Career as an Esthetician
A career as an esthetician is all about beautiful skin. Estheticians work with various techniques to improve and maintain healthy skin, from skincare processes such as facials or peels to makeup application and product advice.
This can be a highly rewarding career, whether you’re pampering clients and boosting confidence in a regular spa, or offering life-changing treatments to patients with skin conditions, cancer sufferers or burns victims in a medical spa or dermatology clinic.
The esthetician focuses on the outer layer of skin, applying minimally invasive treatments, from facial massage to chemical peels or laser treatments. They also offer hair removal processes such as waxing, tweezing and threading. Some estheticians specialize in makeup application, including eyelash tinting and permanent makeup. Additional services such as facial massage or aromatherapy may be part of an esthetician’s work.
An esthetician may work in a salon, a spa or a private skincare clinic. Some estheticians specialize in more advanced procedures and work in a medical environment. Medical estheticians can bring in higher salaries due to their expertise in processes such as microdermabrasion, Botox and laser hair removal. Estheticians may also work with dermatologists, advising patients with skin conditions, scar tissue or skin damage from burns. Estheticians may also advise cancer patients who are going through chemotherapy, on the use of makeup to replace lost facial hair.
When you’re starting out as an esthetician, you may be working long hours while you gain experience, but it’s a career with a lot of flexibility – 32% of cosmetologists work part time. You are likely to be working evenings and weekends, as this is when many clients will be available for treatments.
There’s a range of possible job options open to you when you train as an esthetician. You may find work in a salon or spa, in a holiday resort, on cruise ships, or train for a position in a medical environment. There are also opportunities to work with makeup companies, or in a product sales role.
The career outlook for estheticians is good – the salon industry is predicted to grow over the next decade, with beauty jobs of all kinds increasing by 14% by 2020.
Make it Happen
To work as an esthetician in the United States, you must be licensed, which means gaining an Esthetician qualification from a beauty school. An Esthetician qualification will involve training in skincare techniques, from both an aesthetic and scientific angle, and makeup application. Processes such as self-tanning, body polishing, facial massage and hair removal will be taught, and you are likely to experience a mix of written and practical work.
You may also need extra training and experience to work in certain specialities, such as permanent makeup application or medical esthetics. Medical estheticians work in a medical environment such as a clinic or dermatology practice, carrying out procedures such as chemical peels, Botox, laser hair removal and microdermabrasion.
Although you are likely to gain hands-on experience in student salons at cosmetology school when you are studying for your license, on-the-job experience once you leave school is invaluable. If you are continuing your training as a medical esthetician, you will be working with experienced practitioners to pick up new techniques and methods.
Skills & Attributes
An Interest in Skin Science
This job is all about the skin, and a good esthetician will need to have a great understanding of how the skin is structured, how it works, and how it repairs itself and ages. You will learn much of this information at beauty school, but you will need an on-going interest in the science of skin, keeping up with the latest discoveries and products.
Personal grooming is important for an esthetician – you should be smartly presented with a good image. In the salon workplace, you may be required to wear a tunic and be well-presented, to give clients confidence in the hygiene and safety of your work.
An esthetician should have a solid understanding of the science of skin, but you will also need a dash of creative flair when you are applying makeup. You will need a steady hand, and deft fingers for techniques such as eyelash extensions and permanent makeup.
An esthetician works one-on-one with people all day long, and the rewards of the job come from this close interaction. You will need to be a good listener, and have a high level of tactfulness and sensitivity, especially if you are planning to train as a medical esthetician.
Product sales are an important revenue source for a salon or self-employed esthetician. You will need to recommend suitable products for your clients, guiding them in what is best for their skin type and lifestyle.
Although you may be able to carry out some skincare treatments seated, this job also involves standing for long periods during the working day, so good health and stamina are important. You will need to maintain a professional and friendly manner from opening to closing time.
Trends & Tips
3 Hot Trends for 2014!
The nude look – the good news for estheticians is that it’s all about beautiful skin at the moment! Makeup is minimal and makes the most of natural beauty and skincare processes.
Big lashes and retro kohl-rims – the lioness look is slinking down the catwalks this season, as long lashes and sultry eyes took to the stage.
Cellular skincare –cutting edge products with ingredients that look after the DNA of skin, revitalizing cells to bring back youth!