Careers in Aesthetics

The field of aesthetics focuses on beauty, especially on skin care. Learn more about potential job paths, education programs, licensure, salary information and professional organizations. Schools offering Esthetics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Jobs Can I Get in Aesthetics?

Aesthetics generally refers to outward appearance and beauty. Specialists in the field are usually known as skin care specialists or estheticians. An esthetician is responsible for the health of a client's skin. In this profession, you will do facials, facial massages, hair waxing, aromatherapy, chemical peels and more. You can also care for clients with acne-prone skin by performing extractions and facials designed specifically for people with this problem. Estheticians typically work in beauty salons and day spas, as well as in hotels and even on cruise ships.

What Education Programs Are Available?

The most common degree program in aesthetics is an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Cosmetology with a specialization in esthetics. While some schools offer associate's degrees in esthetics, they are generally rare. Cosmetology training will allow you to train in student beauty salons where you get to work with real clients, learning how to treat skin through a variety of techniques. These degree programs require a set amount of training hourstraining, generally around 600 hours, in order to meet state licensing requirements.

If you can't find an associate's degree program in esthetics, you can enroll in a basic esthetician certificate program offered by community colleges and for-profit beauty schools. Successful completion of this program can qualify you to enroll in a master's esthetician certificate program. You will receive the same basic training in esthetics as in an associate's degree program but without taking general education courses.

How Do I Get Licensed?

Individual states determine licensing requirements for estheticians, with state boards of cosmetology generally responsible for the licensing of aesthetics professionals. After completing your education program, you can apply for a state license. You will have to pass both written and practical exams. Periodic renewal of your license is generally required in order to keep practicing.

How Much Can I Earn?

How much you could earn depends on where you work. Generally, working for a beauty salon or spa that charges higher fess for services leads to a higher salary. Estheticians also commonly receive tips. In May 2009, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a median annual salary of $28,580 for skin care specialists. Jobs for skin care specialist are expected to see large gains in employment, with an expected 38% increase from 2008-2018.

What Professional Organizations Can I Join?

The Aesthetics International Association (AIA) offers membership benefits like symposiums, workshops, classes and a continuing education program. The International Cosmetology Association offers benefits similar to AIA, but with additional perks, such as product discounts and the option to purchase liability and health insurance.

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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