how to become an aesthetic beauty therapist

Aesthetics is fast becoming the most in-demand service within the beauty and wellness industry. This can be attributed to new methods of delivering treatments, the popularity of anti-ageing and a desire for a more holistic approach to health. Alongside this, people are working longer hours and spending more time at work, which means they want speedy and convenient ways of looking after themselves. Aesthetic treaments can offer all this an more.

If you are seeking to learn about how to become an aesthetic beauty therapist for the first time, the subject might seem overpowering for those who have not researched the subject before, but you are likely to be fascinated by the information you come across. 

Read more about medical aesthetics courses toronto, Career Requirements, Program Goals and Objectives, MSc Program in Aesthetic Dermatology, aesthetic medicine courses, Course Work and Tuition Fees and Foundation training in Beauty Therapy. You can also find articles related to medical esthetician courses online canada on collegelearners.

Should I Become a Beauty Therapist?

Beauty therapists work with skincare and esthetics to ensure patients are happy looking and feeling their best. They work in a salon setting providing customer service to people needing facials and hair appointments.

Career Requirements

Degree LevelDiploma, certificate, and associate’s degree.
Degree FieldEsthetics
Licensure and CertificationLicensure is required in every state.
TrainingEnrollment in an esthetician program or apprenticeship; apprenticeship requires more hours.
Salary (2014)$33,810 per year (Average salary for skincare specialists)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Beauty Therapy Training

Attain a High School Diploma

Beauty therapy, a term more commonly used outside the U.S. for skincare and esthetics, typically requires a high school diploma as the minimum educational requirement for employment. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), some high schools offer vocational education, such as state-approved cosmetology programs, that includes esthetician training. Completion prepares students for their state’s esthetician licensing exam, if required to obtain employment (

Enroll in an Esthetician Program

Diploma, certificate, and associate’s degree programs in esthetics are available through postsecondary vocational schools, technical schools, and community colleges. They include lectures, demonstrations, classroom learning, and school salon training under instructor supervision and guidance. Course topics include manicures, pedicures, skincare, anatomy and physiology, facials, chemical skincare treatments, massage, cosmetic application, temporary hair removal, and eyebrow arching. Students learn about health and safety issues like sanitation and infection control. Training takes less than two years. Externship training is available. Graduates are qualified to sit for their state’s licensing exam.

Enroll in an Apprenticeship Program

Some states allow aspiring beauty therapists to enter formal apprenticeship arrangements with licensed estheticians or skincare specialists who can train and supervise them in a licensed salon setting. Apprentices have to complete more hours of preparation and training than those who attend formal education programs. States outline strict requirements as far as minimum training requirements and maximum workload for apprentices. Apprentices are eligible to apply for their state license at the completion of their training.

Step 2: Earn State Licensing

According to the BLS, estheticians are required to be licensed in all 50 states. Licensure requirements vary by state, although most states have minimum age, minimum education and minimum training requirements. To obtain licensure, candidates must pass written and practical skills tests to demonstrate their competence. Most states have separate licensing examinations for skincare specialists, manicurists, and pedicurists. Some states require licenses be renewed periodically.

Step 3: Find Employment

After completing the requirements for licensure, estheticians or beauty therapists find work in barbershops, salons, and spas. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), barbers, cosmetologists, and hairdressers expect an employment growth of 13% from 2012-2022 ( Skincare specialist jobs in particular are expected to increase 40% during that same period. The BLS also stated that, as of 2014, the mean annual wage for skincare specialists was $33,810.

Aesthetics is the next step up the ladder for a beauty therapist, as the thriving industry offers many employment opportunities, and you’re likely to earn a better salary and commission rate. Here are the steps you need to take to get there.

Foundation training in Beauty Therapy

The starting point for therapists is to complete a nationally recognised beauty therapy course, such as an NVQ. The minimum qualification level clinics will require all therapists to have is the NVQ level 3. This will provide you with the foundational skills for patient care, and the health and safety protocols to adhere to in a treating environment.

These qualifications are also necessary for businesses to be able to insure their therapists and operate legally. Equivalent qualifications will also be considered, but they must be from recognised providers. Clinics may require therapists to hold an NVQ level 4 qualification if they are to perform advanced laser and other device-led treatments.

Aestheticians need to complete recognised aesthetic treatment training courses in order to perform advanced treatments safely, but these will usually be organised by an employer and provided by the device or product supplier.

Training provided by employers

When in employment, your treatment training is likely to be governed by the particular clinic’s treatment menu, the popularity of certain treatments, and the skills of the other therapists in the team. For example, if you go to work for a clinic that specialises in laser hair removal, you will be trained to perform that treatment, and will gain good experience in that area.

If you wish to gain experience in a wide range of aesthetic treatments, look for roles in medical aesthetics clinics that offer a good selection of skin, face and body treatments, using a selection of devices and product ranges.

Finding entry-level vacancies

If aesthetic treatment experience is listed as ‘essential’ on a job advert, then that employer will be prioritising experienced aestheticians, and may not have the capability to provide extensive training. But, don’t give up as many clinics will take on junior therapists.

If you can’t find any good vacancies, try contacting clinics directly with your CV and a covering letter explaining your skills and ambitions, even if they aren’t currently advertising. A well-written, direct approach may show that you are confident, proactive professional and keen to work for that particular employer.

Practical experience

While training can lay the foundations for a career as an aesthetician, only solid work experience will help you move up the ladder to a senior position and a higher salary. You can be trained in all the aesthetic treatments under the sun, but to progress, you’ll need to demonstrate your skill and ability in the working environment.

When you secure your first job as an aesthetician, it may not offer everything you could possibly ever want from your career, but your success in this position will be taken into account by your next employer. If you exceed your targets, act with professionalism to all patients and colleagues, demonstrate that you are adept at treating, and stick at this first role for a reasonable amount of time, then you will probably be earmarked for promotion, or will have a good chance of being successful in future job applications.

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