Is being an Esthetician as bad as everyone is making it sound?

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TB in Fountain Valley, California

42 months ago

I wouldn't suggest becoming an esthetician. I graduated in 2003 and got my license and applied everywhere. Nobody wants to hire a newly licensed esthetician. It is very competitive out there. Spas pay you a commision per service. It sucks because you will never have a steady paycheck. You will never know how much money you will bring in that month. I aslo heard that most spas have slow seasons. They don't even pay or even offer you benefits. And yes, most spas will require you to work weekends.

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Sl in Livermore, California

42 months ago

This forum and comments are meant to be helpful not for the display of sarcasms.
To answer your question...simple, attend a Trade Show and you will meet thousands of successful estheticians.

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EducatedEsthetician in California

42 months ago

Liesy - this is a challenging time to be an esthetician. If you do not have an entrepreneurial approach you will not meet your income goals....working for someone else at $10-20 per hour simply does not cut it, though it will be worth your while to be an employee while you "learn the ropes". Before you make your decision, do some self scrutiny - are you outgoing? Can you drive business and self promote? Can you retain clients? This is not a job for someone who wants to sit around and wait for someone else to bring the clients to them. Might have worked in 2006, but it certainly doesn't work now.

You might be able to find some public schooling that will let you study for considerably less than the $10,000 per year you are currently looking at. The truth is, the real education for most estys is something that happens after they graduate. Most schools only teach to the lowest common denominator ..... and it's only after you graduate that you learn how little you know.

EE

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EducatedEsthetician in California

42 months ago

And, just one other thing - it's extremely unusual to find an esty job with benefits. Not impossible, just unusual....

I wonder if you could study without giving up your day job? If you decide to pursue your dream (with eyes wide open!) it might be good if you could maintain your income while doing so.

EE

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Ered in Providence, Rhode Island

41 months ago

I have been an aesthetician for over 8 years. I love what I do, and I have been extremely successful. I started in NYC in spa's, then to medical spa's, and now I work for one of the top plastic surgeon's in the country. As long as you have a passion for what you do, and continue your education in your field, you will be successful. it's all about your attitude and how good of a people person you are. the skills come with the experience and education. Love what you'll do, and you won't work a day in your life.....except the commute, ha! Good luck!

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Jeff B in Dallas, Texas

30 months ago

starrfilled,

"is the reason your commenting like your are and reason for your ill success in this industry."

Interesting. I didn't know I had "ill success". What makes you think that I have had ill success?

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louisa in Des Moines, Iowa

29 months ago

Liesy28 in Rochester, New York said: I have a bachelors degree and for the past 5 years been working in an industry that I really hate. I've been looking into advanced degrees but skin therapy really appeals to me for a variety of reasons and I feel that I can finally achieve doing something I love. Once certified I either wanted to go into a medi-spa or work for a corporate skin care company

Im planning on starting a program at Dermalogica in a month and was extremely excited about this new endevour, but now I am starting to have doubts, especially after reading a number of forums on this site. However a lot of them are from quite a few months ago during the worst of the recession and I wondered if things have changed at all.

Am I wasting $10,000 becoming an esthitician? It sounds like everyone is out of work and underpaid. I make $32,000 a year now with full benefits, do I have any hope of making anywheres near that as an esthi? Am I better off taking that tuition money and sticking it in the bank ? As much as a dream it is do to what you love....it makes it harder to love if you cannot support yourself.

Are spas flexible with hours? If I am unable to get a full time job as an esthi I would have to get some other 9-5 job and do facials, etc. during nights and weekends.

I really need any help or advice as this is a big change for me. I already get strange looks from people when I tell them i want to do Skin Therapy. They think it's for high school kids who aren't going to college and I always corrected them and told them all the possibilities it holds...now Im not so sure.

Thanks!

