Home Jobs & Education What is the Average Esthetician Salary?

If you wonder how much a skincare specialist earns in the US nowadays, stay with us to find out more about the average esthetician salary, best paying employers and the most important aspects affecting how much they make annually.

The Average Esthetician Salary in the US

According to a chart created by Pay Scale in May 2015, the annual esthetician salary in the United States ranges from $18,204 to $47,400. Good news is that experience is not one of the essential factors affecting their earnings. The entry-level esthetician salary can reach, in this case, a total of $30,000 per year.

Esthetician providing a facial treatment to a client

What is an Esthetician?

Also known as skincare specialists, estheticians provide skincare treatments that help enhancing an individual’s overall appearance.  This employment sector is dominated by female workers, specialized in beautifying the skin.

Although all professionals responding to the Pay Scale online questionnaire have reported high levels of satisfaction, their job is not that easy as it may seem. Providing facial and full-body massages and treatments implies spending a great number of hours standing.

According to BLS, around 27% estheticians are self-employed. Beside physical stamina, good timing and excellent customer service skills, these estheticians are required to have managerial abilities as well.

However, there are many advantages to this job. Flexible work hours and low level of stress as compared to other professionals treating more severe skin conditions, are just two of them.

If you consider taking up this career path, you should know that there are tips, bonuses and commissions that you can add up to your hourly payment. But unfortunately, only 30% percent of estheticians benefit of medical cover, and just 17% of dental insurance.

As regards their work place, salons, spas, and even medical offices are the typical work settings for skin care professionals.

What Are the Main Tasks of Estheticians?

  • Evaluate their client’s facial and body skin condition in order to provide treatment for a more enhanced appearance.
  • Know about specialized skincare techniques and products such as masks, scrubs, peels.
  • Provide services such as: cleansing, exfoliating, waxing, moisturizing, chemical peels, make-up, massages.
  • Show and explain how to maintain a healthy, good-looking skin.
  • Demonstrate how to apply make-up after having cleansed it.
  • Discuss which alternatives can improve the condition and quality of their clients’ skin.
  • Recommend different kinds of treatment and products according to their clients’ needs.
  • Keep a record of the needs and services provided to each of their clients.
  • Advice clients with skin problems to ask for medical help.
  • Maintain the equipment clean.
  • Order supplies.

Job Requirements

If you consider becoming an esthetician, this is all you need to accomplish:

  • Education & Training

In order to become an esthetician you are required to have a post-secondary vocational degree. As estheticians often work with chemicals and specific equipment, they are also provided with on-the-job trainings by specialized professionals in skincare.

  • Certifications & Licenses

Estheticians need to be certified as cosmetologists by an accredited esthetician school. This means they have to undergo a cosmetology or esthetician program and pass an exam in the state of practice.  After completing such programs, they need a state license. For more information about each state requirements, you can contact The National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology. Find out all you need to know about licensing from them.

Continuous learning and post-licensing trainings are seen as an advantage by employers and can contribute to a better payment.

Work Hours

Estheticians work on a full-time basis. Typically for them is working during evenings, as well as over weekends, depending on their clients’ needs and requirements.


Esthetician Salary by Industry

The average annual esthetician salaries do not depend that much on years of experience as they are affected by the industry they work in. Also, the geographical location has much to say when it comes to how much a skin care specialist brings home every month.

According to BLS, these are the top paying industries for this profession:

Industry Hourly Pay Rate Annual Average Esthetician Salary
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals $22.89 $47,600
Outpatient Care Centers $22.24 $46,260
Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities) $20.56 $42,760
Offices of Physicians $19.76 $41,090
Employment Services $17.90 $37,240

According to Pay Scale, best paying employer is Massage Envy, offering a median salary of $28,000. Smallest paycheck is said to be found at European Wax Center, but they also offer salaries up to $47,000.

Esthetician Salary by State

According to the Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates made available by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2014, the highest employment level for estheticians is located in California. The average esthetician salary offered in this state is $34,110.

As statistics show, the highest skin care wages are in Wyoming and Oregon. The average annual esthetician salary in these locations exceeds $50K.

Employment Facts – Highest Concentration of Esthetician Jobs in the US

State Hourly Pay Rate Annual Average Esthetician Salary
California $16.40 $34,110
Texas $15.75 $32,760
New York $16.57 $34,460
Florida $15.64 $32,530
Illinois $14.82 $30,830


Top Paying States for Estheticians

State Hourly Pay Rate Annual Average Esthetician Salary
Wyoming $26.22 $54,550
Oregon $24.42 $50,790
Virginia $22.29 $46,360
Vermont $22.27 $46,330
Ohio $20.59 $42,830

Top paying metropolitan areas for Estheticians:

Metropolitan area Hourly Pay Rate Annual Average Esthetician Salary
Albuquerque, NM $26.31 $54,730
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division $26.01 $54,090
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA $25.53 $53,100
Boulder, CO $23.92 $49,760
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT $23.85 $49,610
Naples-Marco Island, FL $23.12 $48,080
Portsmouth, NH-ME $22.91 $47,650
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC $22.32 $46,430
Burlington-South Burlington, VT $21.93 $45,610
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA NECTA Division $21.65 $45,040

Job Prospects

The future looks good for estheticians. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, until 2022 it is expected an employment growth of 40%. More than 44,000 jobs are made available between 2012 and 2022. This expectations are based on more and more people’s desire to improve their physical appearance.

Quick Esthetician Job Facts

Esthetician Average Salary as for May 2015  $29K
Entry-level Average Salary (0-5 years) $29K
Mid-level Career Average Salary (5-10 years) $33K
Experienced Average Salary (10 – 20 years) $38K
Late Career Average Salary (>20 years) $41K
Education & Training  Postsecondary Vocational DegreeOn-the-job Training 
Certification and Licenses Esthetician School Certification License in the State of Practice
Best Paying State  Wyoming
Highest Concentration of Esthetician Jobs in the US California
Work Hours Full-time, long evening and weekend hours
Job Prospects  + 44,400 new jobs until 2020



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Erika Schwartz

Dear reader, my name is Erika and I am an actress, arts teacher and film analyst. I studied theatre and film for over four years, and changed more than 15 part-time jobs. What can I say? It is a tough industry. I love dance, especially tango, music, and basically anything art-related. I also enjoy writing about the captivating and dynamic world of entertainment. When I work, I seek the perfect balance between usefulness and beauty. I like to describe myself as the most optimistic person alive.


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