Estheticians' Beautiful Future

Who can work right in your face and get beautiful results? That would be an esthetician.

Estheticians do facials, make-up artistry, hair removal and full-body skin treatments. Basically, they cleanse and treat skin to make people look and feel better about themselves.

These days, people are more and more concerned about their looks and with appearing young. That makes esthetics a hot career opportunity!

Sources in the field of esthetics say the demand for their services is rising.

"Esthetics is one of the fastest growing fields in North America," says Patricia Lam. She is the vice-principal of the Lam School of Advanced Esthetics. She is the first esthetician in North America to become board certified as an anti-aging health practitioner by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine.

In California, for example, the demand for qualified estheticians is second only to the demand for professionals who work in fields relating to computers, says Lam.

"This trend is growing tremendously because of the huge proportion of aging baby boomers who have more disposable income and [want] to maintain their youthful looks," says Lam.

You will even see men now using the services of estheticians, and no one bats an eyelash.

What are the Trends Behind the Growth?

The field of esthetics has matured beyond the stereotype of beauticians as "dumb blondes." It is gaining new respect, even from the medical profession.

In fact, a growing specialty is medical estheticians. They work with professionals in the medical field to provide before and after care of doctors' patients. "They concentrate on skin problems such as acne, acne scarring, various chemical peelings and the preparation as well as after-effects of plastic surgery on the skin," says the website of the Lam School of Advanced Esthetics.

Clinical estheticians concentrate on the clinical aspects of skin care and typically work independently in a salon or skin care clinic.

Anti-aging products and techniques are popular services provided by clinical estheticians. "The glycolic peel, which targets our anti-aging market, is definitely a common service we're providing," says Becky Jedrosko. She is the manager of a salon and day spa in Alaska.

Salon or spa estheticians work mainly for the rejuvenation or relaxation value of esthetics. A trend in this area is full-service salons that provide lots of services, individual attention and extras like cappuccinos.

Estheticians are in demand among hospital patients who are bed-ridden. Contract work for estheticians can even be found in funeral homes, where they do make-up for the deceased.

Finally, have you heard of permanent lipstick or permanently colored eyelashes? Permanent cosmetics is an exciting new specialty in the field.

This field is seeing a consistent 20 percent annual growth rate in recent years, according to the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals.

"Cosmetic color restores the strong, bright face of youth," says Jeffrey Lyle Segal. He works with the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals. "Women are no longer afraid of the idea of tattooed make-up. In the last five years or so, the industry has really matured. We have greater knowledge, stronger anesthetics and better techniques for better results."

How Long Will Opportunities Last?

There is no indication that career opportunities in esthetics will fade anytime soon.

"This career has always been in demand because everyone, young or older, wants to look their best at all times and because our society is driven by good appearance and beauty," says Lam.

Further strengthening the longevity of this career choice is the fact that there are so many different aspects to the profession, notes Lam.

But not everything is glamorous about this career choice. Estheticians are on their feet a lot. They work hard with their hands.

Also, the pay earned by estheticians, especially as they start out their careers, is not great. Working on the fry machine at a fast-food joint could be just as lucrative as the pay of a beginning esthetician.

Estheticians are often paid commission based on the price of the service they provide in a salon or spa. Some estheticians are self-employed and rent a chair in a salon. That means they pay a set fee to the owner of a salon, effectively leasing space from which to work. In this situation, the esthetician would likely book her own appointments.

Tips are a great way for beauty professionals to make extra money. Some estheticians are paid commissions on products they sell. It is not unusual for salon owners to pay bonuses to estheticians who bring in new customers.

Many estheticians work part time. And many are self-employed.

How Do You Become an Esthetician?

Requirements to work as an esthetician vary from state to state. Required training can range between 125 and 1,000 hours. Sometimes, an apprenticeship is required. "Some states do not offer a separate esthetic license, but require a full cosmetology license to perform skin care, make-up, etc.," says the website of Advanced Cosmetology Educational Services.

If you train to work in this field, some states may also require you to take an exam that is practical or written. Licenses may only be good for a few years, after which time you may need to pay a renewal fee or keep up your training to remain licensed to practice as an esthetician.

Here are some tips on how best to prepare for this career:

  • Check esthetics out in high school -- often, vocational training is available.
  • Research training opportunities carefully -- they can vary greatly in terms of reputation and cost.
  • Consider developing your sales skills -- selling skin care products to your customers is an important part of the job of an esthetician.
  • Finding work with prestigious salons could mean higher pay and a more established customer base.
  • Developing business skills could lead you to great success if you can run a successful salon.
  • Know that you will need to keep learning in this field -- it will constantly change and you will need to keep up with the times.
  • Consider broadening your horizons to the larger field of cosmetology, which would provide you with additional skills and services to offer customers.


Offers info on requirements to work as an esthetician in each state

Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals
Check out this interesting esthetics specialization

National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences
Accredits cosmetology schools in the U.S.

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