I've been an esthetician 12 years it better to work for your self if you do this
you will work your butt off for someone else and get paid lower your have to invest in mor education to market your self better, have the latest products if your good at this trade clients will stay with you. don't quit your day job
with benifits do this as a hobby,

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frustrated owner in Oakland, California

28 months ago

Here here! dre517 in Chicago! You are sooo right. I'm not sure why this is the case with estheticians. I am on the prowl for the ones who understand the selling aspect of our job. From reading your post, I think I pay mine waaayy too much. They're unresponsive and lazy and they wonder why they don't get more hours? Hum....I wonder why. You can make nice money in this field but you have to love it, work for it, and work for it.

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dre517 in Chicago, Illinois

28 months ago

"Here here! dre517 in Chicago! You are sooo right. I'm not sure why this is the case with estheticians. I am on the prowl for the ones who understand the selling aspect of our job. From reading your post, I think I pay mine waaayy too much. They're unresponsive and lazy and they wonder why they don't get more hours? Hum....I wonder why. You can make nice money in this field but you have to love it, work for it, and work for it."

I find that the hourly plus commission (it ranges from 10-25% for estheticians) ends up being more beneficial for the therapist. If you don't have something on the books at least you are getting paid something! I also think that ethys don't realize how much product sales contribute to their paycheck. We pay between 5-20% for retail sales (based on performance). As a skin care therapist you HAVE to sell products! I don't get estheticians that say they don't like or want to sell. If your client is not getting recommendations from you they sure as hell are getting it from someone else! We are the professionals with the good products, not walgreen and macy's! People want guidance and the girls at Sephora will certainly give it to them if your client walks in! There is a TON of money to be made as an esthetician if you just put forth a little effort. You can increase your income by 50% if you learn how to retail!

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Grace Riley in Florida

28 months ago

I think you have to determine if you are truly passionate about esthetics. How do you do that? Well, have you gone to a lot of spas in the past; have you been interested in skin care product lines; and have you read everything about skin care you could get your hands on? Do you love make-up? These are some things to think about and figure out for yourself. It always surprises me that people just pick esthetics randomly (not suggesting that you are) so you need to know that much about yourself. With that said, you won't know if you truly love esthetics until you are in class and you working on real people.
I would recommend doing a night program, keeping your day job and see how it goes. You don't have to jump into esthetics and leave your security behind yet.
Esthetics is a hard field to break into, that doesn't mean it isn't a good career for you. There are just a lot of things to think about. You can make good money as an esthetician, but it most likely won't be a position working full-time with benefits and vacation days. Again, like anything there is an exception to the rule, and some doctors and franchises places do offer benefit and vacation packages to estheticians. I think if your heart is in it you should at least give it a shot.

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Grace Riley in Florida

28 months ago

Wow, you said that beautifully! Passion is what drives the business!

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patient Spouse in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

27 months ago

I have watched my wife excel and struggle over 12 years as an esthetician. First point..You must have a passion for skin care and helping people!
1) Develop a business plan with a budget
2) Keep accurate records of the business, clients, etc
3) Have a dedicated savings account for equipment failure/purchase, seasonal slow months, moving
4) Never, never borrow money
5) People are coming to see you (touch, personality, service) and not the equipment!
6) Have spouse that can support the family
7) Save when times are good and never go into debt... worth repeating
8) Word of mouth will be your best advertising
9) This is a business. It takes as much work managing, promoting as it will doing the labor of love.
10)If you sell a package, set in seperate account and pay out as you do service
11) Unless you go solo there will always be biz/personality conflicts. Keep overhead to a minimum, go solo if you can renting a room..

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patient Spouse in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

27 months ago

Dre517... That is an owner that has a more than fair compensation package.

Find a gym, hotel, etc...Low overhead, more service, build a clientele, gain experience and seek out Dre517 type owner.

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The Facial Room Acne & Skin Care Clinic in La Mirada, California

27 months ago

patient Spouse in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina said: As far as income... range $14K upwards to $30K

Best job and most money she made was solo, renting small room in a gym. Low overhead, lower prices but steady work and more satisfaction...

Big Spa? You can keep the catty atmosphere, over bearing/financially strapped owners only caring about a check.

