What Training Does an Esthetician Need?

Esthetician standing in front of skin care products

Interested in becoming an esthetician? Wondering what training you need to start working in this field? In the state of Minnesota, an esthetician must be licensed by the Minnesota Board of Cosmetologist Examiners. Estheticians must complete a minimum of 600 hours of training in skin care and Esthiology to apply for an esthetician license in Minnesota. This 600 hours of training is completed at a cosmetology school.

What Training Does an Esthetician Need?

To become an esthetician in the state of Minnesota, you must complete an esthetician program at a local cosmetology or vocational school. This formal education allows you to learn everything about skin care and esthetics, starting a new career, while helping clients keep their skin healthy and combating any skin disorders.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Licensed Esthetician?

A typical esthetician program can be completed in as little as 5 months, for those that are committed to attend full time.  These programs offer a complete education on skin care without all the electives and extra courses you may find at a traditional 4-year college. Once you complete the esthetician program, you will be able to sit for the Minnesota Board of Cosmetologist Examiners esthetician license exam. Not sure if you will be ready to take the exam? Well, the good news about completing an esthetician program, is the curriculum teaches to the test. Meaning, you will learn everything you need to know to not only start working from day one, but you will be prepared to take the licensing exam with confidence.

What is Taught in an Esthetician Program?

During an esthetician program, you receive a complete education on skin care, cosmetics and the fundamentals of dermatology, anatomy, and physiology. Further, you will learn about skin analysis and understand the symptoms of skin disorders.

Client Assessment

During an esthetician program, you will learn how to assess a client’s skin health and come up with a skin care treatment plan. The most important part of any esthetician appointment is the initial assessment. To help the client manage skin health you must understand the client’s health history, allergies, and the specific goals that they want to accomplish with their skin care. Take the time to ask open ended questions that allow the client to talk about themselves and share information that can help you better prepare a skin care treatment plan for them.

Each additional appointment should also start with an assessment to understand how the treatment plan is working and whether changes to the plan are necessary. A client may not be responding to a specific technique and further assessment needs to be completed to offer them the best skin care possible.

Client Protection

The protection of the client is your most important responsibility. Are they allergic to certain substances? Do you sterilize all the equipment that you use in between clients? Making sure the work area is sanitized and all instruments are sterilized is crucial to stop the spread of bacteria and viruses and to protect the client properly.

During an appointment, you may use draping to keep the client’s clothes from getting oxidated. You should also wear gloves to stop the transfer of bacteria while touching the client’s skin and face. You must also know how the client’s skin will react to different skin care products so that they do not have any adverse reactions to the treatment. Knowing what is in the skin care products you use, and the possible side effects of skin care products is vital to keeping the client safe during treatment.

Cleansing the Face

As an esthetician, you will use different skin care products and facial masks to help cleanse the client’s face. During an esthetician program, you will learn about the structure and function of skin. Skin is the largest organ in the human body and can come in different skin types. Understanding whether a client has oily, dry or combination skin will help you make the right choice of the skin care products that you use. During an esthetician program, you will also learn the proper technique and tools used to cleanse a client’s face. Whether it is creams, facial masks, or lotions, you will have a whole arsenal of products and tools at your disposal to help the client take care of their skin.

Massaging the Face

Part of the technique that you will learn during an esthetician program is how to massage the client’s face while it is being cleansed. Light massage can help open pores on the face allowing these pores to absorb skin care lotions and creams that will moisturize and remove oils and other debris. Massage also helps to circulate blood flow in the face, remove toxins and restore a natural glow to the client’s face.

Hair Removal

There are numerous ways to remove hair from the human body and you will learn the many techniques during an esthetician program. From shaving, waxing, and plucking to laser treatment, hair removal creams, and electrolysis. Different types of skin and how permanent the hair removal will be helps shape the decisions you make for a client’s hair removal treatment. Do they want a pain free technique? What part of the body is the hair being removed from? Are they looking for long-lasting hair removal? Depending on the answers to these questions, you can create a plan to remove the hair from your client’s body.


There are many different facial techniques that you will learn about in an esthetician program. From a classic facial that cleanses, exfoliates, and moisturizes to Microdermabrasion and chemical peels, there are a variety of facials that a client may consider and that you will decide to use based on the client’s skin assessment. Some of the techniques that you will learn during the esthetician program include cleansing, exfoliating, steaming, extracting, administering a facial mask, treating skin issues, moisturizing, and finally massaging the face. Each step in the facial process helps to create healthy and glowing skin.

Makeup Application

Another important skill that you will learn during an esthetician program is how to properly apply makeup. You will learn the different types of makeup and how they all work together to enhance the client’s beauty. You will also learn the proper technique to remove makeup so the client can keep their skin healthy. Removing makeup can help the skin breath and allow the skin to restore its natural balance while the client sleeps.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know you want to become an esthetician, it is time to enroll in an esthetician program. If you attend full time, you can be out of the classroom and taking your license exam in as little as 5 months. If you have 5 months to commit to becoming an esthetician, you can start a rewarding career and help others in the process. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Ready to gain the training you need to be a successful esthetician? If so, you could begin your career as an esthetician at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC).  Our Esthiology Diploma Program has been developed by talented, caring, real-world professionals, many of whom still work in the field. Through MSC’s esthetician training courses, you will gain a solid foundation in the anatomy, physiology, and chemistry of the skin so you can provide individualized care for each of your customers based on their skin type, conditions and concerns. We give our esthiology students experience in skincare, waxing, make-up, application of facials, and more.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming an esthetician and starting a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

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