Aestheticians are licensed beauty professionals who focus on skincare, makeup, and hair removal. To become an aesthetician, first one must decide which direction to follow. Some aestheticians work strictly on the cosmetology side, along with hairstylists, manicurists and other personnel who attend cosmetology school. These aestheticians work in salons and spas. Another option for anyone who wants to become an aesthetician is to explore the medical side of the profession and work in doctor's offices, hospitals, and surgery centers.
For those interested in the cosmetology route, the first step is to determine the state regulations and requirements. Each state determines their own licensing requirements, so it is best to attend a school in the state one intends to work. States require an average of 300 hours of training to become an aesthetician licensed to do routine procedures at a salon or spa. Once initial training is completed, candidates must then sit for a state licensing exam.
Medical aestheticians are required to obtain advanced training. These aestheticians work for dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and hospitals who require additional certifications in various advanced training programs. Medical aestheticians take courses in anatomy, physiology, chemistry, bacteriology, disinfection, first aid, and hygiene. When training is completed, a paramedical aesthetician license exam must be passed as well.
When selecting a school, it is helpful to call salons and spas and inquire about the schools the owners prefer to hire their aestheticians from. Most schools will, at minimum, cover the topics required to obtain the state license, but each school will have its own philosophy and specializations. Some may focus on European beauty practices, some on standard facials, and some will have specialized classes that introduce new techniques. It is best to visit a school and speak with instructors as well as students to determine the best fit.
Some areas of specialization to consider are laser hair removal, hair removal by wax, skin analysis, deep cleansing treatments, masks and peels, and facial massage. Anyone wanting to become an aesthetician should explore the different areas early, before committing to a training program. It's always a good idea to try out procedures at different spas to get a feel for the different treatments.
School accreditation is something to consider as well. Schools with specific accreditation can offer financial aid to students who want to come an aesthetician. The biggest accrediting agency in the field of aesthetics is the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS).