 percent more.

Dual licenses or extra certifications—esthetician plus massage therapy, reflexology, nails, or lash extensions—also up your bookings (and your pay) greatly. Finally, the city or area you live in can play a big part. The employment outlook is projected to grow 14 percent through 2026, which is above average for occupations. More men and women are looking for ways to feel younger and like they are actively working toward a relaxed and healthy lifestyle.

A Low-Stress, Enjoyable Career

If you love the health and beauty industry and enjoy the thought of helping people look their best, you could be a great addition to the field. Find a school to get started.

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