Facial technicians use chemicals, cosmetics, massages and other related treatments to improve the appearance and health of their clients' skin. Find more details about facial treatments here, and learn what kind of training you'll need and how much you can earn in this fast-growing field.
Facial technicians, also referred to as estheticians or skincare specialists, use a variety of ways to enhance facial appearance and health. As an esthetician, you'd provide skin care treatments, such as masks, peels, toners and creams. Other health treatments could include electrical and chemical processes, as well as light therapy. You might also apply cosmetics, or offer advice and instruction to clients on color selection and how to use makeup to its best advantage.
Other tasks could involve facial massage and removal of facial hair. No matter which services you provide, you'll need to be alert for signs of skin problems, like cancer and infections, and refer clients for medical treatment if necessary.
Facial technicians can be employed in a variety of settings, including salons, spas, health resorts and hotels. You could also choose to become a small business owner, either renting a space or working out of your home. Hours may be irregular and include nights and weekends, depending on when clients are available for appointments. Physical stamina is key, especially since you'll most likely be spending a lot of time on your feet.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of skincare specialists was expected to increase by 40% nationwide between 2012 and 2022, or much faster than the average for all other occupations. Cutting edge services, such as mini and mobile facials, as well as an increase in hair salons and spas, will have a positive impact on job growth. Customer concerns about aging and health will also drive job growth. In May 2013, skincare specialists earned a mean annual wage of $32,990, as reported by the BLS (www.bls.gov).
You can find esthetician programs at both the certificate and associate's degree levels at community colleges and technical schools. Program lengths range from 600-800 hours, depending on state requirements. Some schools may offer evening classes for working students.
As an aspiring esthetician, you'll study anatomy and physiology, including their relationship to healthy skin. You'll also learn about the common disorders and diseases of the skin that you might encounter in your work. Program emphasis is on practical training, through which you'll become familiar with a number of facial procedures, such as cleansing, massage, exfoliation and the use of masks. Depilatories and other hair removal techniques, like waxing and tweezing, will also be covered. Along with color theory and makeup application, your curriculum will include additional topics in safety, first aid and hygiene, as well as the state laws that govern esthetics.
All states require estheticians to have a license, which is obtained by passing a written exam; some states have a practical test as well. Prerequisites include a high school diploma or GED and completion of a formal training program.