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Aestheticians: Job Description and Salary Information

Job Descriptions March 15, 2013

Estheticians or aestheticians provide skin care services in medical, retail, spa or salon settings. They work to improve the skin tone and quality through services like hair removal, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, color analysis, facials and makeovers, among other procedures. Earning an aesthetics or cosmetology certificate would help these professionals obtain a state license.

Job Description for Aesthetician

Aestheticians are skin care specialists who perform various body and facial procedures aimed at increasing, improving or maintaining the health and appearance of human skin. Depending on the work setting, these procedures may include microdermabrasion (sloughing of dead skin cells), exfoliating body wraps, makeup application, chemical peels, wax or laser hair removal, and facials. Aestheticians are usually employed in the medical, beauty or fashion industry. Employers of aestheticians in the beauty industry commonly include retail stores, salons, or spas, and provide a few or most of the services listed above.

Medical aestheticians also perform several of the same procedures, but usually in dissimilar work settings, such as private doctor’s offices or hospitals. They assist physicians, including plastic surgeons in performing a variety of skin care treatments on individuals undergoing operations such as plastic surgery, among others. Medical aestheticians employed by plastic surgeons may be involved in educating clients about how to care for their skin before and after the operation. This usually includes providing special skin formulas and demonstrating the way they should be used.

Medical aestheticians who work at hospitals usually deal with critically ill patients, such as burn victims or cancer patients. They educate people on how to apply makeup to properly mask discoloration, scarring or other skin issues resulting from health problems. These professionals provide facials or makeovers aimed at enhancing the well-being of patients before and after traumatic illnesses or surgeries.

Education Information and Licensure for Aesthetician

Personal experience workers such as aesthetician are required to obtain licensure in all fifty states before being allowed to practice their profession (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) ( While each state has specific licensing requirements, some experience and education is usually required in order to take and pass licensing examinations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Aspiring aestheticians can obtain training needed for licensure by enrolling in certificate programs at community colleges, career training institutes and beauty schools.

Students enrolled in these certificate programs become adept at performing various skin care procedures, as well as providing instruction in color theory; during the process, students become well-versed in selecting the ideal skin care or cosmetic products for specific skin tones. They also learn about the merits and uses of different styling tools and aesthetic products. A majority of aesthetics certificate programs use applied instruction that includes gaining hands-on experience by performing procedures on customers.

Salary Information for Aesthetician

Aestheticians may receive an annual salary or paid hourly. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that aestheticians who work in the beauty or fashion industry earn commissions for selling products, tips from clients, or both. In 2010, aestheticians who are skincare specialists earned an average annual salary of $32,030, according to the BLS. reported that a majority of aestheticians who have less than one year of experience earned between $10,339 and $73,974 annually. During the same year, PayScale also mentioned that some medical aestheticians with one to four years of experience earned an average annual salary between $12,620 and $40,976.

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