Esthetician Career Information

Estheticians are fully qualified beauty consultants. They're highly trained skin care consultants, working in one of the world's most demanding commercial practices. Note: we're not covering "medical estheticians", whose jobs are part of medical practices, but the beauty industry.

In the United States, estheticians require licenses to operate. Their work involves a range of skin care regimes and practices which use therapeutic goods, chemicals and equipment of various kinds, hence the requirement for licensing.

Education and training

Estheticians undergo training at basic license or master license level, to obtain certification at industry standards set by The National Coalition of Estheticians, Manufacturers/Distributors and Associations (NCEA). Studies for the basic license include:

  • Facial treatments
  • Wax
  • Body wraps
  • Salt treatments
  • Make-up application
  • Aromatherapy
  • Skin analysis

For the master license, laser treatments, chemical treatments, hair removal and dermabrasion therapies are also studied.

The work environment

Estheticians work in a strongly client-oriented, commercial environment. The esthetician's career is for those with excellent interpersonal skills. Many industry experts and professionals state that client relationships are the key to a successful career as an esthetician. That's definitely an expectation of employers, too, who invest heavily in ongoing client relationships as a core element of regular cash flow.

Skin care is one of the tougher areas of the beauty industry. Skin care products alone are a multibillion dollar industry, which is a good indication of the level of demand for the services of estheticians.

Daily work routines are based on scheduled appointments which may deal with the whole gamut of professional skills or combinations of them for individual clients. This is a very hygiene-based work environment, where sanitary practices are required by law, and estheticians also spend a certain amount of their day making sure the work environment is clean and properly maintained.

Wages for estheticians as employees range up to $30,000, depending on experience and any additional hours required. Normal working hours are usually standard business hours, unless businesses operate outside the 9-5 time frames.

The career environment

In the beauty industry, there are opportunities for advancement through various career tracks. Estheticians, whose skills cover a large range of professional services, have many career options. Specialization in a particular field is common, and the esthetician's qualifications are a great asset in progression in any area of the industry.

A typical career progression as an employee may include working for:

  • Top level beauty salons
  • Modeling and photographic agencies
  • Media
  • Advertising and marketing production
  • Movie production
  • Theatre

Some estheticians also specialize in these areas as businesses. This work can involve large contracts and excellent industry exposure for their services. Estheticians may have very profitable careers as business owners in other lines of work in the retail sector. Some estheticians may specialize in particular treatments, in fact many base their business models on these high quality retail services.

A business may further expand by opening up several outlets for its specialist services. Some estheticians may even franchise their business, using a brand name identity for services, and running their own customized product lines. All of these options are very high cash flow, and high revenue, career moves. Franchises and product lines alone can be worth millions of dollars.