Estheticians get to blend the two fields of cosmetology and skin care together. There is a slight difference between an esthetician and medical esthetician in some states and it depends on the license regulations. They regularly help people by providing facials, recommending treatments for certain skin problems, and waxing unwanted hair.

This job description will cover in more detail what they do, what kind of salary is expected, the skills needed to be a good esthetician, their working schedule and job outlook, and the education and experience needed to secure this job. After reading this article, you should have a basic understanding of how to become an esthetician and what they do.

What Does an Esthetician Do?

An esthetician is all about making you look as good as you can. All of the procedures, treatments, and relaxation techniques they apply come from a motivation to improve appearances. In addition to the standard education of cosmetologists, estheticians will learn about skincare techniques, facials, and microdermabrasion. An esthetician will also provide the customer with a recommended treatment plan and home care guide until their next appointment.


Estheticians need to go to cosmetology or esthetician school and pass a test in order to receive their esthetician license. There is no need for prior experience, but many of them will gain hands-on experience in their schooling. Normally, the payment comes at a rate of $14.47 per hour. There is projected positive job growth in this field.

Esthetician Job Description for Resume – Responsibilities

All esthetician responsibilities ultimately result in a positive experience for the customer. Actual responsibilities will vary based on experience and past services offered. Use the list below as ‘starter statements’ for your resume.

  • Stay current on the latest trends in the field and order samples of several products.
  • Conduct a pre-consultation appointment in which the client’s wants are discussed and options are presented.
  • Assess which products and services will work within the client’s budget.
  • Remove unwanted hair and protect the skin from negative reactions to hair waxing.
  • Apply makeup for special events.
  • Keep a clean workstation and sterilize equipment.
  • Provide clients with an at-home guide for skincare.

This list is adapted from a list at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Esthetician Essential Skills

Relationship building skills. Being an esthetician is a client-centered career. A good esthetician will be able to build a relationship and trust with their clients to turn them into repeat customers.
Inferring skills. An esthetician must be able to infer a lot from all situations. They need to know what a client is thinking or how best they like their experience. In addition, a critical component of being able to infer is knowing how to ask valuable questions.
Cleanliness skills. Even the best esthetician will lose clients and have negative word-of-mouth if their workspace is dirty or unsanitary. Therefore, they must be able to keep a clean experience and disinfect all necessary areas.
Initiative-taking skills. A new esthetician who just graduated from school may have a hard time finding clients. As a result, these professionals must be able to take initiative and build their own brand and reputation.

How to Become an Esthetician

A very popular blog kept by spa owner and trained esthetician, Renee Rouleau, shows that it is very hard to get started in the industry. While there is technically no experience required, estheticians may need to work in a few different jobs before getting the job they really want. At any rate, all estheticians need to have a license to practice.

Education & Training Requirements

Some estheticians may be able to start their education in a high school vocational program. However, it is more normal, as evidenced by an esthetician job description, to complete some sort of postsecondary education. One of the decisions that an aspiring esthetician needs to make is what school to attend. Therefore, they must consider the curriculum offered, the tuition, the employment rate of recent graduates, and the accreditation of the school.

An esthetician needs to complete a required number of hours before they can sit for their licensing exam. However, the required number varies by state and this guide can help estheticians navigate their way through.

After the required schooling is complete, estheticians will complete on-the-job training.  However, this training will look different depending on the work environment. Whereas, an esthetician who works in a department store will have customer service training, one who works in a medical facility may have additional training regarding chemical handling and medical terminology.

Work Experience

Estheticians do not need any work experience in order to become employed. However, many jobs will call for someone who does have a certain amount of experience. There are a few ways to gain valuable experience while waiting for a prime job opportunity to open.

First, a new esthetician can offer their services for free. This gets the word out about the kind of work you do and builds a possible network of clients. Second, an esthetician can take a job that is not ideal in order to build their portfolio. This may not be ideal due to the hours or industry, but it can pay off in building a strong resume. Third, a student can work hard to gain as much clinical experience as they can. This includes getting extra internships and job shadowing in different industries.

Work Schedules

One of the huge benefits of being an esthetician is that it is a very flexible job. There are full-time and part-time job opportunities. In addition, an esthetician can do freelance work or work in a structured setting. Approximately 30 percent of estheticians are self-employed.

A typical job description shows that their work schedule will often revolve around the clients they see. As a result, this includes evening and weekend hours for clients who work. If the esthetician also owns the business, they will need to spend extra time with hiring, training, and managing all aspects of the business.

Career Prospects

Presently, the job growth for estheticians is projected to be 12 percent through the year 2024. Increased demand for their services should come from people who are looking to reduce the effects of aging or young people who want to eliminate skin imperfections.

In 2014, there were 55,000 estheticians and there should be 61,600 estheticians in 2024. The states with the highest number of estheticians are California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Illinois.

With regards to an esthetician salary, the median hourly wage is $14.47. Those who work in a medical setting have a higher wage at $17.74. The most common industries are personal care services, physician offices, personal care stores, and amusement services such as cruise ships or vacation retreats.


All in all, an esthetician job description shows that this career is all about helping people and improving the appearance of their skin. They will accomplish this through a variety of treatments and other applications. Although there are plentiful job opportunities for estheticians, many of them will call for a certain level of experience. An esthetician will impress by being motivated in school and taking the initiative to be creative. Another option for you to consider regarding skin care is a position as a dermatologist.

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