I agree with you, "patient Spouse in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina", that going 'SOLO' is the way to go. And to really be successful a solo esthetician must stock and sell their own retail products. If you rent a room many times you are selling the products that the estabishment you are renting from already has and you only make a commission off what you sell.(usually it's around 10%) That is not good for you as a small business owner. You must sell and carry your own retail. That is where your really going to make a profit and it is going to be very beneficial for the solo esthetician. Also, you must have a website where your clients can also purchase your products online.

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Grace Riley in Florida

27 months ago

All good points!

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Grace Riley in Florida

27 months ago

Thanks for putting this information out there. It is important for esthetician students to know the good, bad and the ugly.
Grace Riley author of JumpStart Your Esthetics Career: A Guide For Newly Licensed Estheticians

Big Spa? You can keep the catty atmosphere, over bearing/financially strapped owners only caring about a check.

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Grace Riley in Florida

27 months ago

Retailing is part of the job, but I don't believe estheticians should sell just to sell products. Estheticians should educate clients about products that would BENEFIT them; they do not need to sell them items that they don't need. For every esthetician that doesn't sell retail, there are spa owners that want estheticians to sell junk products. There needs to be a happy balance, and as estheticians it is ethical to educate clients about products that they would truly benefit from, but on the same token it is completely unethical to sell clients products that the esthetician knows the client doesn't need. There has to be a happy balance between the esthetician and client. I also recommend estheticians give their clients samples to use (if the owner will allow it) so a client can try a product out before plopping down good money on a product that they don't know will work on them.
Grace Riley author of JumpStart Your Esthetics Career: A Guide For Newly Licensed Estheticians.

frustrated owner in Oakland, California said: Here here! dre517 in Chicago! You are sooo right. I'm not sure why this is the case with estheticians. I am on the prowl for the ones who understand the selling aspect of our job. From reading your post, I think I pay mine waaayy too much. They're unresponsive and lazy and they wonder why they don't get more hours? Hum....I wonder why. You can make nice money in this field but you have to love it, work for it, and work for it.

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Grace Riley in Florida

27 months ago

I am glad you posted this...I will definitely spread this around to my student estheticians. Please e-mail me at: gracerileypublishing@gmail.com if you would like to be interviewed for my blog. I think your comments below would definitely help my readers with their career, and understanding the work ethic employers want.

Grace Riely author of JumpStart Your Esthetics Career:A Guide For Newly Licensed Estheticians available on www.amazon.com.

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Grace Riley in Florida

27 months ago

First of all, I don't normally advocate paying top dollar for esthetician school, but I have personally attended classes at the DI Institute (not for initial licensing, but extra classes) and although I don't love their product line, I think they are some of the most organized and professional esthetics folks out there. I think you will get a great education, and it is a well respected school. Dermalogica is used at many spas and salons so you will have a heads up in that.
In terms of career, I know a lot of estheticians who do great and others who do terribly. I think it comes down to passion and drive. Do you love this career? Are you constantly thinking about skin care etc? There are many jobs in esthetics beyond doing facials and waxing--think make-up counter jobs with companies that offer potential benefits; sales reps; make-up artist freelance; esthetics instructor; mobile spa (depending on your state laws; and beauty contributor to magazines. There are many choices, but you have to LOVE this career to be successful at this. Don't give up if this is your love!
Grace Riley author of JumpStart Your Esthetics Career: A Guide For Newly Licensed Estheticians

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TLewis Skin Care in St. Charles, Illinois

25 months ago

Dear dre517 in Chicago,
I own a very small skin care practice in the Chicago suburbs and am considering hiring my first esthetic employee. Would you mind giving me more detailed information on your hourly rate plus commission pay scale? I really like the idea of that type of pay plan, but am stuck on where to begin. Thanks so much!

