Skin care specialist salary & career outlook
by Woodrow Aames | January 11, 2012
Skin care specialists (sometimes called estheticians) are dedicated to the care and maintenance of healthy skin. They serve clients in salons, spas, resorts, beauty parlors and hotels. Some skin care specialists train to work as medical estheticians at health care offices or in a hospital where they treat rehabilitation patients. Depending on your calling, you may be eligible to work in any number of professional settings following graduation from a skin care specialist training program.
Employment outlook and job prospects for skin care specialists
The growth of skin care clinics and specialty salons will help power a 38 percent growth in jobs for skin care specialists between 2008 and 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The total estimate is for 20,300 new openings. Prospects will be "especially good," the BLS predicts, for licensed personal appearance professionals.
The BLS reports that 30,230 skin care specialists were employed in the United States in 2010. The states with the greatest number of employed skin care specialists were California, Texas, Florida, New York and Illinois.
Salary ranges for skin care specialists
You can estimate 2012 skin care specialists' salaries by looking at the mean annual wages reported by the BLS in 2010, ranging from $27,010 in Palm Beach, to $43,060 in Honolulu. The BLS found a median 2010 salary for skin care specialists of $13.90 hourly, $28,920 annually. Top earnings were reported at $50,890. The highest wages for the year were paid in physicians' offices, followed in order by recreation industries, outpatient care centers, department store cosmetic departments and personal care businesses.
The states with the highest annual mean salaries were:
- Delaware ($46,130)
- Hawaii ($42,810)
- Oregon ($41,650)
- Washington, D.C., ($41,580)
- Washington ($40,370)
Cities offering the highest wages were in the metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Houston.
Aside from wages, skin care specialists often enjoy flexible work schedules, a friendly work setting and feedback from appreciative clients.
Skin care specialist training
Skin care specialist schools offer comprehensive training for estheticians. Depending on your program, you'll find coursework detailing the skills necessary for:
- Waxing and body treatments
- Eyebrow tints
- Blackhead removals
Other coursework includes the use of creams, lotions and tonics. You'll learn how to advise customers on skin care as well as the proper products to deliver the best results. In addition to online theory courses, arranged chair-side practice in a salon setting helps you put your training to use.
The BLS has identified key assets sought by employers to include customer service skills, hand-arm steadiness, oral communication, knowledge of skincare products, understanding of products and colors that complement the client, and workplace/tool sterilization techniques.
Most states require skin care specialists to hold basic licenses in order to practice. As you evaluate programs at skin care specialist schools, be sure to contact your state's board of licensing to ensure you take the right courses. With experience and additional training, you can qualify to earn a master license to practice laser skin abrasion or hair removal procedures.