What is the Difference Between a Beautician and an Esthetician?

Are you interested in a career path that allows you flexible hours, an opportunity to use your creative skills, and enjoy exciting opportunities for advancement? If so, consider becoming a beautician or an esthetician. These career paths are in high demand and projected to grow over the next decade, 19 percent for beauticians and 29 percent for estheticians.

Jobs in Cosmetology and Esthiology can also provide you with the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of others. If you enjoy working with people every day and want to help them feel good about themselves, then consider becoming a beautician or esthetician. So, what does an esthetician and beautician do?

What Does an Esthetician Do?

Estheticians, also referred to as skincare specialists, provide skin analysis and treatments for their clients. These treatments enhance the clarity and condition of the client’s skin, creating a radiant and youthful appearance. As an esthetician, you will work closely with your clients to address their unique skincare concerns.

Skin Analysis

While as a skincare specialist, you may not be able to prescribe a specific product to your clients, you are qualified to make recommendations based on the client’s skin care issues and concerns. During an esthetician program, you will learn about skin diseases and disorders that will educate you when to refer a client to a dermatologist.

Hair Removal

As a licensed esthetician, you are qualified to provide hair removal services. Each of these hair removal options come with their own advantages and some techniques may be more beneficial for clients than others.


You will often provide your clients with customizable facials that are designed to hydrate, exfoliate, purify, and cleanse. These facial services can involve multiple steps, are quite thorough, and take time to complete. They are highly effective and leave the client with radiant, healthier looking skin.

What Does a Beautician Do?

A beautician, also known as a cosmetologist, provides hair, makeup, and nail services for their clients. They are versatile and capable of providing many beauty and wellness services in salons, spas, and resorts. As a beautician, you can use your creative talents to provide your clients with the looks they desire.

Haircare Services

Many beauticians choose to specialize in haircare services, and work in franchise salons, day spas, and boutique salons. You will use the latest styling techniques to provide clients with fashionable haircuts, hair coloring services, and styling treatments.

Manicures and Pedicures

During the course of your training, you will learn how to provide manicures and pedicures, allowing you to work in nail salons or upscale full-service salons that offer nail services. Some beauticians specialize in nail art and enjoy using their creative talents to enhance the looks and appearance of their client’s nails.

Facial Treatments

As a beautician, you will also provide your clients with facial treatments, though these services are not as advanced as the treatments that a skin care specialist provides. You will provide clients with mask treatments, serums, and extraction services to address your client’s individual needs.

What is the Difference Between a Beautician and an Esthetician?

While these career types do have their fair share of similarities, there are notable differences that you should be aware of. For example, both an esthetician and beautician’s primary duties include hair removal, facials, and professional makeup application. However, beauticians are also capable of offering professional hair services, including cutting, styling, and coloring treatments. In addition to these services, they also apply hair treatments that are designed to change their client’s hair texture like perms, straighteners, and other chemical relaxers.

Duties & Responsibilities

A beautician provides more services for their clients than estheticians, ranging from pedicures to hair color services, whereas an esthetician primarily works with a client’s skin. Estheticians focus on providing professional skin care treatments that are designed to enhance their client’s appearance and address any issues they may have. Estheticians also provide more advanced hair removal treatments, including laser hair removal and electrolysis. They can apply facial treatments and body wraps which are designed to exfoliate, hydrate, and soothe the skin. Estheticians also offer professional makeup application services.

Time to Complete Educational Program

Another primary difference between cosmetologists and estheticians is that the cosmetology program takes 10 months to complete, enrolled full-time. The esthetician program only takes 5 months to complete, attending full-time. Both are equally comprehensive, but the Cosmetology program builds on what the Esthiology program teaches with additional hairstyle and nail services.

Different Licensing Exams

While both estheticians and beauticians take and pass a licensing exam, they are both different exams that cover different material. Each exam will test your proficiency in your craft and serve as proof of your hard work and dedication.

