Degrees for Estheticians

Esthetician programs typically cover skin chemistry and how it relates to skin care products and makeup; they may also include topics in massage, nail care, salon operations, masks, chemical peels and sanitation. Learn about the education and training options for prospective estheticians, and find out the requirements for state licensure. Schools offering Esthetics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Programs Are Available to Aspiring Estheticians?

Most individuals who wish to practice skin care earn a certificate or associate degree in cosmetology, because esthetician-specific programs are more rare. Part of your tuition and program costs cover the expense of a beauty and tool kit that you use to practice your techniques. Some colleges require you to buy these and study materials separately.

Program TypesCertificates, associate's degree
Study TopicsGeneral health, nutrition, eyebrow tinting, hair removal, skin disorders
LicensureEach state has its own licensure exam, some will have specific licenses for various skills
Salary$30,090* (median annual salary in 2015 for skincare specialists)

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Study?

The focus of this program is to train you to help clients look good and feel better about their appearance. With this in mind, there are a number of skin care practices that you study during your program. You learn about general health, anatomy, psychology and nutrition courses that provide a foundation of personal beauty.

You learn to perform facials, eyebrow tinting, hair removal and makeup application. You also study medical and chemistry subjects having to do with skin care, such as terminology, skin disorders, diseases and product development. These programs not only prepare you for working with skin, but may also teach holistic methods such as reflexology, kinesiology and yoga.

How Do I Obtain Licensure?

All states currently require you to have a license for changing peoples' appearances. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), each state has its own licensing exam and requirements. In fact, some states have separate licenses for those working with skin care as opposed to general cosmetology. Most programs specifically prepare you to sit for the licensing exam of the state where the school is based.

What Can I Expect To Earn?

Skin care specialists, or estheticians, can expect to see an uprising of career opportunities between 2014 and 2024, according to BLS; the employment rate is projected to increase by 12% ( The same site states that the median salary for these professionals in 2015 was $30,090. The two top states in the nation are Wisconsin and Oregon.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Empire Beauty School

    Empire Beauty School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Empire Beauty School:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Maryland: Owings Mills
  • 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

  • Westside Tech

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Winter Garden
  • West Tennessee Business College

    Campus Locations:

    • Tennessee: Jackson
  • West Georgia Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Georgia: Waco
  • W Academy of Salon and Spa

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Danville
  • Victoria's Academy of Cosmetology

    Campus Locations:

    • Washington: Kennewick
  • Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Georgia: Valdosta
  • VICI Aveda Institute

    Campus Locations:

    • Wisconsin: Greenfield