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Brandy Kathleen in Hampshire, Illinois

25 months ago

TLewis Skin Care in St. Charles, Illinois said: Dear dre517 in Chicago,
I own a very small skin care practice in the Chicago suburbs and am considering hiring my first esthetic employee. Would you mind giving me more detailed information on your hourly rate plus commission pay scale? I really like the idea of that type of pay plan, but am stuck on where to begin. Thanks so much!

TLewis skin care,
I am a CMA, a CNA, and enrolled in a well known and respected esthetician school in Schaumburg. I live near St. Charles, please let me know if you're ever looking for an intern. Brandy919r@Gmail.com

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Eileen Gleason in Beaumont, California

24 months ago

I am a new esthetician in California. It's been hard to get work because I am new. I've worked in two small day spas so far, the kind you see in strip malls. I have been working soley on commission. I have had problems with spa owners not following through with agreements we made before I started, and over time, this has caused problems. Just wondering, as an esthetician working on commission, is it reasonable to ask for a contract between myself and the spa owner to help aleviate any misunderstandings that may occur later?
Thanks

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Jeff B in Dallas, Texas

24 months ago

Eileen Gleason in Beaumont, California said: I am a new esthetician in California. It's been hard to get work because I am new. I've worked in two small day spas so far, the kind you see in strip malls. I have been working soley on commission. I have had problems with spa owners not following through with agreements we made before I started, and over time, this has caused problems. Just wondering, as an esthetician working on commission, is it reasonable to ask for a contract between myself and the spa owner to help aleviate any misunderstandings that may occur later?
Thanks

Definitly!

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Eileen in Beaumont, California

24 months ago

I was thinking that they wouldn't hire me if I present them with a contract.

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Grace Riley in Florida

24 months ago

Eileen in CA,
What a thoughtful question that many seasoned estheticians don't think about. I would say you are a business minded professional to protect yourself. Yes, of course you should consider having a contract drawn up to protect both parties. There are many do-it-yourself type of lawyer websites where you might be able to create a cost effective contract that will help protect your interests. Prevention is the key to a successful journey, and many new estheticians just want to get a job (who can blame them?) and don't have the insight to think about the unfortunate situations that can arise. Protecting yourself is always a prudent business move.

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Grace Riley in Florida

24 months ago

Dre517,
If you do not have a lot of capital to budget for personnel, consider paying a split commission. 40/60 is fair if you are paying for all the advertising and products. If you aren't providing all supplies and advertising costs, then consider a 50/50 split.

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Grace Riley in Florida

24 months ago

DRE517,
You could also consider paying the esthetician an hourly rate (that rate is dependent upon the going rate in your area)plus tips.
Grace Riley Esthetics

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Shelby in Seattle, Washington

23 months ago

You will have a good future in the industry if you are motived and are getting a good education. I attend the Gary Manuel Aveda institute in Seattle,Wa. We recently had a career fair where I was able to take to many spa/salon owners and get their takes on getting jobs and getting paid enough. When getting a License with Aveda I will have many doors open up for me and WILL be getting a job (job placement rate with this institute is 95%, alot higher than most) that will be paying good. You learn alot and have a great experience! If its what you want to do in life go for it ! You don't want to waste in more time in life doing something almost everyday that doesn't make you happy.

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Grace Riley in Florida

23 months ago

Shelby in Seattle,
What a thoughtful comment you posted about not wanting to waste time doing something that doesn't make you happy. How true? While everyone is worried about money to a degree, it is important to follow your heart. Well, said--obviously you are following the path that suits you.
Grace Riley
Author of Jump Start Your Esthetics Career: A Guide For Newly Licensed Estheticians

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Danie1988 in Dunn, North Carolina

22 months ago

Cat in Chicago, Illinois said: Like many other industries, working for yourself is the best way to make a decent living from the esthetics field. I think the "patient spouse in Myrtle Beach" was spot on... especially #6, having a spouse that can support the family. I tell people who want to become estheticians that this is a field for people who are more financially secure and just love to do it. If you are going for the "big bucks" and dont want to open your own business with constantly hustling and fighting the Groupon price point, then you may want to go into something else.

