California Occupational Guides

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Summary Guide for

Skin Care Specialists in California

May also be called: Aestheticians; Estheticians; Facialists; Medical Estheticians; Nurse Estheticians; Skin Care Technicians; Spa Technicians

What Would I Do?

Skin Care Specialists, more commonly known as Estheticians, clean and beautify the skin by giving facials, full-body treatments, and head and neck massages as well as by applying makeup. They cleanse the skin with astringents or cleansers. Estheticians remove hair through waxing, electrolysis, or if properly trained, with laser treatments. They also select and apply facial products, such as creams and moisturizers. Estheticians work with clients to determine the best products or colors that will improve the clients’ skin quality and appearance. They may also instruct clients in makeup application techniques.

Estheticians work indoors in clean surroundings with good lighting and ventilation. They need to have stamina, because they are on their feet for most of the day. Estheticians should be able to lift, push, and pull boxes of up to ten pounds. Most Estheticians work 40 hours a week; however, working longer hours, nights, weekends, and holidays are common.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of Esthetician may appeal to those who are interested in starting up and carrying out projects. This occupation may also interest those who enjoy activities that involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. The ability to be both pleasant and professional is also an essential part of being an Esthetician.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

The median wage in 2021 for Skin Care Specialists in California is $37,706 annually, or $18.13 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

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Annual Wages for 2021Low
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Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2021 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
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Estheticians may receive benefits that include health insurance and vacation. Self-employed Estheticians are responsible for providing their own benefits.

What is the Job Outlook?

As more individuals seek to improve their appearance by focusing their attention on healthier-looking skin, it is expected that there would be increased opportunities for Estheticians. However, during economic downturns, the number of job openings may decline.

How Do I Qualify?

A formal training program in skin care or cosmetology is the typical educational path for Estheticians. The length of time required to complete this program is about two years. Formal training includes classroom study, instructor demonstrations, and practical work. Students study basic skin care services, such as facials, massages, and chemical peels. They also have hands-on training by practicing on volunteers or paying customers.

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers is one of the most effective job search methods. Beauty schools are another means of finding a job. Newspaper classified ads and Internet job listings also provide helpful job leads. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at and CalJOBSSM at

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).

Learn More About Skin Care Specialists