How do I Become a Licensed Esthetician?

Rachel Burkot

An esthetician is a skin care specialist and professional who provides spa treatment services such as facials, waxing, skin revitalization, massages and exfoliation. Estheticians also advise clients in the proper ways to care for their skin. They can recommend products and should be constantly on the lookout for skin problems. An esthetician can suggest a dermatologist or other doctor for the patient to visit, if need be. Becoming a licensed esthetician requires the completion of a training program in the skin care field and the passing of a state board examination.

Patients who have skin care problems following medical procedures need help with esthetics.
Patients who have skin care problems following medical procedures need help with esthetics.

A licensed esthetician must follow the requirements of the state where he or she plans to practice. These vary, ranging from 260 to 600 hours of training, with most states being on the upper end. After completing a state licensed training program, the student must pass both written and practical tests from the State Board before becoming a licensed esthetician.

An esthetician performs a variety of skincare procedures.
An esthetician performs a variety of skincare procedures.

Before beginning esthetician training, the student should use the internet to discover more about what estheticians do. Most specialize in one area, like as a facialist or masseuse. Licensed estheticians can work in a salon, day spa or medical spa. They can also own their own salon.

Additionally, the prospective esthetician should research schools according to his or her individual interests and goals. Some programs can be done partially online, but fieldwork is required to fulfill the practical training requirement to become a licensed esthetician. Programs vary both in cost and in classes offered, so students should choose a school that is both affordable for them and that offers the specific discipline that they are interested in pursuing.

Some esthetician schools focus mainly on skin care, while others lean toward cosmetology and make-up services. Before beginning esthetician training, decide what area is most appealing and focus on that. By observing as a customer at a salon, or by shadowing an esthetician, a student can narrow down his or her focus.

Some colleges have esthetician programs that help students find jobs upon completion. Additionally, internship programs exist to give students a chance to see what working in a spa or salon is really like. Salon managers can also be useful resources for finding openings in the field. Before choosing a school, one pursuing an esthetician license can also talk to salon workers or managers for advice on the best programs. Once a student becomes a licensed esthetician, he or she is required to take continuing education classes to keep up with new trends in the field.

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Discussion Comments


I'm interested in becoming a cosmetic laser technician. I've read that in order to do that I first need to be a licensed esthetician. Is this true?


yes, but you only know the basics of skincare.


If i have a cosmetology license can i be a practicing esthetician as well?

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