Esthetician School Programs

Esthetician schools offer programs for a successful and fulfilling career in skincare (esthetics). A licensed esthetician has opportunities to work in many settings offering skin-related care and treatments, such as a dermatology clinic, spa, salon, or private practice. Here we cover everything you need to know about esthetics programs and why it could be the ideal career choice for you.

Esthetician Program

What is an Esthetician?

An esthetician is a beauty professional who provides skin care services. Common services performed by estheticians include (but are not limited to) skin treatments, facials, waxing, chemical peels, and makeup application.

Estheticians are trained professionals who have completed an accredited esthetician program consisting of both classroom and practical training.

Esthetics” within the beauty industry refers to health and beautification of the skin. More technically, it’s the application of various techniques to the epidermal layer of the human body. The practice of esthetics is derived from “aesthetics” (as it is otherwise commonly spelled), the philosophy of beauty, taste, and art.

What Do Estheticians Do?

An esthetician is a beauty professional with a focus on skincare. They may work in a dermatology clinic, spa, salon, or other settings offering skin related care and treatments.
  • ZSkin treatments
  • ZFacials
  • ZMakeup application
  • ZHair removal
  • ZTanning
  • ZAnd more
Estheticians are licensed to provide a long list of specialized skincare services including:
  • ZSpecific skin condition treatments
  • ZCustom skincare routine recommendations
  • ZSkin mapping
  • ZFacials
  • ZHair removal
  • ZExfoliation
  • ZSkin peels

These services cannot be provided without a license. Estheticians can also add specialty treatments to their services including lash extensions, microdermabrasion, laser treatments and more. It depends on the state in which you operate as well as where you receive your license.

Although cosmetologists do receive training in skincare services, it is a general training without the specific treatments and techniques required for your esthetician license. For example, training delves much deeper into a wider range of facials, hair removal techniques, skin types, appropriate skincare methods, consultation and more. They have a better understanding of the anatomy of the skin and the science behind the right treatments based on skin condition and type.

How Much Do Estheticians Make?

As with any career, you will find esthetician salaries have a wide range based on experience, the workplace and education. The median hourly wage is about $16.39 or about $35,000 a year. However, when looking at the potential range you can earn anywhere from $9.85 to over $30.07 an hour. The highest paying jobs tend to be with clinics, while the lower end of the hourly wage is usually in travel.

What is the Job Outlook for Estheticians?

Estheticians are expected to experience growth by 17 percent from 2019 to 2029. This is much faster than the average occupation at just 4 percent. As the population continues to age, more people will seek treatments to combat the signs of aging. This provides ample opportunities to find employment across the U.S.

Job opportunities can be found in many exciting workplaces including:

  • ZSpas
  • ZSalons
  • ZFreelancing
  • ZTV/Movie Sets
  • ZEditorial Sets
  • ZMed Spas
  • ZCruise Ships
  • ZResorts

What Do You Learn in Esthetician School?

Esthetician school covers an exciting range of courses including the anatomy and skin sciences and associated skincare. Your course work would include:
  • ZMake-up
  • ZFacials
  • ZMassages
  • ZWaxing
  • ZReflexology
  • ZAbrasive treatments
  • ZSkin peels and masks
As part of your job you also require an understanding of skincare types and how to prescribe suitable skincare treatments and regimens. This would include:
  • ZBody wraps
  • ZLaser treatments
  • ZAnti-aging treatments
  • ZAnd more
To get a grasp on industry standards you will also study:
  • ZSafety and sanitation
  • ZSalon management
  • ZCustomer service
  • ZRetail sales
Esthetician training encompasses all aspects of skincare and skincare management providing you with the skills you need to find employment as an esthetician. However, you can also pursue a career in salon management, retail sales, and aspects of customer service.

How Long Is Esthetician School?

The length of studies for an esthetician is based on the requirements of your state. You can be finished with your program in as little as four months as a full-time student, with some courses taking up to six months. Part-time students can usually complete their courses within a year. The average training hours required are 600 hours while some states require as much as 750. Courses start at various times of the year depending on the school you choose.

Enrollment – What Are the Average Esthetician School Requirements?

To enroll in esthetician school requirements vary by state, but prerequisites generally include:
  • ZMust be 16 years of age or older
  • ZHold a high school diploma or GED
Some schools require you to take a preliminary exam or aptitude test. If you are taking an advanced certification or program, you will require your basic esthetician license to enroll. You can click here to learn more about esthetician Enrollment.

