How to Become an Esthetician

Do you like cosmetology but aspire to specialize in skin care? Pursuing a career as an esthetician might be it for you. Estheticians also referred to as skin care therapists work in medi-spas, day spa, and salons. They are experts in cosmetic cure of the skin and carry out various cosmetic processes such as body treatments, waxing and facials. These professionals offer a perfect blend of near-skin medical services and beauty treatments.

What Do Estheticians Do?

These professionals are not medical doctors hence cannot provide skin condition diagnosis, suggest treatment or prescribe medications. They complement the doctors’ treatment and work closely with dermatologists through either a referral or in-office system. Their duties include but are not limited to:

  • Analyzing the client’s skin using a magnifying lamp
  • Steaming the skin preparing it for facial treatment
  • Administering facials to cleanse the skin
  • Performing deep exfoliation treatments
  • Administering facial masques
  • Administering chemical peels and removing blackheads
  • Removing unwanted hair
  • Educating clients about appropriate skin care practices
  • Presenting information about latest skin products
  • Training other estheticians
  • Preparing patient skins before surgery
  • Providing after-care orders after an violent skin treatment
  • Placing orders for equipment and supplies with the clinic supervisor or spa manager


Earnings for estheticians vary according to various factors such as location and type of employer. Their earnings are relatively lower compared to other health jobs such as dentists and physicians. Estheticians register a median annual salary of $28,640. However, those working in various metropolitan areas have higher earnings. Below is the reflection of their earnings in different states.


Average Annual Earnings

New Hampshire


District of Columbia








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CV Writing Services


Best Paying Cities for Estheticians


Average Salary

Bridgeport, Connecticut


Jefferson City, Montana


Albuquerque, New Mexico


Oakland, California


Pittsfield, Massachusetts


Source: usnews

20 percent discount
20 percent discount

What Qualifications are Needed?

A Good esthetician is supposed to be able to work flexibly and possess an approachable and kind personality. This professional should be comfortable working with a client directly and ensure that the customer is relaxed. The esthetician should also be knowledgeable about, skin treatment, and the various skin products necessary for various skin conditions. Other imperative skills include:

  • Ability to understand written material such as maintenance and operating instructions, safety rules and procedure manuals
  • Mathematical skills
  • Ability to use various computer applications
  • Finger dexterity, arm-hand steadiness and near vision
  • Ability to communicate orally
  • Adequacy in planning and organizing tasks
  • Ability to make sound decisions
  • Excellent customer service

Working as an esthetician requires you to be capable of performing each essential task satisfactorily. Therefore, you are expected to exhibit a high degree of latitude and creativity and be able to work with minimal supervision.

Professional Training

There are no stipulated requirements for estheticians. However, typical employers demand that the applicants complete a 6 months to 2 year training curriculum. This program provides in-depth learning in various topics such as skin care procedures, skin anatomy, product knowledge and cosmetology science. Various states require the esthetician to be licensed and also pass the license exam upon completion of the program. Students are required to secure a high school diploma to enter this program.

Career Prospects

Pursuing a career as an esthetician can lead to numerous career paths. You are bound to secure a job in various places including spas, salons and resorts. Licensed estheticians can also serve as spa and salon managers if they advance their education. Below is a list of more jobs that can be held by a licensed esthetician:

  • Medical spa manager
  • Clinical esthetician
  • Paramedical esthetician
  • Master esthetician
  • Hair removal specialist

The BLS projects that job opportunities for estheticians increase 40% from 2012-2022. This is due to emergent services being provided such as mini sessions and mobile facials.

This is not a career for everyone. However if you are comfortable getting up close and personal with customers and are interested in skin care, then this could be the right career path for you.


Image: Vonlee