Skincare Specialists

Career, Salary and Education Information

Following is everything you need to know about a career as a skincare specialist with lots of details. As a first step, take a look at some of the following jobs, which are real jobs with real employers. You will be able to see the very real job career requirements for employers who are actively hiring. The link will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this page to continue reading about the career:

Top 3 Skincare Specialist Jobs

See all Skincare Specialist jobs

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, lasers, 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, skincare specialists create daily skincare routines for clients based on skin analysis and help them 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 61,300 jobs. The largest employers of skincare specialists are as follows:

Personal care services 47%
Self-employed workers 28
Offices of physicians 8
Health and personal care stores 6
Traveler accommodation 3

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.

Skincare Specialist Work Schedules

Skincare specialists typically work full time, with many working evenings and weekends. Working more than 40 hours a week is common.

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.

Education for Skincare Specialists

Skincare specialists typically complete 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 organization offers a State Regulation Guide, which includes the number of prerequisite hours required to complete a cosmetology program.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations for Skincare Specialists

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, and offer 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 $14.55. 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 $8.96, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $28.74.

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

Offices of physicians $17.96
Personal care services 14.22
Health and personal care stores 12.44
Traveler accommodation 12.04

Skincare specialists typically work full time, and many work evenings and weekends. Working more than 40 hours a week is common.

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

Employment of skincare specialists is projected to grow 13 percent over the next ten years, faster than the average for all occupations.

The projected 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 for Skincare Specialists

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, 2016-26
Occupational Title Employment, 2016 Projected Employment, 2026 Change, 2016-26
Percent Numeric
Skincare specialists 61,300 69,000 13 7,700

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

Explore more careers: View all Careers or Browse Careers by Category

Search for jobs: