To become an esthetician, you must complete the required training and pass a state licensing exam. While many estheticians attend live classes, there are online schools to complete the coursework as well. Online programs generally alter the class material to meet specific state requirements. Confirm with any online vendor and state licensing board that the class meets the objectives for your state of residence.
Type of Licensing Estheticians Needs
The esthetician license falls under the barbering and cosmetology licensing requirements in most states. In California, the oversight body is the California Department of Consumer Affairs Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. An esthetician specializes in skin care, helping clients achieve better skin tone and texture through various treatments and applications. Similar online certifications include courses for makeup artists.
Estheticians need anywhere from 250 to 1,200 hours of classroom training. This varies from state to state, with an average of 600 hours. If you plan on transferring your license to a new state and didn't meet that state's requirement, you will need to take more classes.
Many estheticians are independent contractors at salons or massage studios, running their own business. The classes cover a range of topics an esthetician needs to properly conduct her business, and typically include body systems, diseases, business, law and sanitation. Once all mandatory class hours are completed, the esthetician may be required to have an internship at a salon under the mentorship of an experienced practitioner. Once this requirement is completed, she must sit for the board certification test.
Board Certification Test
The board certification test is held at a proctored test center and is not available online. California has two permanent test centers, one in northern and one in southern California, and several alternating testing centers throughout the state.
There are two parts to the board examination, both held on the same day. The first is the written examination. The second is a practical examination. Written exams include 100 test questions that must be completed in 120 minutes. After a 15-minute break, the practical exam is performed; you have up to 90 minutes to complete this section.
Fees vary from state to state. Ask whether your state also requires continuing education annually to maintain your esthetician license.