Aesthetician: Employment Outlook and Career Profile for Aestheticians
Aestheticians, also known as skin care specialists, work to enhance their clients' appearance and maintain healthly skin. To qualify to use various skin care treatments and procedures on clients, potential aestheticians need to complete state-approved training programs and obtain licensure.
Employment Outlook for Aestheticians
Individuals often seek skin treatments for relaxation or for medical reasons. As of 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expected aesthetician jobs to increase 38% during the 2008-2018 decade in response to a growing demand for those services (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported that entry-level licensed aestheticians should find work relatively easily, but they might need to acquire sufficient experience before attaining employment with the highest-paying employers.
Aestheticians earned an average annual income of $32,030 in 2010, as reported by the BLS. Personal care centers and doctor's offices had the highest aesthetician employment levels at that time.
Aestheticians are personal appearance workers who specialize in skin care. They offer various services that cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize skin.
In a session, they could start by determining a client's skin type and specific needs, recommending certain treatments or daily skin regimens. They might apply cleansers, scrubs, body wraps, facial masks, moisturizers, peels or tonics to help improve the skin on the face, hands, feet or body. They may also perform massages, makeup application, hair removal and eyebrow shaping.
Medical aestheticians can work with burn victims, cancer patients, plastic surgery recipients or those have dealt with some other skin-altering treatment or trauma. Many of the same services are provided by medical aestheticians as those who work in a salon, though different treatments or products could be used. Additionally, a medical aesthetician might teach patients how to apply makeup, choose skin care products and take care of their skin properly.
Aesthetician training is available at vocational schools, community colleges and private institutions. Cosmetology associate's degree programs commonly teach students a broad range of personal care services in addition to skin care; however, some concentrate on esthetics. Courses generally cover bacteriology, hair and nail care, makeup application and facials. Students also learn about state laws, ethics and business skills in addition to general education topics. Aesthetician certificate programs focus on skin conditions, chemical skin treatments, facials, skin mapping, hair removal procedures and makeup application.
All states require aestheticians to obtain a license. To qualify for licensure, individuals must meet academic standards, which usually consist of completing high school as well as an approved cosmetology training program. State licensing departments test the knowledge and skills of aspiring aestheticians before issuing a license. In some cases, a general cosmetology license is sufficient to practice, though some states have specific licensure or endorsement requirements for aestheticians.
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