Are you considering a career as an esthetician and wondering if it is a good idea? Maybe you love health and beauty or perhaps you’re looking for jobs that don’t require a degree. Don’t worry, I have got you covered!
With almost 9 years of experience under my belt, I am happy to shed some light on this topic! We will go through how to become an esthetician, and why becoming an esthetician might (or might not be) a good idea for you!
First, we will start with the basics!
What is an esthetician?
Being an esthetician is becoming a more popular career choice, however, there will still be people who give you blank stares when you tell them what you do.
An esthetician or skin care therapist is someone who specializes in the beautification and maintenance of the skin. They perform specialized treatments to maintain the health and beauty of the skin.
What services do estheticians perform?
Services estheticians can perform vary from state to state, but typically include:
- Eyelash Extensions
- Lash and Brow Tinting
- Lash Lifts
- Brow Lamination
- Spray Tanning
- Body Treatments
- Makeup Application
How do you become an esthetician?
Most states require all estheticians to be licensed professionals. Schools typically require at least some high school or a diploma to enroll as well. You can check out licensing requirements by state here.
You will have to attend a beauty school that offers an esthetics program and complete it entirely before applying to take the licensing exams for your state.
The licensing exam usually consists of a written examination followed by a practical examination where you show your skills physically on a live model or doll head.
How long does it take to get an esthetician license?
The licensing process is pretty straightforward. First, you complete your hours at your school which can be between 150-2500 hours depending on which state you live in. Next, you apply to take your state licensing examinations, and typically your school assists you in that process.
For reference, I initially got my license in California, and I had to complete 600 hours. I was going part-time, and it took me about 7 months to complete. If I had gone full-time (40 hours/week) I would have been able to complete my schooling in as little as 3 months.
How much does it cost to become an esthetician?
You can do your schooling at a community college or a private beauty school. The community college route is often much more affordable and ranges in the low thousands whereas private schools are $10k plus.
Additionally, you will have to pay fees for your state licensing exams, but those are at most a couple of hundred dollars. All in all, it is not too much of an investment to become an esthetician.
What types of jobs can I get with my esthetician license?
Once you are finally licensed there are many different directions you can take! Being an esthetician is not a one size fits all, and the beauty of it is that there are so many different ways to use your license! Let’s name a few to give you an idea!
Working in a salon or day spa is probably the most common setting you hear of an esthetician working at. Day spas are a great place for estheticians who are looking for a more relaxing atmosphere whereas salons are more fast-paced! A salon can be a noisy home for an esthetician, but if you can get past that it can be a great place to cross-promote your services with the hairdressers.
I have never worked for any type of resort, but I have heard it can be super fun! If you don’t have too much tying you to one location you can work out of town at a resort or on a cruise ship. You won’t have a typical schedule and will have longer days with a two-week on two week off period or something similar.
Additionally, your clientele will be tourist based, and you won’t have too many “regulars.” While there is absolutely nothing wrong with that it is something to consider!
Medical Aesthetics Office
If you choose to pursue being a medical aesthetician you will find yourself working in places like a dermatology office, plastic surgeons office, and sometimes even cosmetic dental offices!
Medical aestheticians usually perform services like, laser hair removal, peels, micro-needling, and body sculpting. If you prefer to work in a medical setting this may be a great path for you!
Skincare Sales Representative
All professional skincare lines have employees that work to sell and educate estheticians and other professionals on their lines. Oftentimes they are paid commissions, and if you are an esthetician you can use your expertise to make more sales!
Another great area of esthetics to go into is makeup artistry! Makeup artists can do makeup for weddings, school dances, photoshoots, and more!
Doing makeup artistry can also be paired with services like eyelash extensions. You can do eyelash extensions in the office, and offer mobile-based makeup application services!
If you are thinking of becoming an esthetician I highly encourage you to take the entrepreneurial route! I have worked for several different places, but starting my own solo practice was by far the best decision I have made in my career! If you need inspiration I wrote a whole article on how to start an esthetician business!
The reason being is that if you work for yourself your earning potential is more than double what you will earn working anywhere else unless you are in medical aesthetics.
In addition to making more money, you will likely have more job satisfaction and fulfillment as well. Creating your own solo esthetician practice is hard work, but once you get your clientele established the benefits are amazing!
How much money do estheticians make?
An esthetician’s salary depends on SO many things, but According to The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median salary is $37,300 per year. Now, I know what you’re thinking! That does not sound like a lot of money at all.
However, I have always managed to make more than that, even when I was only working 4 days out of the week! Check out the screenshot below of my income report on Square from a couple of years ago!
At that time I was able to work more often because I didn’t have kids yet! I also made money from cash tips, and Groupon as well so my overall income was higher! Do I recommend you use Groupon? That is a blog post for another day!
Is becoming an esthetician a good idea?
I honestly believe that becoming an esthetician is a (mostly) wonderful career path! However, succeeding in this industry takes a lot of hard work and patience! It is not super easy to succeed right away!
If you are not willing to put in the effort, and you are not patient enough to wait for your results then becoming an esthetician is NOT for you.
In addition, you will often be someone for your clients to unload on, and it can be very emotionally taxing. If you don’t think you can handle that well then this career is not for you.
However, if you are willing to work hard or you want to start your own amazing solo esthetician practice then becoming an esthetician is an amazing idea for you!
The benefits of working for yourself are unmatched! Even as a busy mom I am able to make things work as an esthetician!
If I can do it, you can too!