If you’re interested in skincare, at a salon or a medical facility, a career as an esthetician could be perfect for you. Today’s students are increasingly making major decisions like choosing their careers based primarily on what they find interesting – and when it’s skincare that interests you, you also enjoy benefits like flexibility and rapid job growth. While an education is required, you don’t have to spend years in the classrooms sitting through lectures to earn a traditional college degree.
A Career in Skin Care
Estheticians, or skincare specialists, improve the physical appearance of a client’s skin in environments that range from spas and salons to medical offices. Estheticians choose the right cleansers and moisturizers for their clients’ skincare routines. Often, skincare specialists offer treatments like facials, massages, peels, scrubs, wax or laser hair removal and masks to help clients achieve cleaner, more beautiful skin, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
A Cosmetology Education
As an aspiring skincare specialist or esthetician, you need an education, but not a traditional college degree like an associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree. Instead, you will need specialized training in the field of professional skin care from a skincare training school. Some skincare training programs will provide you with just a few hundred hours of hands-on experience, while others will expose you to 1,200 hours or more of professional practice.
Choosing a Cosmetology School
How do you choose the right skincare training school for you? First, you want to become familiar with licensing requirements for your state. You can find information on state licensing processes from organizations like the Association of Skin Care Professionals (ASCP), Professional Beauty Association, the American Association of Cosmetology Schools and the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology. License requirements vary from state to state but typically include practical and written examinations, the BLS reported. Make sure the program you choose satisfies your state’s eligibility requirements, like the minimum number of education hours.
Because many skincare training schools are privately owned, it’s difficult for prospective students to assess the quality of these programs. One way to be sure you’re selecting a quality program is to choose an accredited institution. The following organizations accredit skin care and esthetic therapy programs, according to the ASCP:
- Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training
- Accrediting Commission for Career Schools and Colleges of Technology
- Council on Occupational Education
- Distance Education and Training Council
- National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts & Sciences
U.S. News & World Report included esthetician on its lists of the Best Health Care Jobs and the 100 Best Jobs. While it doesn’t correspond to an exceptionally high salary – $13.77 per hour, according to the BLS, or $28,940 per year, according to U.S. News – the job offers flexibility. About 27 percent of estheticians work for themselves, the BLS reported. Job opportunities are increasing rapidly, with the BLS expecting a 40 percent rise in opportunities over just a decade.