What Is an Aesthetician?

An aesthetician or esthetician is a professional who specializes in skincare. Find out about the education, training and licensure required to work in this field, as well as the job duties. Schools offering Esthetics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Aesthetician Overview

Aestheticians are licensed professionals who provide skincare services and beauty treatments, such facials, makeup applications and hair removal through electrolysis, waxing or other techniques. These workers must complete vocational or post-secondary training from an institution approved by the state. Medical aestheticians work in medical offices and hospitals and must complete additional training.

Important Facts About Skincare Specialists

Median Salary (2014) $29,050
Key Skills Stamina, business skills, time-management, tidiness
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 12%
Similar Occupations Barbers & hairdressers, massage therapists, manicurists

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Duties & Work Environment

Aestheticians may do everything pertaining to the appearance of the skin, or they may specialize in one skincare technique, such as chemical peels or electrolysis. An aesthetician's job duties include examining a person's skin and recommending lotions and other non-medical health treatments, such as electrolysis for hair removal or microdermabrasion, which is a facial exfoliation treatment. Additionally, aestheticians may provide makeup style and color consultations.

Aestheticians work in salons, spas, resorts, cruise ships and even in retirement or assisted living communities. Medical aestheticians work in hospitals, rehabilitation units and medical offices. According to the BLS, 3 in 10 skin-care specialists were self-employed in 2014.

Education and Training Requirements

Like cosmetologists, aestheticians usually receive training in a cosmetology school or a community or technical college. Schools offer aesthetician and skincare specialist certificate, diploma and 2-year degree programs. Full-time programs can take four months to two years and usually include an internship. Medical aestheticians complete additional bacteriology, anatomy, physiology and other science courses as required by their state.


All states require aestheticians to be licensed before practicing. Aestheticians who perform certain skin care techniques, such as electrolysis, may require an additional license, as do those who practice as medical aestheticians. Licensing requirements vary by state.

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:

    • High School Diploma

    Campus Locations:

    • Maryland: Owings Mills
  • Fortis College

    Fortis College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Fortis College:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Pensacola
  • Cortiva Institute

    Cortiva Institute responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Cortiva Institute:

    • Certificates

    Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Arizona: Phoenix
    • Florida: Phoenix, Maitland, Pinellas Park
    • Texas: Phoenix, Maitland, Pinellas Park, Richardson
    • Utah: Phoenix, Maitland, Pinellas Park, Richardson, Salt Lake City
  • 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
  • Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Georgia: Valdosta
  • Victoria's Academy of Cosmetology

    Campus Locations:

    • Washington: Kennewick