Aesthetician: How to Become an Aesthetician

Published Sep 02, 2009

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Aestheticans perform beauty and personal care services such as facials, hair removal and skin exfoliation. To become an aesthetician, you'll need to complete a training program at a technical or vocational school and pass a state-administered licensing exam.

What Is an Aesthetician?

Aestheticians are trained professionals who perform beauty and personal skin care services that include waxing, body scrubs, facials, laser treatments and make-up application. Aestheticians work in a variety of settings, including day spas, salons and department stores. Or, in the case of medical aestheticians, who provide beauty services for sick or injured patients, they may work at a hospital, in a plastic surgeon's office or in other medical settings.

Training and Education

Aestheticians receive training through technical or vocational schools that offer specialization in skin care. These training programs provide ample opportunities for students to practice the skills and knowledge they've learned in the classroom. Many schools offer spa services, performed by students, at discounted rates to the public. Courses for aspiring aestheticians might include health and sanitation procedures, make-up application, basic skin care and business practices.

Many beauty and personal care establishments provide additional training upon hiring recent graduates. However, before seeking a job, new aestheticians must first become licensed.

How to Become Licensed as an Aesthetician

49 states and the District of Columbia require aestheticians to be licensed. Connecticut is the only state without any education or licensing requirements. Typically, between 260 and 600 hours of training are needed to qualify for an aesthetician's license; however, in some states, the requirement can be as high as 1500 hours. Applicants usually have to be at least 17 years old before being able to obtain a license. Many states will only license individuals who have graduated from state-approved training courses.

Applicants for an aesthetician's license are required to pass both a written and performance-based exam. In some states, such as Washington, aspiring aestheticians can complete an apprenticeship instead of attending a vocational school. Any potential student should check licensing requirements in the state where they live.

After becoming licensed, aestheticians may take continuing education courses in order to remain current in their field. In some states, continuing education is required to maintain licensure.

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