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How to Choose an Esthetician School

It's official: skin care is the career for you. And as much as you may already know about esthetics, it's essential that you obtain formal training before you offer services to clients. Esthetician schools are the place to make that happen. But how do you begin the process of choosing between the myriad of esthetician programs available? Use this checklist as a guide.

Find your state licensing board.
There's no point in going to esthetician school and then finding out your training won't qualify you to become a licensed esthetician. Before you start looking for esthetician schools, log on to your state licensing board Web site to determine your specific training and licensing requirements. Then you can narrow down your list to the esthetician programs that meet your state's criteria.

Talk to people in the biz.
When you meet licensed estheticians, find out where they went to school and whether they recommend the program. Word of mouth is often a reliable indicator of the kinds of experiences esthetician schools offer. Also, when you find a spa where you'd like to work, ask which esthetician schools they like to hire from. In the beauty biz, image is everything.

Gather information online.
Now that you have a list of esthetician programs that meet your state's licensing requirements and that have a good reputation with local spas, it's time to compare schools online. Note each school's curriculum and philosophy, program length, faculty credentials, specialized equipment, cost, financial aid offerings, career placement services, continuing education offerings, etc. Then request more information from the schools that are still looking good to you.

Get on the phone.
At this point, make some calls to the esthetician schools on your list to get the contact information of a few alumni. Reputable schools will be glad to give you this information. Talk with graduates to get their perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of the school. Find out where they're working, how long it took them to get a job, and what kind of money you can expect to make when you're in their shoes.

Pay 'em a visit.
The limitation of chatting with alumni is that they have been handpicked by the esthetician school to paint the program in a positive light. Now you need to visit the school so you can see the facilities and the community for yourself, without filters. Sit in on a class, talk with professors, and be sure to catch students in between classes to gauge their attitude toward the program. Can you envision yourself as part of the student population?

Finally, it's time to make a decision. Choose the esthetician school that feels right to you, and get ready to begin an in-demand skin care career.

Disclaimer: This site is not connected with any government agency or the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid office. If you would like to find more information about government funding please visit: http://www.studentaid.ed.gov