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How to Become an Esthetician

Esthetics is a great area to work in, with plenty of opportunities, a chance to work with all sorts of different people, and the satisfaction of knowing that the work you do helps people look and feel better. Esthetics is an area of cosmetology (working with cosmetics) that specifically looks at the skin, so an esthetician can do all kinds of different procedures, therapies and treatments on the face and body, including skin peels, microdermabrasion and facials, as well as waxing, body polishes and body wraps. Some estheticians also do things like reflexology on the feet, as well as massages, manicures, pedicures and eyelash tinting.

If you would like to become an esthetician and are wondering what you need to do and how long it will take, here we take a look at how to qualify as a professional esthetician.

 What qualifications do you need to be an esthetician?

All estheticians in the USA have to be licensed, and the licensing requirements are set by the state, so you will need to find out what kind of licensing needs there are to work as an esthetician where you live, or where you plan to work. Once you are qualified, it is generally easy to convert your qualification to be able to be licensed in another state (or even another country) if you want to move at a later date.

Esthetics qualifications are vocational, so you don’t need a college degree. You will instead need to undertake professional certifications around the treatments and procedures you intend to be doing, as well as logging a certain amount of time doing practical work. The number of hours you’ll need to have under your belt to qualify vary by state too, so this could be anything from 400 to 1000 hours. You get these hours by practicing on people on a trainee basis while you are at your beauty school or vocational college.

How long does it take to qualify as an esthetician?

Two things will determine how long it will take you to become an esthetician. Firstly, the requirements of your state, which will set out how many hours you’ll need to have logged, and secondly, whether you study esthetics full or part time. Studying full time, you can become a qualified esthetician in as little as four to six months. Part time, it will obviously take longer, but depending on how many hours per week you put in you can still do it in under a year.

When can you study to be an esthetician?

You can study to be an esthetician at any point in your life, so you can begin studying part time even before you finish high school (speak to your school about finding a local vocational college or beauty school where you can do this alongside going to your usual school to finish your general education), allowing you to start working right away when you graduate, or you can pick it up and do it full or part time at any other time.

Some people become estheticians as a change of career because they want the flexibility and job satisfaction this kind of work offers, and study part time alongside another job. Others study part time so they can take care of their families, and then go on to part time jobs in esthetics. Providing you can get accepted to a local school offering a course in the areas of esthetics you want to work in, which will usually be subject to an interview, anyone can begin learning how to be an esthetician!

Are there other things I should study, too?

Depending on your aspirations in the world of cosmetology and esthetics, you may want to compliment your training with some study in other areas. Some people combine their esthetician training with training in other areas of cosmetology, like studying to be a hair stylist or make up artist, so that they can offer lots of different services to their clients. Others take extra classes in things like business studies and salon management so that they are better equipped for a supervisory role in a salon and can progress faster in their careers once they qualify, or because they are planning to run their own beauty business.