Tuesday, August 23, 2011

10 Career Possibilities With an Esthetician License

Just because you have an esthetician license doesn't mean that you have to give facials, perform extractions and massage clients in the treatment room all day. One of the most exciting things about working in the beauty and skin care industry is that there are a ton of career options. When you have your esthetician license, more career doors open up. While not all beauty and skin care industry career possibilities require an esthetician license, having a license certainly helps one to stand out among other job-seeking candidates who don’t have one. Being certified by the state as a licensed esthetician shows that you’re not only serious about the industry and your career, but that you have at least 600 hours of education behind you. Thinking about getting your esthetician license or have one and can’t think of what to do for a living? Here are 10 career possibilities for someone who has an esthetician license:

Medical Esthetician

Technically the term “Medical Esthetician” doesn’t really legally exist. Licensed estheticians can work in a medical setting, under the supervision of a physician, dermatologist or in a doctor’s office, performing a number of esthetic treatments on clients. These treatments can include, but aren’t limited to: applying camouflage makeup, patient education, pre and post op treatments, retail sales, cleansing and preparing clients for surgery and routine medical-grade facials that include extractions and microdermabrasion.

Makeup Artist

You don’t have to be a licensed esthetician to be a makeup artist, but it helps! Makeup artists can work for a specific brand at a retail location. There are also licensed estheticians that work as freelance makeup artists, doing makeup for weddings, special occasions, fashion shows, film, theatre and TV.

Brand Representative


Brand Reps demonstrate to their clients how to use the product lines they work for. Often, these professionals travel to their accounts, usually consisting of salons, drugstores and department store. Their goal is to show the employees of these accounts how to use and effectively sell their product to their clients.

Salesperson/Sales Manager/Retail


Nowadays, most makeup artists you see working at a department store counter or in a retail location like a mall are essentially salespeople. They can also be referred to as Beauty Advisors. Doing beautiful makeup on clients throughout the day is only a fraction of their job. Most of the time, people working in this type of environment are trying to meet their sales quota. How do they do that? By being extremely knowledgeable in the brand they work for, providing exceptional customer service, doing beautiful makeup and effectively sell product to clients. Salespeople can climb the retail food chain by moving into management. Having an esthetician license in this type of position shows that the candidate has a deeper understanding of the skin and how to treat conditions, which clients often ask of their makeup artists.

Cosmetics Buyer


Cosmetic Buyers generally work for a department store, specialty store or salon. They travel often, especially to trade shows. Staying up-to-date with industry trends is the core of their existence. How are they to know what to buy for their company if they don’t know what their clients want to buy?

Writer/Copywriter/Editor/Blogger


What do you get when you combine a licensed esthetician and a background in journalism? You get a beauty writer/copywriter/editor/blogger. These licensed estheticians write online and in print for magazines, newspapers, industry trade publications, educational reference tools or even their own professional or personal blog. Beauty writers cover all aspects of the industry including product reviews, featured articles, website content and advertising. They can also cover media appearances from time to time.

Brand Trainer/Educator


My dream job! I couldn’t think of a more fun job for a product junkie like myself. Brand Trainers and Educators teach other licensed estheticians, makeup artists, salespeople or clients all about a brand’s product line and how to use and sell product to their clients. The focus is more on education of the brand and the product line than retailing the actual product.

State Board Licensing Inspector/Examiner

The people who prepare and conduct the state board exam and practical are more than likely licensed estheticians themselves. These professionals are the police force in the esthetic world. They are also the ones who perform regular salon and business inspections. There are plenty of benefits to working on the state board side of things. How about always getting weekends off, having full benefits health and always having an advantage should you ever need to pass the state board exam again?

Spa/Salon Esthetician


This is the job most people associate with being a licensed esthetician. Spa and salon estheticians perform a number of skin services on their clients in the treatment room: facials, extractions, massage and body treatments. They also educate their clients on proper at-home skin care through the use of products designed specifically for their client’s skin type and/or condition. This means plenty of product sales and lots of customer service. Client retention is a spa/salon esthetician’s bread and butter.

Salon/Spa Management


Spa and salon estheticians can climb the industry ladder by making their way up to management at the spa or salon they work at. Working in management is means the esthetician has to trade in their touchy-feely time in the treatment room for a business hat. Management is responsible for hiring and training new esthetician talent, merchandising the product lines that their business carries, maintaining product inventory for their estheticians to sell and providing customer service to both the licensed estheticians and clients.

