Thoughts of the beauty industry conjure images of packed dressing rooms where makeup artists prepare models for photo-shoots. It could also be images of upscale salons where movie stars come to get their hair done before a movie premier.
While such images reflect the glamorous aspect of the beauty industry, the reality is simple and more practical. The beauty industry is about helping people of all ages, genders, and lifestyles look and feel better. So if you’re looking for a fulfilling career in this growing industry, you have the ability to impact lives. That’s why you must consider becoming an esthetician.
But what is an esthetician? This is a professional skincare specialist trained to deliver various treatments and services. They are required to assess and improve a person’s skin condition.
Note that estheticians are not qualified to diagnose and treat major skin diseases like dermatologists. However, they are educated and experienced in identifying and helping manage common skin concerns like acne, dry skin, and pigmentation. They seek training in specialized treatments like chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and a lot more.
What you Must Know About Advancing Your Practice as an Esthetician
A lot of skin care professionals get into the market with a specific idea on how their career will pan out. They may even be researching the actualities of a career in esthetics.
You may want to get involved in a helping profession. That may be because you know what it’s like to suffer from skin problems. Or maybe you like the idea of working at a prestigious spa. It could also be that you were originally attracted to the freedom of owning a specialist practice.
Whatever the case may be, you certainly have questions. If you’re getting into this field with such a healthy measure of self-doubt, it may be because you’re looking for a guiding light.
If that’s the case, look no further. That’s because although things are constantly evolving, the general rules always stay the same.
- Know the Required Education and Training
To work as an esthetician, individuals have to obtain a professional license. Licensing requirements differ from state to state. However, you must be at least 16 years old and have a high school diploma.
When it comes to training, candidates are expected to obtain at least 250 hours of in-school training. Some states will require a minimum of 600 hours. Apart from training, some states expect you to have apprenticeship hours going for up to 3,200 hours. The best way to meet these requirements would be for you to enroll in an esthetician training program.
But you must ensure that the program is accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of cosmetology Arts and Sciences or a similar agency. Based on your program, you will obtain a certificate in as little as six months. Obtaining an associate’s degree in cosmetology with a specialization in esthetics might take you 2 more years.
After the completion of your training, you’ll need to meet the apprenticeship hours. You can complete these hours concurrently with your schooling depending on your state. You can also finish them after your graduation.
Once you’ve met all the requirements, you can go ahead and take the state board exam. In the state board exam, expect topics such as scientific concepts and esthetics practices.
You’ll also handle massage techniques, skin cleansing, hair removal techniques, and facial makeup and masks. Expect the exam to have both the esthetic practice test and the written portion.
Apart from answering questions, you’ll need to demonstrate certain techniques to a test proctor. Excelling in this exam will get you awarded an esthetician license and you can start looking for a job.
- Build Your Communication Skills
Always keep in mind that communication in the beauty industry is a key working habit. There are certain aspects of communication that an esthetician must master to remain professional. You will, for instance, have to communicate with clients if you schedule changes. You’ll also have to give them time to plan accordingly based on the changes.
Learning how to communicate is important because it means learning how to listen to your clients. This can mean understanding their needs and wants. That also includes anything that you’ll need to record in their file for future appointments if they are allergic to certain products.
A client knowing that you listen to them makes a huge difference as it can turn them into loyal clients. Listening to your clients makes them feel like you’re friends. They’ll therefore look forward to coming back as they feel like you genuinely care.
- Avoid Changing Workplaces Repeatedly
This is a sure-fire career killer that a lot of estheticians can’t seem to resist. Some of the reasons estheticians give for job-hopping includes not liking the place they worked. Others say the business was too slow or co-workers were talking behind their back and the list goes on and on.
This causes you to start again and again in the tough process of client and career building, thereby halting all the financial progress. You must also note that employers are wary of job hoppers. They become suspicious that their investment in you will evaporate as quickly as it has with others. Job-hopping makes you look flaky, unstable, and like a potential problem.
Think about it. Each time you change employers, you set your career clock back by one year. This isn’t what you want when building a career. To avoid this, research possible employers in advance. Talk to employees working there, buy their services, and hang around the spa’s reception.
Do this long enough to get a feel of the mood and character of a potential job site. Doing this will reduce your chances of making an unfortunate job choice.
- Learn and Get Good at Retail and Services Sales
Remember that you and your employers need to make money to keep the business doors open so you can drive away waving a paycheck. It may, however, dawn on you that in this business, handiwork alone will not pay all the bills.
Retail sales are the best and the easiest way to build a business and an income. The fact is that at some point in your career, you’ll meet an angry client who feels that their serene spa service was spoiled by a high-pressure sales pitch.
It’s also true that your clients will want to buy their body and skincare products from you. And what will they be doing in a spa if they aren’t interested in self-care?
Failure to give clients suggestions on how to take care of their skin while at home is doing them a disservice. So why let other people in the industry have what you’re working so hard to create? You need to take a class, get hypnosis, and find your style. And whatever you do, you must also learn to have fun while at it.
Provide the means for your clients to get maximum results both at the spa and between appointments. This will make your employer love you and you’ll both love the money from sales commissions.
- Market Yourself Instead of Leaving it to the Business
What would you do with all the free time you get away from work? It would have to be promoting yourself. The spa may have printed brochures on the front counter. They may also have an advertisement in the phonebook or newspaper and a great street location. So why aren’t clients rolling in fast enough?
It’s because marketing yourself in such a slow and invisible process takes its sweet time to generate positive results. That’s the reason why businesses stay away from this type of expenses. But there’s a lot more that the esthetician in you can do at very little cost and inconvenience to bring in clients.
You can, for instance, ask anyone you know who uses cosmetics to come to the spa. You can then evaluate them. These people will end up buying your products. They may even schedule a facial if you handle them with enthusiasm and genuine concern.
Estheticians play an important role in other people’s lives and it’s more than just making them feel amazing. That’s because you have the privilege of working with your client’s skin and serving as their expert.
Although this is an ever-evolving industry, there are certain ideas and concepts that every esthetician must know. Some of the concepts have been highlighted here and will be helpful in knowing how to advance your career.