Groupon is going to kill the spa industry. Worst marketing tactic ever in my opinion!

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Grace Riley in Florida

22 months ago

Cat,
I can't agree with you more. This is a great industry, but it certainly helps to have another financial source, at least while you build your book of business. This is an ideal career for a mother who wants to control who schedule, make extra money and still have time for children. Also, it is extremely important that the person who goes into this field is passionate about esthetics! It doesn't matter if you have financial support from a spouse, or whether you work for a fantastic spa rolling in the money, if you don't have the passion and drive you will burn out. I knew as young as 14 that I loved skin care, I was the only 14 year-old I knew that used her summer babysitting money to buy skin care products at Estee Lauder and Lancome LOL. I just knew in my heart, while everyone else was going to tanning beds, that I wanted to protect and take care of my skin. While I didn't know esthetics was the way to go for me at first, I knew at a very young age that this was my passion, and it has never faded. I think that is what a lot of students and estheticians need to think about, to decide if this is in fact their passion.

Grace Riley Esthetics
Author of Jump Start Your Esthetics Career: A Guide For Newly Licensed Estheticians.

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Whitecrow RadhaMa in Sydney, Australia

22 months ago

I'm wondering if it is worth your while to set up yourself independently? Work from home or go to clients homes. That works in Australia. Nothing else does very often. Working for someone else is not a way to make 75,000 pa. The bosses usually simply won't let you, but will keep the profits. Most, not all of course, but this is a time of the rich self advantaging further at the loss of the poorer groups. Whilst capitalism and indivualism rules this will be the case. So, DIY. Good luck.

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Grace Riley in Florida

22 months ago

Well said!

EducatedEsthetician in California said: Liesy - this is a challenging time to be an esthetician . If you do not have an entrepreneurial approach you will not meet your income goals....working for someone else at $10-20 per hour simply does not cut it, though it will be worth your while to be an employee while you "learn the ropes". Before you make your decision, do some self scrutiny - are you outgoing? Can you drive business and self promote? Can you retain clients? This is not a job for someone who wants to sit around and wait for someone else to bring the clients to them. Might have worked in 2006, but it certainly doesn't work now.

You might be able to find some public schooling that will let you study for considerably less than the $10,000 per year you are currently looking at. The truth is, the real education for most estys is something that happens after they graduate. Most schools only teach to the lowest common denominator ..... and it's only after you graduate that you learn how little you know.

EE

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Julie Lauren in New York, New York

21 months ago

I am a recent graduate of Dermalogica Academy (2011) and I'm working in an organic spa in the West Village. I love my job, and I am constantly introduced to new job opportunities my esthetics license qualifies me for. I think I might be the exception to the rule? I have a graduate level degree from a traditional university and have worked in numerous academic and/or hospitality fields, so I'm aware of how to present myself when looking for work, etc.

I think there are tremendous opportunities in esthetics for the right people. If you have drive and a passion for knowledge you'll go far...

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Rhonda Schultz in Houston, Texas

21 months ago

Does having the cedesco certification help or matter?

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MissMolli in Gwynn Oak, Maryland

21 months ago

mm in North Arlington, New Jersey said: No don't do it it's not worth it, if you can do something else go that route. At the salon they pay you 10$/ Hr and at the doctor's 20$/Hr but they will only give you part time, do the research and see for yourself . No medical or payed vacations also. I am an esthetician for about 6 years now and I'm always broke :(((( And if you want to work in a different state you have to take the state board again!

You absolutely do not have to take the state board again if you want to practice in another state. As long as you keep your license current , you'd only need to ask another state for reciprocity. And should you need more education to meet the new state's requirements, then look into obtaining just the education you need. Liesy, please do thorough research about your state board's requirement for obtaining and maintaining an aesthetic's license. Many people will give you their subjective views and not the objective comments you need.

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MissMolli in Gwynn Oak, Maryland

21 months ago

I'm finding that aestheticians that are dually licensed are in high demand. Perhaps becoming licensed in massage will give you the one-up over other aesthetic competition. Plus, being dually licensed may mean that your book is consistently filled with clients!

