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Esthetician Job Description

Estheticians are trained skincare professionals who provide clients with cosmetic treatments to the skin, particularly the areas of the face and neck. They are an essential part of the personal service and beauty industry workforce and often work alongside cosmetologists and massage therapists in spas and salons. They also provide assistance in various fields of medicine such as dermatology and plastic surgery and sometimes find employment in these types of medical offices. Since estheticians constantly interact with the clients and patients during their work day, they must have a pleasant demeanor and possess appropriate knowledge in order to instruct and assess the clientele.

Esthetician Duties

The procedures and duties estheticians can perform on a daily basis include:

  • Facials
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Peels
  • Laser treatments
  • Facial scrubs
  • Removing unwanted hair through waxing
  • Head and neck massages

In addition to these performing these procedures, estheticians also:

  • Meet with clients or patients
  • Discuss potential treatments for their skincare issues
  • Suggest skincare regiments for clients
  • Sterilize equipment and work areas

Alternate Job Titles

Estheticians are also called skin care specialists, skin care therapists, skin therapists, and medical estheticians. Esthetician can also be spelled aesthetician.

How To Become An Esthetician

How Long Does It Take To Become An Esthetician?

The programs can vary in the number of class hours and practical hours required, but they are generally between 300 and 1500 hours depending on the state and can take anywhere from 4 to 12 months to complete. The program consists of classes in subject areas such as anatomy and physiology and the instruction of esthetic techniques such as chemical peels and facials.

Education Requirements

In order to become an esthetician, one must attend an accredited school that offers an esthetician diploma. Esthetician and/ or medical esthetician training can be obtained at technical or trade schools, beauty schools, or career colleges. After completing the required courses in the subject matter and numerous hours of clinical experience, graduates can take their state exam which usually consists of written, verbal, and practical segments.

The programs available at colleges to become an esthetician are often grouped under the heading of cosmetology, but skincare or esthetician programs are more specialized than general cosmetology diplomas and focus on the techniques and procedures performed by estheticians. In addition to classroom instruction, there is also an extensive hands on component required of students in order to graduate. Hands on instruction often consists of practical classes in waxing, massage, and facials.


All states require graduates of esthetician programs to become state licensed. The rules and regulations of each state vary, so it is wise to check the requirements in the state in which one wishes to become licensed.

In order to become licensed, the different states require students to graduate from an accredited program and then pass a mandatory state exam. Although the exams might differ from state to state, the licensing exam is always extensive and involves a written and practical component. After passing the exam, graduates become state licensed are eligible to seek employment in their respective states.

Job Outlook

Jobs for estheticians will grow by 25 percent until 2020, and there will be 11, 700 new jobs created in the field between the years of 2010 and 2020. This rate is faster than the average occupation. This is due to several factors. First, there is an increasing demand for skin care services, since many people in the United States wish to slow down the effects of aging. In addition, there are more salons and spas opening that can potentially offer employment opportunities to estheticians. Detailed esthetician salary data is available here.

States With Highest Employment Levels

State Hourly mean Wage Annual mean salary # Employed Employment/1000 jobs
California $16.63 $34,600 4,370 0.31
Texas $15.70 $32,650 2,670 0.25
Florida $14.26 $29,650 2,450 0.34
New York $16.43 $34,170 2,310 0.27
Massachusetts $17.39 $36,170 1,810 0.56

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