If you love cosmetics and you enjoy going to the spa or salon and think you might be interested in working there, you might consider a career in esthetics. Esthetics is the field of cosmetic skin care. Estheticians are not skin doctors, and should not be confused with dermatologists. They are however qualified to perform a wide spectrum of cosmetic skin care treatments such as waxing, facials, full body treatments (like those involving wraps), and microdermabrasion.
Why Become An Esthetician
The median annual salary for this occupation is not all that high, so the main reason to consider going into esthetics is because you are passionate about the field of cosmetic skin care and the workplace appeals to you. If you want to help yourself and others to look their very best and to combat the effects of aging on the appearance, esthetics is a perfect field. Many people also enter this profession because they like the idea of working in a salon or spa.
Estheticians generally work in spas (day spas or medi-spas) or in salons. Some may operate their own spas or salons, and often they perform work based on dermatologist referrals. These can be very relaxing, pleasant workplaces, and they offer an opportunity to be sociable with customers and other staff members. There are many salon and spa workers who choose to go into esthetics for just this reason.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) places esthetics in the domain of skin care specialists, and reports a median annual salary of $28,640 and an hourly wage of $13.77. Some estheticians make less than $20,000 a year, and the highest earners make around $51,900 a year. There are many factors which can impact earnings, including certification, experience, location, and procedures performed.
Esthetician Career Outlook
The BLS reports that cosmetic professions such as esthetician are growing at a rate of 14%, which is comparable to the average for all other occupations. This is a big field, however, so this represents around 100,000 new job openings expected between 2010 and 2020. This means there is going to be a lot of demand, which makes this a great time to consider going into the field of skin cosmetics. Keep in mind though that there is usually a lot of competition in this field, and there will be many other job candidates who are also competing for those same job openings.
You do not need a degree to become an esthetician, but you do require a certification. Every state has its own unique set of rules and regulations governing certification, and the amount of training required will depend on which state you live in. It could range anywhere from 260 to 600 hours in order to complete training. How much training you require will also probably depend on what types of procedures you plan to do. Learning complex procedures like microdermabrasion takes longer than learning something simple like waxing.