Esthetician Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: August 22, 2022

Estheticians, or Aestheticians, are skincare experts who provide beautification services to clients to improve the look and feel of their skin and facial features. Their duties include consulting with clients to select an appropriate treatment, preparing a sanitary environment before a procedure and offering treatments such as facials, extractions, microdermabrasian, chemical peels and waxing.

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Esthetician Duties and Responsibilities

Estheticians use cosmetic training to improve the skincare of their customers. A few examples of the most common responsibilities of an esthetician might be to:

  • Evaluate a customer’s skin condition and offer recommendations for treatments
  • Recommend skincare products to customers, including lotions, facial washes and moisturizers
  • Wax or pluck unwanted hair
  • Complete facials with the intention of moisturizing and cleaning
  • Maintain beauty and skincare tools
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What does an Esthetician do?

Estheticians are typically employed at spas and salons, although some Estheticians work at a Dermatologist’s office to provide non-medical skin treatments and beautifying procedures to help clients feel better about their appearance or achieve a particular look. Estheticians use their knowledge of skin conditions to properly moisturize and exfoliate a client’s skin before applying carefully selected creams, gels and other treatments. Estheticians offer relaxation services like facial massage for clients who want to be pampered. They can use natural ingredients, chemicals and specialized machinery to accomplish treatments, give aftercare instructions and recommend products to their clients after a service.

Esthetician Skills and Qualifications

There are a few skills that will assist an esthetician in their role, including:

  • Communication: Estheticians will recommend certain skincare treatments, products and procedures based on the needs of the customer. Strong communication skills are important to understand these needs. Nonverbal communication skills will assist the esthetician in understanding when the customer is uncomfortable during a treatment or service.
  • Problem-solving: Customers will often turn to an esthetician to solve their skincare problems. Whether they are dealing with dry skin or facial hair, it is the role of the esthetician to find a solution to their problem.
  • Time management: Estheticians often see multiple clients in one day and sticking to a schedule is important. The ability to organize and monitor time is necessary to meet customer needs, especially when dealing with strict time requirements.
  • Sales: Sales skills can assist an esthetician in succeeding in their role. It is often the responsibility of both the health club and the esthetician to bring in additional customers for skincare services and sometimes to sell products as well.

Esthetician Salary Expectations

An esthetician can expect an average salary of $20.30 per hour. Some esthetician salaries will range between $7.25 – $55.62 per hour depending on geographical location, type of work environment, and level of experience. Estheticians who work in an upscale health club and have extensive experience in skincare services will often earn more than an entry-level esthetician who works in a small salon. Salons that are located in an area with a higher median average salary tend to have customers who are willing to pay more for skincare services. The number of estheticians in relation to the number of customers can also make a difference in pay amount. Additionally, the more skilled that an esthetician is at their service, the more their customers are willing to pay them.

Esthetician Training and Requirements

Most companies require an esthetician to complete a state-approved cosmetology or esthetician program before working with customers. In this program, aspiring estheticians will receive course and clinical training in skincare techniques. Students are required to complete a certain number of field trainings, often under the supervision of a licensed esthetician. After the completion of the esthetician program, students are expected to study for and successfully pass an exam. Successful completion of the exam will lead to a state license. The specific requirements of clinical hours and required training will vary from state to state. Some estheticians will choose to continue education to increase the number of services that they are allowed to offer as an esthetician or cosmetologist.

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Frequently asked questions about Estheticians


What is the difference between an Esthetician and a Cosmetologist?

Estheticians and Cosmetologists are both professional beauty experts, but Cosmetologists work on a range of beauty subjects while Estheticians focus on the skin. Cosmetologists have some basic training in esthetics but need to undergo additional licensing and training after getting their cosmetology license to be able to perform many types of skin therapy. Cosmetologists focus more on using makeup to create a look while Estheticians treat the skin itself. Estheticians do not study hair and nail care like Cosmetologists, but are able to get licensed to do intensive skin treatments such as permanent tattooed makeup, microblading, Botox and light therapy.


What are the characteristics of a good Esthetician?

A good Esthetician has a mix of creative and technical characteristics. They should be artistic enough to envision the result of their treatments and achieve a certain look, while also understanding what combination of tools and chemicals will help them accomplish that goal. Great Estheticians are natural conversationalists who can read a client’s body language to determine whether they want to relax in silence or talk and be entertained during a treatment.


What should you look for on an Esthetician's resume?

An Esthetician’s resume should clearly display their relevant certifications to show that they are licensed to perform the specific services you want them to offer at your business. Their resume should reflect experience working directly with clients and following specific treatment procedures. If you are hiring an Esthetician who has recently graduated from their educational program, look for customer service experience and strong interpersonal skills. Alongside their resume, an Esthetician might submit a portfolio of their previous work including before and after pictures of a client’s treatment.


What are the types of Esthetican?

There are several different specialties Estheticians can pursue: Skin Care Technician, Medical Esthetician, Spa Therapist and Waxing Specialist. They offer different services based on their specialty. For example, Spa Therapists offer body wraps, facial scrubs and aromatherapy while Medical Estheticans consult on skincare alongside a Doctor’s medical treatment plan. Some Estheticians decide to specialize further, for example only offering facials or permanent makeup services. Most of these specialties come with their own coursework and certification process.

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