How to Become an Esthetician Online

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Esthetician and woman client during laser skin resurfacing treatment in a medical aesthetic clinic

For information only. Not meant as advice in any form. Please consult your medical professional or lawyer.

Working as an esthetician is a fulfilling career for people who are interested in helping others look and feel their best using beautification and skin treatments. But sometimes, a lot of things can prevent you from attending a traditional esthetician program – like being too far, working full-time, or having other commitments. Luckily, there are beauty schools that offer an online course for their esthetics program.

So is it possible to become an esthetician through an online esthetician school? Yes, some states allow aspiring estheticians to finish an esthetics program online. However, they might still need to attend training and prepare for a licensure exam on-site to become a licensed esthetician in their chosen state.

Steps to Becoming an Esthetician Online

According to the latest reports by the Associated Skin Care Professionals, there are about 183,000 licensed estheticians in the country working in different places like spas, salons, resorts, skin clinics, and more. Because of the demand in the beauty industry and the job opportunities for estheticians, many people find themselves applying to cosmetology schools.

Since there are lots of things people can do through the internet, many aspiring estheticians are wondering if going to an online school for esthetics is possible. Although signing up for an esthetician school online is allowed to complete training hours in some states, participants still need to attend hands-on training sessions because it’s one of the most important parts of their program.

If you’re still interested in becoming an esthetician online, here’s an overview of the process you must go through:

1) Check Your State’s Requirements

Different states have different sets of requirements for an esthetician’s license, so aspiring estheticians should check their chosen state’s requirements first before enrolling in their dream cosmetology school. Some states require applicants to have a certain number of training hours on-site while others call for the entire training period to be on-site.

Here’s a list of states that allow online training hours for an esthetician license:

  • California – Online training is approved, but the aesthetics academy’s curriculum should be approved by the National Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC) first.
  • Iowa – Iowa accepts online training schools, but students need to complete the required 600 hours of training first before taking the esthetician board exam.
  • Indiana – According to the state board of Indiana, up to 10% of the esthetician classes can be delivered “within a distance learning environment.”
  • Maryland – Online esthetician courses are approved, as long as applicants complete the 600 training hour requirement before taking the licensure exam.
  • Minnesota – The state board of Minnesota allows online esthetician courses for theory-based lessons, but students should still attend a traditional esthetician practical course before their licensure exam.
  • New Mexico – New Mexico state board approves online esthetics training, but they can’t take up more than 25% of the overall curriculum.
  • New Hampshire – Like New Mexico, aspiring estheticians in New Hampshire can also take online esthetician classes as long as they don’t cover more than 25% of the curriculum. Additionally, the state prohibits online testing for the licensure exam.
  • Ohio – The state board of Ohio also allows online esthetician training programs, given that they don’t exceed 25% of the course curriculum.
  • South Carolina – Online esthetician schools in South Carolina are mostly off-limits, but estheticians may still take advanced esthetics programs online for their continuing education. However, only half of the continuing education credits are allowed to be online.
  • Texas – Texas approves obtaining an esthetician license online as long as they’re from an institution accredited by the state or the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS).
  • Washington State – Up to 25% of the theory curriculum in an esthetics program is allowed to be taken online in Washington State.
  • Wisconsin – Applicants may take their theory-based esthetician courses online in Wisconsin after gaining approval from the Wisconsin Office of Examination and Education.
  • Wyoming – Online esthetician training is open in Wyoming, but it’s only offered to instructors. They also have a limit of 200 online training hours.

2) Meet the Requirements of the Esthetician Course

After checking the state’s guidelines for online training courses, the next step is to ensure that the applicant is qualified for the esthetician training program they want. The requirements also vary per institution and state, but most of them only need applicants to be at least 16 or 18 years old with a high school diploma or GED certificate.

For participants who want to sign up for more advanced esthetician courses, proof of their previous training might be required. Before enrolling in a beauty school, check their curriculum first and talk to their staff to find out if it’s the best esthetician course for you. To help you get started, here are some of the best online esthetician schools in the country:

  • Wiregrass Georgia Technical College
  • Ogle School of Hair, Skin, and Nails
  • Mirage Spa Education
  • Catherine Hinds Institute of Esthetics
  • West Tennessee Business College
  • W Academy of Salon and Spa
  • Paul Mitchell School
  • West Georgia Technical College
  • Empire Beauty School
  • VICI Aveda Institute
  • Penn Foster High School
  • Universal Career School

3) Complete the Online Training Course

Once the student has decided on the best cosmetology school and training program for them, the next step is to complete the online course. The best thing about attending an online esthetics program is that participants can learn about the lessons at their own pace. There isn’t much pressure to finish the course in a specific time, which makes it favorable for aspiring estheticians with busy schedules.

