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.

Essential Information

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 postsecondary training from an institution approved by the state. Medical aestheticians work in medical offices and hospitals and must complete additional training.

Job Duties

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.

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.

Licensing

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.

Employment and Salary Outlook

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. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that jobs for skincare specialists, including aestheticians, will grow at a much-faster-than-average pace of 40% from 2012 to 2022. According to the BLS, about 27% of skincare specialists were self-employed in 2012. The median salary for all skincare specialists was $13.92 an hour in 2013.

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