Beauty schools in New York City are a dime a dozen. Picking one is hard, not all of them offer the same training.
An Esthetician is an independent professional responsible for their clients’ skin care. They work on clients through facials, body treatments, and other procedures. They are often found in skin care salons or medical spas. Estheticians focus their services on the face, but may also provide services for the body.
They give tailored advice on skin care, products, and regimens.
Becoming an esthetician requires 500 to 2000 hours of practical training. Estheticians are certified through a program that includes both academic and hands-on instruction, supervised clinical experience, and written examinations covering topics like anatomy/physiology, chemistry, skin care product applications techniques (i.e., facials), color matching for cosmetics application, client consultation skills and business management.
And that’s why picking the right school is crucial for a prosperous career as an esthetician.
In this article, we will discuss which esthetician schools offer the best education and what you can expect to learn while studying there.
Picking the Right Esthetician School
When picking an esthetician school, it is important to consider the last step of the training – supervised practice. This is because you might not receive enough hands-on experience in a short program that only takes 800 hours.
Your Experience Level and Goals
You may have had some experience with skin care treatments and consider yourself knowledgeable enough, or even be working as makeup artist/esthetician already – which makes it easier for you to decide on how much more you need to learn. That’s why it is important to consider your career goals, the time and money you’re willing to invest in yourself as well as how much hands-on experience do you really want/need – before deciding on a school that can meet those requirements for your esthetician education.
Some estheticians are independent and run their own businesses or work as mobile estheticians (i.e., at clients’ homes). Depending on the state, they may also be able to do laser treatments/chemical peels in addition to waxing or body wraps.
The average salary for an esthetician is $28,610 per year. This means that the salary range can vary depending on your experience and employer (i.e., salon vs spa or independent esthetician).
Estheticians in New York City earn a median wage of 33k/year while those who work at spas make around 34k/year. In addition, estheticians who work in the suburbs of NYC make even more.
But there are estheticians with business acumen who break into a 6-figure salary. These are the people who strike on their own and differentiate themselves.
It’s always best to pick a school near you, possibly within 10 miles of your home. You will have to commute and reach the school to access the training facilities. This is a field where real-world experience easily beats theoretical knowledge.
Make your experience as easy as possible by picking a school near you. We included each school’s location in our list to simplify your choice.
NYC has a few accredited schools that offer both day/evening classes and weekend courses for those wanting to get their certification and start working faster. Working professionals can also opt for evening programs, which are usually flexible with schedules and don’t require students to quit their jobs.
NYC esthetician schools usually offer a variety of programs for you to choose from: certificate (i.e., 800 hours), diploma, associate or bachelor’s degree besides master’s degrees that can be completed online or through weekend/evening classes. While some courses are standard (i.e., anatomy, physiology), others focus on different aspects of esthetics like skincare products and sales or working with special populations.
Some programs also offer externships where you can practice the skills/techniques that you learn in class while receiving feedback from your instructors and a chance to network with other students in the program.
Esthetics is one of those fields where real world experience is way more important than theory. Every school we picked will give you several hundred hours of practice in real-world facilities. You’ll not only learn how to apply your knowledge, but also how to deal with actual clients.
Estheticians have one of the highest employment rates among other occupations in the US.
The occupation outlook for estheticians is said to grow by 30% between now and 2026, so there will be plenty of job opportunities available as well as chances to advance within your career or switch jobs/specialties with ease.
The Requirements to Become an Esthetician
To work as an esthetician, you must be licensed by passing both a written and practical exam administered by your state board of cosmetology. In addition, many customers require that their skin care professionals have training beyond simply being licensed (i.e., esthetician certification) – and getting that can be done by completing a specialized program with hands-on experience besides passing an exam.
Most NYC schools offer certificate, diploma or degree programs for those who want to become licensed skin care professionals. The required courses/programs differ from school to school but they usually include:
- Chemical peels/laser treatments
- Skincare product knowledge
Some esthetician schools also offer externships where students can practice what they learned in class and receive feedback from their instructors and a chance to network with other classmates. This is especially important for those who are working professionals because they can usually find externships that are flexible with schedules and don’t require students to quit their jobs.