Upon enrolling in an online esthetician course, students learn about the following topics:

  • Skincare treatments like cleansing, massage, and facials
  • Salon management
  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • Skin conditions and analysis
  • Cosmetic science
  • Makeup application techniques
  • Cosmetic ingredient analysis
  • Waxing and hair removal
  • Sanitation and safety procedures

In some beauty schools, aspiring estheticians may also pick their specialization if they want to become a skincare specialist, facial specialist, medical esthetician, or other related professions. Some of the unique areas for specialization include:

  • Theatrical makeup
  • Advanced acne treatments
  • Advanced facial massage techniques
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Aromatherapy

4) Attend Esthetician Training On-Site

Although there’s much to learn about esthetician treatments online, this kind of beauty program may not be enough to cover everything about esthetics and cosmetology. Aspiring estheticians still need a bit of on-site training to understand the treatments, techniques, and processes better. Hands-on training also encourages them to think critically, allowing them to come up with solutions to real-life examples.

Different states also have varying on-site training hour requirements. Make sure to check the state board guidelines first about their hands-on training requirements. Applicants can also ask their instructor about which lessons require on-site training and which ones can be taken online.

They should also be mindful of the schedule for the academy’s hands-on training – if the course requires students to come a few hours every week or if they can go based on their own schedule.

5) Apply for Esthetician Licensure in Your Chosen State

After finishing the esthetician training course online, the next step for aspiring estheticians is to apply for a license in the state they want to practice in. Some states require more training hours than others, so make sure that you meet the specific requirements according to the state board.

In most states, applicants need to pass the written examination first before they have a chance to sit in a practical exam. They also charge a fee for estheticians who want to take the licensure exam, but the exact amount varies per state. After passing both components of the exam, applicants can start performing skin and beautification treatments in the state where they passed.

6) Sign Up for Skin Treatment Certifications

Many beauty schools also offer certification programs for licensed estheticians who want to learn more about other treatments or those who need continuing education credits for their license renewal. Most certification programs last for 6 weeks, but they’re enough to teach participants everything they need to know about certain topics.

Like online esthetician training programs, an online esthetician certification is also valid as long as it meets the state requirements. However, students might need to attend practical training and examinations in person.

But note that esthetician certifications are optional in most cases. They’re not a necessity, but it’s good to have them on your resume since it provides a competitive edge over other estheticians and shows your dedication to learning more about the beauty industry.

7) Renew the Esthetician License

Estheticians should also renew their licenses every few years. The validity of an esthetician license varies per state, but most of them should be renewed every 2 years. Renewing an esthetician license usually involves paying a renewal fee and completing additional training hours of continuing education. Always make sure to check the renewal guidelines of the state you practice in.

Should You Go to Esthetician Schools Online?

Online esthetician schools must follow the rules set by the state board, so aspiring estheticians still learn a lot through their online training sessions. Getting an esthetician license online has benefits and disadvantages that students must consider before they enroll in a beauty school.

To help applicants make the best decision for their career, here’s a list of pros and cons to think about:

Pros of Online Esthetician Training

  • Less expensive than on-site training – Online esthetician schools have fewer overhead costs than physical ones, so they usually offer training programs at a lower rate. There’s also the option of using ebooks instead of traditional textbooks which take up a lot of space. Students don’t have to travel far so they can save up on travel costs and meals.
  • Flexible learning hours – Most online training courses use videos, assigned readings, and webinars, so the time constraint that comes with traditional esthetician schools wouldn’t be a huge issue. Students can work at their own pace and focus better on certain concepts and techniques without the time pressure.
  • Multiple learning methods – Aside from lectures, online esthetician training programs also have discussion groups, videos, ebooks, webinars, and forums from which they learn a lot. The variety of learning methods also allows them to focus on the medium that works best for them.

Cons of Online Esthetician Training

  • Not allowed in some states – Only a few states allow online training for estheticians and some of them even put a limit on distance learning. This makes it difficult for estheticians to transfer between states or schools, so they should always check the requirements of their chosen state first before moving forward.
  • Students learn more on-site – Online training sessions tend to create a one-way flow of information for students. Since they can’t meet with their classmates or instructors on-site, the only way they can ask for others’ opinions is by looking through forums or sending their instructor an inquiry.
  • Requires better time management – While having the option to learn at your own time is one of the biggest advantages of online learning, this setup also makes it difficult for professionals to balance their time if they have a busy schedule. Online esthetician training works best for individuals with self-discipline and good time management skills.

Costs of Online Esthetician Training

Aside from the pros and cons of online esthetician schools, another factor to consider is the cost of attending one. The exact cost of online esthetician training programs also varies depending on the institution, the state, and the coverage of the course. Most of them fall around the range of $3000 to $10,000. Community colleges usually have lower tuition fee rates compared to privately owned beauty schools.

But aside from the tuition fee, students also have to consider other costs like kits, textbooks, registration fees, and more. Make sure to ask the institution about their online training costs and their inclusions.

Online Training Courses for Estheticians at FACE Med Store

With the beauty industry continuously thriving, more estheticians are also taking additional courses that allow them to provide more treatment options to their clients. At FACE Med Store, we offer a wide range of online training courses for estheticians who want to expand their skill sets.

We also provide medical supplies to numerous skin clinics, medical spas, and other healthcare institutions across the country. Call us today to know more about our products or esthetician courses.

All content in this blog is for informational purposes only. It is not medical or legal advice. Please consult with lawyer or a medical professional.