48 comments:

  1. This is an excellent article. I never knew that there were so many career paths for estheticians. Very informative.

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  2. Thank you so much for posting this! I really want to go to school for esthetics, but I was worried that I couldn't find a job easily. Now that I know there are multiple job opportunities, I think I'm going to go for it. :)

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  3. Wow! This is great! I've been doing PR and copywriting for a long time, but really would like to get into beauty and skincare. This article gave me great ideas! :)

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  4. this was an extremely informative since Im interested in venturing off to a different path apart from the spa. my question is how does one get information on getting started to becoming a blog writer? what are the legal rights or how can one become one for a brand? if your unable to respond publicly, pls email me. I would really appreciate this.

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    1. Becoming a blog writer is easy. All you have to do is get a blog setup online and then start posting in it on a regular basis. If you want to write for a specific brand, I would recommend contacting that brand directly. Every company is going to have different way in how they pick and choose their blog writers. I hope this helps!

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  5. How do you find work as a camouflage therapist?

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    1. I did a quick Google search on Camouflage Therapy careers. Here is what I found:

      http://www.ehow.com/list_6879462_nursing-careers-camouflage-therapy.html

      Hope this helps!

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  6. How do u find a "Freelance" Estethician who is accredited to perform at home TCA PEELS @ 20% using products purchased from Skin Obsession? I have read many reviews & done research but would feel safer to have someone who has knowledge to perform this type of peel. Any info would be appreciated of someone flooded to my location in Gaithersburg, MD.

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    1. It's me ananymous - the word "flooded" should be edited to someone who is working or found to be practicing in a 20 mile radious, My mistake!

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    2. If you're looking for someone who is specifically trained on a particular product line, I'd start by contacting the product line. I guarantee you companies who offer advanced training on their products will keep records on the professionals who did the training. They would be a great resource for you to see if there's anyone in your area that meets these qualifications.

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  7. Hi I too am a licensed Esthetician how can I start a skin care product line . Can I sell products I make from home ,like body butters,lip balms?

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    1. Aniko, I'm sure you can create your own skincare/body line. I'd do some research first. Try talking to someone who has ventured into this side of the industry and see if they can give you some sound advice before taking the leap. Good luck!

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  8. I just finished an esthetics program, I have not tested yet. I am a little nervous because I am a mom and want a career that still allows me to be home with my daughter. My husband works late hours and weekends so I have to be available. Salons hours dont work and brand consultants want feild experience. Do you have any suggestions?

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    1. Congratulations on finishing your hours. That's a HUGE feat in itself. Don't be nervous. The wonderful thing about this industry is that there's something for everyone. Granted, it's a little bit of a hard start when your freshly licensed without any experience, but put the time and energy in and this career will pay off.

      There are a lot of estheticians out there who are married, working moms. Just find a spa or salon that is willing to work with you on giving you a flexible schedule. Start off working one or two days a week, focus on marketing yourself, building a clientele and make sure that everyone you touch falls in love and rebooks before they leave.

      What aspect of the industry do you want to work in? Facials? Waxing? Medical? retail? Makeup? Product Rep?

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  9. Aloha,
    I live on the island of Oahu in Hawaii and I am considering going to school for esthetics. I am glad that I found this blog. I have found some very negative feedback regarding the lack of job opportunities, etc. It seems if I am to go for this, it would have to be for love of helping my clients feel good about themselves, offering fantastic service and hopefully finding a niche market, etc. The cost of school and the outlook from 2 years ago seems dim. Do you have any idea what the job market outlook is like currently? If I go for it, I would start school in January 2014 and it would cost me $8300. Unfortunately, none of the community colleges offer classes for esthetics.

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    1. Emily,

      Beauty school is an investment, just like going to college to get a college degree. Most accredited schools will offer some sort of financial aid or grants if you're eligible. Definitely look into those.

      As far as an outlook on the job market currently, it's really going to depend on where you live and where you plan to work. If you're in a bigger city, you will probably have more job opportunities than if you live in a rural area. Another thing to keep in mind is that there are so many things you can do within the beauty industry once you have an esthetician license. I didn't realize how many different aspects of the industry I could work in until I was half way through my program. The sky is really the limit. You can even create the job you want if that's something you're interested in. Just keep that in mind when you start school. The more open your mind is to this profession, the more opportunities you'll have to make a healthy living within it. Good luck!

