Estheticians, or skin care specialists, work to improve and maintain the texture and condition of their clients' skin, which is the largest organ of the human body. While most work in a spa or salon setting, some also work in doctor's offices. From facials and microdermabrasion techniques to skin peels and hair removal, estheticians must become masters of their craft, as they deal with what is arguably the most sensitive part of a person's body.
Like many occupations that pay their workers by the hour, estheticians' yearly salaries can be a bit hard to pinpoint. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that skin care specialists made a median hourly wage of $15.42 (including tips) in 2011. However, the subject of salary, whether hourly or yearly, really depends on how much an esthetician works each week. While working in a salon as a skin care specialist is anything but a regular 9-to-5 office job, it is possible to have a regular work schedule. Since many salons are open six or even seven days a week, professional estheticians do have a chance to establish a regular schedule of work, provided that they can prove their competency. Superior estheticians will always be in demand, and their hourly rates are more likely to grow.
Once you get your license as an esthetician, you can find gainful employment in a variety of settings, ranging from spas to doctor's offices, especially if you choose to focus on treatments like laser hair removal or electrolysis. In addition to learning skin care treatments and procedures during an esthetics program, one will also learn the proper hygiene that is needed to keep delicate skin healthy and protected from any type of bacteria. That is why estheticians and other personal care workers must keep all instruments and client care service areas clean and free of germs at all times.
Like many occupations in the beauty and style industry, how much you get paid per year as an esthetician also depends on your clientele. If you work at the day spa in your town, you can expect to make a salary similar to that reported by the BLS. But if you put that day spa in a part of town that attracts very exclusive clientele, like A-list celebrities, and you can expect a bump in payas long as you have the experience and talent that will prove yourself worthy of it. Many estheticians who find success as a staff member of a spa will often move on to open their own business, though a sound understanding of business and marketing tactics will be needed to make one's own endeavor a success.
And of course, if your skin care skills are so legendary that they have caught the attention of an A-list celebrity who is willing to fly you anywhere and everywhere around the world, well, then you can pretty much write your own paycheck as an esthetician.