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Aswat92 in Fresh meadows, New York

20 months ago

Hi everyone :)
Just googling stuff and landed on here n makes me laugh that this was posted like about an year ago n more. Even then estheticians didn't make that much and still don't. But, honestly think about becoming a esthetician n really do your research. It's hard n very tough. If you know how to do it then you could make it. I'm newly esthetician and yes hard to get jobs but even as a temporary licensed I got a job once I got outta a school with two months. It wasn't a hi five job but it was a start to gain experience. But, now I'm licensed n there r jobs out there. It has its ups n downs. N sometimes you could make up to $300 in a day but never a steady pay. As a temporary licensed n not so high class spa for a week I use to make almost $200 a day then next week made just $50 so yeah. If u have ur mind set and all then it's not a bad field. Every field has its problem

:)

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Aswat92 in Fresh meadows, New York

20 months ago

Oh one more thing

You have to work crazy hours and days n its hard but if u have a passion for skin n love what u do then its not a biggie. Cuz I love it and love my clients

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Grace Riley in Florida

20 months ago

That is true, the money is very dependent on many factors: experience, location, personality, economy, demographics, hours invested, etc. No one can say how much one esthetician will make unless you know all the data. I personally had a 50/50 split at my last spa, and facials were roughly between $60.00-125.00 depending on the facial and/or if it included Microderm. Waxings started at $9.00 and went up. There were some fantastic days that I felt like I was rolling in the cash, and then were slow days. In this type of business you have to plan for some slow days and save wisely for those times, unless you work for a franchise place that pays per hour. I preferred being an independent contractor. I've seen a lot of people complain about esthetics, and while I agree it can be a tough field, it is also a fun, exciting and rewarding career for those who work hard and have realistic expections. It is like any other career, there are some that make it big, some in the middle and some who don't make it at all. It takes a lot of hard work, a willingness to continue one's education, and passion to find your way in this field. Good Luck!
Grace Riley Esthetics
Author of JumpStart Your Esthetics Career: A Guide For Newly Licensed Estheticians
www.facebook.com/grace.riley.5

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Jules in Fort Worth, Texas

19 months ago

I think it's a great field to get in to! Depending on location of course. I graduated in February of this year and was hired at a spa within two days of graduating. Yes it does have its slow times, but there are days when it's busy and the potential to make 20-60 bucks an hour is pretty awesome. You just have to let that spa know that you're willing to learn.

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Jeff B in Dallas, Texas

19 months ago

Someone on another board stated that they were considering being an esty and working for a dermatologist. They are in Dallas. So, I went on the states website and did a little nimber crunching. In the Dallas and Tarrant countys (which make up for Dallas and Ft. Worth) there are presently 4,679 licensed estys. (Dallas = 2,761 Ft. Worth = 1,918). Then a search of the Texas Medical Board shows the number of dermatologists in these countys Dallas = 108 Ft. Worth = 60.

So there are 4,679 licensed estys and 168 dermatologists.

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DBArnes in Chicago, Illinois

19 months ago

I highly recommend becoming whatever you want to be in life. I have been in the spa industry for over a decade, and yes the money fluctuates at times, but once you find the place you want to be or establish your own clientele at your own place it gains more consistency. The key is to make sure that it is something you have a passion for. You will be entering the beauty and health industry, with the emphasis on health. So, be prepared to be the example for your clients. Be prepared to know what you are talking about, and be prepared for a lifetime of learning. Best of luck to you!

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margaret nichol in Playa Vista, California

19 months ago

Liesy28 in Rochester, New York said: I have a bachelors degree and for the past 5 years been working in an industry that I really hate. I've been looking into advanced degrees but skin therapy really appeals to me for a variety of reasons and I feel that I can finally achieve doing something I love. Once certified I either wanted to go into a medi-spa or work for a corporate skin care company

Im planning on starting a program at Dermalogica in a month and was extremely excited about this new endevour, but now I am starting to have doubts, especially after reading a number of forums on this site. However a lot of them are from quite a few months ago during the worst of the recession and I wondered if things have changed at all.

