How to Become an Esthetician

The skin care and beauty industry will never go out of style, and if you’re looking for a career in this field that will help others, becoming an esthetician is a great move to make. We show you the steps to take to become an esthetician, what study and training you can

Beauty and skin care have always been a priority in all cultures, and it’s something that only becomes more and more important as we age. Some people have such a passion for skin care and beauty that they want to turn their love into a career, and for many of those, the natural progression to take is learning how to become an esthetician.

The role of an esthetician is a lot more detailed than many people realize, and it takes years of study and training in order to be qualified. Once you are qualified though, there’s no end to the path your career can take you and there are some many specialty fields that you might choose to work in.

Many people find their natural calling in beauty and get great joy out of helping others look their best and treat their skin problems beyond more than just a cosmetic level. If you’ve always wondered about a career in beauty or becoming an esthetician, read on to find out exactly what the role entails.

What Is An Esthetician?

Esthetician is an official title for a skin care professional who works in cosmetology. The term is quite broad though and depending on where you’re working and what specialty you’re involved in, there will be quite a variation in the role.

Estheticians work on both facial and body treatments for their clients and aim to enhance both the health and appearance of others. Commonly referred to as a beauty therapist, these professionals take on a large number of tasks each day including waxing, facials, and creating in-depth skin care regimes that help their patients heal from skin conditions.

An esthetician may work in their own salon or as part of a larger team, facility, or center. Roles for estheticians can be found in many places and there is quite a bit of diversity with where you can work, including spas, salons, hotels, cruise ships, and as a self-employed practitioner.

The Roles and Responsibilities of an Esthetician

During your study to become an esthetician, you’ll learn about all of the possible parts of the role. However, once qualified you might choose to specialize in a certain area or treatment depending on where your passion is. These are just some of the common duties that an esthetician does:

  • Massage of the head, neck, and scalp areas;
  • Microdermabrasion;
  • Facials, masks, and exfoliation treatments;
  • Hair removal including threading, waxing, tweezing, and depilatories;
  • Implementing skincare routines and recommending products;
  • Anti-aging treatments including chemical peels and laser;
  • Moisturizing treatments for face and body;
  • Scrubs and exfoliation treatments for the face and body;
  • Applying makeup for events, costume, and theater;
  • Extracting blackheads and treating pimples;
  • Treating pores, skin tones, and acne prone skin;

Some people may be employed as an esthetician responsible for all of these duties but it’s more common to specialize in one area. Their focus is on skin care and not just cosmetic beauty, so they will also help to treat skin conditions and implement routines that might be more suitable for their client’s needs.

Is This the Career For You?

Studying to become an esthetician might sound appealing for those with an interest in beauty, but there’s more to the job than that. Before you can delve into your training or find a specialty, see if you have the desired traits that make a good esthetician.

  • A desire to work with people and deliver good customer service;
  • Excellent communication skills to be used while giving treatments;
  • A passion for skin care and some understanding of beauty;
  • An ongoing desire to learn about developments in the field;
  • A desire to help others and improve their lives through your treatments;
  • A gentle and compassionate approach toward others;
  • The ability to work in some areas that might not be appealing to everyone (ie. Waxing and hair removal);

Although it may seem to be an easy job giving beauty treatments, estheticians work very hard, may put in long hours, and sometimes have to spend long periods on their feet. As there is a lot of customer interaction, someone with confidence or a born communicator would be ideal for this role.

Benefits of Being an Esthetician

There are so many great benefits to this career and it’s often a job that people stick with for life due to this. If you’re still wondering what a career as an esthetician can offer you, check out these advantages:

  • An endless range of job options;
  • A chance to work with others and build people skills;
  • Job satisfaction helping others to look and feel good;
  • Flexibility with work hours;
  • Freedom to run your own business or work with others;
  • Transferable skills that can be used all over the world;
  • Using your own skills to make yourself look and feel good;

How to Become an Esthetician

If you’re interested in becoming an esthetician, there are some steps you’ll need to take to do it the right way. Check out what’s required before you embark on the journey to ensure you’re able to commit to what it takes.

  1. Have your high school diploma or GED equivalent;
  2. Review the requirements for your state so you know the exact path to take;
  3. Enroll in your chosen cosmetology course or program;
  4. Complete the training hours required to complete the program as per the state’s requirements;
  5. Complete the cosmetology course with a mix of theory and practical studies;
  6. Once graduated, complete an apprenticeship working with a qualified professional, with between 300 to 1200 supervised hours required;
  7. Pass the licensure exam required by your state;

Once you become a qualified esthetician, you then have the opportunity to delve deeper into a specialty career. This could include medical estheticians, spa therapists, or skin care technician, and each might require additional training and education. Some you may be able to learn with job experience and others will require further study.

Where Can an Esthetician Work?

There are so many great roles available once you become a qualified esthetician, and it’s a lot more varied than people realize. These are just some places you might be able to find work depending on your experience and chosen career path.

  • Day spa;
  • Beauty salon;
  • Hotel or resort;
  • Medical office;
  • Plastic surgeon’s office;
  • Cruise ship;
  • Running your own business;
  • Skin care or cosmetics company;
  • Department store;

Within these settings, there are many different roles you might take. You could have an interest in facial treatments like laser and microdermabrasion, or you may want to develop your skills as a makeup artist further or get into the field of marketing for skin care products. Whichever role you choose, becoming a licensed esthetician is the first step you’ll have to take.

Salary and Career Growth

If you’re looking for a career in an industry with growth, this is certainly the place to be. According to estimations, the number of licensed estheticians within the US will grow between 2012 and 2022 by up to 40 percent. When compared to other roles within the beauty industry, this is almost double the rate of growth.

The median salary for a qualified esthetician is around $28,000 per year when working full time. However, these roles are quite varied and depending on where you find work you have the potential to earn up to $58,000 a year with the right experience.

Once you’re licensed and qualified, there’s a huge range of options out there for where this career can take you. Depending on your interests and your desire to do further study and training for a specialty, there’s no end to where this role can take you.

A Meaningful Career Helping Others

We all understand the importance of looking and feeling our best, and an esthetician is the one person who can help us achieve that. There’s no way that the beauty industry will ever be out of style and so if you’re looking for job security in a role that’s always changing and developing, becoming an esthetician might be the way to go.

People often assume that this role is a lot easier than it is to obtain, but those who have been through it understand there’s a lot of study, knowledge, and training that goes into it. The reward for your hard work is knowing that you’re making a difference in people’s lives, looking and feeling your best personally, and having the chance to grow your career in any direction you choose.



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