While it typically takes about two years to become a licensed cosmetologist, it's possible to get an aesthetics license in much less time. That's because aesthetics is just one specialization under the umbrella of cosmetology, which also includes such professions as nail technology and hair styling.
Aesthetics Licensing Prereqs
With the exception of Connecticut and Florida, all states require skin care specialists to get an aesthetics license. And in order to get an aesthetics license, you must complete aesthetics training. Typically, you'll need to be at least 16 years old to enroll in an aesthetician school. But don't think an aesthetics career is just for teens according to Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP), a national organization devoted to professionally supporting and insuring skin care professionals, the average age of aestheticians is 41.
Aesthetics Training Hours
Twenty-nine states require aspiring aestheticians to complete a program that consists of at least 600 hours of training. According to ASCP, about 80 percent of aestheticians have graduated with 600 hours or more of training, though some states require as few as 300 hours or as many as 1,500 hours. There is no specific licensing for aestheticians in Florida, but you must complete at least 260 hours of training to become a registered facial specialist. And in order to become an aesthetician in Connecticut, you must get a cosmetology license, which requires 1,500 hours of training. Before you begin your aesthetics training, be sure to contact your state board of cosmetology to determine the exact aesthetics licensing requirements where you live.
Time to Aesthetics Training Completion
Aesthetics training can usually be completed in a full-time, six-month diploma or certificate program.
If your state requires more than 600 training hours, it could take up to a year or two years to get an aesthetics license.
You can also pursue aesthetics training beyond a basic license. In Utah and Virginia, after you complete 600 hours of training, you may pursue an additional 600 hours to earn a master aesthetician license, which allows you to perform such advanced treatments as manual lymphatic drainage, ultrasonic exfoliation treatment, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and more.
Final Steps to Aesthetics Licensing
Once you complete your aesthetics training program, you must take written and practical state licensing exams. Thirty-six states and Washington, D.C., use National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology tests for licensing.
To determine how long it will take to get an aesthetics license in your state after you complete your training, factor in the time it will take to apply for a license, have your education credentials approved, take and pass state licensing exams, and get a license in your hands all of which could take a few months to a year, depending on your particular state.
Wherever you live, the path to aesthetics licensing is smooth, clear, and bright.
State-by-State Breakdown of Aesthetics Training Requirements:
Utah (master aesthetician license)
Virginia (master aesthetician license)
District of Columbia
Utah (basic aesthetician license)
Virginia (basic aesthetician license)
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