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Skin Care Specialist Career

Career Description

Skin Care Specialists provide skin care treatments to face and body to enhance an individual’s appearance.

Common Work Tasks

  • Provide specialized beauty services that help clients look and feel their best
  • Cleanse and beautify the skin by giving facials,  full-body treatments, and head and neck massages as well as apply makeup
  • Remove hair through waxing or, if properly trained, laser treatments
  • Keep records of hair color or skin care regimens used by their regular clients
  • Sell hair, skin, and nail care products
  • Hire, supervise, and fire workers
  • Keep business and inventory records, order supplies, and arrange for advertising
  • Suggest treatments for new clients

Other Job Titles

Skin Care Specialists are also known by other titles,  including:

  • Estheticians
  • Dermatologists
  • Massage Therapists
  • Cosmetologists

Education,  Training, and Experience

Education and Training
A high school diploma or GED is required for some personal appearance workers in some States. Programs in hairstyling, skin care, and other personal appearance services can be found in both high schools and in public or private postsecondary vocational schools.

Certification and Licensure
All States require skin care specialists to be licensed. Qualifications for a license vary by State, but generally a person must have a high school diploma or GED, be at least 16 years old, and have graduated from a State-licensed esthetician school. After graduating from a State approved training program, students take a State licensing examination. The exam consists of a written test and, in some cases, a practical test of styling skills or an oral examination.

Skin care specialists should have an understanding of fashion, art, and technical design.  They also must keep a neat personal appearance and a clean work area.  Interpersonal skills, image, and attitude play an important role in career success. As client retention and retail sales become an increasingly important part of salons’ revenue, the ability to be an effective salesperson becomes ever more vital for salon workers. Some esthetician schools consider “people skills” to be such an integral part of the job that they require coursework in that area. Business skills are important for those who plan to operate their own salons.


The median annual salary for a Skin Care Specialist is $27,000. The top 10 percent earn more than $51,000, and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $15,000.  Median earnings in the industries employing the largest number of skin care specialists are:

  • Personal Care Services - $17,650
  • Offices of Physicians - $22,300
  • Other Amusement and Recreation Industries - $18,250
  • Traveler Accommodation  - $17,900
  • Department Stores - $21,870

Job Outlook

  • 2006-2016 Employment growth:  34%
  • Number of new jobs created 2006-2016: 13,000
  • Employment 2006 : 38,000
  • Employment 2016:  51,000
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