Aesthetician vs Esthetician: Definitions and Differences …
A lot of confusion exists, especially among lay people, about the difference between an Aesthetician and an Esthetician. Aestheticians and estheticians are both professionals in the skincare industry. Although their job titles sound quite similar, they don’t perform the same duties. An Aestheticians is a skincare personnel who perform medical skin procedures, while an estheticians perform cosmetic and cleaning procedures.
If you intend creating a niche in skincare, it is necessary that you understand the peculiar duties and requirements of each and the differences between them. This will enable you make a choice about which one is best for you.
This article defines esthetician and aesthetician and further explains the differences between the two skincare careers.
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What is an aesthetician?
An aesthetician, also called a medical, paramedical or clinical aesthetician, is a licensed skincare professional who works in a clinical environment. The main job responsibility of an aesthetician is the treatment of patients with facial skin damage caused by chemotherapy, burns, surgery or other health issues. They also help patients maintain their skin after treatment through proper cleansing, moisturizing and makeup application.
Most aestheticians focus on one area of skincare, such as laser therapy, while others receive training in a variety of clinical skin procedures. They have medical knowledge, technical and safety training and strong interpersonal skills, and the average aesthetician salary is $33,416 per year.
Aestheticians’ clients often seek medical help before or after surgery or have serious skin issues such as:
What is an esthetician?
An esthetician, also called a skincare specialist or a facialist, provides facial skincare services in a cosmetic or salon setting. They assess clients’ skin to identify issues and recommend cleaning and maintenance techniques based on the individual’s skin type and needs.
Besides professional training and familiarity with facial tools and equipment, estheticians should have strong patience, interpersonal, calming, attention to detail and dexterity skills, and the average esthetician salary is $35,823 per year.
Estheticians’ clients typically seek services such as massages and facials, and have minor skin issues such as:
#1. Dry or oily skin
#2. Age spots
Aesthetician vs esthetician: Main differences
While aestheticians and estheticians are both licensed skincare specialists, their jobs differ in several ways. The differences between an aesthetician and an esthetician ranges from the training and education they receive to where they work. Some key differences between an aesthetician and an esthetician include:
Aestheticians most often work in medical or healthcare facilities such as:
#1. Health centers
#4. Burn centers
#5. Trauma centers
#6. Reconstructive surgery clinics
#7. Dermatology clinics
#8. Medical spas
#9. Rehabilitation centers
Experienced estheticians might own their own salons or beauty centers. They most often work in beauty or relaxation facilities such as:
#4. Fitness centers
An aesthetician’s job responsibilities might include:
#1. Providing skin tightening therapies that encourage collagen production under the loose skin
#3. Skin resurfacing, which uses a laser to improve the skin’s appearance and texture, leaving it looking younger
#4. Microlaser peels, which use lasers to remove the top layers of the skin and leave it looking more youthful
#5. Laser hair or tattoo removal
#6. Manual lymphatic drainage, which is a type of massage that reduces lymph fluid accumulation after surgery or because of certain medical conditions
#7. Scar or blemish reduction
#8. Varicose vein treatment using sclerotherapy, which involves injecting chemicals into affected veins to cause the discoloration to disappear
#9. Applying permanent or semipermanent makeup such as eyebrow fillings, eyeliner, eyelash extensions, lip color and microblading
#10. Consulting with patients, answering their questions and recommending treatments
#11. Keeping patient records up to date
An esthetician’s job responsibilities might include:
#1. Skin analysis
#2. Skin cleansing
#3. Skin exfoliation
#4. Applying masks and scrubs to refine pores, hydrate the skin, create an even complexion and make skin look younger or firmer
#7. Aromatherapy, which uses essential oils and other aromas to provide relaxation and improve well-being
#8. Hair removal such as waxing, tweezing, threading and eyebrow shaping
#9. Makeup application
#10. Treating acne, sun damage, wrinkles and oily or dry skin
#11. Preparing patients for Botox injections or dermal fillers and providing them with post-injection care
#12. Body sculpting to reduce cellulite
#13. Giving skin product recommendations and showing clients how to use them properly
Training and requirements
Aestheticians and estheticians are all licensed skincare professionals who must complete formal training to work legally. The basic requirements for either professional to get licensed are the same and include:
High school education:
To begin your educational requirements, you must earn your high school diploma or GED certificate.
After high school, complete a state-approved cosmetology program at a cosmetology school, community college or vocational school to earn your associate degree in cosmetology, which typically takes nine months.
Once your education is complete, earn your license from your state’s cosmetology board, which involves passing written and practical exams after completing either a formal cosmetology program or a year of apprenticeship training, depending on the state.
You must renew your state license regularly, so you may decide to continue your education through conferences and workshops. If you want to improve your job options and pay range, you can also get a master aesthetician license, which includes 600 hours of advanced training.
Estheticians take courses on specific topics such as:
- Proper disinfection
- Salon management
- Skin conditions
- Hair removal
- Makeup application techniques
Aesthetician programs are clinical and specialized, with students learning the same topics as estheticians but also study:
- Anti-aging therapies
- Pre- and post-surgical skin care
- Advanced hair removal
- Chemical exfoliation
The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupation Outlook Handbook predicts the employment outlook for skincare specialists such as aestheticians and estheticians will grow 17% between 2019 and 2029. This rate is much faster than the average for most other jobs.
After gaining several years of experience in a spa or salon, an esthetician might:
- Open their own spa
- Become a beauty educator who trains other estheticians how to use products and equipment
- Become an instructor at a cosmetology school
After gaining several years of experience in a health clinic or rehabilitation center, an aesthetician might:
- Get a master aesthetician license
- Become a training inspector who visits medical skincare facilities to make sure they are following state regulations
How much does a medical esthetician make a year?
An estimation put up by the Bureau of Labour Statistics in 2017 states that estheticians, or skincare professionals, have an average income of $35,130.
The average income of estheticians working in a healthcare setting is however higher, coming in at $41,100.
How much you can make as an esthetician is also highly dependent on your location. Rural and less populated areas, however, tend to make significantly less and fall lower on the scale. Urban areas, on the contrary, can pay significantly more depending on which metropolitan area you live in.
Overall, though, being a medical esthetician can provide a strong, steady income and is worth the investment of time and money in schooling!
How do you become a medical esthetician?
Becoming a licensed medical esthetician is the same process as becoming a licensed esthetician, as there is no technical difference in the schooling required or the licenses you will receive.
To begin training to be a medical esthetician, in most states you must have graduated high school or have obtained your GED. Then, you must find and enroll in a state approved cosmetology or esthetics program.
It’s important to remember when choosing your course that both a cosmetology program and an esthetics program will allow you to be an esthetician. Some states will even allow you to choose an apprenticeship instead of going to beauty school!
It’s also important to remember that schooling requirements vary by state, so it’s important to double check and make sure you’ll be fulfilling all your state’s requirements.
After completing your schooling, you’ll be eligible to take the state board exam for either esthetics or cosmetology. And, if you pass, you’ll officially be licensed and allowed to practice in any work setting – including a medical one!
Some people, especially those looking to work with healthcare professionals, look into furthering their studies by completing additional training programs that allow them to do things like dermaplaning, laser hair removal, etc.
Having extra training and qualifications will open more doors for you when you’re ready to start applying for jobs, and can help you better your chances at getting hired!