Esthetician Programs

People become Estheticians because they enjoy the creativity comes with the beauty industry. The satisfaction of helping people, flexibility in scheduling, and opportunities for creativity and entrepreneurship are all features of this career path. Additionally, the beauty industry offers job stability and diverse opportunities for growth and specialization.

Education & Training

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The average yearly esthetician salary is around $38k, which breaks down to about $18 per hour.

Experienced workers can achieve annual pay rates in excess of $55k. Higher earners often work for physicians or plastic surgeons.

Below are annual and hourly wages for each state.

Area Name Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage
Alabama $19.38 $40,320.00
Alaska $23.72 $49,330.00
Arizona $21.16 $44,010.00
Arkansas $19.22 $39,970.00
California $24.68 $51,340.00
Colorado $24.97 $51,930.00
Connecticut $28.93 $60,170.00
District of Columbia $30.03 $62,470.00
Florida $19.78 $41,140.00
Georgia $19.24 $40,030.00
Hawaii $26.03 $54,150.00
Idaho $19.29 $40,110.00
Illinois $21.26 $44,230.00
Indiana $17.27 $35,920.00
Iowa $21.07 $43,830.00
Kansas $19.62 $40,800.00
Kentucky $17.03 $35,430.00
Louisiana $16.60 $34,540.00
Maine $22.62 $47,050.00
Maryland $20.30 $42,220.00
Massachusetts $24.83 $51,650.00
Michigan $27.88 $58,000.00
Minnesota $25.18 $52,380.00
Missouri $21.13 $43,940.00
Montana $21.57 $44,860.00
Nebraska $22.80 $47,430.00
Nevada $19.09 $39,710.00
New Hampshire $19.59 $40,750.00
New Jersey $21.78 $45,310.00
New Mexico $23.16 $48,170.00
New York $34.90 $72,600.00
North Carolina $27.45 $57,100.00
North Dakota $22.55 $46,910.00
Ohio $21.82 $45,380.00
Oklahoma $13.44 $27,950.00
Oregon $23.22 $48,290.00
Pennsylvania $17.41 $36,200.00
Puerto Rico $15.19 $31,580.00
Rhode Island $21.20 $44,090.00
South Carolina $15.85 $32,970.00
Tennessee $19.43 $40,400.00
Texas $19.13 $39,780.00
Utah $24.88 $51,750.00
Vermont $29.76 $61,900.00
Virginia $20.27 $42,170.00
Washington $37.68 $78,360.00
West Virginia $16.53 $34,390.00
Wisconsin $17.88 $37,190.00
Wyoming $22.15 $46,070.00

Occupation: Skincare Specialists (SOC Code395094)

Career Overview

What Do They Do?

Estheticians give advice on beauty routines and anti-aging techniques. They provide services designed to keep skin looking young and healthy. Associates offer neck and scalp massages along with full body treatments that can include exfoliating wraps. These routines get rid of dry skin, dead cells, and blackheads.

Skin care specialists are in the business of making people look their best. Some clients come to them seeking acne reduction advice. Others ask for removal of bodily or facial hair. Many clients go to estheticians in search of solutions for smoother skin.

Some workers help patients prep for plastic surgery and assist them post-op. These skin specialists are called paramedical estheticians.

They work around the clock helping patients with soreness, redness, or other discomforts. They may apply special ointments or medicines to problem areas. Associates give patients advice on what to do in order to properly heal.

The field of esthetics is complex and competitive. Practitioners are able to perform routines of varying difficulties based on their level of esthetician training. Those with an advanced license are able to perform the following advanced procedures:

  • Laser hair removal
  • Chemical peels
  • Microdermabrasion

Job Duties

Licensed estheticians are trained to evaluate the condition of patients’ skin, including the entire body. They cleanse and exfoliate using oil, sea salt, or a number of other products. After each visit, staff members must sanitize their work area along with any equipment they may have used.

Upon performing skin analysis, associates develop skincare routines for their clients. These often involve moisturizing, staying hydrated, and avoiding harsh soaps. The types of products or procedures will vary depending on the client and their needs.

Workers evaluate a client’s skin and give advice on how to improve overall health.

In addition to cleaning regiments and helping clients develop good habits, they also improve appearances with the use of cover up, mascara, and other cosmetics.

Specialists are also qualified to provide laser hair removal treatments, and dermatologist referrals if needed.

Spa Managers

Skin care entrepreneurs may consider opening their own day spa. While this allows for a great amount of control, it also involves considerable responsibility.

Business owners need to consider all aspects of the operation, especially reliable staffing and effective advertising.

  • The duties of spa managers can include the following:
  • Hiring and dismissing colleagues
  • Recording inventory and financial stats
  • Making business decisions based on sales data
  • Leading teams of coworkers
  • Devising weekly schedules and accommodating the needs of staff members
  • Creating offers and deals that attract new customers
  • Maintaining positive relationships with existing clients

What Types of Skills Should a Skin Care Specialist Possess?

