How Much Is an Aesthetician's Income?
An aesthetician's income may be low at the entry level, but those with more experience can command a higher salary. Other factors, such as professional training, the location and size of the salon, and the aesthetician's ability to attract and keep regular clients play a role in determining total income. Some salons also offer health benefits and paid vacation time for full-time employees. Read on to find out how much you can expect to make as an aesthetician.
Aesthetician Income: Facts and Figures
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, median hourly aesthetician wages in 2009, including tips, were $13.74 ($28,580 annually). The bottom 10 percent of aestheticians earned $7.84 per hour ($16,310 per year); the top 10 percent earned $24.76 per hour ($51,490 per year).
Top-paying industries for aestheticians:
- Hospitals: $19.19 hourly ($39,910 annually)
- Physician's offices: $18.28 hourly ($38,020 annually)
- Offices of other health practitioners (e.g., chiropractors, optometrists, mental health practitioners, physical therapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, audiologists): $17.94 hourly ($37,320 annually)
- Amusement and recreation industries (e.g., country clubs, fitness centers): $17.87 hourly ($37,180 annually)
Top-paying states for aestheticians:
- Washington: $18.58 hourly ($38,650 annually)
- Colorado: $18.43 hourly ($38,340 annually
- California: $18.22 hourly ($37,900 annually)
- Kansas: $17.96 hourly ($37,350 annually)
- Maine: $17.69 hourly ($36,790 annually)
In order to calculate true income, you must deduct the expenses involved in becoming an aesthetician. Tuition costs for aesthetician schools vary according to program length as well as the particular school and location you choose. Most states require 600 hours of aesthetician training, which may be completed in about six months of full-time study. But your state may require anywhere from 300 to 1,000 training hours to become an aesthetician; a master aesthetician license requires 1,200 hours of training. Accredited aesthetician schools may be eligible to offer federal financial aid.
Of course, the longer the aesthetician program, the more expensive it will be. On the other hand, the more extensive your education, the greater your career prospects, which can boost your aesthetician income prospects. Before you choose an aesthetician school, contact your state's cosmetology licensing board to determine its particular training requirements.
Once you finish aesthetician school, you'll need to apply for a state license. Licensing fees vary by state, averaging about $100. Most states use written and practical licensing exams offered by the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology; these tests cost $15 each. Plus, in most states, you'll need to complete continuing education hours each year to maintain your aesthetician license. These hours cost about the same as entry-level aesthetician courses do. Many states also require you to pay a fee to renew your license.
With professional training and plenty of experience, your aesthetician income could exceed your expectations.