How Long Does Esthetician School Take?

Estheticians are passionate about making people look good and feel confident about their appearance. They know how to care for the skin and give facial treatments that enhance a person’s physical attributes. They have a deep and scientific understanding of makeup and colors and know what kinds of shades and cosmetic styles to use for various occasions. For example, estheticians know that day makeup is not the same as makeup used for formal evening occasions.

If a career as an esthetician seems like something you see yourself doing for the rest of your life, you will need to get the necessary training in an esthetician school. The length of time you spend in an esthetician school depends on the number of training hours your state requires to allow you to sit for the licensing exam and whether you attend as a part-time or fulltime student. In general, many states typically require 600 hours of esthetician training. However, there are some states like Oregon that only require 250 hours. On the more extensive end of the spectrum are other states that require 1,500 hours of training before allowing their students to sit for their board exams. Based on these hours, esthetician school can last for anywhere from as short as four months to as long as a year.

At Von Lee International School of Aesthetics, for example, the 600-hour esthetics program can take 17 weeks for fulltime students to finish and 56 weeks for part-time students who are taking classes in the evenings. Students taking part-time classes in the daytime can take 28 weeks to complete the program requirements. At the Pennsylvania Academy of Cosmetology, the esthetician program is a 20-week class but is only 300 hours in length. According to their course description, the first 90 hours or five weeks of the program are dedicated to “theory and practical practices of basic techniques and procedures.” The bulk of the time that remains in the program will give the students opportunities to undertake “advanced workshops, machine and specialized facials, customer relations, managing an esthetics business, state boards, scheduled theory classes and supervised clinic floor activities.”

After completion of their training, graduates of esthetician programs can take a licensing exam which they need to pass to be able to practice their profession. The requirements vary from state-to-state so it is up to students to inquire from the respective state boards about those that apply to their particular situation. Passing a written exam is typically required in many states but there are other states that also test candidates on their practical skills. Some also put in place oral exams. A high school diploma is also required before you can sit for these exams.

Once you have obtained your license and started working as an esthetician, it is often beneficial to take advanced courses on various topics that will allow you to provide more services to your clients. You may undertake microdermabrasion classes, for example, so you can be certified to give this kind of service. These highly-focused courses may also be necessary for you to be able to renew your license each year.

Career Spotlight: Esthetician

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