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  10. Wonderful post. :0) I know there are so many different avenues for someone in their career field. However, my main concern is what to do RIGHT out of school. 0_0 For freelance, I would assume you need to own a lot of your own items, tables, etc to get started so that isn't practical for me. So, what is the best way to start out and make money so that you can eventually invest in freelance and other work? I have no clue where to start.... contact different spas and ask them how they hire, etc? I know you rent your space from a spa, but are you always left to your own devices in finding clients? I would hate to rent space at a spa with no clients. 0_0 Any input on the getting started part would be AWESOME!

    :0)

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    1. Very valid concerns! Yes, you are right. If you are going to do freelance work, you will need to invest your money upfront into purchasing tools to do the different jobs you're hired for. That is one thing to take into consideration. If freelance is something you're interested in, why not start dabbling it out while in beauty school? I know a lot of the women I went to school with were interested in doing makeup professionally once they got their license, They would take freelance jobs while still in school to build up their resume and gain professional experience. To be a makeup artist, you don't need your license, but the more experience you have, the better artist you'll be. Also, the sooner you start to build up your own freelance clientele, the better shape you'll be in once you graduate. You'll already be working! And if you decide that freelance is not the way to go, you'll still have all of that experience for your resume. Just don't forget to ask for references from some of those jobs!

      Honestly, it doesn't matter how well established a spa or salon is, they will always expect you to bring in your own clientele or build up a clientele while you're there. As long as you are providing services as either an esthetician or cosmetologist, the spa or salon you work for will always expect you to be growing your business with new clients and retaining the current ones. Remember no clients = no money. Just some food for thought. Good luck!

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  11. Great Post - thank you. I have my license, but need a career that has more of steady pay check. How do you suggest finding brand trainer and brand representative careers?

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    1. I've done some research on being a brand trainer or representative because it was something I thought I wanted to do early in my career. These types of positions generally require that you have anywhere from a year or two of working, professional experience within the industry.

      For example, I wanted to be an educator for one of my all-time favorite skincare companies right out of beauty school. They required that I work as a licensed esthetician within the treatment room for a good, solid two years before they'd consider bringing me on. The idea behind this requirement is that these companies want you to have some sort of professional experience under your belt,. You need the experience and the stories to bring back to the classroom to be an effective educator. You have to live it to teach it.

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  12. What is a level 6 license in esthetician means?

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    1. I'm not sure what type of license this is. Do you have any other information you can provide me with?

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    2. A type 6 in MA means you have worked under a cosmetologist or another type 6 for 2 years then you can apply for type 6 and have your own studio

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  13. Is it true i could get into the laser tattoo removal field through my estetician licence? Ive tried and failed at researching this.

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    1. I'm not sure. Each state is going to have different capacities of what their licensed individuals can do. I'd suggest checking your states requirements first. Then network with professionals in your area and ask them what sort of education they'd recommend you getting under your belt for this type of work. Good luck!

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    2. National Laser Institute offers tattoo removal program

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  14. I really have fun with your blog , I just get mine Cidesco International Diploma & already applied for four seasons hotel spas, very happy with your blog , keep going girl , I like your writing :) xoxo

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    1. Congratulations Valeria! Thanks for reading my blog!

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  15. Just came across this post and am super happy I did. I have been googling like crazy to find more information in regards to other possible jobs other than working in a spa and giving facials after obtaining an Esthetics licence and this worried me. I am really big into makeup and wanted to branch out in that direction but was worried I'd end up in a spa doing facials bored out of my mind. This gave me some insight that there is more than that.

    Thank you so much for putting your time and effort into this post! Keep it up :)

    Take Care!

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    1. Awesome! Thank you! It's comments like these that make me want to continue to write for my blog. Glad that my little blog could provide some value to you and get you inspired. Good luck!

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  16. Great article! Great information, and the variation of paths that you listed are very insightful! I've been in the industry, ranging in different roles but I always love reading articles to give me different or new perspectives! Thanks

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  17. Heyo Kathleen,thanks for the artical. I am working on getting my aesthetics license, I really want to become a blogger/writer...but I don't know where to start? Any tips?..My main concern is how to make money from it. I know you can advertise and that's how you do it but I really have no starting point- if you know what I mean. Feedback would be helpful :)

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    1. I actually DON'T make any money on my blog currently. I tried working with Google Ads a couple years ago, but pulled them because I felt like the ads were taking away from the content on my blog. Plus, the pay out wasn't all that great.

