Aesthetician: How to Become an Aesthetician
Learn how to become an aesthetician. Research the education requirements, training and licensure information and experience required for starting a career in aesthetics.
Requirements to Become an Aesthetician
Aestheticians, or estheticians, are licensed cosmetology professionals who cleanse and treat the skin. They typically perform a variety of duties, including facials, waxes, massages and chemical peels. These professionals are often employed in spas, salons or medical facilities.
Licensure requirements vary in each state, but typically include formal aesthetics instruction or apprenticeship training. The following table outlines common requirements to become an aesthetician as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):
|Licensure and Certification||A state-issued license is required|
|Key Skills||Customer-service skills, stamina|
Step 1: Get Formal Training in Cosmetology
Before they can become licensed, aestheticians must gain formal training from a state-approved aesthetics program. These programs are usually available at community colleges or cosmetology schools and consist of about 600 hours of technical and practical instruction. Studies may focus on manual and machine facials, skin analysis, chemical treatments, waxing, skin conditions, skin diseases and makeup application. Prospective students should check with their state cosmetology boards to ensure that a program meets all licensing requirements.
- Consider an apprenticeship. As an alternative to formal education, some aestheticians enter the occupation through apprenticeship programs. Some states require candidates to obtain temporary licensure to serve as an apprentice. Aesthetics apprentices can gain hands-on experience under the instruction of a licensed aesthetician and learn about similar topics as they would in a formal education program.
Step 2: Obtain Licensure
To serve in the profession, aestheticians must be licensed in aesthetics by a state cosmetology board. Specific licensure requirements vary between states but typically include graduation from an approved school and passage of written and practical exams. Some cosmetology boards allow aestheticians to substitute formal education with apprenticeship training to meet the licensure requirements. Delaware, for example, requires candidates to have 600 hours of formal education or 1,200 hours of apprenticeship training.
Step 3: Consider Becoming a Master Aesthetician
Licensed aestheticians may pursue advanced education by taking courses in master aesthetics. Admission to a certificate program typically entails completion of 600 hours in a basic aesthetics training program. To become a master aesthetician, candidates must complete 600 additional hours of advanced training. These programs typically include more medical-focused aesthetics instruction. Course topics may include anatomy, physiology, microdermabrasion, chemical exfoliation, lymph drainage and anti-aging treatments.
Step 4: Continue Education
Continuing education is required in most states for standard and master aestheticians to renew their licenses. Aestheticians have the ability to continue their education through advanced courses that cover topics like spray tanning and lymphatic massage. Workshops and conferences may also satisfy continuing education standards. In addition to fulfilling licensure renewal requirements, continuing education can help an aesthetician advance his or her career by learning new techniques and skills.
- Join a professional organization. Membership in a professional organization, such as the Aesthetics International Association (AIA) or Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP), can give an aesthetician access to continuing education opportunities and other professional resources and benefits. Common membership benefits include access to affordable insurance, networking resources, marketing materials and business advice.
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