Am I wasting $10,000 becoming an esthitician? It sounds like everyone is out of work and underpaid. I make $32,000 a year now with full benefits, do I have any hope of making anywheres near that as an esthi? Am I better off taking that tuition money and sticking it in the bank ? As much as a dream it is do to what you love....it makes it harder to love if you cannot support yourself.

Are spas flexible with hours? If I am unable to get a full time job as an esthi I would have to get some other 9-5 job and do facials, etc. during nights and weekends.

I really need any help or advice as this is a big change for me. I already get strange looks from people when I tell them i want to do Skin Therapy. They think it's for high school kids who aren't going to college and I always corrected them and told them all the possibilities it holds...now Im not so sure.

Thanks!

Keep your full-time job. I have been in the industry for eleven years and its been a struggle.

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margaret nichol in Longmont, Colorado

19 months ago

TB in Fountain Valley, California said: I wouldn't suggest becoming an esthetician . I graduated in 2003 and got my license and applied everywhere. Nobody wants to hire a newly licensed esthetician. It is very competitive out there. Spas pay you a commision per service. It sucks because you will never have a steady paycheck. You will never know how much money you will bring in that month. I aslo heard that most spas have slow seasons. They don't even pay or even offer you benefits. And yes, most spas will require you to work weekends.

I agree fully!

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AA in Yorktown Heights, New York

17 months ago

I came across these comments on Google, and felt that I should offer some feedback. I am one of those rare estheticians who is extremely successful in her career. With that said, I will tell you that I have been working for 10+ years and it took a long time to make real money. My best advice to anyone who wants to be a WORKING esthetician is to tell them to develop excellent waxing skills, above all else. Waxing is perfunctory, so no matter what the economy is doing, your clients will continue waxing. High quality esthetics education can be very hard to come by, but is absolutely necessary, as is continuing education. Lastly, it is essential that you spend a portion of your career working in a very high-end spa, where you are regularly exposed to clients who can afford to make regular visits. Even in a high-end space, you should realistically expect that building a clientele will take a minimum of nine months to one year. I would strongly recommend that you begin your esthetics career in a part-time capacity (you will NOT be able to pay the rent in the beginning). In my experience, only the best of the best, or roughly 10% (a generous estimate) of estheticians are ever able to do esthetics as a full time living. With that said, YES, it is possible to be very, very successful; however, it takes a long time, hard work, a willingness to be as diversified in the treatments that you offer as possible, and the correct working environment. I did it, and I have done extremely well. Currently, I own my own practice and I am booked to near capacity approximately six weeks in advance...BUT it was HARD to do! I hope that this advice from a veteran Esthetician is helpful.

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HP in Austin, Texas

17 months ago

AA in Yorktown Heights, New York said: I came across these comments on Google , and felt that I should offer some feedback. I am one of those rare estheticians who is extremely successful in her career. With that said, I will tell you that I have been working for 10+ years and it took a long time to make real money. My best advice to anyone who wants to be a WORKING esthetician is to tell them to develop excellent waxing skills, above all else. Waxing is perfunctory, so no matter what the economy is doing, your clients will continue waxing. High quality esthetics education can be very hard to come by, but is absolutely necessary, as is continuing education. Lastly, it is essential that you spend a portion of your career working in a very high-end spa, where you are regularly exposed to clients who can afford to make regular visits. Even in a high-end space, you should realistically expect that building a clientele will take a minimum of nine months to one year. I would strongly recommend that you begin your esthetics career in a part-time capacity (you will NOT be able to pay the rent in the beginning). In my experience, only the best of the best, or roughly 10% (a generous estimate) of estheticians are ever able to do esthetics as a full time living. With that said, YES, it is possible to be very, very successful; however, it takes a long time, hard work, a willingness to be as diversified in the treatments that you offer as possible, and the correct working environment. I did it, and I have done extremely well. Currently, I own my own practice and I am booked to near capacity approximately six weeks in advance...BUT it was HARD to do! I hope that this advice from a veteran Esthetician is helpful.

