Being an esthetician - a skin care professional - can be a rewarding and lucrative way to make a living, but esthetician school is a big investment of time, energy and money. Here's how to find the best esthetician school and make sure it's the right career path for you.
Talk To Spa Directors About Esthetician Schools
Talk to other estheticians and ask them where they went to school and what their experience was. Call the owners or spa directors at spas where you would like to work and tell them that you're considering going to esthetician school. Ask which esthetician school they like to hire from. That will give you a good idea which esthetician schools have the best reputations.
Research the Realities of Being An Esthetician
While spas are growing fast, there is less demand for estheticians than massage therapists. (See Before You Go To Massage School.) It can be hard to get that first job, and to get full-time work. Ask other estheticians in your area about the realities of the workplace – market demand, starting salaries, stress levels, and what the best and worst parts of the job are. Ask them what school they went to, and their opinion of it.
Find Esthetician Schools In The State You Want To Work.
Look for esthetician schools in the state where you want to work. This is very important because each state has its own licensing practices. The schools can give you more information on the licensing requirements in your state. Search for esthetician schools by state. Use this to find the schools nearest you.
Call The Esthetician School
Once you narrow down your list, call the school for an initial phone interview. Every massage school has an admissions department that can answer your questions and send you an information packet. You can ask them about licensing requirements in your state, the curriculum, how much it costs, full and part-time programs, financial aid and, if you can, the names and phone numbers of graduates. Call them to get a candid assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of that school.
Visit The Esthetician School
It’s also very important to make an on-site visit to the esthetician school. Do you like the atmosphere? Do the teachers impress you? Talk to students while you’re there and ask what they think (away from teachers or admissions counselors.) Some schools have an open house or free workshops so you can get a feel for skin care in general and the atmosphere at the school.
Talk To The Esthetician School's Graduates
Ask the school for names and phone numbers of graduates. Call them to get their opinion of the school, and ask about the job market, starting salaries and what it’s like in the real world.
Ask The Esthetician School Questions!
All esthetician schools teach you what you need to know to pass the state licensing exam. But ask about their philosophy. Do they emphasize traditional European beauty therapies, or do they have a medical spa philosophy? What kind of specialized equipment do they have? How long have their teachers worked there and what is their background? What is their continuing education program? Are there benefits for graduates, like discounts on products or continuing education classes?
Be Wary of Big Salary Claims
The esthetician school school is in the business of attracting new students. In other words, they’re selling themselves! Take it with a grain of salt if they say you’re going to make $50,000 - $75,000 a year right out of school. You might get lucky, but it will likely take some time. You’re better off believing what other estheticians and spa directors say about starting salaries in your area. Do your own research.