If you want to get your esthetician certification, the best way is through a specialized program where you will learn both theory and practical skills. Some programs may offer weekend courses while others have evening classes – so check the requirements for your state before applying. Also, some programs may have limited enrollment, so certain times of the year are more competitive than others.
The 8 Best Esthetician Schools in NYC
Interested in becoming an esthetician? Your path starts with picking the right school.
That’s why we compiled a list of the best ones in NYC.
You can’t go wrong with choosing either of the schools on this list. You’ll become an accredited professional ready to enter the workforce.
Warning: If you are interested in studying at a NYC esthetician school, please keep in mind that application deadlines may be earlier than for other schools and programs (e.g., January) so apply as soon as possible! Also, some courses/programs have limited enrollment, so certain times of the year are more competitive than others.
- Location: 233 Spring St, New York, NY 10013
- Tuition: $17,395
Aveda Institute of Arts and Sciences is an esthetician school in New York City. It was established in 1998. It offers instruction in chemical peels/laser treatments, skincare product knowledge, and makeup application, among other courses.
The school’s practical training courses include a one-day skincare and makeup course, an eight-hour laser treatment certification course, and a six-hour brow/lash tinting workshop.
You can also learn makeup application, among other courses. Students are required to have a background in science. This school provides instruction in chemical peels/laser treatments, skincare product knowledge, and makeup application, among other courses. The school’s practical training courses include a one-day workshop on skincare and makeup application, an eight-hour laser treatment certification course, and a six-hour brow/lash tinting workshop.
Aveda Institute of Arts and Sciences does not have any information listed on their website about externships but it is likely that they offer them.
- Location: 226 W 26th St Fl 7 New York, NY 10001
- Tuition: $8,700
Atelier Esthetique is a beauty school in New York City that teaches cosmetology, esthetics and nail care. This school has an excellent reputation and provides one-on-one training with experienced instructors. The program also includes 700 hours of hands-on job training and practice, so you’ll be ready to work as an esthetician right out of school.
The school offers programs in esthetics, manicuring and waxing – all of which are taught in small groups. You can become a licensed NYC esthetician in as little as 14 weeks.
The school’s esthetics program offers courses in makeup, micro-dermabrasion and skin analysis. Besides the classroom training, you will also receive clinical experience from externship opportunities, where you’ll receive feedback from instructors and networking with other classmates.
The school is accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS) and has been in operation since 2009.
There are other schools that offer esthetician programs, including Fashion Institute of Technology – but they may not be as well-known or
- Location: 22 W 34th St New York, NY 10001
- Tuition: $16,200
Empire Beauty Schools is a beauty school that has been educating students since 1903.
Most of the Empire Beauty School’s programs are state-approved and nationally accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS). If you’re looking for esthetician training, this is a great place to start.
You will learn skills such as skin analysis and treatment, makeup application and more, all under the supervision of experienced instructors. The esthetician program includes courses in skin treatments, microdermabrasion and professional facials.
Empire also offers the option to take the BSN (Board Specialist) certification exam, so even before graduating from beauty school, you’ll be eligible to take the test that will allow you to practice as an esthetician in any state.
The school is accredited by National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS).
- Location: 187 New Dorp LN, Staten Island, NY 10306
- Tuition: $17,184
The Paul Mitchell Beauty College is a beauty school that offers esthetics training. They have been in operation since 2009- providing well-rounded education in various fields related to the beauty industry.
Besides being accredited by National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS), they are also recognized by the NYC Department of Education.
Besides their esthetics training, PSNC offers classes in professional skin care treatments, make-up artistry and hairstyling. You can take as many courses as you want, as long as they relate to the beauty industry. There are also opportunities for students to build an international portfolio by completing an internship abroad.
