Careers in Aesthetics
Research what it takes to pursue a career in the field of aesthetics. Read on to learn more about career options along with training and licensing information. Schools offering Esthetics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Career Information At a Glance
The field of aesthetics focuses on beauty, especially skin care. Practitioners often are referred to as aestheticians, and they typically work in salon and spa settings. The table below offers a brief overview of some job duties, salary expectations and training information.
|Degree Required||Associate's degree, including required training hours|
|Education Field of Study||Cosmetology|
|Licensing/Certification||State licensing required and administered by state boards of cosmetology; ongoing renewals required|
|Key Responsibilities||Customer service; facials and other skin care treatments; hair removal; aromatherapy; maintain safety and hygiene standards|
|Job Growth (2012-2022)*||40%|
|Median Salary (2014)*||$29,050|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Jobs Can I Get in Aesthetics?
Aesthetics generally refers to outward appearance and beauty. Specialists in the field are usually known as skin care specialists or aestheticians. An aesthetician is responsible for the appearance of a client's skin. In this profession, you will do facials, facial massages, hair waxing, aromatherapy, chemical peels and more. You can also care for clients with acne-prone skin by performing extractions and facials designed specifically for people with this problem. Aestheticians typically work in beauty salons and day spas, as well as in hotels and even on cruise ships.
What Education Programs Are Available?
The most common degree program in aesthetics is an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Cosmetology with a specialization in aesthetics. While some schools offer associate's degrees in aesthetics, they are generally rare. Cosmetology training will allow you to train in student beauty salons where you get to work with real clients, learning how to treat skin through a variety of techniques. These degree programs require a set amount of training hours, generally around 600 hours, in order to meet state licensing requirements.
If you can't find an associate's degree program in aesthetics, you can enroll in a basic esthetician certificate program offered by community colleges and for-profit beauty schools. Successful completion of this program can qualify you to enroll in a master's aesthetician certificate program. You will receive the same basic training in aesthetics as in an associate's degree program but without taking general education courses.
How Do I Get Licensed?
Individual states determine licensing requirements for aestheticians, with state boards of cosmetology generally responsible for the licensing of aesthetics professionals. After completing your education program, you can apply for a state license. You will have to pass both written and practical exams. Periodic renewal of your license is generally required in order to keep practicing.
How Much Can I Earn?
How much you could earn depends on where you work. Generally, working for a beauty salon or spa that charges higher fees for services leads to a higher salary. Aestheticians also commonly receive tips. In May 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a median annual salary of $29,050 for skin care specialists. Jobs for skin care specialists are expected to increase by 40% from 2012-2022.
What Professional Organizations Can I Join?
The Aesthetics International Association (AIA) offers membership benefits like symposiums, workshops, classes and a continuing education program. The International Cosmetology Association offers benefits similar to AIA, but with additional perks, such as product discounts and the option to purchase liability and health insurance.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: