How to Become an Esthetician in California


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What is an Esthetician?

An esthetician is a skincare specialist who provides various beauty treatments to their clients. They are trained in performing facials, applying makeup, giving skincare advice, and using different techniques for hair removal.

Responsibilities of an esthetician include:

  • Analyzing clients' skin and recommending appropriate treatments

  • Performing facials, peels, and other skincare treatments

  • Providing hair removal services such as waxing or threading

  • Applying makeup for special events or photo shoots

  • Educating clients on proper skincare routines and products

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Where does an Esthetician work?

Estheticians can work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Spas and salons: Many estheticians work in spas and salons, providing skincare treatments to clients in a relaxing environment.

  • Dermatology clinics: Some estheticians work alongside dermatologists, assisting with skincare treatments and procedures.

  • Makeup counters: Estheticians may work at makeup counters in department stores, helping customers choose and apply makeup products.

  • Self-employment: Some estheticians choose to start their own businesses, offering skincare services on their own terms.

How to Become an Esthetician in California?

To become an Esthetician in California, one must first complete an approved esthetics program, which typically takes 600 hours or more. After graduation, the individual must pass the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology's written and practical exams to obtain their esthetician license. Once licensed, they can pursue job opportunities, earning a competitive salary.

Requirements to become an Esthetician in California

To become an esthetician in California, you must fulfill certain education and legal requirements. These include:

  • Education: You must complete a state-approved esthetician program, which typically consists of 600 hours of coursework and hands-on training. These programs cover topics such as skincare, makeup application, hair removal, and sanitation.

  • Written and practical exams: After completing your esthetician program, you need to pass both a written and practical exam administered by the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.

  • Age requirement: You must be at least 17 years old to apply for an esthetician license in California.

  • Good moral character: The California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology requires that applicants have good moral character, meaning they have not been convicted of certain crimes or engaged in fraudulent or deceitful behavior.

Exploring a Career in Esthetician Outside California

If you're eager to start a career as an Esthetician but are situated in a different state, don't be discouraged. Your opportunity to work as an Esthetician might be found in Hawaii, Michigan, Montana, Washington, or West Virginia. If you don't live near these areas, Dreambound offers a straightforward solution to scout and compare Esthetician classes by search by zip code. No matter where you live, with dedication and the right resources, carving out a career in trade, construction, and industry is within your reach.

How do I get my Esthetician certification?

If you are interested in becoming an esthetician, you will need to obtain your esthetician certification. This certification is required in order to legally practice as an esthetician in most states, including California.

To get your esthetician certification, you will need to complete a state-approved esthetician program. These programs are typically offered by beauty schools, community colleges, and vocational schools. The program will consist of both classroom instruction and hands-on training, and will cover topics such as skin care, facials, hair removal, makeup application, and more.

In order to enroll in an esthetician program, you will need to meet the school's admission requirements. This usually includes having a high school diploma or GED, being at least 18 years old, and sometimes passing an entrance exam or interview.

Once you have completed your esthetician program, you will need to pass a state licensing exam to become a certified esthetician. The exam will typically include a written portion and a practical portion, where you will be asked to demonstrate your skills on a live model. Once you pass the exam, you will receive your esthetician certification and can begin working as a licensed esthetician.

It is important to note that the specific requirements for esthetician certification may vary from state to state. Therefore, it is important to research the requirements in the state where you plan to practice and ensure that you meet all of the necessary criteria.

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How do I get a job as an Esthetician?

Once you have obtained your esthetician certification, you will be ready to start looking for a job as an esthetician. Here are some steps you can take to increase your chances of finding employment in this field:

  1. Build a Professional Network: Networking is important in any industry, and the beauty industry is no exception. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with other estheticians and professionals in the field. They may be able to provide you with job leads or recommend you to potential employers.

  2. Create a Professional Resume: Your resume should highlight your education, certifications, and any relevant experience or skills you have. Be sure to tailor your resume to each job you apply for, emphasizing the skills and qualifications that are most relevant to the position.

  3. Gain Experience: If you are having trouble finding a job right away, consider gaining experience through internships or volunteer work. This can help you build your skills and portfolio, and may lead to job opportunities in the future.

  4. Utilize Online Job Boards: Many employers post job openings on online job boards, so be sure to regularly check these sites for esthetician positions. Some popular job boards for the beauty industry include Indeed, Monster, and LinkedIn.

  5. Consider Specializing: Estheticians can specialize in a variety of areas, such as skincare, makeup, or hair removal. Consider gaining additional certifications or training in a specialized area to make yourself more marketable to employers.

  6. Prepare for Interviews: Research the company you are interviewing with and be prepared to answer common interview questions. Practice your responses and be ready to discuss your skills, experience, and why you are interested in the position.

Remember, finding a job as an esthetician may take time and persistence. Don't get discouraged if you don't find a job right away. Keep networking, gaining experience, and applying to positions, and eventually, you will find the right opportunity.

Career Paths and Opportunities after Becoming an Esthetician

Becoming an esthetician opens up a variety of career paths and opportunities. Here are a few options to consider:

  1. Working in a Spa or Salon: Many estheticians start their careers working in spas or salons. In these settings, you may provide facials, waxing services, makeup application, and other skincare treatments to clients. Working in a spa or salon allows you to gain experience and build a client base.

  2. Opening Your Own Business: Some estheticians choose to open their own businesses, such as a skincare clinic or a salon. This allows you to have more control over your schedule, services offered, and pricing. However, opening your own business requires additional skills, such as marketing and business management.

  3. Medical Esthetics: If you are interested in the medical side of skincare, you may consider a career in medical esthetics. In this field, you may work alongside dermatologists or plastic surgeons, providing skincare treatments to patients with specific skin conditions or who have had cosmetic procedures.

  4. Product Development: With your knowledge of skincare and beauty products, you may be interested in a career in product development. This involves creating and testing new skincare products, working for a beauty brand or a cosmetics company.

  5. Education and Training: If you enjoy teaching and mentoring others, you may consider a career in education and training. This could involve working as an instructor at a beauty school, conducting workshops and seminars, or providing training to estheticians in a spa or salon.

  6. Freelancing: As a certified esthetician, you may have the option to work as a freelancer, offering your services to clients on a freelance basis. This can provide flexibility and the opportunity to work with a variety of clients and in different settings.

These are just a few examples of the career paths and opportunities available to estheticians. The beauty industry is constantly evolving, and new opportunities may arise as trends and technologies change. It is important to stay updated on industry advancements and continue to develop your skills and knowledge to stay competitive in the field.

Final Thoughts

Becoming an esthetician can be a rewarding career choice for those who are passionate about skincare and beauty. By completing a state-approved esthetician program and obtaining your esthetician certification, you will be well-equipped to start your career in this field.

When searching for a job as an esthetician, be sure to build a professional network, create a professional resume, gain experience, and utilize online job boards. Consider specializing in a specific area and be prepared for interviews.

Once you have obtained your esthetician certification, a variety of career paths and opportunities are available to you. Whether you choose to work in a spa or salon, open your own business, or explore other avenues such as medical esthetics or product development, there are many options to consider.

Remember to stay updated on industry advancements and continue to develop your skills and knowledge. With dedication and perseverance, you can build a successful and fulfilling career as an esthetician.

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Alyssa Jane
Written by
Alyssa Jane

Alyssa Jane is part of the customer success team at Dreambound. She works with students, training providers, and employers, helping them have a smooth customer journey. She is also an ESL tutor and Licensed Psychometrician. She is fond of traveling, photography, and discovering new restaurants.

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