I’ve been asking myself this question for the last six months. Currently I’m a licensed esthetician in the state of California. My California esthetician license states that I have 600 hours of instruction and have passed both the written and practical exam. The issue is that in the state of Washington, there’s now a master esthetician license, but it’s 1,200 hours. This license covers everything from facials, face/body waxing and spray tanning to medium depth chemical peels, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, micro-needling and IPL treatments. Super fun stuff and certainly well beyond the scope of training I received in California. Since I wasn’t grandfathered into the Washington system before December 2014, I’d have to complete the full 1,200 hours in order to get the master esthetician license. My 600 hours that I’ve already earned and paid for in California won’t count towards this license at all. I’d basically have to start over from scratch in hours and tuition. Ugh.
I’m in the process of getting a Washington esthetician license, with the help of my current California esthetician license. To do this, I first needed to have my California license verified and certified by the Washington State Department of Licensing. To complete this step, I had to make sure my current California license was currently in good standing (which it is), visit the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology’s website and submit a Certification Request. This meant completing the Request for Certification of a California License form, printing it out, signing and sending it in with a $10 check.
Then I had to contact the Washington State Department of Licensing to complete an application form – the Barber, Cosmetologist, Esthetician or Manicurist License Renewal, Reinstatement, Out-of-State, or Reciprocity Application and check the “reciprocity” box on the form. I then printed out the form, signed it and sent it in with a $50 check. Now I have to play the waiting game while California and Washington talk to each other and verify my esthetician license. The cool thing is once this process is done, I’ll have both a California and Washington esthetician license. Applying for a Washington license won’t affect your license in another state.
Once I have a valid esthetician license in the state of Washington, I’ll then need to decide if getting the master esthetician license will be worth the time and money for me and my career goals. Currently in my professional position, I don’t need an esthetician license because I don’t touch skin for a living. I work in marketing, managing social media, email campaigns, the website and blog for a medical spa. Even though having an esthetician license isn’t necessary in my current position, it has proved to be invaluable with all of the research and writing I do about the services and treatments we offer in all of our clinics.
The only reason why I’d like to get a master esthetician license is to further advance myself as a professional within the skincare industry. I don’t currently have any interest in working in a treatment room performing facials, facial/body waxing, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, micro-needling or spray tanning. I do have an interest in learning everything I can about this industry because I enjoy it and would love to eventually expand my blog to market myself as a marketing and social media expert for other, fellow estheticians out there. Who knows, maybe after I start school, my interests might change and I’ll want to work in a medical setting as a licensed esthetician. That’s originally what I wanted to do when I first went to beauty school in California.
What would you do if you were me? Do you think it’s worth investing the time and money to further advance myself as an expert within this industry? I’m stumped and would love to hear what you think.