How Much Does Esthetician School Cost?

Esthetics program tuitions range from $3,000 to $10,000. Again, it really will depend on the school you choose, what courses are included and how many hours required by your state. The good news is that there is financial aid available through a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can visit our Costs page to answer more of your questions.

How to Get Licensed as an Esthetician and Launch Your Career

All states other than Connecticut require an esthetician license. To acquire your license you generally must complete an approved program of esthetics or an apprenticeship depending on your state. You then must write and pass your state’s Esthetics License Examination. In most cases, you will need to maintain a certain number of working hours to hold your license and often take ongoing courses. In most cases, this is on a biennial basis with the completion of a renewal application in hand with a nominal fee.

Licenses are generally granted with the completion of an accredited esthetics program lasting 600 hours or an apprenticeship that is at least 1,200 hours. In some states, there are two-tier esthetician licenses requiring additional training and education in a master esthetics program to perform advanced services including:

  • ZMedium-depth chemical peels
  • ZLymphatic drainage
  • ZUltrasound and light/radio/laser frequency procedures
We offer a state-by-state breakdown of requirements here.

What Type of Job Can I Get After Graduation?

You might be surprised where your esthetician license can take you on your career journey. Some exciting possibilities include:
Medical Esthetician

Medical Esthetician

Working in a dermatologist office allows you to work with doctors and other trained professionals who can assist patients requiring a wide range of skin care treatments. You can be also be involved in consulting and providing skincare regimes and products for patients.


Whether you hit the road selling makeup lines and skincare products, or work for a specific retailer, makeup sales offer an excellent way to expand your knowledge about a brand, its uses and how to apply them.


Take your pick of salons and spas to use your skills to perform a wide range of skincare treatments and services.
Makeup Artist

Makeup Artist

Makeup artists can use their creativity to bring out their clients’ natural beauty or get involved in an exciting career in the entertainment industry. You can perform makeovers, do makeup for special occasions such as weddings or proms or even break into celebrity makeup.
Cosmetics Buyer

Cosmetics Buyer

This position puts you in the driver’s seat working for major retailers to find the latest and most exciting products to bring into department stores, beauty boutiques, spas, salons and more. You get to spot trends and make recommendations to suit your customers’ needs.

Trainer or Teacher

Use your acquired skills to become a trainer for a brand or a teacher at a school. You can even advance to become involved in State Board Licensing and inspection.
Brand Representative

Brand Representative

Working for one of the hundreds of top beauty product lines allows you to work in different capacities including training estheticians on your specific products, product demonstrations in malls, salons and stores, introducing new products to salons and retailers, and more.
Beauty Writer

Beauty Writer

From blogs to beauty magazines, you can apply your knowledge to become a major influencer in the beauty industry.
Salon Manager

Salon or Spa Manager

Work your way up the ranks and become a manager at a salon or spa. You can then use your management skills and open a spa or salon of your own.
These are just some examples of the many career opportunities awaiting licensed estheticians. Many jobs also offer the chance to travel whether it is working on a cruise line, joining an international hotel chain, or becoming a renowned trainer who travels from site to site.

How Do I Pick the Best Esthetician School for Me?

You can narrow down your choices by first understanding what you want to achieve and then consider these important factors:



Often the best esthetician school in your area also has the highest tuition. Compare the costs associated with each of your preferred schools and consider the loans available to you.

Student Teacher Ratio

The student-teacher ratio

You want to find a school with a smaller ratio, as it means your instructors will have more one on one time for their students.

Job Placement Services

Job placement services

Does your school offer job replacement assistance once you graduate?



Makeup artists can use their creativity to bring out their clients’ natural beauty or get involved in an exciting career in the entertainment industry. You can perform makeovers, do makeup for special occasions such as weddings or proms or even break into celebrity makeup.


Successful graduation

What is the success rate for graduates of your school? How many students complete the program each year? Do they have examples of success stories?

Courses Offered

Courses offered

Are there any special courses or designations you’d like to supplement your esthetician’s license with? Does the school offer these programs or certifications?

You can contact the school’s recruitment department to answer your questions. However, using our directory is the best place to start. You can determine if the schools meet your career needs, with convenient locations. You’ll have access to your state requirements and accredited esthetician schools so you can get your esthetician’s license and pursue your dream career.