Best Schools for Estheticians

Find out what you should look for when selecting a school with a good program in esthetics or cosmetology. Read about three well-regarded schools with esthetics programs, and find out what certificates and degrees each school offers in this field. Schools offering Esthetics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Some Characteristics of the Best Schools for Estheticians?

Skin care programs could be offered by secondary or proprietary schools, community colleges or 4-year colleges.Top esthetician schools should offer access to on-site salons or standard equipment used by professionals, such as hydrotherapy tubs and saunas.

Consider schools that are affiliated with professional organizations, like the National Cosmetology Association. You can also look for schools that have high pass rates on cosmetology license exams. Another option is to seek schools that are accredited by CIDESCO, which is an international association for beauty therapists that accredits schools worldwide.

Saint Paul College in Minnesota

Saint Paul College was first among community colleges for active and collaborative learning, according to Washington Monthly in 2010. Saint Paul's esthetics program is one of only six in the U.S. accredited by CIDESCO. Several esthetics programs are offered. The associate degree program offers medical or spa technician options. In the medical option, students study pathology, psychology, yoga and chemistry. Spa technicians learn massage techniques, including therapeutic and clinical massage. Diploma students study anatomy, physiology and kinesiology, and in the certificate program students learn about body systems, cosmetic chemistry, makeup and massage. The 600-hour certificate program could be completed in one full-time semester. All Saint Paul associate degree graduates with acceptable GPAs can transfer to Minnesota state colleges and the University of Minnesota. These programs are offered:

  • Esthetics Certificate
  • Esthetics Diploma
  • Esthetics Medical Setting Certificate
  • Esthetics for Cosmetologist Certificate
  • Associate of Applied Science in Esthetics - Spa
  • Associate of Applied Science in Esthetics - Medical Setting

Santa Monica College in CA

Esthetician students at Santa Monica College who graduated from January through March 2015 had pass rates of 100% on the written esthetician and 73% on the practical state licensing exams. The cosmetology department offers 600-hour esthetician, 1,600-hour cosmetology and 400-hour nail care programs to prepare students for licensing examinations.

In the full-time, one semester daytime skin care program, students learn how to do makeup, give manual, electrical and chemical facials, tweeze eyebrows and remove hair. Several certificate options are available, including the 11-unit salon business program. A 60-unit associate degree program in cosmetology requires completion of 37 units of hair, scalp, facial, waxing, makeup, nail and pedicure coursework and additional required courses. Students could earn these distinctions:

  • Esthetician Certificate
  • Certificate of Achievement in Cosmetology
  • Certificate of Achievement in Nail Care
  • Certificate of Achievement in Salon Business
  • Certificate of Achievement in Teacher Training
  • Associate of Arts in Cosmetology

Ten Top Schools for Estheticians

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocationEstimated Undergrad In-State Tuition (2018-2019)*
Paul Mitchell SchoolsBeauty CollegeNationwide Locations Varies by Location
Clary Sage CollegeBeauty CollegeTulsa, OK$21,000
Central Carolina Community CollegeCommunity CollegePittsboro, NC$2,500
Ogle SchoolBeauty CollegeDallas, TX$17,000
Avenue Five InstituteBeauty CollegeAustin, TX$18,000
Evergreen Beauty CollegeBeauty CollegeBellevue, WA$17,000
Honolulu Community CollegeCommunity CollegeHonolulu, HI$3,000
Saddleback CollegeCommunity CollegeMission Viejo, CA$1,000
Johnson County CollegeCommunity CollegeOverland, KS$3,000
Mott Community CollegeCommunity CollegeFlint, MI$4,000

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education

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:

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Popular Schools

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

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    • Florida: Winter Garden
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    • Washington: Kennewick
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    • Florida: Sweetwater