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Summary

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Video transcript available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFQ5Q7slO1M.
Quick Facts: Skincare Specialists
2021 Median Pay $37,300 per year
$17.93 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Postsecondary nondegree award
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2021 80,500
Job Outlook, 2021-31 17% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change, 2021-31 13,400

What Skincare Specialists Do

Skincare specialists provide cleansing and other face and body treatments to enhance a person’s appearance.

Work Environment

Skincare specialists usually work in salons and beauty and health spas, and some are self-employed. Part-time work is common, and work schedules may vary and include evenings and weekends.

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.

Pay

The median hourly wage for skincare specialists was $17.93 in May 2021.

Job Outlook

Employment of skincare specialists is projected to grow 17 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.

About 13,500 openings for skincare specialists are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

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 About this section

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

Skincare specialists, also known as estheticians, provide cleansing and other face and body treatments to enhance a person’s appearance.

Duties

Skincare specialists typically do the following:

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

Skincare specialists give facials, full-body treatments, and head and neck massages to improve the health and appearance of the skin. Some provide other skincare treatments to remove dead or dry skin, such as masks, peels, and scrubs. They also may provide eyelash services, makeup application, and hair removal.

In addition, these specialists create daily skincare routines for clients based on skin analysis and help them understand which products will work best for them.

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 About this section

Skin care specialists
Skincare specialists usually work in salons or spas.

Skincare specialists held about 80,500 jobs in 2021. The largest employers of skincare specialists were as follows:

Personal care services 43%
Self-employed workers 35
Offices of physicians 7
Health and personal care stores 7
Traveler accommodation 2

Skincare specialists usually work in salons and beauty and health spas. Some work in medical offices. Skincare specialists 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

Part-time work is common for skincare specialists. Work schedules may vary and include evenings and weekends.

How to Become a Skincare Specialist About this section

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.

Education

To enter the occupation, skincare specialists typically must complete a state-approved cosmetology or esthetician program. Although some high schools may offer vocational training, most people receive their training from a postsecondary vocational school. The Associated Skin Care Professionals organization offers a State Regulation Guide, downloadable as a PDF, on its Requirements by State page.

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 and American Association of Cosmetology Schools provide contact information for state licensing boards. Resources about exam and licensing requirements include sample exam questions.

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.

State reciprocity agreements may allow licensed skincare specialists to get a license in another state without needing additional formal training or state board testing. Contact your state licensing agency for details.

Important Qualities

Business skills. Skincare specialists who run their own salon must understand business principles, such as accounting, to manage a salon efficiently and profitably.

Customer-service skills. Skincare specialists should be friendly and courteous to their clients to encourage repeat business.

Initiative. Self-employed skincare specialists generate their own business opportunities and must be proactive in finding new clients.

Physical stamina. Skincare specialists spend most of their day standing.

Tidiness. Workers must keep their work area clean and sanitary for the health and safety of their clients. They also must keep a neat personal appearance to increase the likelihood that clients will return.

Time-management skills. Skincare specialists need to manage their time efficiently for scheduling appointments and providing services.

Pay About this section

Skincare Specialists

Median hourly wages, May 2021

Total, all occupations

$22.00

Skincare specialists

$17.93

Personal appearance workers

$14.22

 

The median hourly wage for skincare specialists was $17.93 in May 2021. 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 $11.10, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $31.58.

In May 2021, the median hourly wages for skincare specialists in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Offices of physicians $18.17
Personal care services 17.93
Health and personal care stores 15.21
Traveler accommodation 14.34

Part-time work is common for skincare specialists. Work schedules may vary and include evenings and weekends.

Job Outlook About this section

Skincare Specialists

Percent change in employment, projected 2021-31

Skincare specialists

17%

Personal appearance workers

13%

Total, all occupations

5%

 

Employment of skincare specialists is projected to grow 17 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.

About 13,500 openings for skincare specialists are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Employment

The projected increase in employment reflects demand for services being offered, such as mini-sessions (quick facials at a lower cost) and mobile facials (making house calls) directly from skincare specialists rather than hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists. Employment growth also should result from the desire among many women and a growing number of men who seek out skincare services to reduce the effects of aging, to look good on social media platforms, and to lead a healthier lifestyle through better grooming.

