Humans as a species have always been concerned with looks. It’s in our nature. After all, we want to attract mates and look good for them. We also want to show people that we take care of ourselves, and that we’re healthy. Another benefit that isn’t talked enough about is that looking good makes us feel more confident.
Good looking people are also more successful in life, studies have shown. So it’s no surprise that there is a booming industry built around beauty. One important part of the beauty industry are estheticians. They are the ones who make us look good on the outside. They give us facials, wax our eyebrows, and do all sorts of other things to make us look our best.
Being an esthetician is a very rewarding career. You get to help people feel better about themselves, and you can even make a great living doing it. But before you can start your career, you need to go to esthetician school.
There are literally hundreds of esthetician schools across the country. In this article, you are going to learn which are the best ones. Enrolling into these schools will guarantee you a long and fruitful career.
How to Become a Licensed Esthetician
When it comes to beauty, there are a lot of different paths you can take. You could become a makeup artist, a hair stylist, or even a barber. But if you want to focus on skin care, then becoming an esthetician is the way to go.
Becoming an aesthetician is not complicated, but it takes some effort. Here are the steps:
Step 1: Pick a God Esthetician School
The first step on your path to becoming an esthetician is to find a good school. As we mentioned before, there are hundreds of esthetician schools across the country. But not all of them are created equal. You want to make sure you enroll in a reputable school that will give you the skills you need to succeed in this competitive industry.
Here are some things to look for in a good esthetician school:
- A well-rounded curriculum that covers all aspects of skin care
- Accreditation, which is a stamp of approval from a recognized body
- Experienced instructors who are currently working in the field
- A flexible schedule that allows you to continue working or taking care of your family
- Affordable tuition that won’t break the bank
Once you’ve found a few schools that meet these criteria, you can start looking at their specific programs.
Step 2: Complete the Program and Get Licensed
The next step is to complete the esthetician program and get licensed. Most programs take around six months to a year to complete. And once you’re done, you’ll need to take a state-licensed exam in order to start working.
But before you can even start the program, you need to make sure you get licensed in the state where you plan on working. The requirements vary from state to state, but they usually involve completing a certain number of hours of training and passing an exam.
Step 3: Start Working
After you’ve completed the program and passed the exam, you’re finally ready to start your career as an esthetician.
There are many different paths you can take as an esthetician. You can work in a salon, a spa, or even open your own business. You could also specialize in a certain area of skin care, such as acne treatment or anti-aging.
The more you specialize, and the weirder your specialization, the more money you’ll earn. That’s because specialists are in high demand, and they can command a higher price.
But no matter what path you take, becoming an esthetician is a great way to make a living. You get to help people feel better about themselves, and you can even make your own hours. So if you’re looking for a rewarding career in the beauty industry, then becoming an esthetician is the way to go.
As you can see, picking a good school is the biggest hurdle of the path. So, without further ado, let’s get into the list of the best esthetician schools in the U.S.
The 7 Best Esthetician Schools in the U.S.
Now that you know what it takes to become an esthetician, let’s take a look at the best schools in the country. These schools will give you the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in this competitive industry.
To make this list, we looked at a variety of factors, including the school’s curriculum, instructors, facilities, and tuition. We also looked at online reviews to get a sense of what current and former students think of the school.
Here are the best esthetician schools in the U.S.:
1. Ogle School (Texas)
The Ogle School is one of the most well-rounded esthetician schools in the country. It offers a comprehensive curriculum that covers all aspects of skincare, from makeup application to advanced treatments. The instructors at Ogle are experienced professionals who are currently working in the field. They’re also passionate about teaching and helping their students
You can pick between the full and the part time program. The full time program lasts about 5 months, while the part time program takes 10 months to complete. It’s called full time for a reason – You’ll be there Monday to Friday, from 9 AM to 5 PM. It’s like having a job, except you’re learning about cosmetology instead.
The part time program is from Monday to Friday, 6 PM to 9:30 PM, and it’s perfect for those who already have a job or family obligations.
