Skincare specialists must pass a state-approved cosmetology program before getting licensed.
Skincare specialists must complete a state-approved cosmetology or esthetician program and then pass a state exam for licensure, which all states except Connecticut require.
Skincare specialists usually take a state-approved cosmetology or esthetician program. Although some high schools offer vocational training, most people receive their training from a postsecondary vocational school. The Associated Skin Care Professionals, the largest organization devoted to these workers, offers a State Regulation Guide, which includes the number of prerequisite hours required to complete a cosmetology program.
Newly hired specialists sometimes receive on-the-job training, especially when working with chemicals. Those who are employed in a medical environment also may receive on-the-job training, often working alongside an experienced skincare specialist.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
After completing an approved cosmetology or esthetician program, skincare specialists take a written and practical exam to get a state license. Licensing requirements vary by state, so those interested should contact their state board.
The National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC) provides contact information on state examinations for licensing, with sample exam questions. The Professional Beauty Association (PBA) and the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS) also provides information on state examinations, as well as offering other professional links.
Many states offer continuing education seminars and programs designed to keep skincare specialists current on new techniques and products. Post-licensing training is also available through manufacturers, associations, and at trade shows.
Business skills. Skincare specialists who run their own salon must understand general business principles. For example, they should be skilled at administrative tasks, such as accounting and personnel management, and be able to manage a salon efficiently and profitably.
Customer-service skills. Skincare specialists should be friendly and courteous when dealing with clients. Repeat business is important, particularly for self-employed workers.
Initiative. Self-employed skincare specialists generate their own business opportunities and must be proactive in finding new clients.
Physical stamina. Skincare specialists must be able to spend most of their day standing and massaging clients’ faces and bodies.
Tidiness. Workers must keep a neat personal appearance and keep their work area clean and sanitary. This requirement is necessary for the health and safety of their clients, as well as to make the clients comfortable enough to want to return.
Time-management skills. Time-management skills are important in scheduling appointments and providing services.