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How to Become an Esthetician

by Kirstyn Porter January 12, 2024 5 min read

How to Become an Esthetician

Whether you’ve been a lifelong lover of skincare or have recently discovered the wonderful world that is all things beauty, deciding to become an esthetician is a great way to turn a passion into a career! 

If you’re wondering what the next step is in making esthetics a realistic career path, we here at Nova have you covered. Keep reading for information about the different types of esthetics, your schooling options, and what to expect financially withbecoming an esthetician

Table of Contents 

  • What is an esthetician?
  • What are the different types of estheticians? 
  • How to find an esthetics school
  • How long does it take to become an esthetician? 
  • What is esthetician school like? 
  • What can I do with an esthetics license? 
  • Do estheticians make good money? 
  • Final Thoughts 

  • What is an Esthetician? 

    An esthetician is a beauty professional that provides services to clients. Estheticians specialize in treatments that focus on the skin and body. Services estheticians perform include facials, body wraps, laser hair removal, waxing, aromatherapy, etc. 

    While estheticians are most commonly known for their skin treatments, there are many types ofestheticians one can become

    What are the Different Types of Estheticians? 

    The world of esthetics is rapidly changing and estheticians are no longer limited to just one path! With many possibilities when choosing a specialization, be sure to explore the following types when becoming an esthetician

    Facial Specialist 

    Facial specialist giving a woman a facial service

    A facial specialist is an esthetician that performs treatments like European facials, extractions, high-frequency treatments, facial massages, scrubs, and masques. 

    Skincare Specialist

    Skincare specialist servicing a woman

    A skincare specialist can perform full body treatments, body wraps, exfoliation treatments, and treat things like rosacea and acne. They specialize in skin all over the body, not just limited to the face like facial specialists. 

    Waxing Specialist 

    Waxing specialists servicing a client


    A waxing specialist performs hair removal with waxing depilatories. These waxing services can be administered to the face or the body. 

    Spa Specialist 

    Spa specialist giving a massage service

    A spa specialist performs treatments in aromatherapy, water therapy, and all-over body massages. 

    Medical Esthetician / Aesthetician

    Medical esthetician providing a service

    Medical estheticians, who can also have the title of aesthetician, perform medical grade treatments like chemical peels, facial lasers, laser hair removal, and microneedling. Becoming a medical esthetician requires more schooling or specialized training depending on where you live, which is something to consider when choosing a school. 

    While all of these specialists do have specific job duties, it’s important to remember that once you become an esthetician and decide to work independently you can mix and match services from any specialty! 

    How to Find an Esthetics School

    Finding an esthetics school to study at is the next step inbecoming an esthetician. With a quick google search or visiting a site likethis, finding a school is simple! Typically, schools will have you provide contact information then reach out to you about the next steps in learning about their programs. 

    Some things to keep in mind when choosing a school include the tuition, the types of services they teach, whether or not you will take real life clients, and the amount of hours required by the state and how the school schedules them. 

    How Long Does it Take to Become an Esthetician?

    The time it takes tobecome an esthetician varies depending on the state you’re planning on becoming licensed in. After schooling, passing the state board exam is required to obtain a license. 

    States that require 600 hours or less include: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, D.C., Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, US Virgin Islands 

    States that require more than 600 hours include: Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Texas 


    What is Esthetician School Like? 

    When I was starting esthetician school I was expecting to learn a lot about skincare from the textbook, in the same way one learns about subjects in traditional school from traditional textbooks. Much to my suprise, a majority of the learning whenbecoming an esthetician is hands-on learning!

    While there was textbook learning happening as well as tests and quizzes, most of the learning was done while performing services on other classmates as well as taking clients that came into the school. What’s really cool about esthetician school is that you have the opportunity to take real clients who come into the salon paying for services at a discounted price knowing that you as a student are still learning how to perform services and may not be as polished as someone years into the industry. 

    Not having the pressure of performing a perfect eyebrow wax or a flawless facial with great massage techniques is a really important part of building confidence as an esthetician. By the end of the school year nearly everyone is hairless and has pretty glowing skin after all of the services we got to perform on one another, which was also a great perk! 

    What Can I Do With an Esthetician License? 

    A great thing aboutbecoming an esthetician is that obtaining an esthetician license gives you a range of career opportunities. Most estheticians get a license with the idea that they can work for a spa and then branch out on their own and become successful independent business owners. While this is a great plan, a lot of times other career paths with an esthetician license are overlooked! 

    Some of the things you can do with an estheticans’ license that aren’t service based include working for an amazing brand (like me, hi Nova!), working for beauty company counters, beauty blogging, beauty journalism, content creation, lash artistry, makeup artistry, product reviewing, professional esthetics education, skincare sales, salon management, and more.  

    Perfecting your craft with your estheticians license, like any other professional license, takes a lot of work and effort. Luckily, that work can be rewarded financially. 

    Do Estheticians Make Good Money? 

    Like any career, the salary for estheticians depends on the state they practice in. The average salary for an esthetician is$41,419. However, there are opportunities for estheticians to earn well over six figures if they have superior and expertise than others. Many business owning estheticians make over $150,000 a year. 

    Source: Zippia.com Zippia Logo

    Depending on your specialty and whether or not your place of employment accepts tips from customers, that salary can greatly differ. Many estheticians can make a great living, especially in the day and age of social media where finding clients is easier than ever!  

    Estheticians who provide services like microblading and permanent makeup services where treatment fees are higher can dovery well! Other things to consider when planning your financial situation when becoming an esthetician include adding on or upcharging services as well as selling products for take-home care. All in all, there are many ways to make more than the median salary as an esthetician. 

    What Products Do Estheticians Use?

    One of the most fun things about becoming an esthetician is being introduced to a world of products that you may have never even thought about! Different esthetics specialties use different products; for example, as a waxer you’ll need a professional quality wax that will allow you to service different skin types and areas of the body.

    Nova Wax is a luxury wax formula created by master esthetician, Liz Lugo. For a limited time, save 25% off on Nova Hard Wax Microbeads and receive free 2-day shipping when you use the code NEW25.

    Kirstyn Porter
    Kirstyn Porter

    If you’re focusing more on skin specialties or facial specialties, one suggestion when you’re just starting out is to use products more geared towards maintaining the moisture barrier like those found here. Products that are geared towards hydration are a safe bet for any esthetician, new or seasoned, because they don’t have as much potential for irritation.

    Collectively, the products you use as an esthetician can definitely vary but there are always new and exciting ways to change up your go-to’s!

    Final Thoughts

    After researching the specialties and learning about what one best suits your interests, choosing a school is the next step to the amazing journey that isbecoming an esthetician! One thing I’d recommend is to go into esthetics school with an open mind. You never know what things might pique your interest after learning and performing services that weren’t even on your radar.

    One last thing to remember, esthetics is one of the most trending career paths for a reason! The ability to be your own boss while also working in an industry you’re passionate about is a killer combination with a lot of potential for personal fulfillment.