If you had your choice between being an esthetician or a master esthetician, which would you choose? Your answer should depend on three things: the state where you live, your career goals, and the number of hours you want to spend in beauty school.
Advanced Estheticians and State Cosmetology Law
With beauty school education options, historically there have not been multiple levels of certification and training. Some beauty professionals apprentice under more experienced, licensed beauty therapists, while others opt for continuing education through professional associations and annual trade shows.
The level of licensure for any beauty profession is determined by state law, which explains the variation in occupational titles from state to state. In regard to esthetics training, the hours required for licensure vary from 250 to 1,200.
Because of expanding technologies--like intense pulsed light (IPL), used by medical estheticians--and the advancement of products and procedures, the industry has recognized a need to provide esthetics professionals with advanced training. Currently, only a limited number of states have laws recognizing master esthetician credentials. Other states may soon be following suit.
One reason for the increased interest in these higher credentials is that the National Coalition of Estheticians, Distributors/Manufacturers, and Associations (NCEA), a highly active professional organization in the esthetics industry, has been working toward raising esthetics standards nationwide with their 1,200-hour NCEA certification program. Some beauty schools are starting to offer master esthetician training so students can take their NCEA certification exam after meeting other NCEA requirements.
What Do Master Estheticians Learn in Beauty School?
With twice the time spent on esthetician training and study, master estheticians typically absorb an in-depth esthetics curriculum focused on a variety of advanced procedures. They receive training on equipment and modalities not covered in a basic esthetics program. Though each curriculum varies by school, topics may include:
- Advanced general sciences: infection control and sanitation; anatomy, physiology, and histology of the skin; chemistry and biochemistry; hormones
- Advanced skin sciences: botanicals and aromatherapy; pharmacology for estheticians; skin care products; skin typing and analysis; advanced skin disorders
- Esthetics: advanced facial techniques and massage; various hair removal methods, including stringing and sugaring; advanced make-up, including airbrushed make-up and permanent cosmetics
- Spa therapies: body treatments including masks and wraps; alternative therapies such as reiki, light therapy, and Ayurveda
- Medical: terminology; medical intervention; pre- and post-medical treatments; plastic surgery procedures
- Business skills: financial planning and taxes; marketing
Estheticians: Master Education for Bigger and Better Opportunities
Whether you are a beginner in the field of esthetics or a seasoned professional, check with your cosmetology school to see if they offer master esthetics training. With advanced education, you can become more competitive for medical esthetician jobs. You are also that much closer to meeting your NCEA certification, which is what every esthetician wants on a resume.