Becoming an Esthetician or Skincare specialist :

"Beauty is only skin-deep", a very well-known quote which indicates what is outside doesn’t always reflects what is inside. Now, if we mainly focus on beauty, outside skin has a lot to do with that. And so, a skincare specialist has a lot to do in assisting clients to attain the desired outer beauty.

Esthetician or skincare specialists as they are popularly recognized, cleanse, exfoliate, wax and laser, moisturize, apply makeup and do several other processes to enhance one’s outer body and overall appearance. A skincare specialist firstly examines the state or condition of his client’s skin and then recommends certain procedures to improve their skin quality and appearance. For example, fine lines and wrinkles can be removed using chemical peels, waxing and laser removes unwanted hair, and exfoliating scrub slough off dead cells/skin. Estheticians cleanse the skin and advice to use the suitable face wash, lotion, and cream to get the desired result. Applying makeup is another piece of the job description as is advising the client on personalized skin care regimen. An esthetician also performs facials, massages, and full body treatment. However, a less glamorous part of the job includes disinfecting equipment, and cleaning work area.

A skincare specialist stands face to face with the clients and enjoy interacting with them. A number of times, they find great pleasure in helping people look their best as the pay isn’t significantly high as compared to other healthcare occupations. Respect and sensitivity are the two most essential key traits. In certain circumstances when clients show some serious issues, esthetician may have to refer to dermatologists.

Education :

There are a number of vocational schools and colleges that offer esthetics programs. A student must complete 600 hours in a board affiliated school prior to applying for board exams. The esthetics programs usually end in 4 months. Students take part in classroom activities and hands- on training. Cosmotek College have students salons where they provide real time experiences while working on actual clients. The course usually includes sanitation and infection control, human physiology and anatomy, integumentary system, and skin histology, skin conditions, disorders, and diseases, hair follicle, and its growth cycle, chemistry, skin care products, and factors that affect skin, and business - including practical sessions i.e. waxing, hair removal, massage techniques, facial makeup, safety and sanitation.

Requirements to take California’s Boards exam :

Qualifications to take on California’s board exam include:

  • You must be 17 years old
  • You must have completed 10th grade in a public school or its equivalent
  • You must have not indulged in acts or crime constituting grounds for denial of licensure under Section 480 of the Business and professional code
  • You must have completed 600 hours in aboard approved school

Information regarding the written and practical examination : 

  • The examinations are conducted in two parts – written and practical. All candidates need to take on National Interstate Council of Board of Cosmetology, (NIC) written and practical exams on the same day. The board has two permanent testing sites – one in Northern California (Fairfield) and one in Southern California (Glendale). Once scheduled, candidates do have the option of rescheduling the written examination to another day at one of PSI’s (computer-based written exam vendor) 15+ testing sites. On the other hand, the practical examination cannot be rescheduled. Information about this is included in the admission letter that is sent to candidates once they have been scheduled for their examination.

  • The exams are available in English, Korean Spanish, and Vietnamese.

  • The written examinations have 100 test questions and candidates are granted 120 minutes to complete; the manicurist exam can last approximately 1 ½ hours. 

  • Salary and Outlook :

                 According to BLS in May 2015, estheticians earned an average annual salary of $32,790. With this, the future looks very bright for skincare specialists. The BLS projects employment growth of 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, which is faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is significantly driven primarily by women clients as men are increasingly seeking skin care specialists to battle the appearance of aging.


    Natalyn Trinh

    Cosmotek College’s blog writer

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