The tuition for the full time program is $13,200 but you must also add another ~$3,000 dollars for books and supplies, plus any eventual living expense.
All in all, Ogle is not cheap, but it’s worth it if you’re serious about becoming an esthetician.
2. The Aveda Institute
The Aveda Institute is another great choice for aspiring estheticians. The esthiology program at Aveda covers all the basics of skin care, from cleansing and exfoliating to massages and facials. You’ll also learn about makeup application, nail care, and waxing.
Additionally, the program teaches about the business side of skin care. Things like product knowledge, retailing, and client communication. This is important because it’ll help you succeed as an esthetician, whether you work in a salon or open your own business.
The Aveda Institute has locations all over the country, so chances are there’s one near you. The tuition varies depending on the location, but it will be around $15,000 with minor variations.
Like Ogle, the Aveda Institute is not cheap. But it’s a great school that will give you the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in this competitive industry.
3. Bellus Academy (California)
Bellus Academy is a top esthetician school located in California. It also has a branch in Manhattan, Kansas.
The curriculum is excellent. Aside from the classic subjects like exfoliation and hair removal, it includes more advanced topics like microdermabrasion. These usually are reserved for post-graduate esthetics courses.
The instructors are top-notch professionals with years of experience in the field. They’re passionate about teaching and they’ll make sure you understand everything before moving on to the next topic.
The school offers 3 main programs: Esthetics, Esthetics 102, and Esthetics 103.
Esthetics is the basic program that gets you ready to work in the field as an esthetician. This is a 600-hours program that gets you from 0 to skin care hero in about six months.
Editor’s note: The same program is 1000-hours long if you attend it in Manhattan. This is due to the different licensing requirements between the 2 states.
Esthetics II is an advanced program that covers more advanced topics like makeup application and skin care treatments. This is a 300-hours program that can only be completed in the Kansas branch, which means that between Esthetics and Esthetics 102, you’ll follow a 1,300-hours program. The program focuses on make-up artistry.
Esthetics 103 is the post-graduate program that covers subjects like advanced peel training and aromatherapy. This program is 300 hours long and is only available in the California branch. This means that you can become an advanced esthetician in as little as 900 hours (600 hours for Esthetics + 300 for Esthetics 103).
The tuition for all these programs varies depending on the location, but it will be around $17,000.
Bellus Academy is expensive, but it’s worth it. You’ll leave with the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in this field.
4. Empire Beauty Schools (Cosmetology Schools – Hair Schools)
Empire Beauty Schools is a large chain of beauty schools with locations all across the country. The company offers a variety of programs, from cosmetology to esthetics.
The esthetician program at Empire Beauty Schools is one of the best in the nation. It’s comprehensive and covers everything you need to know about skin care, including topics like skin analysis, ingredient technology, and prescriptive retailing. The program takes 600 hours to complete.
Additionally, you’ll learn about the business side of things. This is important because it’ll help you succeed as an esthetician. Even if you end up as an employee, you can help the owner improve how they run their business, which makes you invaluable to the company. Eventually, this will lead to promotions and extra bonuses.
Tuition varies by state, but expect to pay around $16,000 for the full esthetician program.
5. Aesthetic Science Institute (Utah)
The Aesthetic Science Institute is located in Salt Lake City, Utah. The school offers 2 main programs, plus an additional certification.
The standard esthetician program takes 600 hours to complete, and it has everything you need to know to get started in the industry. You will learn everything you need to know about being an esthetician. You’ll be able to turn your clients’ skin into a work of art.
The tuition for this program is $10,600 which is way lower than most other programs on this list. But don’t get fooled, while it’s true that you get what you pay for, in this case, you’re getting a top-notch education for a fraction of the price.
The other program offered by the Aesthetic Science Institute is the Master Esthetician Program. This is a 1200-hour program certified by the NYS Department of Education and Comite International d’Esthetique et de Cosmetologie. The program teaches advanced topics like laser consult, chemistry for esthetics, skin disorders, and even business development.
The cost for the advanced program is $21,100. It is a full time program that will require your presence Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM, and that takes around 11 months to complete.
