Skincare Careers: Jobs, What They Do, and Required Training

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Choosing any one of the various careers in skincare means you have taken on the responsibility of helping people settle in their skin. This includes prescriptions, advice, cosmetic procedures, surgical procedures, cleaning, and beautifying the skin.

A career path in skincare may arise due to previous academic background or an unquenchable passion for beauty and its related issues. You may obtain a certificate for a skincare career from college, through apprenticeship, or by taking up certificate courses.

This article details some popular skincare careers you certainly have questions about.

1. Dermatologists

A dermatologist is a doctor that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin, hair, and nails. This career path in skincare supersedes all other skincare careers.

Dermatologists are more experienced in health-related skin issues. They are concerned with the medical, surgical, and cosmetic aspects of the skin, hair, and nails.

What they do

Dermatologists observe the skin and diagnose symptoms and signs of skin disorders. They watch out for and identify the possible causes of changes in the appearance and texture of your skin. For instance, a dermatologist can observe your skin and diagnose possible underlying health issues.

Additionally, a dermatologist can treat medical issues like rosacea, acne, dermatitis or eczema, psoriasis, warts, fungal infections on the nails, and ingrown nails. They carry out surgical procedures like the removal of cysts, not so severe skin cancer, warts, and moles.

Also, dermatologists are trained to carry out cosmetic procedures like liposuction, dermal fillers, laser hair removal, chemical peels, botox injections to fill up wrinkles and fine lines, dermabrasion, and skin grafts.

How to become one

If you choose to follow a career path in dermatology, you must put in long hours and years of study to earn a degree. To start with, you earn a bachelor’s degree after four years of studying at a university.

Then, you should proceed to medical school for another four years of training. Afterward, a one-year internship program with a hospital and three years as a resident doctor.

There are better opportunities when you become a board-certified dermatologist. This certification is earned after a rigorous exam that tests the knowledge you have acquired as an undergraduate and during medical school.

In addition, some dermatologists in America go ahead to register with the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) for better opportunities and a larger clientele base.

2. Estheticians

Estheticians are commonly mistaken for dermatologists and aestheticians. Skincare estheticians are skincare specialists that focus on just your skin.

Although you may find them working with a dermatologist, they are not doctors. They help to improve the appearance and texture of your skin. Estheticians are found in places like a spa or salons.

What they do

As earlier mentioned, estheticians are not skin doctors. Therefore, they cannot fill in the shoes of a dermatologist. They may be able to carry out certain procedures like microdermabrasion, removal of blackheads, and the application of chemical peels.

However, they can only do this with a prescription or direction from a dermatologist. A skincare esthetician provides services like helping you determine your skin type and recommending products that are ideal for your skin type.

Also, an esthetician can perform facials, give you a face and/or body massage, help to remove facial hairs, do skin exfoliation and waxing, manicure and pedicure, and application of makeup.

In addition to the intensive procedures earlier mentioned, an esthetician can help tan your skin, apply body wraps, treat acne, laser skin rejuvenation, laser resurfacing, and other body treatments.

However, the services they render vary with geographic location and what services the spa or salon offers. Most importantly, they are not health practitioners.

They help to improve the appearance and texture of your skin using products like serums, lotions, masks, creams, and essential oils.

How to become one

Studying to become an esthetician involves undergoing 300-600 hours of training at an esthetics training school.

Furthermore, during training, you learn all about cosmetic chemistry, skincare products, the peculiarities of the different skin types and how to identify each, technical knowledge of skincare equipment, skincare regulations, and safety.

After training, you should get a certification which is proof that you know what skincare entails. This certificate is awarded by a legal state body of cosmetology. Generally, the certification and study period vary with states and schools.

3. Aestheticians

An aesthetician is not to be mistaken for a skincare esthetician. Aestheticians are not doctors but they can fill the role of a medical skin expert.

An aesthetician is a licensed skincare specialist that operates in a spa, salon, a clinic and even renders at-home services.

What they do

Aestheticians provide skincare advice, product recommendations, and directions on how to carry out certain at-home skincare procedures.

They can offer aesthetic services like facials, body massage, application of chemical peels, laser surgery, skin rejuvenation, skin tightening, tattoo removal, treatment of burns, and body contouring.

Moreover, you may find an aesthetician invested in outside-the-clinic services. For instance, some find interest in cosmetics shopping and selling, analyzing products to pick out the best for their potential clients. Some of them stay in spas or salons to provide makeup services and facials.

How to become one

To become an aesthetician, you need to undergo training in everything skincare, facials, and superficial procedures.

The training period for becoming an aesthetician range between one to two years during which you’re trained in cosmetics and medical-related areas.

For example, you’ll be trained to determine and identify skin types, do facials, identify authentic makeup products, and application of makeup, anatomy, chemistry, hair removal, and nutrition.

After training and graduation, you should obtain a license for practice from an authentic state board of cosmetology.

Furthermore, to increase your chances in this skincare career path, you should get more training and certification like a master’s degree or any other formal training that will increase your level of education.

