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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, 24 percent of estheticians are self-employed (2023) , 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 Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average income for estheticians was $51,100 in 2023. The BLS also states that the employment outlook for estheticians/skincare specialists is excellent in coming years. By 2032, it is predicted that estheticians could see a 9 percent increase in their employment.

Estheticians may also make extra income by recommending and selling products to clients.  Another way to increase your pay is by possessing dual licenses or extra certifications. If you can also provide massage therapy, reflexology, nails, or lash extensions, you open yourself up to more clients, which in turn, may translate to increased earnings. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports that the top 10 percentage of estheticians made $81,320 or more.

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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