How To Become An Esthetician

People come to see estheticians in order to enhance the beauty and appearance of their skin. Estheticians perform a variety of facial treatments. They perform chemical peels, waxing, and body treatments. They also often do makeup applications.

This is a good career choice if you enjoy the beauty industry and want to help people achieve beautiful, healthy skin. In order to become an esthetician, you need to attend an esthetician program and become licensed.

Why Become An Esthetician

Estheticians see many customers throughout the day. These customers come to see them because they have problematic skin and want to solve it. Estheticians provide facial treatments to help.

Estheticians provide a consultation, evaluating the skin and deciding on the right treatment for the customer. They use many different creams, masks, and products during the treatment. Facials typically consist of a mask, a cleansing of the skin, an exfoliation, steam and extractions. Estheticians also perform waxing, makeup and other beauty treatments.

They educate their customers on proper products to use to keep their skin in great condition, and book future appointments for customers. Customers come to them for their expertise on proper skin care, and how to keep skin looking healthy and beautiful.

Estheticians need to have good business skills because much of their job focuses on retaining current customers, as well as marketing themselves and bringing in new customers.

Estheticians should possess the following qualities and skills:

Esthetician Work Environment

Estheticians work in a beauty, health care, salon or spa environment. They work directly with guests. During an appointment, they will see one guest at a time. A typical appointment will involve examining a guest’s skin, providing a consultation, and conducting the requested treatment.

There are many types of products, creams, peels, and masks that estheticians use. The environment is usually dimly lit and relaxing. Estheticians typically see several clients throughout the course of the day.

Esthetician Salary

Estheticians are typically paid an hourly wage instead of an annual salary. The median hourly wage for estheticians was $14.55 in 2016. This works out to be approximately $30,264 in annual salary in 2016.

Esthetician wages vary, depending on what type of location a person works in. Many estheticians work in physician offices, which tend to pay higher wages. The median wages for those employed by physicians was $18 per hour in 2016. Those employed by health care stores, personal care stores, beauty and spa establishments tended to earn less, at $12 an hour on average.

Average Esthetician Annual Salary


The average annual salary for estheticians is $35,130 a year. Salaries start at $18,650 a year and go up to $58,810 a year.

Average Esthetician Hourly Wage


The average hourly wage for a esthetician is $16.89. Hourly wages are between $8.97 and $28.27 an hour.

Stats were based out of 44,940 employed estheticians in the United States.

Highest Paying States For Estheticians

Top Paying Cities For Estheticians

Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Esthetician Career Outlook

Employment for estheticians is expected to grow by 14 percent from 2016 to 2026. This amounts to approximately 8,500 new jobs within this profession.

Advances in technology allow skincare specialists such as estheticians to perform new kinds of treatments. There are many kinds of chemical peels available, as well as facial treatments available geared towards specific skin conditions such as rosacea, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and more.

Many people seek out estheticians for injectables such as Botox and similar treatments. Their knowledge will lead them to be sought out by people who want these services.

There is an increasing aging population. This population is interested in seeking out treatments such as facials, peels, Botox and other procedures to keep them looking younger and keep their skin looking healthier.

Esthetician Degree

Estheticians do not need to attend a formal four-year college program. Estheticians instead must attend an esthetician program, licensed through the state in which they wish to work. Most of these programs are run through a local vocational school. Many schools are flexible, offering day or night classes, part-time or full time classes for students.

This is a great choice for those who want to work while attending school. A student who is enrolled full time in an esthetician program may be able to complete the program in as little as 4 to 6 months. This allows somebody to quickly start a career as an esthetician.

Once the program is completed, estheticians must take a written and practical exam and pass in order to get their state license. Below are some examples of classes estheticians will take during their program.

Esthetician Coursework

There are many different classes that estheticians will take during their program, covering the basics of facials, waxing, makeup and more. Here are a few examples of courses you may take during an esthetician program.

Facial Treatments: Students will learn how to properly deliver facial treatments to guests, and the many different kinds of facials that are available. They will learn about the products to use and the exact techniques to give during a facial treatment.

Hair Removal: Students will learn how to properly wax, tweeze, and remove hair from the body. Popular hair removal includes eyebrow, upper lip, chin, bikini, leg, underarm, and other parts of the body.

Makeup Artistry: In this class students learn how to apply makeup in daytime and glam fashions. Some decide to specialize in this area and become professional makeup artists, working at weddings, fashion shoots and more.

Guest Services: Students learn the appropriate customer service skills to impress their guests in the industry. Students learn what is necessary in order to get customers to pre-book and keep coming back for additional appointments. Students learn business skills that are necessary for the beauty industry.

Esthetician Career Path

There are many advancement opportunities available within this field for estheticians. Below are some examples of careers that estheticians can have once they advance in the profession.

Career Overview Responsibilities Education Required Benefits
Brand Representative A brand representative works as a salesperson for a beauty company. Typically they are employed by large, well known companies. They promote their skincare products to salon and spa owners, hotels, and makeup artists. They show these clients how to use products properly and how to sell them to guests. They show them the latest products that they have on the market as part of their product lineup. Bachelor’s degree Traveling around the country meeting different clients.
Beauty Educator A beauty educator is a teacher for a particular skincare company. They work for a skincare company. They know everything about their product line, and they teach the company sales team how to effectively sell the products to clients. Bachelor’s degree Great career for those who enjoy the training and education side of the industry, instead of working directly with clients

Related Esthetician Careers

There are many careers that are similar to estheticians. If you are interested in becoming an esthetician, you may also be interested in the careers below.

Massage Therapist: Massage therapists use touch to help their clients relieve pain and tension, relieve stress, relax, and soothe sore muscles. There are many types of massage, such as Swedish, deep tissue, hot stone, and more.

Nail Technician: Nail technicians perform manicures and pedicures, cleaning and shaping the feet and hands. They make the nails look beautiful as well as healthy.

Hair Stylist: Hair stylists give haircuts, color treatments, highlights, special occasion hair styling, and other hair treatments. People frequently come to see a hair stylist for a regular haircut, to get a color treatment, or because they want an entirely different look.

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