- Location: 239 Central Ave #3rd, White Plains, NY 10606, Stati Uniti
- Tuition: $9,935
The New York School of Esthetics and Spa Therapeutics is a beauty school that offers esthetics training. They have been in operation since 2009- providing well-rounded education in various fields related to the beauty industry. In addition to being accredited by National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS), they are also recognized by the NYC Department of Education.
One of the fundamental things that separates NYSEST from other esthetician schools is the number of courses they offer. They offer over 20 different esthetics courses. It’s the youngest school on this list, so it’s by all means a very modern school.
Besides their esthetics training, NYSEST offers massage therapy courses that are recognized by the American Massage Therapy Association. You can take as many of these classes as you want and can be certified in various techniques, including deep tissue, sports, prenatal and more.
NYSEST is accredited by National Accrediting Commission (NACCAS).
- Location: 29 W 36th St 2nd floor, New York, NY 10018
- Tuition: $12,600
Brittany Beauty Academy is one of the many beauty schools located in the city, and it has been operating since 1985. The school offers a variety of esthetician courses that range from 200 hours to 600 hours.
The courses offered by the Brittany Beauty Academy range in length. Some of them are two-year courses that take 200 hours of training, while some go considerably longer and take 600 hours of training.
Whatever you want to study in the field of esthetics, Brittany Beauty Academy has got you covered. With over 20 courses ranging from eyebrow waxing to microdermabrasion, there’s something for everyone.
The school is accredited by Council on Occupational Education (COE) and National Accrediting Commission Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS).
Types of Esthetician Schools
There are many paths to becoming an Esthetician. Below are the different schools, each with their own pros and cons.
The Board of Professional Estheticians recommends estheticians to take at least 500 hours of hands-on training at a vocational school or college program, plus 20 hours in classroom study (allowing for up to 2000 total hours). You must also pass the exam given by the board.
Most of these schools are registered with the Department of Education but do not require any formal high school diploma or GED. They also don’t require any prior experience in the industry (although it is strongly recommended).
You can find out if a school has accreditation through the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) website.
Private Beauty Schools
Private Beauty Schools offer intensive programs you can complete in less than a year. The downside is that these schools often charge more money, don’t give credits for certifications outside of the institution (i.e., AMA, AAM), and do not allow students to work during their studies.
You will learn about skin and body treatments, skincare products, how to tell a client’s skin type from their appearance (i.e., dry skin), basic chemistry and microbiology of beauty products, and first aid practices. The course also includes salon customer service protocols like making appointments, salon rules, and keeping the facility clean.
Coursework is hands-on with lectures on molecular structure of skincare products (i.e., how it penetrates into your skin) covering topics like sanitary procedures for waxing, chemicals in cosmetic ingredients, microbiology of beauty treatments or putting together kits for facials/body wraps.
It will also cover how to give a facial, proper pressure points during treatments as well as what you need to know about the different types of facials (i.e., anti-aging). Other topics include skincare product ingredients and their effects on the skin plus chemical exfoliation techniques like peels and scrubs.
Public Esthetician Schools
Public esthetician Schools in NYC offer shorter programs at a lower cost. They also tend to have smaller class sizes and give certificates for passing the exams, which can make it easier your resume stands out when applying for jobs or working on gaining higher certifications.
Coursework includes sessions on anatomy and physiology, hygiene, contraindications of various skin treatments as well as what they do for your skin type. You will also learn about how to give facials/body wraps, how to detect skin conditions, and what tools you will need for treatments.
And finally – the practical part of training with hands-on experience in a school clinic or an actual spa/salon where you can practice on live models (i.e., students). There are also some schools that let their graduates work as assistants at the facilities while they’re still in training.
Becoming an esthetician is all about picking the right school and putting in the work. But before enrolling, think if it’s what you really want to do with your life.
If you are sure you want to become an esthetician, then pick one of the schools listed in this article. If you aren’t convinced, then it’s probably better to reconsider your choices.
I can’t tell you what to do. It’s your life.
Picking any of the schools listed here will give you a brilliant start in the world of esthetics. They all offer comprehensive programs with a mix of theoretical and practical learning. They will also get you the hours required by the state board to become a licensed esthetician.