Skincare Specialists

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What Skincare Specialists Do[About this section] [To Top]

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

Duties of Skincare Specialists

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 for Skincare Specialists[About this section] [To Top]

Skincare specialists hold about 55,000 jobs. The industries that employ the most skincare specialists are 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 are self-employed.

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.

Skincare Specialists 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[About this section] [To Top]

Get the education you need: Find schools for Skincare Specialists near you!

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 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.

Skincare Specialists 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 for Skincare Specialists

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.

Skincare Specialist Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]

The median hourly wage for skincare specialists is $14.47. 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 $8.80, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $29.49.

The median hourly wages for skincare specialists in the top industries in which they work are as follows:

Offices of physicians $17.74
Other amusement and recreation industries 16.21
Personal care services 14.21
Health and personal care stores 11.89

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 for Skincare Specialists[About this section] [To Top]

Employment of skincare specialists is projected to grow 12 percent over the next ten years, 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.

Skincare Specialists 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 Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024 Change, 2014-24
Percent Numeric
Skincare specialists 55,000 61,600 12 6,600

*Some content used by permission of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.

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