Esthetician Qualifications

by Felicia Greene, Demand Media
    An esthetician can give you a fragrant, moisturizing facial treatment.

    An esthetician can give you a fragrant, moisturizing facial treatment.

    You might consider an esthetician quite similar to a fairy godmother. This trained skin care expert has a menu of beautifying tricks up her sleeve. She'll moisturize and tone your face with a delightfully fragrant facial preparation. She'll also refresh your skin with a sugar or salt scrub, and apply a scrumptious whole-body wrap scented with chocolate or an herbal solution. You'll feel like she sprinkled you with a magic wand full of refreshment and relaxation.

    Personal Qualities

    Before you can shine as an esthetician, you'll need to be comfortable in your own skin and take superb care of your skin and body. You really enjoy helping other ladies feel spectacular, too. On the flip side, you can understand if customers really need to pick themselves up with a soothing facial or wrap. In fact, you've done it yourself on occasion. Last but not least, you believe working with your hands helps you contribute to your clients' well-being, and that really gives you the warm fuzzies.

    Esthetician Education

    Wouldn't it be great if all states' esthetician programs had exactly the same requirements? That's certainly wishful thinking, as classroom hours range from 300 all the way to 1500. In fact, you could spend up to 15 months completing your skin care-focused program. What will you learn? For starters, you'll get some anatomy and physiology coursework. You'll learn how to perform facial massage, apply standard skincare treatments, and use anti-aging skin therapies. You'll also follow safety and hygiene standards, so you can give your clients top-notch service without worrying about sanitation hazards.

    Licensing Requirements

    Let's say you've completed your state-approved esthetician program with flying colors. You're probably eager to snag your first professional position and earn some well-deserved income. However, you've got one more hoop to navigate: your state's esthetician licensing exam. Your state board of cosmetology can provide you with logistics and exam content information. Finally, keep in mind that before you hang out your esthetician sign in another state, you'll also need to pass its licensing exam.

    Medical Esthetician Specialty

    You might call a medical esthetician the “creme de la creme” of skin care professionals. This medical skin care specialty builds on your esthetician skills and allows you to select each client's clinical skin care treatments. Before you can become a pro at microdermabrasion, chemical peels and other higher-stakes treatments, though, you'll spend some more time in the skin care classroom. You'll learn to analyze skin types, detect skin diseases and discover how inflammation affects skin health. You'll probably learn more about cosmetic ingredients than you've ever wanted to know. Finally, you'll learn the skin treatment techniques, along with diplomatic consultation skills, that open the door to a medical esthetician career.

    Job Outlook

    Perhaps an esthetician career sounds perfect for you, but you want to scope out your employment prospects before you make any commitments. You're definitely in luck, as skin care specialists are projected to see a 25 percent employment increase between 2010 and 2020, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics experts. Clients love new services such as shorter mini-facials and private home treatments. Mature women, and men, have really embraced skin rejuvenating treatments. With more spas and beauty salons springing up nationwide, you'll have plenty of places to serve this growing clientele.

    About the Author

    Based in North Carolina, Felicia Greene has written professionally since 1986. Greene edited sailing-related newsletters and designed marketing programs for the New Bern, N.C. "Sun Journal" and New Bern Habitat ReStore. She earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of Baltimore.

    Photo Credits

    • Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images