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The Requirements to Become an Esthetician in California

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An esthetician must have a state license to provide professional skin care services, such as microdermabrasion and facials, to customers in California.The Business and Professions Code of California governs basic requirements for state licenses. The California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology sets additional specific rules for estheticians and issues the licenses.

License Application

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To get an esthetician's license in California, you must complete an application to the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. California allows estheticians to apply for their initial license online, as well as to apply online for license renewal. Application fees are payable by credit card.

Age and Education

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Applicants for a California esthetician license must be 17 years of age or older. In addition, applicants must complete the 10th grade in a California public school, or an equivalent educational level.

Skin Care Training

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Skin care training is required for esthetician applicants in California. To qualify, applicants must meet one of three training criteria. A 600-hour skin care course in an approved school qualifies applicants for an esthetician's license, as does the completion of an approved apprenticeship program. Practicing skin care outside of California for at least 18 months will also qualify the applicant for a California license.

Reasons for License Denial

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Section 480 of the California Business and Professions Code sets out reasons for denial of any professional license application. The Board of Barbering and Cosmetology may deny a professional esthetician's license based on the standards set in section 480. For example, applicants who have been convicted of a crime may be denied licenses. Fraudulent or dishonest activities, particularly activities that would result in suspension of an active license, can also result in the denial of an application.


Vee Enne is a U.S. Military Veteran who has been writing professionally since 1993. She writes for Demand Studios in many categories, but prefers health and computer topics. Enne has an associate's degree in information systems, and a bachelor's degree in information technology (IT) from Golden Gate University.

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