Estheticians, also spelled aestheticians, are skin care specialists who treat a variety of skin conditions using specialized techniques and over the counter products. Skin care treatments can include makeup application for individuals who have suffered scarring from acne or burns, laser hair removal, permanent makeup application and many wellness services for a variety of clients. Estheticians who work in medical settings are referred to as medical estheticians. They receive additional training and work with patients who’s appearance or skin health has been negatively impacted from either a medical condition or accident.
National Average Esthetician Salary
Hourly Wage Annual Wage
Upper: $28.31 $58,880
Median: $13.97 $29,050
Lower: $8.50 $17,680
States With Highest Salary
State Avg. Hourly Wage Avg. Annual Wage
- Wyoming $26.22 $54,550
- Oregon $24.42 $50,790
- Virginia $22.29 $46,360
- Vermont $22.27 $46,360
- Ohio $20.59 $42,830
*All statistical data is from the U.S. Department of Labor and is updated quarterly
Estheticians provide a comprehensive evaluation of the skin. Some of the services performed by estheticians include:
- Hair removal via threading, waxing and tweezing
- Permanent make up application
- Eyebrow tinting
- Extensions for eyelashes
- Facial masks
- Exfoliation scrubs
- Body wraps
- Facial massage
- Recommend and provide clients with treatment products
- Advise clients and color selection and application of cosmetics
Estheticians can also treat certain skin conditions such as mild acne, though they are not allowed to formally diagnose such conditions as only a dermatologist can do that. They can recommend skin products or techniques for treatment but cannot prescribe any medicines.
There are many specialty treatments that a esthetician can receive training in. Such specialized services include non-surgical face lifts using microdermabrasion, electrolysis for hair removal, laser hair removal, and many other techniques. Being able to perform such services will have a big impact on what the esthetician salary will be.
What Are Medical Estheticians?
Everyone is well aware of how your appearance can effect your state of mind. Feeling good about how you look has a powerful effect on your overall health. These positive feelings are very important for everyone, but especially for those who are dealing with more serious medical conditions.
A medical esthetician works with people in these situations as part of an overall treatment program. For a person who is undergoing cancer treatment or has had a surgery that has effected their skin, such treatments not only help the individual take appropriate measures to speed up the healing process but also utilize techniques for improving appearance. The role of the medical esthetician is gaining greater acceptance in the medical establishment opening up an entirely new sector of jobs for those who are licensed.
An esthetician can work in a variety of settings including day spas, salons and medi spas. About 44 percent of all estheticians are self-employed. These people will lease a space in a salon or own or lease their own space. Outside of the workspace, if leasing, these people are responsible for all facets of running their business including:
- Any other necessities needed for a successful enterprise
Some estheticians work in a medical setting and are referred to as medical esthetcians. A medical esthetcian can usually be found working in a dermatologists office, hospital, or plastic surgeons office. Medical estheticians usually treat patients under the guidance of a doctor, who have have other medical conditions or are about to or have had surgery that may effect there appearance or skin quality.
Where Do Medical Estheticians Work?
A medical esthetician works within the health care system under the supervision of a medical doctor. They can usually be found working in a dermatologists office, but can also be found working with other medical specialists such as oncologists, plastic surgeons, or in a hospital burn unit. Some medical estheticians are hired as regular hospital staff in order to provide services for patients dealing with different medical conditions, but all needing special attention for their skin.
Medical estheticians cannot diagnose a skin ailment nor prescribe medication, only a dermatologist or medical doctor can do that. They can however treat skin conditions with skin care products or utilize special equipment to perform specialized treatments.
The patients they treat represent a broad spectrum of the population. Men are just as likely to be under the care of a medical esthetician as women. Age is also not a factor in determining who can benefit from this type or intervention. Young children, teenagers, adult, or the elderly are all susceptible to skin conditions that require specialized treatment.
How To Become an Esthetician – Schools And Licensing:
Estheticians are required to be licensed by the state they will be working in. Every state has different requirements for certification but all include anywhere from 300-1200 hours of hands on training as well as both a written and practical examination. There are many schools throughout the country that offer programs in esthetics. In addition, there are numerous post graduate education programs that are available to keep estheticians up to date on new techniques as well as provide training for specialized treatments.
Medical Esthetician Licensing:
Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a medical esthetician license. Medical estheticians are required to be licensed by the state they are working in, but they receive the same training and license that someone working in a non-medical setting would receive.
This is a great advantage because it means that no special training is required to apply for a position as a medical esthetician. Since the license is the same for all jobs within this field, you are not limited to finding work in just one area. You will be able to find employment anywhere estheticians are needed. This also means that estheticians who work in a non-medical setting are eligible to apply for positions in a medical setting.
Who Should Become An Esthetician?:
If you are an artistic person and also enjoy working with people you may want to consider a career as an esthetician. As an esthetician, you will be working directly with people. Having good social skills is of extreme importance with this job. Extroverted personalities will definitely have an advantage, though if you are very skilled, your work may speak for itself. If you are introverted, working on becoming more social will be good for business.
This job demands long hours of working on your feet. This is something you will need to consider when looking into this career. If you have any physical disabilities or back problems you may want to think about how this aspect of the job may effect your own quality of life.
How Much Does An Esthetician Make:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual esthetician salary is $33,810. Salaries can range from $17,680 for the bottom 10% to $58,880 for those in the 90th percentile. The state with the highest average salary is Wyoming with an annual mean salary of $54,550. An esthetician salary can vary greatly depending on many factors including location, experience, clientele, and any specialized training beyond the regular certification required by the state they are in.
Factors That Can Influence Salary:
Like any other career, location plays a big part in your ability to find employment. Location will also determine what your likely starting and top salary will be. The job market for estheticians is going to increase everywhere, there are of course some places where the markets are larger to begin with and therefore will have many more jobs available as the sector grows. The same goes for salary, the areas with the highest salaries will likely also see an increase of jobs as demand for services increases. When there are many jobs and few workers, employers must raise wages to entice prospects to come work for them instead of their competitors. This is exactly the situation you want to be in as you start your career. One point, the areas with the largest markets are not always the areas with the highest pay. You must determine for yourself what is the best route to take if you are planning on relocating.
Medical Esthetician Salary:
The annual salary of a medical esthetician can range anywhere from $20,000 to $52,000, with the average being around $30,000. Other factors will also determine salary such as location, experience, and any specialized training that has been received. Medical estheticians on average have higher salaries then then non-medical estheticans.
For those working in this field, there are many other careers that have overlapping skill sets. Some of these careers include worker as a cosmetologist, professional makeup artist, or hairdresser. Since estheticians also routinely massage the skin, having a background in massage therapy or becoming a licensed massage therapist after working as an estheician would benefit either career.
For anyone interested in working as a medical esthetician, a background in healthcare is a great advantage. Having a nursing degree and an esthetician license will open up many other employment opportunities. The nursing background would give you a huge advantage when it come to being hired.
The Job market for estheticians is expected to grow around 12% over the next ten years. This is above average the national average of 7%. As more women and men take interest in maintaining their personal appearance and health as they age, the demand for the skills of estheticians will rise. This along with the fact that medical estheticians are becoming more accepted in the medical field will fuel healthy growth. This means that there will be many entry level jobs for recent graduates as well as experienced workers. In today’s poor job market this represents a great opportunity to build a career.
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