Go to Esthetician School!

Esthetician schools prepare students for a career in skin care.  Esthetics is covered in cosmetology school and technically, a licensed cosmetologist can legally be an esthetician.

However, under a cosmetology program only a few weeks are spent on skin care. So though you are licensed, you will find that a cosmetology program doesn't adequately prepare you for an esthetician career.  That being said, there are still a few exceptions to that rule.

For example, I'm a licensed cosmetologist that is very good at waxing.  When I graduated, waxing studios didn't exist yet.  Now they do.  I could get a job at European Wax Centers, no problem.

 Could I do laser hair removal? No.

If you wish to work solely as an esthetician I suggest you go to a specialized program through esthetician schools to gain the education you will need.´╗┐

Esthetician Schools,
a separate program

There are 3 ways to become a licensed esthetician.

  1. Become a licensed cosmetologist. (10 months - 18 months, only a few weeks spent on actual skin care)
  2. Go through an esthetician program at a cosmetology school. (3-10 months, very detailed esthetic education, certificate program)
  3. Go to a community college that offers the esthetics program.

The required hours for graduation from esthetician schools range from 300 to 1000. They are listed by state under cosmetology school hours. As you can see, some states are easier than others.  This means it could take you anywhere from 3 months to 10 months to fulfill your hour requirement to graduate.

After you graduate you will schedule your exam date to take your state licensing exam.  Most of the exams are written and hands-on. 

Once you pass your state board exam in esthetics you will be a licensed esthetician in that state, not all states.  If you move you will have to apply for reciprocity in that state based on your hours of esthetic education in the state where you are originally licensed. Every state requirements are different.

What kind of jobs could these schools prepare me for?

Being an esthetician makes you a skin care specialist. Esthetician schools can groom you to work in:

  • Salon/spa
  • Product representative
  • Makeup artist
  • Medical office
  • Waxing studio
  • Resorts
  • Cruise ships
  • Sales for Professional Cosmetics
  • Special Effects with Makeup
  • Theatre

What is an average Esthetician Salary?

I found the range for esthetician salaries to be between $17,000 and $59,000. Like cosmetologists, it depends on your location, the hours you work and where you work.  The median income according to the U.S. Dept. of Labor and Statistics is around $33,000.

If I'm not mistaken, it is slightly higher than cosmetologists.

You have to be clear on what would really make you happy when you are deciding about your education.  Even though I can legally do some esthetic jobs, the truth is I'm not comfortable being that personal with clients.  I wouldn't be happy touching bodies all day. And I love HAIR!  All I'm saying is don't be driven only by the numbers!

There are esthetician jobs out there and the demand is growing, but there is less competition in the hair industry. So you may choose to go to esthetician school.

What do Esthetician Schools Teach?

When going to esthetician school you will attend classroom lectures and you will be doing hands-on work with clients to learn the equipment and proper techniques.

You will learn:

  • anatomy
  • skin care techniques
  • trichology (study of hair)
  • hair removal methods
  • facial treatments
  • facial massage
  • body wraps
  • makeup application
  • paraffin treatments
  • microdermabrasion
  • client safety
  • proper sanitation
  • state law regarding the practice of esthetics
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