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Online Aesthetics Degrees

Programs in esthetics are primarily offered at the certificate level, and due to the hands-on nature of this skin care field, online training is uncommon. Learn about on-campus certificate options for estheticians and medical estheticians, and explore the coursework for each of these programs. Get career info for estheticians, including licensure requirements, job outlook and salary potential.

What What Will I Learn in an Aesthetics Degree Program?

Aesthetics is more commonly known as esthetics. Schools that offer esthetics training generally require students to attend on-campus courses. Esthetics programs are offered at the certificate level; you can earn an esthetician or medical esthetician certificate.

Esthetician certificates are usually offered through cosmetology schools, trade schools and some community colleges. In an esthetician program, you'll study skin care techniques like hair removal, microderm abrasion and waxing. You'll be prepared to work as an esthetician in a salon or spa. You'll usually receive a minimum of 600 hours of combined instruction and hands-on training in a simulated salon environment to comply with state licensure requirements. Some additional course topics might include:

  • Skin analysis
  • Aromatherapy
  • Eyebrow and eyelash tinting
  • Makeup techniques
  • Product knowledge
  • Clinical sanitation

Many courses in a medical esthetician certificate program are also available in a general esthetician certificate program. Medical estheticians provide skincare in medical fields like dermatology, oncology or plastic surgery. Some programs may require you to have a current esthetician license for acceptance. You'll be expected to complete lecture-based courses and hands-on training in the following topics:

  • Electricity therapy
  • Laser therapy
  • Identifying skin diseases
  • Advanced medical terminology
  • Camouflage makeup
  • Chemical peels

Common Course TopicsAromatherapy, clinical sanitation, electricity therapy, camouflage makeup, makeup techniques
LicensureVary by state, usually involve completing a set number of clinical and lecture hours
Salary$31,290 (median salary for skincare specialists in 2018)
Job Outlook14% growth (for skincare specialists between 2016-2026)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Are There Licensing Requirements?

Licensing requirements vary by state; however, most states require estheticians and medical estheticians to apply for licensure after completing a specific number of lecture hours and hands-on clinical practice hours. Some states have reciprocity agreements which allow you to obtain a license in another state without additional training if you're already licensed.

What is the Career Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for personal appearance workers were expected to increase by 14% from 2016-2026 because of the increasing popularity of skin treatments (www.bls.gov). The median annual salary for skin care specialists was $31,290 in 2018, as reported by the BLS.