How do I become an esthetician?

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Often times, we see that people are torn between the beauty industry and entry level positions in the medical field.  Luckily, one popular solution is looking into esthetics programs because it can provide you the best of both worlds. wants to answer all of your questions about this cosmetology program and get you in contact with the top esthetics schools in your area.

How long is esthetican school?

Like other cosmetology schools and programs, the amount of time your esthetics training will last depends on the number of hours your state requires in order to become licensed.  Currently the national average for esthetician school is 600 hours, but schools can vary from 300 to 1500 hours.  A majority of these programs also will allow you to take classes full or part-time which will heavily impact the amount of time to complete.  As a full-time student, you can complete your training usually in as little as a four to six months depending on the hours of the program. We recommend you check out your state’s esthetician licensing requirements when looking at esthetics schools to make sure the program you are interested in fulfills these hours.

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What will I learn in esthetician school?

One of the most rewarding parts of becoming an esthetician is that you work with clients on a daily basis to help make them feel beautiful by simply making their skin as healthy as possible.   During your esthetics training, you will be taught to perform the most common skin therapies including, chemical peels, exfoliation, waxing, facials and microdermabraion, so that upon completion you feel confident in being able to assist each and every client.

What is the difference between a spa esthetician and a medical esthetician?

Although these terms and the training you will receive for each is quite similar there is a difference.  Spa estheticians are those professionals who choose to work in a traditional esthetics capacity at spas and beauty parlors performing the tasks learned in training.  Often times, medical estheticians will have a background in a healthcare profession but have decided to work for a dermatologist or plastic surgeon.  Medical estheticians do all of the cosmetic duties of a spa esthetician, but they will have advanced training on top.  This training will allow them to teach people how to treat and prevent a number of skin ailments.

What is the difference between esthetics school and cosmetology school?

There are a number of full cosmetology schools that allow you to take esthetics as part of its program which will also cover hair, makeup, electrolysis and more.  If you aren’t sure if you want to solely focus on esthetics a full cosmetology program may be what you need to find the niche that will make you feel most satisfied.  If you know a career in esthetics is what you need to fulfill your goals, than solely an esthetic program is the better choice.  These specialized esthetics schools and training programs will be more in-depth and give you a greater knowledge base in the field.  In addition, specialized esthetics programs will tend to be less costly and can be completed in a faster amount of time.

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Great Falls (DC Metro Area)

Why should I go to cosmetology school?

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There are a number of different reasons why students may decide to go into cosmetology school and enter into the beauty and wellness industry.  Here are some of the top reasons why students like you have made the leap into this exciting career field!


1.  Creative Freedom

Cosmetologists are more than just hairstylists, they are artists.  One of the top reasons cosmetologists pursue a beauty career is because they live for being able to express themselves through their work.  If you enjoy using creative freedom to experiment with new designs, techniques and styles to see transformation, then a career in the beauty industry is just what you need.  Sound like you?


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2. Flexibility

Unlike other careers where you are tied down to a 9:00-5:00 routine, often times sitting at a desk, the cosmetology industry allows you to be flexible with your schedule.  You may be a night owl and prefer to work on clients later in the evening, or maybe you enjoy working on weekends instead.  Working in a salon you will need to work with their hours, but typically you can choose when to put in your time.

3.  Exponential Opportunities

You determine how far you go in the beauty industry by pursing career options that most interest you.  Do you want to work in a salon doing different styling methods and beauty treatment regimes?  Do you want to open your own boutique and work for yourself?  Do you want to perfect the art of makeup artistry and work for top celebrities, fashion magazines or public figures?  In order to do what you aspire to doing, you decide how much work you will put into it.  Will you take continued education opportunities?  Will you network with top professionals in your field?  World renowned hairstylist and author of The Fantastic Hairdresser, Alan Austin-Smith, sums up how to approach your cosmetology goals brilliantly in his book, writing:

“Making the most of your life, achieving the success you desire and having fun doing it.”

4.  Job Security

Even with the job market struggling over the past several years, the cosmetology industry has withstood the instability and has continued to grow.  In 2011, total sales in the beauty and personal care industry totaled near $426 billion.  In addition, the need to look and feel beautiful has only gained momentum.  According to beauty salon industry reports, there were roughly 86,000 beauty establishments nationwide that combined for over $20 billion in revenue in 2012.  It is expected that the number of salons and the revenue gained from not only salons but cosmetics and other beauty products will continue to grow.

5. Connecting with People

Not only do you get to express your creativity day in and day out but you get to make lasting relationships with people.  In salons across the country, you will find that lasting bonds have been formed between stylist and client.  If you truly enjoy the company of other’s and the chance to help transform them physically, then the cosmetology industry is just for you.

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Great Falls (DC Metro Area)






How long will it take me to complete cosmetology school?

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Besides getting into an industry that is creative, fast-paced and often times very flexible, one of the biggest perks about cosmetology school is the amount of time you can complete a beauty program and get started in your career.  Unlike traditional colleges, which will often take you four years to complete a bachelor’s degree, you can find a cosmetology school that allows you to complete your training in as little as eight months or up to two years depending on if you decide to pursue your education full or part-time.  Some schools require that you complete the necessary training in a set amount of time, so it is important to check with schools you are interested in.  On average, a full cosmetology program can be completed in 12 to 14 months.


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What factors influence the length of a cosmetology school?

Each state has its own licensing requirements for cosmetology professionals, which will be the main factor in how many hours you will be required to complete in a beauty program from an accredited cosmetology school.  Typically, you will attend school six to eight hours a day, as if you werre working  a full-time job, five days a week.  For example, in Tennessee you must complete 1,500 hours of cosmetology school before applying for licensure, with most programs being able to be finished in roughly a year.

The next thing to consider when looking at cosmetology schools is to look at different programs.  The amount of time it takes to complete a full cosmetology program that covers hairstyling, makeup, esthetics, nails and more will take you longer than if you opt for choosing to focus on a specialty. Again, these specialized programs, such as massage therapy, barbering and makeup, are based on the required hours on a state by state level so each program will vary slightly.  A good rule of thumb is a program that requires 600 hours of training will last roughly five months and a program that requires 750 hours of training may take closer to six months.

Be sure to check your state’s requirements for each individual program.

Can I choose to go to cosmetology school part-time?

A number of students who are interested in going to beauty school will choose to take classes and training on a part-time basis.  Often times, these students are parents or have decided to work part-time in order to pay for tuition costs themselves.  A majority of the cosmetology schools across the country will give you this option, but be sure to check when searching for programs in your area to see if your state requires you finish your training within a maximum time frame.

Now all you need to do is find a school!

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Great Falls (DC Metro Area)