Your Work Environment

You can work in a many different places as either a beautician or an esthetician. However, beauticians usually find employment at a salon, spa, or may decide to open their own practice. Some beauticians even find themselves working with celebrities and models, offering their services backstage or in the dressing area of large events. Estheticians may also work at health and wellness spas, but many are employed by a dermatologist’s office or even within their own private practice.

How Do You Become a Beautician or an Esthetician?

An easy way to start your journey towards a meaningful career is by attending a beauty school. At beauty school, you will hone your skills and receive instruction from knowledgeable instructors that will prepare you for your exciting new career. Whether you want to become a beautician or esthetician, Minnesota School of Cosmetology can help.

What are the Benefits of Formal Training?

There are many reasons why you should consider attending a formal training program to become a beautician or an esthetician. Following are some of the benefits you receive throughout your training at Minnesota School of Cosmetology:

Training from Experts in the Field

If you attend Minnesota School of Cosmetology, you can be assured that the techniques you learn have been thoroughly vetted and proven effective on actual clients. The techniques you might learn informally outside of a professional program may be misguided, outdated or even harmful (especially with hair color and processing services). Receiving your formal education will help you learn accurate techniques that are proven safe and effective.

Link-Minded Classmates

During the Cosmetology and Esthiology programs, you will have the opportunity to meet other people who are also passionate about beauty and wellness. You can share your ideas and experiences and help encourage each other as you get started on your exciting new career path. Friendships created within a classroom setting often lead to networking, which leads to expanded opportunities for your career growth in the future.

Hands-On Training

You will not only learn the science behind the beauty services, but you will also have the opportunity to put your new knowledge to the test with hands-on training in a student-run salon. During this portion of your coursework, you will work with actual clients and provide them with beauty services, under the supervision of your licensed professional instructors. This opportunity for instant feedback ensures that you are fully capable of providing clients with excellent service as soon as you graduate.

Career Services

Finding the right job that matches your strengths and interests can be challenging. Fortunately, Minnesota School of Cosmetology offers career services to graduates. Our career services staff can help you create a professional resume, search, and apply for open positions, and practice your job interview skills so you can land the job of your dreams.

Prepare for the Licensing Exam

Whether you become an esthetician or beautician, you should obtain a licensing exam to get a job in the industry. By attending a cosmetology or Esthiology program, you will receive thorough instruction and be prepared to take your licensing exam in cosmetology or Esthiology.

Market Your Services

While many beauticians and estheticians might focus on providing a few services for their clients, receiving formal training can help expand your skills, so you can attract more clients and become a well-rounded practitioner. You will also learn the latest techniques, offering you more credible. Learning the latest beauty trends and learning how to provide additional services can strengthen your resume, making you more competitive in the job market.

Final Thoughts

If you enjoy working with others and like helping people feel great about the way they look, consider a career as a beautician or as an esthetician. Both career fields are projected to grow over the next decade, which means you’ll enjoy job stability and the satisfaction of boosting your clients’ self-confidence every day at work.

Cosmetology Program

At Minnesota School of Cosmetology, we are dedicated to helping our Cosmetology program students develop a solid foundation and a flair for style through hands-on training in basic and advanced industry techniques. You will learn how to cut, color and style hair, give manicures and pedicures, provide spa treatments, and perform various skin care techniques from industry-experienced instructors in a professional salon setting.

Esthiology Program

Our Esthiology Diploma Program has been developed by talented, caring, real-world professionals, many of whom still work in the field. We give our Esthiology students experience in skincare, waxing, make-up, application of facials, and more.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a cosmetologist or esthetician and start a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

Find out what Minnesota School of Cosmetology can do for you

10-month Cosmetology Diploma |

13-Month Massage Therapy Diploma |

5-Month Esthiology Diploma

By checking the box below, you are giving your express written consent for Minnesota School of Cosmetology to contact you regarding our programs and services using email, telephone, or text - including our use of automated technology for calls and periodic texts to any wireless number you provide. Message and data rates may apply. This consent is not required to purchase goods/services and you may always call us directly at 651-432-4635.

Yes, you may send texts to this number

  View Privacy Policy

Submitting this form constitutes your consent to be contacted by email and/or phone from a representative of the school.