How do I Start a Career in Esthetics?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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There are five steps that you need to take to start a career in esthetics: post-secondary education, serve your apprenticeship, obtain a license, select a city to work in, and get your first job. A career in esthetics is focused on specialized skin care. Services provided include hair removal, skin analysis, and treatments.

In order to work as an esthetician, you will need to complete a certificate program at a beauty school or career college. These programs are typically 650 to 1,200 hours in length and include a work placement term. Courses are focused on the structure of skin, and how to improve the overall skin condition through the use of treatment plans and techniques. Optional courses include chemical peels, microderm abrasions, and electrolysis.

All estheticians are required to complete an apprenticeship or work term. Usually the beauty school locates and arranges a suitable work placement term, where the student can practice their skills under the supervision of a licensed esthetician. It is important to be punctual, professional and focused during your work term. The experience that you gain is critical to starting your career in esthetics. The supervisor can provide you with a letter of reference or recommendation that will help you find your first job.


Every state requires all estheticians to obtain a license to practice. There are two types of examinations: basic and masters. The basic exam is a combination of multiple choice and practical skills testing. The master’s exam covers all the material from the basic exam and includes additional sections on more advanced techniques.

The spa and esthetic industry is a growing one, but it is important to do your research before deciding where you will live. The growth of this industry is focused in large cities and metropolitan areas. It is important to select a location with a thriving spa industry, as this ensures there will be enough clients and resources to sustain you through the ups and downs of the economic cycle.

Look for areas with three major spas that have been in business at least five years. Research the related services and firms where you might find employment. These include dermatologist offices, cosmetic surgeons, and the fashion and movie industries.

To obtain your first job, take advantage of the career services at your beauty school. Update your resume and practice interview techniques. Look at the classified ads in the local beauty industry magazine for opportunities. Send out your resume to wedding planners, movie companies, and modeling agencies. All these firms can help you start your career in esthetics.



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