Aesthetician Job Description

Most aestheticians work in salons, spas, and doctors’ offices, where they perform beauty and skin care treatments and assist other licensed beauty, cosmetology, and healthcare professionals. Others work on a freelance basis as independent makeup artists. Aestheticians do everything from give makeovers to administer dermatological treatments, and they need strong communication skills as well as the ability to make clients comfortable. They typically work with minimal supervision while still working as part of a team.


Aesthetician Duties and Responsibilities

Job duties vary by employer, especially in salons and spas as opposed to doctors’ offices or medical spas. However, the following are core tasks common to the job:

Apply Makeup and Beauty Treatments

Aestheticians help clients learn how to use makeup by showing them how to apply makeup, giving makeovers, and explaining how to choose the right makeup and apply it properly. They also perform skin care treatments to bring out the best in their clients’ skin and administer skin-enhancing treatments such as creams and serums.

Assist in Medical and Dermatological Treatments

Aestheticians perform treatments that make skin look younger or eliminate blemishes or scars, especially if they work at a doctor’s office or medical spa. They often prepare the skin for treatment by cleansing it, apply masks or chemical peels, or use tools such as lasers to eliminate unwanted hair.

Update and Maintain Files

Aestheticians sometimes perform front desk and secretarial duties such as making or changing appointments and updating client records. They may also speak with clients or prospective customers over the phone to answer questions, suggest treatments, or offer an initial consultation.

Perform Customer Service and Sales Duties

Aestheticians create a positive customer experience that keeps clients coming back. They answer questions about services and procedures and address problems or concerns from clients. Some salons and spas ask their aestheticians to encourage clients to purchase additional service packages, as well as skin care and beauty products the salon or spa sells.


Aesthetician Skills and Qualifications

Aestheticians are people-oriented individuals with a high level of patience and attention to detail. Education and training requirements differ among employers, but most require a high school diploma or GED and state licensing. Employers also look for the following abilities:

  • Technical and safety knowledge – aestheticians regularly use medical tools and equipment, along with chemicals, making it crucial that they understand safety procedures and how to clean and disinfect implements
  • Medical knowledge – aestheticians understand the different skin types and how to care for each, as well as how various treatments could affect the skin. Aestheticians who work in physician offices may need advanced medical training
  • Flexibility – with unconventional hours that include nights and weekends, many aestheticians work more than 40 hours a week. Freelance aestheticians may work on short notice and sometimes need to travel to the client, such as to a movie set or photo shoot.
  • Interpersonal skills – because they interact with clients of all ages and backgrounds, aestheticians need strong communication skills and a knack for putting people at ease. They make clients comfortable, stay calm and think on their feet, as well as remain focused throughout lengthy procedures.


Tools of the Trade

Aestheticians need to use the following tools and technology every day:

  • Computers (for scheduling appointments and updating client information)
  • Beauty tools (such as laser skin care removal, tweezers, and related instruments)
  • Medical equipment (such as EKG or blood pressure cuff for taking patient vitals prior to procedures)


Aesthetician Education and Training

Aestheticians typically receive their training at vocational or technical schools, and must complete a training program approved by the state to qualify as an aesthetician. Some complete cosmetology programs, while others complete specialized aesthetician programs. To work as a professional aesthetician, they must also obtain state licensing, which they receive by passing an exam that includes both a written and hands-on section.


Aesthetician Salary and Outlook

Aestheticians, categorized as skin care specialists by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), earn a median hourly wage of $14.46, with the top ten percent earning more than $28.27 per hour and the bottom ten percent earning less than $8.97 per hour. The BLS projects that employment opportunities for aestheticians will grow over the next several years as more people take an interest in skin and beauty treatments and as these services become more accessible. The BLS anticipates that the field will grow 14 percent between by 2026, which is a faster rate of growth than for other occupations.


Helpful Resources

Are you ready to start your journey to becoming an aesthetician? Here are a few top-notch resources to get you started.

Associated Skin Care Professionals – this industry group offers webinars and other educational and training materials to current and aspiring aestheticians. Members also get a free website and other tools to help them learn about the industry and grow their career and business.

American Academy of Facial Esthetics – members of this professional association can take advantage of training videos and seminars, in addition to discussion forums where they can seek advice from fellow aestheticians.

The Esthetician’s Guide to Outstanding Esthetics: Proven Techniques From Today’s Industry Icons – author Ginger Hodulik Downey is a clinical nutritionist who promotes a comprehensive approach to skin care that draws on her nutritionist training and her own experience with illness. Her unique approach can help aestheticians provide their clients an extra layer of care.

Grow Your Esthetician Business: Learn Pinterest Strategy: How to Increase Blog Subscribers, Make More Sales, Design Pins, Automate & Get Website Traffic for Free – Pinterest expert Kerrie Legend shows readers how to build their reputation as an expert and attract clients using the power of social media.


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