What's the Difference Between Esthetician and Aesthetician?

Learn about the differences between the terms estheticians and aestheticians. Get to know more about these skin care careers, including what education and licensure is needed and the average income. Schools offering Esthetics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Comparison at a Glance

Both terms, estheticians and aestheticians, refer to licensed skin care specialists. The term esthetician, with an e, is the American English spelling, whereas aesthetician, with an a, is the British English spelling. The two main specializations within the skincare industry are spa estheticians and medical estheticians. Below, you'll find the education and certification requirements, required skills, average salary, and prospective job growth these skin care specialists.

Education Required Completion of a state-approved cosmetology or esthetician program
Licensure State-specific licensure
Required Skills Customer service skills, tidiness, physical stamina, business skills, and initiative
Projected Job Growth (2016-2026) 14% (for all skin care specialists)*
Average Salary (2017) $35,130 (for all skin care specialists)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Does a Spa Esthetician Do?

Spa estheticians work primarily in spas or salons and are responsible for carrying out cosmetic treatments that improve the overall appearance and health of their patients' skin. They perform procedures such as facials, waxing, lasering, and makeup application. They may also offer advice to their clients on how to maintain proper skin care at home and explain which products are best to use for their given skin types. It is the job of the esthetician to create an environment where clients can feel relaxed and pampered. Spa estheticians are responsible for making sure their equipment and their workspace are clean in order to ensure safe and healthy skin care practices.

What Does an Medical Esthetician Do?

Medical estheticians work as part of a larger team in a healthcare setting. They are trained to use potent acids as well as well as advanced techniques and equipment that are only available under the supervision of a medical doctor. Medical estheticians perform post-procedural and surgical care as well as skin rejuvenation techniques. It is common for a medical esthetician to work with patients treating serious burn injuries or undergoing plastic surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. They are responsible for determining the best treatments for post-procedural healing and for providing patients with knowledge on how to care for their skin afterward.

What Similarities Do Medical and Spa Estheticians Share?

While the work environments and the day-to-day tasks of spa and medical estheticians differ, there are several commonalities in terms of the essential qualities. Because both specializations deal with patients, customer service skills are at the core of the work. These skills will help all estheticians meet and exceed the needs of the individuals they see on a day-to-day basis. For spa estheticians, providing customers with a calming and comforting experience helps them build their client base. For medical estheticians, it is important for a patient to feel relaxed in order to keep stress levels low after surgeries or procedures. Physical endurance is another essential quality that spa and medical estheticians share, as they spend long hours standing over patients performing procedures.

What Type of Licensure is Required To Become an Esthetician?

State licensure is also required for all estheticians. In order to become licensed, you must first complete an esthetician or cosmetology education program. Coursework in these programs typically includes classroom-based instruction and hands-on applied learning techniques. It is also common for these programs to provide students with sales, business management, and marketing training. After the completion of an approved program, you must pass a written and practical exam in order to get a state license. Medical estheticians are also required to undergo continued on-the-job training to learn how to use the necessary equipment in the medical field.

What Are the Average Salaries of Both Careers?

The average salary for all skin care specialists was $35,130 as of May 2017. Upon further breakdown, estheticians working in 'Personal Care Services' earned an average annual salary of $34,400 and estheticians working in the doctor's offices earned an average annual salary of $41,100 as of May 2017. The projected growth of skin care specialists is 14% between 2016 and 2026, which is faster than average.

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

  • Empire Beauty School

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

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    • High School Diploma

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    • Maryland: Owings Mills
  • Fortis College

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    • Florida: Pensacola
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    • Arizona: Phoenix
    • Florida: Phoenix, Maitland, Pinellas Park
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  • Westside Tech

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    • Florida: Winter Garden
  • West Tennessee Business College

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    • Tennessee: Jackson
  • West Georgia Technical College

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    • Georgia: Waco
  • W Academy of Salon and Spa

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    • California: Danville
  • Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Georgia: Valdosta
  • Victoria's Academy of Cosmetology

    Campus Locations:

    • Washington: Kennewick