For information only. Not meant as advice in any form. Please consult your medical professional or lawyer.
An esthetician is a licensed skincare specialist that provides wraps, facials, scrubs, and other skin and body treatments for their clients in spas, salons, and resorts. It’s a fulfilling profession, especially for people who like helping others look and feel their best. But like any other job, one of the biggest things to consider when joining the esthetics industry is knowing how much a licensed esthetician earns.
So how much do estheticians make with their own business? Self-employed estheticians may earn as much as $52,100 per year in their own practice, but this relies on having a strong customer base. Their salary or profit also depends on their experience and specialization, so it’s best to invest in themselves as professionals and attend training programs.
How Much Do Estheticians Make With Their Own Business?
Having an esthetician job sounds glamorous because it involves helping clients with their conditions and recommending the best skin care treatments for them. The road to getting an esthetician license isn’t an easy one, so it’s not surprising for an aspiring esthetician to expect to bring in the big bucks as they venture into the beauty industry.
According to the Associated Skin Care Professionals, there are about 183,000 licensed estheticians in the country, most of whom work in spas, salons, and medical settings like hospitals and physician’s offices. The national average salary for them is $38,324 per year, with New York leading at $45,484 annually.
But working in a medical spa or other healthcare institutions might not provide enough salary for some licensed estheticians, especially for medical estheticians who are supposed to be earning more because of the additional medical esthetician training they completed. To earn more as a skin care specialist, many estheticians are looking into starting their own practice.
Self-Employed Esthetician Salary
The average salary for self-employed licensed estheticians in the country is $52,100, but this still depends on having a good clientele base and the rates of cosmetic treatments offered by the practice. Once a self-employed master esthetician has become well-established with a good reputation in their chosen area, they can earn as much as $100,000 on their premium services and skin care products.
Wages, Tips, and Upselling Skincare Products
The annual salary of an esthetician is the sum of 3 different sources of income:
- Wages – This is the base income of most estheticians. Wages are often paid per hour in a week. The usual range is $15 to $20 per hour at about 40 hours per week, so the monthly wage is around $2400 to $3200.
- Tips and Commissions – Most clients tip their esthetician about $20 to $35, which generates at least $1000 to $1750 per month. For an esthetician business to succeed, it’s crucial to have the best customer service and rake in tips for the staff. Commissions are also another source of income, which gives medical estheticians about $400 to $1200 per month.
- Skincare Products – One of the biggest advantages of owning a medical spa, beauty salon, or other esthetic practice is that owners can sell skin care products to clients. The skincare product may be developed by the practice itself, but they may also be a reseller of a bigger skincare company.
What Determines Their Salary?
Estheticians have different salary ranges that depend on their experiences, location, and pay structure. Those who are lucky enough to find a place in wealthy areas with a handful of upmarket salons cater to well-off clients, so they usually have higher salaries and receive bigger tips and commission rates.
How Experience Increases Your Salary
The salary of an esthetician depends on their specialization and experience. For example, a medical esthetician earns more than a massage therapist, spa therapist, or standard esthetician because they went through additional training after finishing esthetician school.
Their job description requires them to perform more complex treatments like permanent makeup treatment or eyelash extension, so it’s natural for them to have a slightly higher salary. To increase the salary in a business, find a good type of skin treatment to specialize in and follow the trends in that niche.
As estheticians gain more experience, they establish a good reputation in the industry which gives them the right to charge more for their services. Having good customer service also increases the tips received from their clients too.
6 Ways to Maximize Your Income Potential
Want to increase your income as a self-employed aesthetician? Here are some of the most effective ways to maximize the income potential as you operate an esthetician business or practice:
1) Choose the Right Niche
Finding the right niche to specialize in is often the game changer that many estheticians don’t realize. If the business fails to attract the right clients because of failed marketing messages and frequent service list do-overs, then identifying the right specialization comes in handy. Here are questions that can help estheticians and spa owners find the appropriate niche for them:
- What skin treatment are you extremely skilled at?
