Estheticians specialize in skin care, and they work in a variety of settings. Estheticians consult with clients on skin care needs, provide facials, apply makeup, perform temporary hair removal and sell skin care products. An esthetician's salary in Pennsylvania typically is much lower than nationwide figures for this occupation.
The Pennsylvania State Board of Cosmetology defines the profession of esthetician to include the practices of facial massage and application of cosmetics, antiseptics, tonics, creams and lotions to the face. Estheticians also remove hair with depilatories and wax, perm and dye eyelashes and dye eyebrows. The state of Pennsylvania requires licensing for estheticians, which involves completing 300 hours of approved training and passing an exam administered by the board.
Of the estimated 28,210 wage-and-salary estheticians working in the United States in 2009, about 1,550 of them were employed in Pennsylvania, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bureau does not include self-employed estheticians in its salary data. The average salary for these workers in Pennsylvania was $11 per hour, or $22,890 per year. The nationwide average was nearly 30 percent higher, at $15.38 per hour.
The middle 50 percent of estheticians on the earnings scale in Pennsylvania in 2009 were making $8.31 to $11.95 per hour. The bottom 10 percent had pay rates of $7.54 and less, and the top 10 percent were making $15.49 and higher.
The highest-paying area in Pennsylvania for estheticians in 2009 was the greater Philadelphia metropolitan area, including parts of New Jersey and Delaware. The average pay there was $13.15 per hour. Average salaries were lower in Philadelphia and the immediate vicinity, at $11.97 per hour. Estheticians in Lancaster had an average pay rate of $10.28 per hour, in Pittsburgh $10.71, in the Allentown-Bethlehem area $12.29 and in the Harrisburg-Carlisle area $12.72.
Jobs for estheticians in Pennsylvania are available in 2011 in country clubs, hotels, resorts, salons, spas and massage therapy clinics, as indicated by job listings at Indeed.com. Many of the positions are part-time. Examples of benefits for full-time estheticians include health and dental insurance, disability and life insurance, a 401(k) retirement plan, paid vacation and personal days, and ongoing education opportunities.