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Working As a Licensed Esthetician

  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Repetitive

  • Make Decisions

  • $40,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Licensed Esthetician Do

Skincare specialists cleanse and beautify the face and body to enhance a person’s appearance.

Duties

Skincare specialists typically do the following:

  • Evaluate clients’ skin condition and appearance
  • Discuss available treatments and determine which products will improve clients’ skin quality
  • Remove unwanted hair, using wax, laser, or other approved treatments
  • Clean the skin before applying makeup
  • Recommend skin care products, such as cleansers, lotions, or creams 
  • Teach and advise clients on how to apply makeup, and how to take care of their skin
  • Refer clients to another skincare specialist, such as a dermatologist, for serious skin problems
  • Disinfect equipment and clean work areas

Skincare specialists give facials, full-body treatments, and head and neck massages to improve the health and appearance of the skin. Some may provide other skin care treatments, such as peels, masks, and scrubs, to remove dead or dry skin.

In addition to working with clients, skincare specialists create daily skincare routines based on skin analysis and help clients understand which skincare products will work best for them. A growing number of specialists actively sell skincare products, such as cleansers, lotions, and creams.

Those who operate their own salons have managerial duties that include hiring, firing, and supervising workers, as well as keeping business and inventory records, ordering supplies, and arranging for advertising.

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How To Become A Licensed Esthetician

Skincare specialists must complete a state-approved cosmetology or esthetician program and then pass a state exam for licensure, which all states except Connecticut require.

Education

Skincare specialists usually take a state-approved cosmetology or esthetician program. Although some high schools offer vocational training, most people receive their training from a postsecondary vocational school. The Associated Skin Care Professionals, the largest organization devoted to these workers, offers a State Regulation Guide, which includes the number of prerequisite hours required to complete a cosmetology program.

Training

Newly hired specialists sometimes receive on-the-job training, especially if their jobs require working with chemicals. Those who are employed in a medical environment also may receive on-the-job training, often working alongside an experienced skincare specialist.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

After completing an approved cosmetology or esthetician program, skincare specialists take a written and practical exam to get a state license. Licensing requirements vary by state, so those interested should contact their state board.

The National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology provides contact information on state examinations for licensing, with sample exam questions. The Professional Beauty Association and the American Association of Cosmetology Schools also provide information on state examinations, as well as offering other professional links.

Many states offer continuing education seminars and programs designed to keep skincare specialists current on new techniques and products. Post-licensing training is also available through manufacturers, associations, and at trade shows.

Important Qualities

Business skills. Skincare specialists who run their own salon must understand general business principles. For example, they should be skilled at administrative tasks, such as accounting and personnel management, and be able to manage a salon efficiently and profitably.

Customer-service skills. Skincare specialists should be friendly and courteous to their clients. Repeat business is important, particularly for self-employed workers.

Initiative. Self-employed skincare specialists generate their own business opportunities and must be proactive in finding new clients.

Physical stamina. Skincare specialists must be able to spend most of their day standing and massaging clients’ faces and bodies.

Tidiness. Workers must keep a neat personal appearance and keep their work area clean and sanitary. This requirement is necessary for the health and safety of their clients and increases the likelihood that clients will return. 

Time-management skills. Time-management skills are important in scheduling appointments and providing services.

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Average Length of Employment
Esthetician/Owner 4.5 years
Esthetician Spa 2.7 years
Master Esthetician 2.7 years
Lead Esthetician 2.6 years
Esthetician 2.5 years
Skin Therapist 1.3 years
Top Careers Before Licensed Esthetician
Esthetician 10.9%
Cashier 6.1%
Server 4.5%
Internship 2.8%
Top Careers After Licensed Esthetician
Esthetician 19.7%
Cashier 3.7%
Specialist 3.5%
Server 3.5%

Do you work as a Licensed Esthetician?

Average Yearly Salary
$40,000
Show Salaries
$27,000
Min 10%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$61,000
Max 90%
Highest Paying City
Upland, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
2.9 years
How much does a Licensed Esthetician make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Licensed Esthetician in the United States is $40,963 per year or $20 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $27,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $61,000.

Top Skills for A Licensed Esthetician

  1. Skin Care
  2. Chemical Peels
  3. Retail Products
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Specialized Skin Care Treatments Facial Waxing Prestige Skin Care & Cosmetics Consultant Salon Management Training
  • Perform facials services including facials, chemical peels, makeup application and waxing on clients in rented space at Jay & Co
  • Develop individualized, therapeutic skincare programs, recommend and sell retail products and advise clients regarding a home-care regimen.
  • Performed and played a key role in closing proposals and treatment contracts for laser hair removal services.
  • Form rapport with in-store customers, discuss various spa services, including wax procedures and complimentary Face Mapping sessions.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Licensed Estheticians

  1. Nevada
  2. Arizona
  3. Washington
  4. Oregon
  5. California
  6. Alaska
  7. Pennsylvania
  8. Utah
  9. Delaware
  10. Maryland
  • (37 jobs)
  • (56 jobs)
  • (92 jobs)
  • (41 jobs)
  • (353 jobs)
  • (14 jobs)
  • (69 jobs)
  • (22 jobs)
  • (6 jobs)
  • (84 jobs)

Licensed Esthetician Demographics

Gender

Female

82.9%

Unknown

12.7%

Male

4.4%
Ethnicity

White

62.7%

Hispanic or Latino

16.5%

Black or African American

10.8%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

44.6%

French

12.5%

Swedish

7.1%

Chinese

5.4%

Mandarin

3.6%

Arabic

3.6%

Filipino

1.8%

Hebrew

1.8%

German

1.8%

Greek

1.8%

Malay

1.8%

Japanese

1.8%

Russian

1.8%

Hindi

1.8%

Tagalog

1.8%

Cantonese

1.8%

Polish

1.8%

Korean

1.8%

Hmong

1.8%
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Licensed Esthetician Education

Schools

Empire Beauty School

9.6%

Tricoci University of Beauty Culture

8.8%

Aveda Institute

8.8%

Catherine Hinds Institute of Esthetics

6.4%

All Beauty College

5.6%

Georgia Career Institute

5.6%

The Academy

4.8%

University of Phoenix

4.8%

International School of Skin and Nailcare

4.8%

University of Arizona

4.8%

The Aesthetic Science institute

4.0%

Paul Mitchell-The School

4.0%

Arizona State University

4.0%

Ogle School of Hair Skin Nails

4.0%

G Skin and Beauty Institute

4.0%

Golden West College

3.2%

Middle Tennessee State University

3.2%

The Beauty School

3.2%

Ohio State University

3.2%

College of DuPage

3.2%
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Majors

Business

18.4%

Nursing

13.8%

Medical Assisting Services

7.6%

Cosmetology

6.3%

Psychology

5.8%

Liberal Arts

4.8%

Health Care Administration

4.8%

General Studies

4.5%

Communication

4.1%

Education

3.9%

Somatic Bodywork

3.5%

Electrical Engineering

3.2%

Nursing Assistants

3.2%

Management

2.8%

Marketing

2.8%

Clinical Psychology

2.8%

Medical Technician

2.2%

Fine Arts

2.0%

Elementary Education

1.9%

English

1.7%
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Degrees

Other

43.6%

Bachelors

21.8%

Associate

15.4%

Certificate

7.2%

Masters

4.4%

License

4.4%

Diploma

2.5%

Doctorate

0.7%
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Updated May 19, 2020