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Aesthetician Licenses and Schools

If you are interested in becoming an esthetician or want a career in the field of beauty and cosmetics, you will need to enroll in a training program at an aesthetician school. Esthetician training is available from both online and offline schools and these programs provide students with in-depth knowledge, skills and techniques used in today's growing beauty and cosmetology industry. Many esthetician schools prepare students to take the state exam for estheticians or cosmetologists, and include a rigorous hands-on component so that the student can log in several hundred hours to meet state licensing requirements.

What Do You Learn at Esthetician Schools?

Esthetician schools provide students with hands-on and classroom training to perform basic spa and beauty services, including facials, waxing, body treatments, massage and in some cases, hair care. An esthetic training program can provide students with advanced knowledge about the skin and skincare principles, the beauty trade and facial anatomy. Esthetician schools that also offer courses in makeup, electrology and nail technology prepare students to provide services in several different areas and learn about some of today's most popular and in-demand services.

Programs at Esthetician Schools

Esthetician training programs may include massage, nail services, electrology and permanent makeup training. Some schools offer a full cosmetology curriculum that is designed to meet state standards for cosmetology and beauty licenses. These esthetician training programs can last anywhere from a few months to over a year, and provide students with extensive hands-on training so that they can meet their state-mandated training hour requirement. Some esthetician schools also prepare students for a degree or a certificate of achievement.

Types of Aesthetician School Courses

Students who are attending an aesthetician school for an Associate's Degree or for a certificate are typically required to take the following types of courses:

  • Skin Analysis
  • Introduction to Massage Therapy
  • Facial Treatments
  • Makeup Artistry
  • Safety and Sanitation Standards
  • Color Theory
  • Facial Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Body Wraps
  • Hair Removal
  • Esthetician Chemistry

Some schools also offer training in very specialized techniques, such as Oriental services, Ayurveda and Hawaiian treatments. Students who want to increase their knowledge and build their skills may choose to attend single classes or workshops at various intervals throughout the year.

Aesthetician Course Programs towards an Associate's Degree

Students who are interested in getting an Associate's Degree in the field of esthetics can enroll in a program that includes more comprehensive and advanced courses, and more hours of hands-on training. Many students enrolled in an Associate's Degree program at an aesthetician school have the opportunity to work through an internship at a partner salon, or at an onsite salon or beauty school that caters to the general public.

Students are supervised throughout their hands-on training and have the chance to perform all types of services, including facial treatments, massage, chemical peels, body wraps and hair removal on models or clients.

Career Options after Esthetician School

Completing a training program at a reputable esthetician school can open up many career opportunities. Estheticians must obtain their license during their final few months of attendance at school or shortly after completing their training program. Most states require the student to hold at least a high school diploma or GED and to be at least 16 years of age.

Popular career options include:

  • Barber
  • Cosmetologist
  • Skin care specialist
  • Nail technologist
  • Spa consultant
  • Makeup artist
  • Skincare products retail specialist
  • Skincare products sales representative

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly wages for cosmetologists in May 2008 was $11.13, including tips and commission. Skin care specialists typically earn more per hour. In May 2008, the median hourly wage for skin care specialists was $13.81. Earnings do vary significantly by employer and the number of years of experience the esthetician or skin care specialist has. Some salons and spas do pay bonuses to their employees and offer high commissions on sales made after a service. Experienced estheticians and skin care specialists may choose to offer services as an independent contractor or run their own spa or salon.

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