Growth Trends for Related Jobs

Esthetician Requirements in Pennsylvania

careertrend article image
Hero Images/Hero Images/GettyImages

Anyone who professionally massages or applies product to the face, temporarily removes hair or performs eyelash perming or dyeing must have an esthetics license issued by the Pennsylvania Board of Cosmetology. The Board implements and enforces laws that protect the public health and the professionalism of the practice of esthetics, also knows as skincare.


Before practicing as an esthetician in the state of Pennsylvania, you must complete 300 hours of training in a licensed esthetics program. To enter the program, you must have a 10th grade education. Applicants who are over 35 years of age or veterans have exemption from the education requirement. The state recommends to esthetics programs how many hours it should spend educating students on each aspect of esthetics. A well-rounded curriculum includes 40 hours in professional practices, 100 in sciences, 100 in facial treatments, 10 in temporary makeup removal and 50 hours in makeup. Consider schooling in cosmetology as an alternative, since it encompasses the practice of esthetics along with hairstyling and nail technology.

Examination and Licensing

After meeting the requirement for education, you must take the Pennsylvania examination for esthetics licensing, which includes testing in esthetics theory and a practical examination. The state issues a temporary license allowing you to work under a licensed esthetician or cosmetologist while you wait to take the exam. It cost $149 to apply for the exam and license, as of 2010. Once you receive the license, you must display it in a conspicuous area in the salon. Renew it every January 31st of odd-numbered years by sending the appropriate fee to the state cosmetology board.

If you already hold an esthetics license in another state and have two years of working experience and an esthetician, you can become licensed by reciprocity. As an exception, estheticians from Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Utah must take and pass the state exam to practice esthetics in Pennsylvania.


In Pennsylvania, possession of an esthetics license limits you to perform treatments on the face. Unlike some state, you may not perform body treatments such as scrubs or wraps under the scope of your license. Pennsylvania also does not permit estheticians to perform any kind of laser services, whether on the face or body. Trained medical personnel must perform these treatments.

Required Equipment

To practice esthetics in Pennsylvania, you must have certain implements and access to certain equipment in the salon. Law requires that your work station have an adjustable chair and mirror, a first aid kit, container for waste, separate containers for clean and soiled linen, a timer, a closed container to store sterilized implements, and access to a sink with hot and cold running water.


Nicole Whitney started freelance writing in 2008, with articles published on various websites. She has worked as a spa therapist and consultant. She participates in a volunteer program and writes on subjects related to the beauty industry. She graduated from the International School of Skin, Nails and Massage in Atlanta.

Photo Credits

Hero Images/Hero Images/GettyImages