What Is An Esthetician?

"I am interested in working in cosmetics, and somebody told me I should become an esthetician, or maybe it was aesthetician. I don’t know what that is or what it means. I’ve never even heard of one before. It seems weird to me someone thought I should get a job I’ve never even heard of. Can you please tell me more about the role of an esthetician and where one works? I think that it has something to do with skin? Thank you for your help."

asked by Joy from Louisville, KY

If you have never heard of an esthetician, you are not alone. Many people have never heard of this occupation, but that doesn’t make it an uncommon one. Estheticians are also called skin-care therapists and skin-care specialists. Odds are you have already met more than a few if you have spent any time in salons or spas. Estheticians provide cosmetic treatments to improve the appearance and texture of skin. Estheticians may perform a number of different types of procedures, including waxing, facials, full body treatments (like those involving wraps), microdermabrasion, and other cosmetic treatments.

To become an esthetician, you have to get licensed in your state. The requirements can vary, but most states require something in the range of 260-600 hours of training. You also have to pass a written exam as well as a practical exam in order to get your certification as an esthetician.

You should not confuse an esthetician with a skin care doctor. Estheticians provide aesthetic treatments only, and do not provide medical advice or treatments. Estheticians may provide treatments which complement and augment medical treatments, however, and oftentimes they work in close partnerships with local dermatologists to treat patients with acne and other skin problems.

Estheticians are classified as skin care specialists by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). According to BLS data, the median hourly wage for an esthetician is around $14, and the median annual wage is about $28,000. This isn’t the highest-earning profession in the world, so it’s important that you do it because it is something you love and are passionate about.

The starting wage for estheticians is only around $17,000 a year, but certification can help you to earn a higher wage because you’ll be able to perform more advanced procedures (like microdermabrasion). The highest earners in the field can make around $51,900, so that’s not a bad salary at all.

If you want to learn more about the career, I suggest you stop in at your salon or spa and ask to talk to the esthetician who works there. He or she can probably provide you with some great insight into the career and the best advice to reach your career goal. Of course, there are many other careers in the cosmetic field, and since you have not yet honed in on esthetics as your career objective, you may also want to investigate other career options.

Career Spotlight: 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 treatmen[...]

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