Thanks for this great answer. Are there any schools in particular that you'd recommend? I've been looking at Aveda or Paul Mitchell. I've read conflicting things on spending a lot of money at those institutes vs. attending community college.

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HP in Austin, Texas

17 months ago

Jeff B in Dallas, Texas said: Someone on another board stated that they were considering being an esty and working for a dermatologist. They are in Dallas. So, I went on the states website and did a little nimber crunching. In the Dallas and Tarrant countys (which make up for Dallas and Ft. Worth) there are presently 4,679 licensed estys. (Dallas = 2,761 Ft. Worth = 1,918). Then a search of the Texas Medical Board shows the number of dermatologists in these countys Dallas = 108 Ft. Worth = 60.

So there are 4,679 licensed estys and 168 dermatologists.

Hi Jeff! I've seen a lot of your posts in these types of forums. Is there any chance that I could email you? I'm currently researching esthetician schools in the Austin, TX area (Aveda, Avenue Five, Paul Mitchell) and you seem quite knowledgeable in the subject. I'm wondering if it's worth spending more money at these big-name places, and which if any you would recommend. Thank you in advance! I keep reading so many conflicting things.

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landieskincare in Chicago, Illinois

16 months ago

My sister became a licensed esty in 2009 and I have watched her struggle with finding stable work. I was always interested in being a esty, but hesitant (wanted to make sure i was doing it for the right reasons). I decided to attend UofA and I just completed school on June 21, 2013. I already have a BFA in Graphic Design.

I am married and we do okay financially. But i am nervous to leave my Corporate America job to start at the bottom of a new industry. I'd like to own my little room doing services and try to grow that into a full salon/spa. Because I missed the cutoff to submit my paperwork for the state licensing exam, and cannot commute to Springfield, I wont get to take my exam until December, which makes me sad because I'd love to rent a room and start doing services on nights and weekends while keeping my day job. All the places I have applied to work for either say "Call us back when your licensed" or want me to have weekday daytime availability (which i dont because i work a cubicle, corporate job that is strangling me to death. I have been a receptionist at a salon before so I have a little experience with a salon/spa atmosphere.

I have been reading these boards during the entire time I've been in school and I really appreciate all the advice you guys have given us Newbies. Can anyone offer me any advice on how i should proceed with my new career? Im desperate to get out of this cubicle job, but I cant be homeless in the process.

Any and All advise is appreciated! =)

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psn in Dayton, Ohio

16 months ago

dre517 in Chicago, Illinois said: It drives me crazy when people complain about not getting paid enough for doing this job. I own a day spa and have been an esthetician for 10 years. I pay my estheticians minimum plus a tiered commission on services and retail. Simply put: if you want to make more money you have to do more work. My esthetician average about $20/ hr with tips (not counting cash gratuities). They are both on the second of 4 tiers for service commission and the 1st of 4 tiers for retail. Why should I pay an esthetician more money if they are not willing to show me that they are willing to work for it? Esthetics is a sales field. You sell yourself, products and services and if you are not willing to do that then you won't be successful. (BTW - I am still in the room and get paid by the exact same commission structure as my other therapists). I have come across too many new and experienced estheticians that think the I need to bring them the client and should pay them top dollar to keep them there. As a spa owner, I take care of the advertising costs, rent, product costs, payroll costs, taxes etc. The majority of my cost is my estheticians. I will pay you minimum wage to come in and be available, call or email your clients etc, but many estys don't want to do that. They figure why come in if I don't have anyone on the books? I will tell you when I started out I spent many hours getting paid zero, waiting for someone to come in, helping other customers that were wondering around the retail area, doing complimentary makeup touch ups, just to market myself. This economy is tough, but you can't expect to get paid for nothing!

So what would you pay an esthetician that is on commission only for services and retail sales

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