Employment projections data for skincare specialists, 2021-31
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2021 Projected Employment, 2031 Change, 2021-31 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

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

Skincare specialists

39-5094 80,500 93,900 17 13,400 Get data

State & Area Data About this section

Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS)

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) 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 OEWS 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.

CareerOneStop

CareerOneStop 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 About this section

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

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION Help on Entry-Level Education 2021 MEDIAN PAY Help on Median Pay
Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists Barbers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists

Barbers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists provide haircutting, hairstyling, and other services related to personal appearance.

Postsecondary nondegree award $29,680
Manicurists and pedicurists Manicurists and Pedicurists

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

Postsecondary nondegree award $29,210
Massage therapists Massage Therapists

Massage therapists treat clients by using touch to manipulate the muscles and other soft tissues of the body.

Postsecondary nondegree award $46,910

Contacts for More Information About this section

For information about skincare specialists and a state regulation guide, visit

Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP)

For information about education and cosmetology schools, visit

Beauty Schools Directory

For information about the spa industry, visit

International Spa Association (ISPA)

For information about state licensing, practice exams, and other resources, visit

American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS)

National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC)

Professional Beauty Association (PBA)

O*NET

Skincare Specialists

Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Skincare Specialists,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/skincare-specialists.htm (visited September 14, 2022).

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, September 13, 2022

What They Do

The What They Do tab describes the typical duties and responsibilities of workers in the occupation, including what tools and equipment they use and how closely they are supervised. This tab also covers different types of occupational specialties.

Work Environment

The Work Environment tab includes the number of jobs held in the occupation and describes the workplace, the level of physical activity expected, and typical hours worked. It may also discuss the major industries that employed the occupation. This tab may also describe opportunities for part-time work, the amount and type of travel required, any safety equipment that is used, and the risk of injury that workers may face.

How to Become One

The How to Become One tab describes how to prepare for a job in the occupation. This tab can include information on education, training, work experience, licensing and certification, and important qualities that are required or helpful for entering or working in the occupation.

Pay

The Pay tab describes typical earnings and how workers in the occupation are compensated—annual salaries, hourly wages, commissions, tips, or bonuses. Within every occupation, earnings vary by experience, responsibility, performance, tenure, and geographic area. For most profiles, this tab has a table with wages in the major industries employing the occupation. It does not include pay for self-employed workers, agriculture workers, or workers in private households because these data are not collected by the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey, the source of BLS wage data in the OOH.

State & Area Data

The State and Area Data tab provides links to state and area occupational data from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program, state projections data from Projections Central, and occupational information from the Department of Labor's CareerOneStop.

Job Outlook

The Job Outlook tab describes the factors that affect employment growth or decline in the occupation, and in some instances, describes the relationship between the number of job seekers and the number of job openings.

Similar Occupations

The Similar Occupations tab describes occupations that share similar duties, skills, interests, education, or training with the occupation covered in the profile.

Contacts for More Information

The More Information tab provides the Internet addresses of associations, government agencies, unions, and other organizations that can provide additional information on the occupation. This tab also includes links to relevant occupational information from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET).

2021 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey. In May 2021, the median annual wage for all workers was $45,760.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

Work experience in a related occupation

Work experience that is commonly considered necessary by employers, or is a commonly accepted substitute for more formal types of training or education.

Number of Jobs, 2021

The employment, or size, of this occupation in 2021, which is the base year of the 2021-31 employment projections.

Job Outlook, 2021-31

The projected percent change in employment from 2021 to 2031. The average growth rate for all occupations is 5 percent.

Employment Change, 2021-31

The projected numeric change in employment from 2021 to 2031.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Employment Change, projected 2021-31

The projected numeric change in employment from 2021 to 2031.

Growth Rate (Projected)

The percent change of employment for each occupation from 2021 to 2031.

Projected Number of New Jobs

The projected numeric change in employment from 2021 to 2031.

Projected Growth Rate

The projected percent change in employment from 2021 to 2031.

2021 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey. In May 2021, the median annual wage for all workers was $45,760.