Estheticians need to be creative and precise. They routinely perform activities like painting nails and styling hair. To keep clients coming back, specialists may alter current trends by adding their own artistic touches.

Customer Service

One of the most important skills for a skin care specialist to possess is a knack for customer service. Workers must give their clients full attention, leaving them feeling pampered and rejuvenated. They should be eager to converse with customers on a wide variety of common topics.

What Are Useful Traits for Those with Esthetician Jobs?

  • Time-management skills in order to stay on schedule
  • Meticulous and detail-oriented work ethic
  • Physical endurance to stand for long periods
  • A proactive approach to promotion, as workers must always look for new clients
  • Customer service skills to build rapport and encourage repeat business
  • Sales experience for upselling and suggesting new products
  • A friendly demeanor to make customers feel welcome
  • The ability to engage with people at trade shows and company events
  • Business knowledge to handle tasks related to management and accounting
  • A passion for helping others look their best

Are There Special Requirements for Skin Care Jobs?

Skin care prospects are required to pass certification tests, except in Connecticut. These involve both written and practical exams.

Many hopefuls earn their skills by taking trade school classes or completing technical programs. Some people even get an early start through high school vocational courses. Others choose to attend esthetician school online.

The number of prerequisite hours needed to finish an esthetician course varies by state. The Associated Skin Care Professionals website offers this information along with details on liability insurance and career support.

Sample exam questions are available through The National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology as well.

In order to stay relevant, workers must make an effort to keep up with industry trends. Trade groups and manufacturers offer continued education for licensed associates. Some companies even offer monetary reimbursement for those who attend workshops, seminars, or advanced classes.

What is the Work Environment Like?


While some skin care specialists work part-time hours, full-time employment is available in many salons. New hires are often asked to work shifts that include evenings and weekends. Overtime may be required occasionally.

Work Space

Associates keep their service rooms well-lit to see fine complexion details. Work areas usually resemble doctor’s or dentist’s offices. Skin care specialists maintain clean workspaces in order to protect the health of clients. They must replace sheets and towels after each use.

Associates need to wear protective clothing during procedures involving chemicals. Proper ventilation is also necessary during these routines. Skin care specialists work on their feet for several hours at a time, taking infrequent breaks.


Specialists use a number of skin care tools to improve their client’s appearance. These include handheld instruments like tweezers, facial steamers, and blackhead removers. Associates use hot towels to open pores, and apply peel-away masks to achieve deep cleaning. Other important equipment includes the following:

  • Facial cleansing brushes – Allow for production of collagen by speeding up the exfoliation process
  • Eyebrow scissors – Offer increased accuracy when sculpting eyebrows
  • Blemish smoothers – Skin-toned makeup used to conceal acne
  • Handheld massagers – Used to gently stimulate muscles in the face and neck
  • Microdermabrasion devices – Handheld tools that use fine surfaces to clear dead skin cells
  • Blackhead removal tools – Allow for safe and minimally-invasive erasure of blackheads
  • Massage tables – Give clients a place to lay and relax during spa procedures
  • Makeup and applicators – Powders, lipsticks, mascaras, and eyeliners used to enhance looks

Where Do They Work?

Employment options are plentiful for aspiring skin care specialists. They can find full-time work in a number of sectors, including:

  • Hair and beauty salons
  • Health spas
  • Tanning salons
  • Massage parlors
  • Personal care and wellness stores
  • Medical offices
  • Traveler accommodation services

Can You Work Remotely?

A large percentage of estheticians choose to work for themselves. These entrepreneurs enjoy increased creative freedom but also assume greater financial risk. Self-employed skin care specialists should be business-savvy and create social media pages to display work samples and educational credentials.

What Other Fields Can They Work In?

Relevant jobs in the performance industry include makeup artistry for theater or cinema. Some find steady work as body painters or personal style consultants for celebrities.

Fashion makeup designers can earn a good living beautifying clients like models and musicians.

Manicurists & Estheticians

Estheticians who enjoy working with nails can also consider careers as manicurists. These staff members focus on shaping their client’s fingernails and toenails.

This involves performing manicures on hands and pedicures on feet. Associates soak their client’s skin to remove dead cells and soften keratin, which is the protein that nails are made from.

Manicurists, like skin care specialists, need to exhibit gracious customer service skills. In order to build positive client relations, they must give their customers personalized attention. They remain seated for large portions of their work day and constantly interact with the public.

Average salaries for manicurists are just over $24k per year. Great customer service can lead to good tips which can boost salaries by quite a bit. The job outlook for these workers is at 13 percent, which is well above the national average. More than 16,000 jobs are created each year and over 126,000 people enjoy industry employment.

Job Outlook

The field of skincare specialists is anticipated to see a rapid 9 percent growth from 2022 to 2032, surpassing the average across all professions according to the Bureau of Labor.

Approximately 12,400 new opportunities for skincare specialists are expected annually throughout the decade. This surge is largely due to the need for replacements as workers transition to other careers or retire from the workforce.