Skincare Specialists

Summary

skincare specialists image
Skincare specialists provide treatments, such as peels, masks, or scrubs, to remove dead or dry skin.
Quick Facts: Skincare Specialists
2014 Median Pay $29,050 per year
$13.97 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Postsecondary nondegree award
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2014 55,000
Job Outlook, 2014-24 12% (Faster than average)
Employment Change, 2014-24 6,600

What Skincare Specialists Do

Skincare specialists cleanse and beautify the face and body to enhance a person’s appearance. 

Work Environment

Skincare specialists usually work in salons and beauty and health spas. Some also work in medical offices. Although most work full time, many work evenings and weekends. This is particularly true for self-employed workers who run their own salons.

How to Become a Skincare Specialist

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. Newly hired specialists sometimes receive on-the-job training, especially when working with chemicals.

Pay

The median hourly wage for skincare specialists was $13.97 in May 2014.

Job Outlook

Employment of skincare specialists is projected to grow 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. The desire among many women and a growing number of men to reduce the effects of aging will result in employment growth. Good job opportunities are expected.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for skincare specialists.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of skincare specialists with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about skincare specialists by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Skincare Specialists Do

Skin care specialists
Skincare specialists remove unwanted hair using wax or laser treatment.

Skincare specialists cleanse and beautify the face and body to enhance a person’s appearance.

Duties

Skincare specialists typically do the following:

  • Evaluate clients’ skin condition and appearance
  • Discuss available treatments and determine which products will improve clients’ skin quality
  • Remove unwanted hair, using wax, laser, or other approved treatments
  • Clean the skin before applying makeup
  • Recommend skin care products, such as cleansers, lotions, or creams 
  • Teach and advise clients on how to apply makeup, and how to take care of their skin
  • Refer clients to another skincare specialist, such as a dermatologist, for serious skin problems
  • Disinfect equipment and clean work areas

Skincare specialists give facials, full-body treatments, and head and neck massages to improve the health and appearance of the skin. Some may provide other skin care treatments, such as peels, masks, and scrubs, to remove dead or dry skin.

In addition to working with clients, skincare specialists create daily skincare routines based on skin analysis and help clients understand which skincare products will work best for them. A growing number of specialists actively sell skincare products, such as cleansers, lotions, and creams.

Those who operate their own salons have managerial duties that include hiring, firing, and supervising workers, as well as keeping business and inventory records, ordering supplies, and arranging for advertising.

Work Environment

Skin care specialists
Skincare specialists work in salons, beauty spas, and sometimes in medical offices.

Skincare specialists held about 55,000 jobs in 2014. The industries that employed the most skincare specialists were as follows:

Personal care services 49%
Offices of physicians 7
Health and personal care stores 5
Other amusement and recreation industries 3

About 3 in 10 skincare specialists were self-employed in 2014.

Skincare specialists usually work in salons and beauty and health spas. Some also work in medical offices. These workers may have to stand for extended periods of time.

Because skincare specialists must evaluate the condition of the skin, good lighting and clean surroundings are important. Protective clothing and good ventilation also may be necessary, because skincare specialists often use chemicals on the face and body.       

Work Schedules

Skincare specialists typically work full time, with many working evenings and weekends. Working more than 40 hours a week is common, especially for self-employed workers.

How to Become a Skincare Specialist

Skin care specialists
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.

Education

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.

Training

Newly hired specialists sometimes receive on-the-job training, especially if their jobs require 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 provides contact information on state examinations for licensing, with sample exam questions. The Professional Beauty Association and the American Association of Cosmetology Schools also provide 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.

Important Qualities

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 to their 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 and increases the likelihood that clients will return. 

Time-management skills. Time-management skills are important in scheduling appointments and providing services.

Pay

Skincare Specialists

Median hourly wages, May 2014

Total, all occupations

$17.09

Skincare specialists

$13.97

Personal appearance workers

$10.83

 

The median hourly wage for skincare specialists was $13.97 in May 2014. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $8.50, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $28.31.

In May 2014, the median hourly wages for skincare specialists in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Offices of physicians $17.82
Other amusement and recreation industries 17.18
Personal care services 13.45
Health and personal care stores 11.63

Skincare specialists typically work full time, and many work evenings and weekends. Working more than 40 hours a week is common, especially for self-employed workers.

Job Outlook

Skincare Specialists

Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24

Skincare specialists

12%

Personal appearance workers

10%

Total, all occupations

7%

 

Employment of skincare specialists is projected to grow 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations.

The increase in employment reflects demand for new services being offered, such as minisessions (quick facials at a lower cost) and mobile facials (making house calls). In addition, the desire among many women and a growing number of men to reduce the effects of aging and to lead a healthier lifestyle through better grooming, including skin treatments for relaxation and well-being, should result in employment growth.

Job Prospects

Job opportunities should be good because of the growing number of beauty salons and spas. Those with related work experience should have the best job opportunities.

Employment projections data for skincare specialists, 2014-24
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024 Change, 2014-24 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Skincare specialists

39-5094 55,000 61,600 12 6,600 [XLSX]

State & Area Data

Occupational Employment Statistics (OES)

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OES data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.com. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

Career InfoNet

America’s Career InfoNet includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of skincare specialists.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION 2014 MEDIAN PAY
Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists

Barbers, Hairdressers, and Cosmetologists

Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists provide haircutting, hairstyling, and a range of other beauty services.

Postsecondary nondegree award $23,200
Manicurists and pedicurists

Manicurists and Pedicurists

Manicurists and pedicurists clean, shape, and beautify fingernails and toenails.

Postsecondary nondegree award $19,620
Massage therapists

Massage Therapists

Massage therapists treat clients by using touch to manipulate the muscles and other soft tissues of the body. With their touch, therapists relieve pain, help heal injuries, improve circulation, relieve stress, increase relaxation, and aid in the general wellness of clients.

Postsecondary nondegree award $37,180

Contacts for More Information

For more information about skincare specialists, visit

Aesthetics International Association

Associated Skin Care Professionals

For information about cosmetology schools, visit

American Association of Cosmetology Schools  

For information about the spa industry, visit

International Spa Association

For information about state licensing, practice exams, and other professional links, visit

National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology

Professional Beauty Association

O*NET

Skincare Specialists

Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Skincare Specialists,
on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/skincare-specialists.htm (visited February 12, 2016).

Publish Date: Thursday, December 17, 2015