Note: The school also offers a waxing certification that only takes 75 hours to complete, and a 250-hours nail specialty course.
6. Xenon Academy (Nebraska)
Xenon Academy is a beauty school located in Omaha, Nebraska. The school offers several programs, from cosmetology to esthetician, and even nails.
The esthetician program at Xenon Academy is one of the most comprehensive ones you’ll find. It is taught by industry professionals , and it covers everything you need to know about skin care. The program is 600 hours long, with classes held Tuesday-Friday from 8:45 am to 4:30 pm. It takes less than a year to complete.
Here you will learn topics such as:
- Skin and Skin Analysis
- Skin Disorders
- Facials and Facial Massage
- Body Treatments
- Hair Removal
- Makeup and Spray Tanning
- Lash Training
- Anatomy and Chemistry
- Business: Career Prep
- Professional Development
- Rules, Regulations, State Law, Infection Control Practices
- Salon Floor Classroom
You’ll also get hands-on experience by picking this program. After about 200 hours in the classroom, you’ll be able to practice on the salon’s guests, supervised by your instructors. This is a great opportunity to build your portfolio and get some experience in the industry.
The tuition for the program is $9,500 but you also gotta add various fees plus the student kit’s cost of $1,000. Still, this is a great price for such an amazing program.
7. Elizabeth Grady Schools (Esthetics and Massage Therapy)
The Elizabeth Grady School is located in Boston, Massachusetts. The school has been teaching beauty for over 40 years.
The most interesting program from Elizabeth Grady is the dual license in both Massage Therapy and Esthetics. This is a 1200-hours program that lets you become a licensed esthetician and massage therapist at the same time. This makes you way more palatable to employees in the industry, because you’ll have a unique mix of skills.
The school still offers a regular 600-hours program in esthetics, as well as more advanced courses for licensed skin care professionals. The courses are taught by people who actually worked in the industry, and who know how to best treat their clients.
The 600 Hour Esthetician program cost is $9,500.00 and includes textbooks, uniforms, and all products and supplies. There is no information about the dual license program on the website, but it’s safe to assume that you can combine the prices of the esthetician program with that of the massage therapy one ($11,500), coming up with $20,000.
Also Read: 6 Amazing Online Massage Therapy Certification Programs (Paid vs. Free)
Pros and Cons of Becoming an Esthetician
Now that you know what it takes to become an esthetician, let’s talk about the pros and cons of this career.
First, the pros:
Estheticians have a lot of control over their work schedule. Once you have established yourself in the industry, you can easily pick your own hours and even take on clients from home if you want to.
This is a great career for people who love working with people and making them feel good about themselves. If you are a people person, then this is the perfect job for you.
The esthetician industry is growing rapidly. As more and more people become interested in skin care, the demand for estheticians will continue to grow.
Now, the cons:
The esthetician industry is very competitive. There are a lot of people who want to become estheticians, and only a limited number of jobs are available. This means that you will have to work hard to stand out from the crowd.
The pay for estheticians can be low. Unless you are working in a high-end salon or spa, or own your own business, then don’t expect to make that much money. The median salary for estheticians in 2023 was $37,300.
Also, being an esthetician can be gross at times. You will be working with a lot of different types of skin, and some of it might not be pretty. If you are squeamish, then this is not the job for you.
Becoming an esthetician is something that can be done quickly and opens up many doors. And who knows, you might reach a point where you get to be a celebrity’s skin care specialty. It all starts with taking that first step and enrolling in an esthetician school.
Before enrolling into an esthetician school, do your research and make sure it is the right fit for you. Consider the location, price, and curriculum to find the perfect school for you.
Also, ponder carefully whether or not you want to be an esthetician. The job has ups and downs, much like everything else. But if you love making people feel beautiful, then there is no better career for you.
Imagine you help a client get their confidence back by fixing their skin. That’s a feeling that money can’t buy.
As long as you are willing to work hard and put in the hours, becoming an esthetician will be a very rewarding experience.