Esthetician and Skin Care

Estheticians style eyebrows, remove unwanted facial hair, help heal problem skin and apply makeup so their clients' skin is healthier and more beautiful. For people who like to interact with others and enjoy makeup and style, this could be a good career opportunity. To learn more about the academic requirements, licensure information and job duties, continue reading.

Are Esthetics and Skin Care for Me?

Career Overview

If you like makeup and other beauty products, then you might want to consider a career in esthetics and skin care. Esthetics is the study of the skin and ways to improve its appearance and its health. Estheticians and other skin care professionals should have a good sense of fashion and style so they can determine the best way to enhance their clients' appearance. These professionals must complete formal college training in esthetics or cosmetology, studying facial products and skin treatments, learning how to remove unwanted hair and heal unhealthy skin, exploring different techniques for massaging the skin and gaining practical experience using masks, exfoliants, wraps and other beauty products.

Skills

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), estheticians and skin care specialists must be able to interact well with others (www.bls.gov). They need to present a neat appearance and be able to sell products and services to potential customers.

Employment Information

The BLS reports that the demand for skin care specialists should increase by 40% between 2012 and 2022. They earned a median annual salary of $28,940 as of May 2013.

How Can I Become an Esthetician?

Education

Aspiring estheticians may start taking beauty and skin care courses in high school, but most states require that students be at least 16 and have a high school diploma to earn licensure. Many states require that individuals earn a college-level undergraduate certificate or associate's degree for estheticians to gain the practical experience and training necessary for a career in esthetics.

Learners attend both lectures and practical lab experiences, where they have the opportunity to work with clients at the beauty school. Although different states have different requirements, students typically must complete 600-1600 hours of practical training. For people who are just interested in working with skin care, their training is limited to applying facial products and makeup. Individuals who want to become cosmetologists (who work with skin, hair and nails) must complete additional training hours.

Some esthetics classes address how a person's diet affects their skin, the laws and regulations governing skin care, how to manage a small business and how to provide excellent customer service. Some programs combine skin care studies with studies in makeup application.

Job Options

Graduates should be able to find jobs in hospitals, spas and hotels. Individuals who want to teach esthetics typically need to complete additional training. People who want to start a spa or run their own business may need to acquire a background in business and prepare to work long hours.

Licensure

To meet esthetician licensure requirements, which vary by state, students must complete a certain number of hours of practical experience, where they give facials, remove hair and apply makeup. Following the degree program, graduates must sit for a state licensure exam. The examination includes an oral test, a written test and a practical test, according to the BLS. Estheticians must earn a skin care license and may need to renew their license every few years, depending on the state's requirements.

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