      My best advice for you on starting a blog is to just do it. Seriously. Pick a topic that you want to write about, come up with a fun, clever name, choose which blogging platform you want to use and then go for it. Start writing and write as much as your schedule allows.

      I know over the last couple of months, I haven't made the time to write on my blog consistently because I've been focusing all of my energy on my day job. I have noticed that when you post on your blog consistently, readers are more likely to come back on a regular basis.

      Hope that helps!

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  18. How can I find more information about becoming a state board inspector?

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  19. Kathleen, your blog is exactly what I need, which is the truth about being a esthetician. I'm currently a corporate professional in my early 40's. I'm tired of corporate america and looking to do something independently where I can provide a good service and enjoy what I do. I was once a licensed cosmetologist and sales rep for Lancome and Sephora. I found those jobs to be challenging but rewarding and fun. I'm considering going back to school to be an esthetician focusing toward the spa environment that provide master esthetic services. How lucrative is this profession as a master esthetician? I've seen good and not so good articles on this profession. I'm willing to work hard and do the ground work. Just not sure what the ground work consist of.

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  20. What a great post! I've been an Esthetician in Canada for the past two years and have only experimented within the spa/salon sector. I am very intrigued about Medical Esthetics, and I've tried applying to a couple positions, but nobody will give me a chance. I took a whole semester of medical esthetics in school, but does that not qualify me? Am I doing something wrong? I don't get it lol

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  21. thank you for your inspirational words! i am a "professional licensed esthetician" currently doing all the spa/medical treatments and you gave me some great ideas to keep moving on up!

    "everything has beauty, but not everyone see's it"

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  22. Anonymous
    I am wanting to start going to school to become an esthetician but my soon to be husband doesn't think it will be beneficial and wouldn't be a guarantee as a career with hours and good pay. ;-(

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    1. If being an esthetician is where your heart really is, please go for it!
      At 50 years old I ended my customer service career in corporate america and said, " I'm done". I enrolled in esthetics school at 51, and it was the best decision I have ever made for myself. Yes it was difficult to land my first job, but I didn't give up. Even my best friend thought me attending school at my age was not a good idea, and the field was mainly for young women. I've proved them all wrong, and now at 54 I am finally doing what I was meant to do and loving it.
      Take it from an old lady (lol) and follow your heart.

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  23. To Popp from August of 2013:

    In Massachusetts, there is a class 7 and class 6 esthetics license. You test for your class 7 license right out of esthetics school. In order to receive a class 6 license, you need to be an esty that has worked full time for 2 years under supervision of a class 6 esthetics license or class 1 cosmetologist license.

    Love your blog Kathleen. I've had my own business for about a year and a half and my body is starting to break down doing all of the hands on services. (I've also been a massage therapist for a decade.) I'd love to become a brand trainer/educator for a product line and am starting to do some research. Thank you for all of your research!

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  24. Hi. Informative article! Thank you! I'm a licensed cosmetologist. Been licensed for 11 years. I at first wanted to do studio makeup on sets. I went to MUD in Burbank and talked to the director. He suggested I get my esthetician license first. I decided to take cosmetology for now options. Now I feel stuck! In school all my clients except for one were facial clients. I would have a line of people waiting for me when no esthetician's had clients. After licensing I worked in a spa and majority of my clients were for the esthetics side. I was only working for about a year before going through a divorce, moving out of state. The licensing requirements where I moved didn't allow me to practice. I was there for about 6 years. Kept my license current. Moved back and tried going into a salon again. Only with a cosmetologist license most places won't hire. Being a single mom with no clientele renting isn't an option. I really want to do esthetics. Any advice?

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  25. This freedom in employment makes you have a more relaxed and flexible outlook on life.The decisions are fluid and simple.jobs

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  26. I would love to indulge in my passion as a career, but then the sustainability to me doesn't make sense. If I can get a job where I can sustain my passion outside of work, whilst being able to sustain myself, I don't see why not.

    job interviews

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  28. It's my great pleasure to visit your blog and to enjoy your awesome posts here. I like that a lot. cosmetics, eyelashes

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  29. How would one become a brand trainer/educator? Sounds amazing!!!

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