The world of beauty and fashion is becoming an increasingly popular place for millennials to start their careers. Still, despite the fun nature of these jobs, becoming an esthetician is a lengthy process that requires education, testing and certification. This guide will help you take the beauty industry by storm and gain your esthetician license with ease.
1. You Need An Esthetician Education
Because of the increasing number of aspiring estheticians, the classroom requirements for gaining certification have increased in recent years. Let’s face it, these careers are popular for a reason! Now, every state features its own classroom requirements set forth by statewide schools of cosmetology.
Most importantly, aspiring estheticians must keep an eye on the hourly requirements of their home state. On average, states require students to complete 600 hours of training. States like Texas, however, require an additional 150 hours. Hours must be kept in an organized log — and they must be signed by accredited instructors.
Just like the options available to college students, there are several organizations for helping aspiring estheticians receive financial aid. One such organization is the Council of Occupational Education. It usually takes two years to complete your beauty education, and financial aid can alleviate much of the financial burden. Esthetician license cost will always vary on a program-to-program basis.
2. Gain Work Experience
The area where esthetician requirements begin to vary from standard education requirements is the on-site training that candidates must receive. It’s still possible to complete these hours in the classroom setting, but students spend this time performing professional beauty services on legitimate clients.
Due to each apprentice’s junior level as a beauty professional, fully-licensed estheticians must always be present to validate the work of their apprentices. Apprentices should also expect much lower wages for services rendered than their licensed counterparts.
Upon completing a set number of state-required service hours, apprentices are invited to complete their esthetician state board exam. Much like the previous coursework, hours should always be logged and approved by a licensed esthetician.
3. Pass the State Board Exam
Of the several esthetician license requirements, completing the state exam is certainly the most nerve-wracking. Before taking the exam, most states require students to be 16 years of age and have an education equal to sophomore year in high school.
The test is administered in written and hands-on formats, and candidates must show their understanding of the beauty industry in many different ways. As cosmetology becomes an increasingly popular field, state examination protocol is becoming more streamlined. For example, the National Interstate Council on State Boards of Cosmetology is the leading creator of written exams across the country. A growing handful of states are also using their recommended hands-on testing for streamlined results.
In any case, students should expect to be tested on all areas of the professional cosmetology industry. Questions may range anywhere from appropriate customer service practices to the science of exfoliation and extraction. It’s also worth mentioning that licenses must be renewed in accordance with state requirements. Most commonly, states will require license holders to pay a renewal fee after every two years of licensure.
4. Pursue Further Education
The good news about the beauty industry is the growing opportunity for specialization. Years ago, an esthetician license was a universal accomplishment that qualified someone for all careers in the beauty field. For better or worse, this is no longer the case.
The best part about further education is how much it allows estheticians to work within their favorite niche areas of the field. For example, many estheticians will gain separate licenses in massage therapy, skin care or other areas of study. As a result, they can explore these professional options with a much greater level of credibility. Also, some estheticians choose to study digital marketing and business. For freelancers and business owners, this can help to set the appropriate rates for your services.
Finally, in select states, licensed estheticians have the option to pursue the status of master esthetician. These professionals undergo a similar certification process for becoming a normal esthetician, but the testing is much more focused on advanced topics. Unlike specializing, however, becoming a master esthetician can make you more of a generalist than you were before. For example, your qualifications may help you fall into a leadership role where you’ll wear many different hats.
Overall, accomplishing your esthetician certification will be a lot like the other formal schooling you’ve experienced in your life. The main difference is how rapidly your learning will advance beyond the classroom. After completing your state exam, you can begin earning a decent living as an entry-level esthetician. As in any field, your passion for the industry will determine how far you can go.
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