Become An Esthetician
With Americans becoming more health- and youth-conscious than ever before, the opportunities for skin care pros are exploding. If you enjoy caring for clients in a tranquil, intimate setting, if you’re interested in health and wellbeing, if you’re fascinated by new developments in beauty product technology—consider a career as a skin care professional, also known as an esthetician.
Training you’ll need
To start your career as a skin care professional, you’ll first complete an esthetics program and pass a state-licensing exam. The program’s hour requirements for each state vary, ranging from 300 hours to 1,000 hours. (Check your state’s Licensing Requirements here.) Depending on the state, the written exam may cover topics such as anatomy and skin physiology; product chemistry; skin disorders and diseases; facial techniques; and hair removal methods.
What you’ll learn
In general, skin care programs cover: anatomy and skin physiology; infection control and first aid; facial techniques; waxing and other forms of hair removal; and make-up application. Specific programs also may cover body and spa treatments; equipment usage; massage; medi-spa or medical esthetic treatments; product chemistry; customer service; product sales strategies; skin care business basics; and career development and guidance.
Where you’ll work
Options for skin care experts expand every day. Many licensed estheticians choose to work in salons, day spas, skin care centers, hotel and resort spas, health club spas, cruise ship spas, wellness spas or doctors’ practices. Some pursue careers as esthetics directors within a skin care center or spa; as spa managers or directors; as regional spa or salon managers or directors; or as business owners.
There is also a growing need for educators, not only at esthetics schools but also to work for beauty product distributors in sales and distribution and for manufacturers in product development and demonstration. Eventually, an educator for a product distributor or manufacturer might go on to assume a management position within the company. As skin care retailing grows, more and more skin care and make-up professionals are also sought out for positions as sales consultants and experts in stores and boutiques.
A typical day
Let’s say you take a job as a skin care specialist at a full service salon and day spa. When you arrive at work, you check your day’s schedule and look for any last-minute additions or cancellations. Then you’ll prepare a private esthetics room that’s either yours alone or one that you have exclusively on certain days of the week or hours of the day.
You may start out doing a hydrating facial. You’ll talk to your client about her ongoing program to keep her skin healthy and youthful. You’ll recommend that she make another appointment for four weeks from now, and you’ll probably send her away with some products to apply between her visits to you.
Next you have a client who’s getting a seaweed body wrap. As you perform the service, you explain how that particular wrap will benefit the client, removing toxins, providing relaxation and improving skin tone. Your third client is coming in for her monthly waxing. You remove the hair from her legs, arch her eyebrows and clean up any upper lip fuzz. As you work, you mention some of the other services you think she may be interested in trying. To finish your day, you do another facial and a paraffin hand and foot treatment. Whew! You worked hard, but you made each client feel great!