4. Cosmetologists

A cosmetologist is concerned with beautifying your hair, skin (especially the face), and nails. They are not in any way skin doctors nor do they have the license to diagnose or treat skin issues. Common places to find a cosmetologist includes a salon or a spa.

What they do

What a cosmetologist does depends on their level of education and expertise. Under cosmetology, you will find an esthetician, a makeup artist, a barber, a nail technician, and a hairstylist.

According to any of the specializations listed above, a cosmetologist can help style, color, cut, and recommend treatments for your hair. Also, they can wash, relax, and braid your hair.

Hairstyling goes further into trimming hair and fitting hairpieces. Other services they render include tweezing, exfoliation, waxing, facials, and anti-aging treatment.

Additionally, a cosmetologist can do manicures, pedicures, install nail art and jewelry. They also specialize in creating different looks with makeup products. Your cosmetologist is in the best position to determine what products are compatible with your skin type.

How to become one

The journey to becoming a cosmetologist depends on the areas you want to specialize in. Generally, it doesn’t take years of learning unless you take more certification courses.

Also, studying to become a cosmetologist requires no less than nine months of learning, getting hands-on practice, and obtaining a license from a state board of cosmetology.

A career path in cosmetology puts you in more frequent one-on-one contact with people. Therefore, you need to acquire interpersonal skills while studying. You should be a good listener and have great understanding skills.

5. Electrologists

Skincare careers are quite broad and some of these roles can be filled in by people in other related fields. You may find a dermatologist or (a)esthetician to perform procedures like hair removal. However, this is the primary role of an electrologist.

An electrologist is a non-medical skincare professional that helps to remove unwanted hairs from the body of clients, males, and females alike.

More so, they help to solve inconveniencing cosmetic problems like facial hair that can dent one’s self-esteem.

What they do

An electrologist uses an electric current to destroy the cells necessary for hair growth in the desired areas of the body. This aesthetic service is done with a needle that penetrates the skin to your hair follicles.

Beyond solving a cosmetic problem, electrologists work with dermatologists during surgery to prepare the skin for surgery. They help to remove hairs from the areas that will be operated on.

Furthermore, they help remove unwanted hairs that may arise from a medication plan. You can find an electrologist working in private practice, with a cosmetologist or a dermatologist.

How to become one

Of all the skincare careers, if you choose to be an electrologist, you must undergo training according to the demands of the state where you desire to practice.

Some states give licenses upon completing an apprenticeship with a licensed electrologist. Other states may demand a certificate of training from an approved electrolysis school or a school of cosmetology.

During training, you’ll take exams, engage in hands-on practice, and learn the physiology of the skin. Other courses may include bacteriology and workplace safety. Most importantly, you must have a license to practice.

6. Cosmetic Laser Technicians

Cosmetic laser technicians specialize in performing laser treatments to help improve skin complexion and texture.

They are skin aesthetics specialists because they also help to beautify your skin by removing unwanted spots and hair.

What they do

Cosmetic laser technicians carry out cosmetic procedures using laser equipment. These procedures include laser hair removal, laser tattoo removal, skin tightening, and rejuvenation.

Moreover, they make use of laser equipment to improve the appearance of dark spots and freckles.

This class of estheticians works under a dermatologist’s supervision and direction before they carry out any procedure. They also guide you on how to care for your skin after laser treatments.

How to become one

Like all skincare careers, you must undergo training to become a cosmetic laser technician. You obtain a certificate after going through a few hundred hours of training and taking courses in laser treatments and safety and hair removal.

After training, you need to get certified and accredited by bodies like the National Council of Laser Certification (NCLC), International Commission for Hair Removal Certification (ICHRC), and Certified Laser Hair Removal Professional (CLHRP).


Are skincare careers in high demand?

Yes, they are. Projections have it that the employment rates of skincare specialists will increase by 17% in 2029.

More people are concerned about the appearance of their skin, and product manufacturers’ do their bid by formulating more products.

What skills do you need for a career in skincare?

Skincare careers require that you have great communication and interpersonal skills, listening skills, customer service skills, time management skills, great personal hygiene, and business skills.

All these skills are necessary for the frequent one-on-one contact you’ll have with clients.

How much can you earn as a skincare specialist?

How much you earn as a skincare specialist depends on your area(s) of specialization, geographic location, level of experience, and education.

Generally, asides from dermatologists who earn higher (an average of $200,000/ year), skincare specialists earn an average of $41,000/year.


Skincare careers may all look alike and as though one person can do almost anything. However, specialization is necessary for the procedures to be done perfectly and of course to create more job opportunities.

Recent times have seen graduates deviate from their undergraduate degrees to pursue other career paths. If you love skin beautification and you love to see people appreciate their skin types, you’re most likely tilting the way to skincare.

Skincare careers have seen better projections and the values show that they’ll be in high demand in a few years.

Thanks for reading.

Serum101 provides you with articles that give you a wider scope of the available skincare careers.