Further Education opportunities for the esthetician and spa professional
The field of esthetics is evolving, with a projected growth of almost 12% by 2028. Estheticians are becoming more in demand as medical spa and skincare becomes more and more specified. Esthetic training programs range from 600-1000 hours with a mixture of clinical didactics and hands-on learning. The majority of programs cover basic skin physiology and histology while focusing on the information and skills need to pass the final exam and state boards. So, what is there after school? What further education is there for estheticians? The list may be larger than you think, and that list is ever-growing.
DEFINING YOUR IDEAL ROLE
One of the first decisions one needs to make, is what type of esthetician do you want to be? Do you want to be more spa minded, cosmetic focused, or clinical oriented? Esthetician’s that work in the spa tend to have skills more focused on relaxation, restorative, and/ or self-care-based treatments. The cosmetic side does more make-up, eyelash services, and permanent make-up techniques. While the clinical esthetician tends to more in a doctor’s office setting or medical spa, providing more advanced procedures with different modalities. Narrowing down your ideal setting and what procedures interest you can make finding programs to further your knowledge a little easier. You must also take into consideration what limitations the state board has for the esthetician’s scope of practice. Here are some further education opportunities worth exploring.
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Dermaplaning is a great place to start for additional certifications. Dermaplaning is the procedure of exfoliation by removing dead skin cells and vellus hair to create a smooth canvas for most peels, facials, and masks. It also has great anti-aging benefits because of this exfoliation that allows for deeper penetration of products. It is done either dry or with a specially formulated oil with a scalpel blade that had been engineered to be gentler and not as sharp.
Dermaplaning courses are done either in a group setting or individually. The trainee must complete theory course work either at the class or on their own time. The coursework covers the benefits, safety, and how to add dermaplaning to procedures. Keep in mind that some training courses are geared towards their specific skincare line and facial protocols and may include instruction on these points. These trainings may happen in a group or individually, but they also can be done via virtual class. Once certified the esthetician may begin to add this beneficial service to most facials.
Microneedling is also a great, commonly used certification to add to one’s resume. Microneedling is a form of collagen induction therapy that is done via a pen-like device with specialized needles. These needles penetrate the skin and create a wound healing response. Collagen and elastin amp up their production and the client is left with plump, glowing skin. It is very useful in the treatment of acne scars, hyperpigmentation, and wrinkle reduction. Most states allow estheticians to use microneedling devices as long as the needles are no longer than 0.3mm and the devices make no medical claims, though be sure to check your state guidelines before investing in any certifications.
There is a small amount of superficial bleeding involved with the facial, so it is important to also have knowledge of bodily fluid precautions and clean up and to be sure one isn’t queasy at the sight of blood. Courses for microneedling certification can be found mainly through manufacturers. Generally, the course work covers the clinical uses of microneedling, clinical training, un derstanding product usage alongside microneedling, and contraindications. Microneedling training can range from $295- $1,300 depending on the device and training program you go through. It can be done in as little as 4 days or longer depending on the speed at which you learn.
This is one certification where it is important to do research on the device pens to see what the disposable cost is per treatment to then determine how lucrative using that pen may be. Some programs just give generalized instruction to any variety of devices and you may be responsible for purchasing your own.
Chemical peels are another advanced certification that estheticians can get. Chemical peels are a type of deeper exfoliation that utilize higher concentrations of AHA acids or BHA acids. They work by breaking down the bonds between the desmosomes of skin cells. Peels are great at treating wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, scarring, and for getting a refreshed glow. Most peels are applied up to the third layer of skin, stratum granulosum, depending on the client’s experience with peels or what the client’s overall goal is.
Most training for chemical peels is done through the manufacturer’s training or in spa training depending on the certification required by the state you are practicing. Most esthetics licenses allow one to practice on the epidermal layer but have heavier restrictions on dermal level treatments. These continuing education courses cover peel efficacy, safety, application, as well as a refresher on skin types and layers of the skin. The cost of training varies from $100-$250 for just a basic course.
Training through manufacturers of chemical peels will be focused on using the products they distribute but can potentially still be applicable if using a different product line. If going through a manufacturer training site be sure to pick a company that is widely used and with great results. Peels are not only great as a stand-alone but as a complement to microdermabrasion.
What is microdermabrasion? It is the use of fine sand-like particles to exfoliate and refine the face. It is a great treatment for wrinkles, scarring, and hyperpigmentation. It provides a smooth surface that has greater penetrability for serums, peels, or ampoules. Estheticians can get microdermabrasion certification with either on the job training or in a group setting. The certification course covers the mechanics of the machine, contraindications, bundling treatments, and the safety of the machine. Depending on the depth of training the certification cost can range from $21-$100. It is also worth noting that some states do not require any type of further certification for this procedure so it is best to check in with your board to see if you would need any type of formal training.
If any of these certifications are of interest it is worth noting that some states offer a “master esthetician” license. At the moment Utah, Virginia, Washington, and D.C. are the only areas that offer this two-tier licensing. This program would be better geared to the esthetician looking to work in a more clinical setting. All previously mentioned certifications, as well as lymphatic drainage, light therapies, pre and post-operative care, and radiofrequency treatments are taught within the course. The course length ranges from 450-600 hours with some requiring a minimum of 15 weeks within the program. The cost of the schooling can range from $9,500 to upwards of $15,000 depending on the chosen school.
Estheticians have ample opportunity for advancing their education with procedural certifications. The internet, previous or current esthetics teachers, and certain publications are all great resources for locating further education programs and opportunities. Remember that these certifications vary greatly in cost from as little as $20 up to thousands of dollars for more advanced certifications and licensures. Be sure to speak with employers or potential employers about assisting with cost or to see if they provide training at no cost to you. Lastly, when considering further education opportunities be sure to check your licensing limitations through your state board. Each state has its own set of regulations and restrictions governing what procedures you can and cannot do based on your licensing.