Starting a career as an esthetician can feel both exciting and daunting. 

At this point, you probably have a ton of questions, like: 

  • How long does it take to become an esthetician?
  • Or how much does it cost?

And we totally get it. You want to be as prepared as you can be for your journey to becoming an esthetician.

To make sure you’re ready, we’ll answer those big questions and share the steps you need to start your new career as an esthetician.

Looking for specific info? Feel free to jump ahead. 👇

How Much Does It Cost to Become an Esthetician?

Before you start your journey to becoming a licensed esthetician, you might be wondering… How much is this going to cost me?

And that’s a good question to ask.

There are a few different upfront costs to look at when becoming an esthetician. These costs can vary depending on…

  • The school you choose
  • Location
  • Full-time or part-time

With that in mind, here’s a breakdown of expected costs to become an esthetician.


Esthetician program tuition can range from a few thousand dollars to over $10,000 — depending on the school and program length. 

Community colleges and vocational schools may offer more affordable tuition rates compared to private beauty schools.

Supplies and Uniforms

You’ll need to invest in skincare products, tools, and uniforms for your esthetician training. 

These costs can add up, so budget for textbooks, skincare kits, and any other supplies required by your program.

Licensing Fees

After completing your training, you’ll need to pay licensing fees to become a licensed esthetician. These fees vary by state but typically range from $50 to $300

For example: In Montana — home of Schedulicity! 😎— estheticians can expect to pay an $80 licensing fee, while folks in Arizona can expect to pay a $40 fee.

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Exam Fees

There may be additional fees associated with taking the licensing exam, including application fees and exam registration fees. 

Be sure to budget for these expenses as you prepare to become licensed.

How Long Does It Take to Become an Esthetician?

The time it takes to become an esthetician depends on a few factors as well, including: 

  • Your state’s requirements
  • The type of program you choose
  • Whether you’re full-time or part-time 

On average, though, esthetician programs usually take six to twelve months for full-time students — a little longer for part-time students. 

Plus, some states may require a certain number of practical training hours before you can take the licensing exam.

💡Pro Tip: Find out how Schedulicity can help you with your esthetician career by exploring our free guide: 7 Reasons Why Schedulicity Is the Ideal Beauty Software for Estheticians and Cosmetologists.

How to Become an Esthetician in 5 Steps

1. Research State Requirements

The first step in becoming an esthetician is to research the requirements in your state.

While the basic training and licensing requirements are similar, each state may have specific regulations and prerequisites. 

Typically, you’ll need to complete a state-approved esthetician program and pass a licensing exam.

2. Enroll in an Esthetician Program

Once you understand your state’s requirements, the next step is to enroll in an accredited esthetician program

These programs are offered at beauty schools, vocational schools, and some colleges.

To make sure you get the most out of your program, look for programs that provide comprehensive training in skincare, anatomy, physiology, and hands-on experience in performing various esthetic treatments.

This will set you up to be a more well-rounded esthetician.

3. Complete Training and Education

Esthetician programs vary in length, but most require around 600 to 1,200 hours of hands-on training, depending on the state’s requirements. 

During your training, you’ll learn the ins and outs of various skin care techniques, product knowledge, sanitation protocols, and client consultation skills — which can be an important skill to have when it comes to client retention.

4. Gain Practical Experience

This one may be the most important step, as hands-on experience is essential to becoming a professional esthetician

The good news is: Many esthetician programs include practical training where students work with real clients under the supervision of licensed instructors. 

With the chance to gain practical experience, you’re able to hone your skills and build confidence in performing esthetic services.

5. Pass the Licensing Exam

Lastly, after you’ve completed your esthetician schooling and acquired the necessary practical hours, you’ll need to pass a state licensing exam to become a licensed esthetician. 

The exam typically includes written and practical components to assess your knowledge and skills in skincare treatments, sanitation practices, and state regulations. 

Once you pass the exam, you’re ready to roll! With your esthetician license in hand, you’re a fully-fledged esthetician, and you’re ready to start your own business! 

💡Pro Tip: When you’re ready, you can learn more about the esthetician licensing exam by checking out free study guides and practice tests

Hey! Are you a new esthetician looking for an online scheduling app to help grow your business? 

Schedulicity has you covered!

With appointment scheduling, marketing tools, and payment processing, you have everything you need to run your esthetician business — all in one place!