How do I get an Esthetician License?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2018
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There are two types of esthetician license available: basic and master. In the US, all states require estheticians to be licensed before they can work. An esthetician is a beauty services professional who specializes in skin care treatments. The services available include microderm abrasion, laser treatment, waxing and facials.

There are three requirements to obtain a license: education, experience, and a licensing examination. All three are required to qualify for a position as an esthetician. In the United States, the number of hours education required varies between the different states, but the average is 650 hours for the basic license and 1,500 for a masters license.

Esthetician programs do not require a degree or diploma. The course hour requirement is met by registering for skin care courses at an accredited beauty school or community college. A basic license requires four months of full-time study, and courses include skin analysis, the physical structure of skin, and how to apply skin care treatments. The master esthetician license program is usually eight months of full-time study. All the same courses as the basic license are covered, but in addition, the masters program includes chemical peels, laser hair removal, laser skin abrasion, and microderm abrasions.


The beauty school will arrange for a job placement in the skin care industry. This role will allow you to gain valuable experience and the chance to apply your classroom knowledge. Make sure to meet all the requirements of your employer, so he or she can provide you with a quality reference. Upon graduation, the reference and experience that you gained is critical to your success in finding full time employment.

The licensing exam for a basic license is a combination of practical and theoretical questions. It is often in the format of a multiple choice section and a simulation client. Part of the evaluation criteria is the interaction with the client and the technical skills that you have obtained.

The requirements for a master's license are slightly different, as a larger amount of information is included in the examination. The theoretical component is a combination of multiple choice and written answers. For the practical component, many places use computer simulations and volunteer clients to assess your skills and proficiency.

Once you have obtained your esthetician license, you should be able to find employment in a spa, skin clinic, beauty salon, or specialty skin office. Many master estheticians work with dermatologists and plastic surgeons to help patients recover from surgery. This type of career is based on building a clientèle, so it is important to have good interpersonal skills.


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Post 8

The State of Connecticut does not require nail techs or estheticians to be licensed.

Post 4

@bagley79 - The salary of an esthetician depends on a lot of factors. Where you live can make a big difference, and many times you have to build up your own clientele.

For someone who is very good at what they do and has a strong clientele, they can make around $50,000 a year or more.

If you work in a small town, you will probably make much less than that.

You are right about it being a growing business. Many people are seeking out the services of an esthetician because they offer services they can afford and they often notice immediate results.

I have a niece who went into this field, and now she is teaching classes at a beauty college. She is required to take ongoing education classes to renew her esthetician license, but she really enjoys her job.

Post 3

How much of a salary difference is there between a basic esthetician license and a masters? It seems like for only 4 more months of schooling, it would be worth getting your masters.

Either way you look at it, the total amount of training for either one is less than a year. There aren't many training programs I know of where you can finish in less than a year and make a decent salary.

How much does the average esthetician make in a year? I think this is a field that is growing and there would be job opportunities available in a number of places.

It seems like there is a growing number of spas and salons that offer this kind of service anymore.

Post 2

@honeybees - I am not familiar with the online programs, but do know that you would want to make sure the course your daughter took was accredited.

I also believe there are different esthetician license requirements for different states, so that is something else you would want to consider.

I received my license by going through a local beauty school. I live in a fairly large city, so when I completed my training there were several job options available.

The school had contacts in the industry and also helped you find a job if you wanted their assistance. I think this would be the best way to go about getting your license.

You know the program is accredited and you are not only getting the training and experience you need, but also help in finding employment when you are finished.

Post 1

My daughter is interested in getting her esthetician license and was wondering where the best place to get her education is.

Can someone get their esthetician license online? I can see how you could complete some of the coursework this way, but how would you ever get the experience you needed?

If I was going to have any kind of laser hair removal done, I would want to see someone who had good experience and not just coursework training.

I also wonder if it would be harder to find a job if you went through an online program as opposed to getting referrals from a local program.

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