Career Information for a Degree or Certification in Skin Care and Aesthetics
A degree in skin care and aesthetics prepares people for jobs in the personal appearance industry. Graduating with a degree is not required in order to work in this field, and degree programs in skin care and aesthetics are rare. However, students can receive skin care training through aesthetics (also known as esthetics) certificate programs. Continue reading to learn more about training requirements and career opportunities in this field.
Aesthetics training programs are typically offered at stand-alone vocational schools, cosmetology schools or community colleges. The length of time that it takes to become an aesthetician varies. In many states, one must complete 600 hours of classroom and practical training before being eligible to take the licensing exam, though some states require as much as 1,500 hours of education. Most state licensure exams include written and practical components.
Postsecondary aesthetics certificate and degree programs typically consist of training in skin care techniques, make-up application and the removal of unwanted facial and body hair via plucking, waxing or threading. Some programs also train aestheticians in non-therapeutic massage. Classroom sessions are often supplemented with hands-on learning experience in a school's clinic; students may offer services to the public under the supervision of instructors.
Aestheticians and skin care specialists often work in salons, medical offices, hotels and spas. Some of these professionals, like facialists, hair removal specialists and make-up artists, only offer particular services. Certification in this field may be available through third-party organizations that manufacture or sell skin care products. Earning voluntary certification may lead to additional job opportunities.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for skin care specialists was $31,720 per year as of May 2012 (www.bls.gov). Salaries in this field can vary considerably depending on geographic location. For example, specialists in Nevada earned an average salary of $23,950 as of May 2012; specialists in California earned an average wage of $34,600 per year.
Career prospects for skin care specialists were expected to grow by 25% from 2010-2020, reported the BLS, which was faster than the national average. Job growth may result from an increase in the number of people who use skin care products or receive professional treatments.
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