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Potential Income for an Esthetician

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Esthetician Income Potential in the U.S.

If you’re interested in going to cosmetology school to become an esthetician, you’ve come to the right place. Being an esthetician can be one of the most fun and fulfilling jobs. The wages of different jobs are an extremely important factor when considering possible career opportunities. Before making any decisions about your career, you should have a solid plan. This includes determining your interests, how much school (if any) you would need to go through to go after this career, and determining wages for each possible career. Today, we’re going to be looking at esthetician income potential in the U.S. from coast to coast, beginner to expert levels.


School Requirements

Let’s start by taking a look at schooling. In Oregon, you’re going to need to go through a 500-hour esthetician training program before doing anything else. This will give you a standard certification. After that, you can become an advanced esthetician which means that you’ve trained in specialties, such as tattoo removal, cellulite reduction, and much more. This is another 500 hours of school. Once you have completed the proper schooling, you’ll apply and test for your esthetics license. 



The median salary of an esthetician is $31,290 which pans out to be about $15.05 an hour if you work full-time. The top 10% earns almost $60,000, which is about $30 an hour. However, there is a difference between salaries. If you decide to stay a regular esthetician, you will earn less than if you were to pursue a medical esthetician license. Here in Oregon, the median salary is $42,000 (about $20.30 per hour), and the high-end is $70,000. Being fresh out of school, you could expect to earn around $30,000 a year. If your clients are happy with your work, you can expect up to 20% extra on top of your salary in tips and commissions.


Where do I Work?

Being an esthetician is very similar to being a hairstylist. You can have a job somewhere, frequently at a spa, you can rent a ‘chair’ out of an existing beauty parlor, or you can own or rent your own space and have clients come to you. It’s probably the easiest starting out as an employee or renting a chair; if the place you work is reputable, clients will come to you. When you start out as an independent, you have to worry about advertising, space upkeep, and you typically have to attract clients yourself. There are always some exceptions, however, and if you have a steady plan and a burning drive, you can do anything you set your mind to.



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