Becoming an aesthetician involves receiving at least 450 hours of formal training in cosmetology and getting licensed in the state where the work takes place. To receive their licenses, aestheticians pass both written and practical tests. Some licensed aestheticians undergo 600 more hours of training to become a master aesthetician. Most states require aestheticians to attend ongoing training, such as workshops, to keep their licenses active.
Aestheticians differ from general cosmetologists in that they can perform a variety of skin procedures, including chemical peels, facials and waxing. Cosmetologists apply various beauty treatments, with specialties including nail care and hair styling.
Aestheticians administer machine-related skin care including microdermabrasion and nonsurgical face lifts. Medical aestheticians attend to medical needs related to skin and typically work in a doctor's office or hospital. Specializing in medical aesthetics sometimes requires additional training.
Aestheticians, also called estheticians, do not require the supervision of a dermatologist unless they work for a dermatological practice. They treat issues of the outer layers of the skin, including acne and effects of aging.
Many aestheticians join professional groups such as the Aesthetics International Association or Associated Skin Care Professionals. Professional groups provide aestheticians with resources including information on insurance and networking along with opportunities for continuing education.