Many people aspire to help others, and an esthetician career is one of the paths some individuals choose to pursue. Estheticians, or licensed skin care professionals, work with a variety of people to help improve image, self-confidence and overall health. There are several different career paths they can pursue, and each focuses on slightly different areas. No matter which path is chosen, there are a plethora of opportunities available in the growing demand for estheticians.
A majority of those pursuing an esthetician career ultimately choose to work in a spa or salon setting, with some individuals opting to open their own place of business. Estheticians in this setting focus primarily on non-medical skin care, massage and the application and selection of cosmetics for clients. An esthetician working in this field might also choose to take specialized classes or training on sales and product knowledge, as retail makes up a large percentage of most spa or salon incomes.
Medical esthetician careers are in ever growing demand. Medical estheticians may work in a doctor's office, hospital or specialized medical practice, and often require more training than an esthetician working in a spa. The treatments a medical esthetician might provide are varied, depending upon the location the practitioner is working in. A medical esthetician working in a hospital's burn unit may provide instruction to patients on how to conceal burn scars with cosmetics, while a medical esthetician working in a dermatologist's office may routinely perform treatments to restore patients' skin to its optimal condition.
There are still more esthetician careers in the world of make-up artistry. Some estheticians choose to specialize in the application and selection of cosmetic products, which can lead to work in the film and theater industry, or provide freelance work for weddings, photographers and more. The many choices in esthetician careers closely resemble the paths available in cosmetology, and an individual seeking esthetician training should examine both career paths closely to decide which is right for his or her needs.
Esthetician careers almost always require special training, and in the United States the requirements for becoming an esthetician or cosmetologist vary by state. Almost all locations in the United States require estheticians to be licensed by the state in which they are working. Training is usually provided by local cosmetology or esthetician schools, and may take as little as two years to complete, with more specialized training also available. The U.S. Barber and Cosmetology Association's local chapters often offer a list of schools where training can be obtained, and those wishing to pursue esthetician careers are advised to speak with their local chapter first.