- What’s the most common skin condition that the clients want to treat?
- What’s currently in demand in the beauty industry?
- How does the competition look in your chosen niche?
2) Continue Your Education
After mastering a niche and establishing a reputation in that particular service, the next step is to offer additional services. It’s good to focus on a niche, but it’s even better to master lots of other treatments too.
Continuing the esthetic education and enhancing the skill set are some of the most common ways that beauty experts earn more money in the industry. When looking for a training or certification program, make sure that the institution is approved or accredited by the state or the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS).
Here are some of the best services to learn more about:
- Waxing – Estheticians have different waxing techniques to master throughout their career, from strip waxing large treatment areas to using a fruit wax on a client with sensitive skin.
- Makeup application – Offering makeup services is one of the most lucrative ways for estheticians to earn a little extra. It’s also worth considering permanent makeup treatments like eyeliner and lip tinting to attract more potential clients.
- Hair removal – Many clients grow tired of waxing and shaving, so laser hair removal treatments are also in-demand in many salons and spas. Some training programs include certification for this treatment. But if not, there are still other ways to become a laser specialist.
- Facials – Facial treatments are a medical spa staple, but it comes in many types like chemical peel and microdermabrasion. As you master performing more kinds of facial treatments, your list of customized services also expands.
- Eyelash extensions – Lash extensions are both expensive and in-demand, so it’s one of the best skills that estheticians should learn about. They also come in many types like volume and hybrid.
3) Purchase Efficient Supplies
For estheticians who manage their own practice, the business must purchase and use different supplies efficiently. This prevents problems and errors from occurring, but it’s also a good way to save money. Here’s a list of important equipment to invest in when starting an esthetician business:
- Facial steamers and machines
- Towel warmer
- Manicure table
- Laser hair removal equipment
- Sterilization unit
- Facial chair
- Front office equipment
- Exfoliating brush
- Microdermabrasion equipment
- Massage table
- Magnification lamp
4) Offer Retail Products
Aside from the services, another way for esthetician businesses to make money is to sell retail products. It’s a classic marketing idea that brings in cash through the commission from selling certain skincare products.
For example, if a client loved their facial treatment, then the staff could sell them the oil or scrub they used during the service. This also goes for other products like makeup and nail polish. Retail products are the secret weapon that skincare specialists use to earn a little extra.
5) Upsell Your Other Services
Upselling is another lucrative sales technique that many estheticians use. It works by persuading the client to choose a premium service for their skin treatment or add a complimentary service of their choice. This gives estheticians a chance to offer premium services for a higher price point than the initial service.
For example, some clients can be persuaded into adding microdermabrasion or specialized essential oils into their premium facial. Estheticians may also entice their clients into adding a blackhead removal service to their regular facial treatment.
Upselling is all about giving the client a great deal that they can’t resist. As a result, they’re happy with their service because of a good deal and they’ll likely be back for more, leading to the consistency that many startup medical spas need as they build a loyal customer base.
6) Avoid Undercharging
Charging what the service or skill is worth is one of the most important things for estheticians. Offering skin treatments at the right price ensures that the business gets adequate pay, but it also boosts the esthetician’s confidence in their own experience.
To avoid undercharging, the first thing to do is to create a simple and clear charging process that’s easy to understand for the staff and the client. Keep the price list minimal and know exactly what each charge is for. Here are some tips to help practices avoid undercharging:
- Make the service menu available online so clients get accurate pricing information for the treatment they need.
- Charge clients for a no-show cancellation policy.
- Set up an instant deposit feature alongside a credit card feature to avoid getting sidetracked when chatting with the client in person.
Build Your Esthetician Career With Courses at FACE Med Store
Esthetician jobs require people to continuously learn different things even after getting their license. At FACE Med Store, we offer online training courses for estheticians who want to expand their skillset and provide more cosmetic treatments for their clients.
We’re also a trusted partner of many healthcare institutions across the country when it comes to providing high-quality medical supplies they need for their practice. Call us now or visit our website to know more about our training courses or the other products we offer.