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Esthetician license requirements: What you should know

Esthetician license requirements: What you should know

By Kim Mercado
Mar 8, 2022
7 min read

Estheticians work with the skin, making it as beautiful and healthy as possible. From skincare treatments and skin-refining technology like lasers, to applying makeup and advising clients on skincare regimens, estheticians are experts in skin and beauty.

The United States is home to approximately 183,000 licensed estheticians, according to the Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP). Being an esthetician means you have a flexible and non-traditional schedule. You can also work in a non-traditional environment, and form partnerships with other beauty and health/wellness practitioners. 

If you want to find out how to become a licensed esthetician and start a life where you make your own hours then keep reading. 

Esthetician education and training options

In order to become a professional esthetician, it is important that you explore your options in regards to education so that your learning experience is tailored to your specific learning needs. 

Are you the type of student who retains information better in a classroom setting? Does the thought of a classroom setting overwhelm you? You may benefit from virtual courses in order to acquire your esthetician license online. There is also a possibility that you may learn the material better from another professional in an apprenticeship. It is important to note that the esthetician license requirements by state may vary. 

If the classroom setting is for you, here are some of the best-accredited beauty schools to check out: 

  1. Aveda Institute, located in several states
  2. Ogle, located in TX
  3. Paul Mitchell School, located in several states 
  4. Empire Beauty School, located in several states
  5. Xenon Academy, located in KS, MO, CO
  6. Marinello School Of Beauty, located in several States
  7. Hollywood Institute Of Beauty Careers, located in CA, FL
  8. American National College, located in TX, GA
  9. The Hair Design School, located in NJ, TN, NC

Although it is possible to take online courses to become an esthetician, due to the nature of the profession, you will have to have some hands-on practice to go along with these classes. 

Below is a list of some of the most popular online courses available:

Online courses

  1. Remington College 
  2. Steiner Education Group 
  3. Westside Tech 
  4. West Tennessee Business College
  5. West Georgia Technical College
  6. W Academy of Salon and Spa
  7. Victoria’s Academy of Cosmetology
  8. VICI Aveda Institute
  9. Wiregrass Georgia Technical College 
  10. University of Spa & Cosmetology Arts

The options for your esthetician education are endless and all vary in technique, style, and price so it is wise to take tours and vet a few different programs before you fully commit to one. 

What you will learn to become a licensed esthetician and what it may cost

You are ready to dive into the craft of skincare and get accredited, but you may not know what those classes entail or what it will cost you.

A regular day for an esthetician may include a few facials, superficial chemical peels, body treatments, lash extensions, blemish extractions, skin conditioning, microdermabrasion, light therapy, and waxing. You are likely to work in a spa, salon, high-end hotel, movie sets, and even plastic surgeon offices. This is an important job where you will be responsible for the care of human faces which can be a sensitive subject for some people. 

As an esthetician, you must be prepared and receive a quality education in order to perform your job and be sensitive to your clients’ needs. 

A common esthetician curriculum looks something like this: 

  • Reflexology
  • Skin conditions and disorders
  • Sales and salon management 
  • Aromatherapy and body treatments 
  • Hair removal and waxing 
  • Cosmetic sciences 
  • Human physiology and anatomy 
  • Safety and sanitation 

If this compilation of classes excited you, then you should definitely look further into your educational opportunities and plan out how you will pay for it. 

According to Evergreen Beauty College, the average esthetician student pays anywhere between 3,000 and 10,000 varied by the length of the program, state, and equipment. Based on the time and cost it takes to get an esthetician license, it is a commitment that you will want to think through, as well as make calculated decisions based on your own needs. You may even consider furthering your education with a cosmetology license in order to have more opportunities.

Now that you know more about how to become an esthetician, their daily life, and efforts to get licensed, you should know more specifics about the esthetician license requirements. 

Esthetician licensing requirements

In order to get your esthetician license, you must know your state requirements and be prepared to put in the hours. 

The first step is to choose a school that fits your learning style, as well as your budget. Once you have completed a program of esthetics through an accredited institution, you can submit an esthetician application for examination along with your $115 license cost fee to the state board.

Once approved the board will schedule both your written and practical examinations. Upon passing the exams you will be set to begin your own practice or get hired at a salon! Before you begin a business or new employment make sure to get fitting esthetician insurance. 

There are numerous differences in esthetician licensing requirements from state to state so make sure that you meet your specific ones. One of the differences is the amount of time it takes to obtain a license. So, how long does it take to get an esthetician license?

The short response is that it varies. For example, in California, what some professionals believe to be the epicenter of the beauty industry, it is required for you to attend a program that is board approved by the state.

On average, all 50 states require about 600 hours of training, but some states like Texas require 750 hours, and you may need to possess several licenses if you work in different states. Although you don’t need a license to perform facials it will open up more doors to job opportunities and increase trust in your clientele.

Once you are a full-fledged licensed esthetician your hard work will start to pay off.  

Get the right business insurance

This artful profession will often feel rewarding as you will be working with live people who can rave about you on Yelp or, better yet, in person. 

There will be days where you go home happy as a clam and satisfied from a day of honest work, but there could also come a day where a client is very unhappy with your services. There may even come a day where you are served with a lawsuit because one customer truly believes that you are at fault for a rash, allergic reaction, or break-out. In order to prevent the loss of your hard-earned license or your reputation, you should get yourself insured as you are now a business that will benefit from protection. 

Business insurance is essential for all small business owners and independent contractors. It ensures that you can embark on whatever projects come your way with confidence, knowing that your business is protected. Learn more about how insurance can protect your esthetician business with NEXT.

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Esthetician license requirements: What you should know

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About the author
Kim Mercado is a content editor at NEXT's blog, where she writes and edits posts for small business owners. She is an experienced marketing professional and loves helping entrepreneurs solve their business challenges. You can find Kim trying new recipes and cheering the 49ers.
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