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Published on March 2, 2011.
Aestheticians: Enjoy a Beautiful Career

Aesthetician careers have two main faces: you can choose to help people with their skin care needs at salons and spas, or you may decide to become a medical aesthetician. A medical aesthetician provides assistance to children and adults who are undergoing medical procedures which involve skin care.

Job Duties

Aestheticians can perform a wide range of job duties. Aestheticians help people understand skin care, learn about their skin type, and develop a routine to keep their skin healthy. Aestheticians may give facials, massages, or full-body treatments. An aesthetician can also teach customers about techniques for applying makeup and what might look best on them. These aestheticians usually work in the personal appearance career field and may be employed at beauty salons, health spas or resorts. A medical aesthetician receives additional training to work in the health career field. Medical aestheticians may work at a hospital or a medical facility, and they provide skin care assistance to patients undergoing medical procedures. These patients might have had plastic surgery after an accident, or they could be receiving treatment for cancer, burns, or any other medical procedure which can affect their skin. Many patients going through treatment for these types of procedures need reassurance and support, and a medical aesthetician can help them feel better about themselves. A medical aesthetician may show patients how best to take care of their skin while going through the healing process or how to apply makeup to help disguise a disfigurement. Aestheticians are also able to help customers and patients with relaxation techniques and stress reduction.

Job Skills

Anyone thinking about becoming an aesthetician should have an outgoing, pleasant personality and enjoy being around people. Aestheticians in salon environments typically rely on forming relationships with clients to keep business coming in. Medical aestheticians may not need to develop long-term relationships with clientele, but they should be able to handle working in an emotionally demanding environment, providing support for patients who are ill or injured. Aestheticians also need manual dexterity and physical stamina, as they may spend all day on their feet administering treatments.


Income can vary for an aesthetician depending on where you are employed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2008 the median annual salary for a skin care specialist was $28,730 per year, and the highest 10 percent made in excess of $52,340. Skin care specialists employed in the medical field had an average annual salary as high as $41,540.

Training and Education

Some cosmetology schools offer a separate diploma in aesthetics, and as aesthetician careers become more widespread you may be able to attend an aesthetician school. Most aesthetics programs are regulated by the state's board of cosmetology. You should ensure that the aesthetician school you are planning to attend has a state approved program. Aestheticians that specialize in a particular field may require additional certifications. State regulations vary, but many states require you to earn a license before you can work as an aesthetician. You may need to pass an exam, and you may also need professional certifications. A good aesthetician school can provide the training and curriculum needed to meet state requirements.


The personal appearance career field is projected to expand by as much as 20 percent over the next 10 years, which is considered much faster than most other career fields. The occupation of skin care specialist is expected to grow as much as 38 percent during that same time period. In 2008 there were approximately 38,800 people working as skin care specialists in the United States.

Job Outlook

Those choosing aesthetician careers should have excellent job opportunities over the next decade. This is based on the growing popularity of skin care treatment as a means of stress reduction as well as the recognition of the growing need for aestheticians to provide assistance in the medical and health care fields.

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