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, 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.

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Work Environment

Skincare specialists held about 71,800 jobs in 2018. The largest employers of skincare specialists were as follows:

Personal care services 47%
Self-employed workers 28
Offices of physicians 8
Health and personal care stores                                        7
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.

Work Schedules

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

Education and Training

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 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

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.

Personality and Interests

Skincare specialists typically have an interest in the Building, Helping and Persuading interest areas, according to the Holland Code framework. The Building interest area indicates a focus on working with tools and machines, and making or fixing practical things. The Helping interest area indicates a focus on assisting, serving, counseling, or teaching other people. The Persuading interest area indicates a focus on influencing, motivating, and selling to other people.

If you are not sure whether you have a Building or Helping or Persuading interest which might fit with a career as a skincare specialist, you can take a career test to measure your interests.

Skincare specialists should also possess the following specific 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 when dealing with 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, as well as to make the clients comfortable enough to want to return. 

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

Pay

The median hourly wage for skincare specialists was $16.39 in May 2019. 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 $9.85, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $30.07.

In May 2019, the median hourly wages for skincare specialists in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Offices of physicians $19.80
Personal care services 15.94
Health and personal care stores                                                           15.18
Traveler accommodation 13.67

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

Job Outlook

Employment of skincare specialists is projected to grow 11 percent from 2018 to 2028, much 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

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.

For More Information

For information about skincare specialists, visit

Associated Skin Care Professionals

For information about education and cosmetology schools, visit

American Association of Cosmetology Schools

Beauty Schools Directory

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

 

FAQ

Where does this information come from?

The career information above is taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. This excellent resource for occupational data is published by the U.S. Department of Labor every two years. Truity periodically updates our site with information from the BLS database.

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I am not sure if this career is right for me. How can I decide?

There are many excellent tools available that will allow you to measure your interests, profile your personality, and match these traits with appropriate careers. On this site, you can take the Career Personality Profiler assessment, the Holland Code assessment, or the Photo Career Quiz.

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