An esthetician analyzes clients’ skin care needs and provides non-surgical skin care treatments such as facials, chemical peels and body wraps. The salary of an esthetician varies based on factors such as experience, education, industry and location. A significant portion of the total compensation for this position is typically based on commission and tips so those individuals who work to build their clientele should see their wages increase concurrently.
The mean annual salary for an esthetician was $34,000 as of December 2010, according to Indeed. The national median wage for this position is $28,580 per year or $13.74 per hour, which includes gratuities and commission. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the lowest 10 percent of workers in this field earned approximately $8 per hour and the highest 10 percent earned more than $25 per hour.
Highest Paying States
Washington offers the highest pay for estheticians with an annual mean wage of $38,650, as of May 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Other states that offer high pay for this occupation are Colorado, $38,340; California, $37,900; Kansas, $37,350; and Maine, $36,790.
Top Paying Industries
The industry that offers the highest pay for estheticians is the general medical and surgical hospitals industry with an annual mean wage of $39,910, as of May 2009, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Other industries that offer high pay for this occupation are offices of physicians, $38,020; offices of other health practitioners, $37,320 and amusement and recreation industries, $37,180.
Qualifications vary by state, but general requirements to become an esthetician include successful completion of a formal esthetics program and a passing score on the state licensing examination. A high school diploma or GED is required for admission to this program.
There were approximately 38,800 estheticians employed in 2008 in the United States. Employment in this field is projected to increase 38 percent by 2018, bringing the total number of esthetics jobs to 53,500.