Estheticians are experts in skin care and rejuvenation. Their primary tasks include clearing acne, hiding blemishes and scars, applying temporary and permanent makeup and performing spa procedures such as microdermabrasion. To become adept at using the various equipment and tools available in spas, medical and wellness centers, estheticians enroll in training programs to obtain certification and licensing in esthetics. Professionals who wish to go beyond the training required for entry-level estheticians pursue master esthetician training.
Common courses in master esthetics programs include lip and eye treatments, specialty mask treatments, skin analysis and consultation, and lash and brow services. Students are taught the latest hair removal techniques, including tweezing, waxing, threading and chemical hair removal. Spa management skills are also included in master esthetics programs. For example, students learn the proper method for booking appointments, managing inventory and selling retail products. Other curriculum topics delve into advanced skin care and medical esthetics such as laser technology, botox, lymph drainage, product chemistry and facial peels.
The time frame for master esthetician programs is typically 600 hours or approximately one academic year. Some schools offer busy students flex schedule programs, where classes can be taken for 16 hours per week. However, programs on flex schedules typically take longer and last up to 18 months or more. It is also common for master esthetician training to incorporate basic esthetician training for students with little to no previous instruction in esthetics. Esthetics mastery programs with a basic esthetics component usually include a total 1,200 hours of education.
In addition to completing a high school diploma or general education development certificate, master esthetician programs require that participants complete former training in basic esthetics before entering a master esthetics program. Some states also require that participants be beyond the age of compulsory secondary school attendance. Incoming transfer students must present official documentation showing completed coursework to receive credit toward their master esthetician program, or sit for an exam to demonstrate their competency level. Some master esthetician programs require students to maintain at least a C grade average, attend at least 75 percent of their classes and pass an exit interview prior to graduation.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics “Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition” states that skin care specialists, which include master estheticians, will increase by 38 percent until 2018. One of the main trends driving employment growth is the increasing popularity of skin care treatments for stress relief and medical purposes. Professionals with master esthetician training should experience positive job prospects, as the BLS predicts opportunities will be best for workers with formal training and licensing. Experienced estheticians will also be needed to replace workers who transition to other industries.