How to Become a Esthetician (Skin Care Therapist)

Choosing to become and esthetician can have its benefits. You get to work closely with your clients, you get to work with cutting edge devices, and you can help people improve their appearance and self-confidence. Before selecting this profession you will want to consider the pros and the cons of the work.

In addition to the other positive aspects already mentioned you will get to work in a field that is exceptionally fast growing with an expected increase of 40% within the next few years. There is little education required, and you can work a flexible schedule. On the downside you may find yourself working long hours and/or weekends, the pay can begin on the low end, you’ll need a license, and you’ll be standing and waling for long periods of time which can be difficult for some. If none of that detours you then becoming an esthetician might be right for you.

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Esthetician Schools

What is an esthetician and what do they do?

While working as an esthetician you will provide a variety of services for your customers. Some of the most requested include facials, facial massages, various chemical peels, eyebrow tints, hair remove, and makeup application for special events such as weddings. You will also have to work hard to maintain relationships with those you serve so that they will continue returning and to help sell some of the products you use during their visit. This may not always be a requirement but depending on where you work your employer may insist that you try and sell certain products.

If you have the basic license you will most likely find yourself working in a spa or salon. If you continue and get more advanced training you might seek work in a dermatologist office or with a plastic surgeon. Once you reach a high enough level you can even choose to work with clients that have particular needs such as those going through cancer treatments. You can help them to achieve a greater sense of well-being by utilizing your skills.

What kind of salary is expected?

Specialty services for skin care are becoming more and more popular. Due to this popularity the profession is growing at an astounding rate which is fantastic for those wanting to get into the field. With an expected 40% increase you are nearly certain to find a job very quickly after acquiring your license. You’ll find that the hardest competition is to be found at the higher end spas but you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a lower entry-level position to get you started while you gain experience.

When it comes to wages you can expect to earn around $29,000 a year. If you are a medical esthetician you can earn quite a bit more, somewhere between $21,000 and $52,000. Like with any job your experience will earn you better pay so even if you have to start at the low end of the pay scale the experience will help you earn better wages later. With experience you will be able to work in high end spas or more exclusive offices which will pay closer to the top end of the pay scale.

What type of education is required?

To become an esthetician you will need to acquire a degree or certificate from the field. You can find many programs through regular community or technical colleges that will teach you the skills you need. If you already know you want to focus on medical esthetics you can find programs that specialize in this area and they can help you prepare to work within a dermatologists or plastic surgeons office or center. Depending on where you live and the requirements you might have to have a regular esthetician’s license before continuing on to a medical program.

While attending the school the program will train you in chemical peels, electric therapy, facials, microdermabrasion, hair removal, body wrapping, and makeup. At some point in your training you will be permitted to practice on actual people which is usually fun and exciting. You will also learn about safety precautions and sanitation so that your work space is always as safe and clean as possible. Just in case you ever need it you will also be taught first aid and how to handle blood spill should it ever occur.

Depending on where you live the requirement for your license can vary and you may need to train more or less hours to pass the test. In nearly all cases there is also a set amount of hours that you must train fully supervised. Think of it like an apprenticeship. You will get hands on training while working with someone well versed in the field. They will be able to help you with your technique and overall performance so that you can improve and give your clients the best experience possible.

When you’re figuring out which school to attend you may want to consider branching out a little. If there is a particular spa or medical office you are interested in working for once you graduated you can call them and ask where they like to hire their estheticians from. With this information you can tailor your schooling to meet their needs and up your chances of being hired. This also helps you to determine which schools in your area have the best and worst reputations. You don’t want to waste your time and money going to a school that is frowned upon, even if it is the cheapest. Select somewhere with a good reputation but that doesn’t blow your budget.

Once you’ve settled on a few of your favorite school s you can call them and ask them questions. In most cases they should even be willing to send you an information packet that will cover their courses and tuition fees. While on the phone you can discuss the license requirement for where you live, and the curriculum that they teach. You can ask if they only offer full-time or if part-time is permitted, if there are night and weekend classes, and if they offer any sort of financial aid to help those that need it.

If you get really ambitious you can visit the school. While you’re there you can get a better feel for the teaching environment and overall atmosphere. Does it feel like somewhere that you would enjoy spending a lot of time? Did the teachers seem knowledgeable and helpful? Do they seem like someone you could learn from? You can speak to the other students and ask about their experience and recommendations. Their outlook can be invaluable and can give you a true look at the school. If the students aren’t enjoying it they will definitely tell you and you’ll know to start looking elsewhere. Some schools will even have free workshops or open houses that you can attend.

What type of skills are helpful?

For any job that requires close work with a customer you will want to be upbeat with a neat and current image. You want to appear professional and stylish so that your customers will feel confident using your services. When you meet with the clients you will need to discuss their particular needs and desires so that you can give them exactly what they’re looking for or explain if it is not possible or maybe not as quick as they would like. You can also talk with them during the treatment. It is not unusual for customers to want to chat to relax and to build a friendly relationship.

Additionally you should like working with people, have good communication skills, the capability to influence sales if necessary, and some general administrative skills for handling books and schedules.

In the end you’ll have to decide for yourself if becoming an esthetician is the right path for you. If you enjoy working with people and want to help them become the best version of themselves possible then you’re probably a wonderful fit. Keep in mind that to reach the point where you can be an esthetician as your career will take a lot of hard work and dedication but once you have your license there is nothing stopping you. This field is growing in leaps and bounds and if you’re passionate about face and skin care you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a spa or medical office that would be happy to have you.

If you’re exceptionally ambitious you might even find yourself in Hollywood working with movie stars and other celebrities. Once you’ve finished school the sky is the limit and you can use your skills to take you anywhere that skin care is needed. Celebrities always have to look incredible so having a skin care expert on hand isn’t unheard of. You may not be in the limelight but you’ll get the pleasure of knowing you’re doing everything you can to help everyone look their best.

Estheticians work hard but the rewards can be substantial for yourself and for your customers.

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