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If you’ve ever had interest in estheticians or becoming an esthetician, you may be wondering what the job entails, educational requirements, job outlook, salary, training and more. This article will cover the most common aspects related to the field, in order to help new prospects make informed decisions about employment as estheticians.


What Is an Esthetician?

In essence, the esthetician definition can be thought of as a trained cosmetology professional working in the field of skincare. While this field is quite broad, there are a variety of specializations in esthetician jobs open to members of the field. One may find themselves working alongside a salon, spa, or massage parlor. Others may choose to be a medical esthetician and work in that field.

What Is Involved in the Job Itself?

Persons in this field may have a wide range of duties depending on the type of clientele they service or their specialization and training. These can include:

  • Meeting with prospective clients
  • Assessing skincare needs
  • Providing personal skin care treatment plans as needed
  • Performing chemical peels
  • Waxing
  • Massages

Some of the duties one will encounter are a direct result of training in the field, such as a facial or a peel. Others necessitate more general but still important skills, such as good communication and establishing a rapport with potential customers. Various aspects of skincare can be uncomfortable for some people, and putting clients at ease is essential to providing them with the best care possible.

How to Become an Esthetician

Finding a School

Meeting the proper educational standards is the first step. These requirements will vary based on the state in which you live. However, there are some milestones that remain relatively similar throughout. Firstly, one must complete a course in cosmetology or similar field. Look for approved esthetician schools in your area that offer such courses. Keep in mind that during this course, hands-on training in the form of clinical hours will be necessary. While these can vary by school, the average clinical hours needed to pass these courses is around 600 total.
Prospective students will want to make sure they attend a state-approved and certified esthetician school with a qualified, professional teaching staff knowledgeable in the field. Each state has a Board of Cosmetology, and this body may be a helpful tool in identifying the best prospective schools for your needs. Read more about how to become an esthetician here.


The coursework for this will include such subjects as anatomy, physiology, and the sciences. Training you receive during clinical hours will instruct you in how to perform the duties listed above and many more.

The Exam and License

At the end of your studies, you’ll move on to the next step, taking the formal exam in order to obtain your esthetician license. As with the educational requirements, requirements for state licensing also vary depending upon the state. Don’t forget to check what those requirements are prior to going ahead with the exam. Know also that the exams are extensive, and they are not solely written exams. A hands-on component in which you are able to effectively utilize the skills learned in your clinical hours will also be expected!
Once you are awarded your license, you’ll have the necessary credentials to begin putting the skills you have learned to use. You’ll want to create a formal, effective esthetician resume as you begin your job search. Be sure to include not only information such as your place of education, but the clinical hours undertaken, methodologies and practices learned, and any extra training you have received. A well-constructed esthetician resume can mean the difference between getting your foot in the door and getting the start you need, and being passed over entirely.

Job Outlook and Payscale

Skin care specialists currently have an average median annual income of around $30,000. Keep in mind that working as a private specialist will likely increase your salary to higher than if you were working at a spa, resort, or other places that may employ such services.
If you choose to specialize in the medical field of skincare, your average salary will also be higher than that of non-medical counterparts. Starting medical esthetician salary is generally $10,000 higher, generally speaking.
Experience and location play an important role here as well. While you will likely receive an increased salary as you gain experience and knowledge in the field regardless of location, you’ll likely have greater earning potential in states where the field is in demand currently. These include states like Alaska D.C. and Arkansas, to name a few. Note, however, that states that are top paying are not necessarily those with the highest employment levels. Keep this in mind when searching for a job as a new professional. It may be better to go where employment is higher, even if average esthetician salary is somewhat lower. You can always gain experience. Read more about esthetician salaries here.

In Conclusion: Is This Right For Me?

Making that career choice or even just a career move can be a big step. There are many variables and factors to consider when making the choice. While it can seem daunting, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
Do you consider yourself a personable and cheerful individual? Are you interested in learning more about anatomy, physiology and the like? Do you have a keen interest in helping people to both look and feel their best, as well as being able to guide and direct them on how to achieve these goals? Are you interested in getting into a field that is projected to steadily grow in exciting employment opportunities over the next several years, and putting these skills and instincts for beauty and care to good use?
If you answered yes to even just a few of these questions, this field is worth looking into, and may be for you!

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