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Aesthetician vs Esthetician: Does the Extra A Really Make a Difference?

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Aestheticians and estheticians are both skin care professionals, and both words are super similar. But the extra A makes a difference!

Aestheticians have a more clinic focus and work in medical settings. Estheticians are more into the field of spas and salons.

Two differences set these two areas apart. One is the work environment, and the other is the type of client.

This article is a look at Aesthetician vs Esthetician. We’ll look into the two careers and what they entail.


Aesthetician vs Esthetician: The Quick Answer

What is the difference between medical aestheticians and estheticians?

Medical aestheticians specialize in dermatological treatments. Medical aestheticians sometimes work in dermatology clinics or offices to treat acne, rashes, and other skin conditions. Estheticians work in spas, salons, etc. doing similar work outside a clinical setting.

Medical aestheticians sometimes work in dermatology clinics or offices to treat acne, rashes, and other skin conditions. Estheticians work in spas, salons, etc. doing similar work outside a clinical setting.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the differences:

  1. Unlike estheticians, aestheticians deal with patients or clients undergoing medical treatment or who have already undergone medical treatment. Estheticians do not have to deal with clients with a medical history.
  2. Aestheticians focus on skin treatment instead of beautifying a client’s appearance.
  3. In aesthetics, the skin is treated medically, while in esthetics, it is treated cosmetically.
  4. Compared to aestheticians, estheticians are more concerned with minor skin issues. These include blackheads, wrinkles, age spots, and whiteheads.

What Is an Esthetician?

Skincare specialists, or estheticians, exfoliate the skin, massage, apply aromatherapy, and perform facials to clean skin. Their duties include analyzing skin for any problems and removing temporary hair (think waxing, laser hair removal, etc.)

As well as skin care, estheticians may also focus on cosmetics. They apply makeup or advise clients on suitable skin care products. 

The aesthetics profession includes work in salons, hotels, fitness centers, and spas. You’ll likely see an esthetician for a facial, hair removal, or makeup application at a salon or spa.

A successful career requires these professionals to be nimble, patient, interpersonally skilled, and fussy about the details.

What Is an Aesthetician?

Aestheticians are sometimes known as paramedical or clinical aestheticians. These professionals treat patients with cancer, burns, and other health-related issues. The skin on the face is treated and maintained after damage from surgery, chemotherapy treatments, fire, and other causes. 

A medical aesthetician helps patients choose and apply the right makeup and how to cleanse and moisturize their skin. These professionals work in burn units, hospitals, trauma centers, and other medical facilities. 


Training and Requirements

 In order to work legally in most states, both estheticians and aestheticians must pursue formal training. To get licensed, both professionals must meet the following requirements:

Get Your Diploma

Earning your high school diploma or GED certificate is the first step toward your educational requirements.                                                                                                       

Get Your License

In addition to completing your education, you’ll need to get your license from your state’s board of cosmetology. This requires passing practical and written exams upon completion of a formal cosmetology training program. Another option is an apprenticeship, according to the state.

Continuing Education and License Renewal

State licenses must be renewed regularly. You should consider attending conferences or workshops to keep your skills sharp. Consider getting a master’s degree in aesthetics for better job prospects and pay. These programs have up to 600 hours of training.


Job Responsibilities

An aesthetician may be responsible for:

  • Providing therapies that tighten the skin by encouraging collagen production
  • A rejuvenating treatment for the skin
  • Laser resurfacing, which makes the skin look and feel younger by using a laser
  • Peels with microlasers. A treatment that removes the surface of the skin to make it look more youthful
  • Removing tattoos or hair with lasers
  • The process of lymphatic drainage. Reducing the amount of lymph fluid in the body after surgery or when a certain medical condition has occurred
  • Reduction of scars or blemishes
  • Sclerotherapy is a treatment for varicose veins. This is done using chemicals to discolor the affected veins
  • The application of permanent or semi-permanent makeup such as brow filling, eyeliner, eyelash extensions, lip color, and microblading
  • Patient consultation, answering questions and prescribing treatments
  • Retaining up-to-date records for patients

Among the duties of an esthetician are:

  • Analyzing the skin
  • Cleansing the skin
  • Exfoliation of the skin
  • Scrubbing and applying masks to reduce pores, improve the skin’s hydration, and even out the skin tone. Making the skin appear younger
  • Massage
  • Facials and mild chemical peels
  • A relaxation and well-being method based on essential oils and aromas
  • Removal of hair and shaping of eyebrows such as tweezing, waxing, and threading
  • Application of makeup
  • Skin care treatments for acne, sun damage, wrinkles, oily and dry complexions
  • Providing the patients with post-injection care after receiving dermal fillers and Botox injections 
  • Cellulite reduction with body sculpting
  • Recommend and demonstrate the use of skin products

Aesthetician vs Esthetician Salary

It is anticipated that employment for skin care specialists will grow more rapidly than the average, by 17% from 2019 to 2029. In 2019, the median salary for skincare specialists was $34,090. Salaries vary according to experience. 

It may be less when you have one year of experience than if you have five or more years. The BLS reported that the median hourly wage of skincare specialists in May 2019 was $16.39. Medical aestheticians employed in physician’s offices made even more, as of May 2019, earning $19.80 per hour.


Pros and Cons of Aesthetician and Esthetician Jobs

Esthetician

Pro: Availability of jobs

The job market for estheticians is growing rapidly, making it easier to find a position. The market is booming, and jobs are plentiful, whether the jobs are at a high-end spa or salon, or in a lower-end set up in a local shopping mall.

It takes minimal time to get the training and schooling needed to become an esthetician. Most states require a vocational degree or an associate’s degree.

It takes minimal time to get the training and schooling needed to become an esthetician. Most states require a vocational degree or an associate’s degree.

Additionally, the state may require proper licensing.

Con: Low salaries

There are many jobs, but they’re not well paid, particularly entry-level jobs, which are easier to find. Average salaries are about $30,000. It is physically demanding since much of the work involves standing and walking.

Despite flexible hours, long hours are likely to be the norm. Weekends are crucial since that is the time when people can take advantage of such services.

Esthetics is the field of an esthetician, but the road to getting there can be dirty and full of blackheads. It also requires sales experience. A client is only a client if they buy something from you, whether that’s something you offer or something you sell. The esthetician must be extremely knowledgeable about take-home products. They help clients choose the ones that are right for them.

Aesthetician

Pro: Being able to help others

This is an ideal position for someone who enjoys working with people. Clients trust you with their skin and beauty, and they are often in a vulnerable state when they come to you.

Clients trust you with their skin and beauty, and they are often in a vulnerable state when they come to you.

They expect to look healthier and younger, and feel more relaxed afterward. Teaching and invigorating are important aspects of an esthetician’s job. Microdermabrasions and other cleaning procedures are also part of it. 

Con: Getting Down and Dirty

Medical Aesthetics is a more challenging and difficult profession than esthetics. You’re more likely to be working with difficult circumstances, whether that be cancer patients, burn patients, etc. The work may be more gratifying, but it will also be more difficult.


Which One Should You Choose?

The skincare and beauty industries are booming in the current economic climate. Due to social media and the types of areas people live in, they are more concerned with skincare and facial appearance.

We all want to look good on social media, and the filters only take us so far! We want our skin to glow. In the age of Instagram and likes, skincare is all the rage. 

Aestheticians and estheticians have benefitted from this trend. Choosing an aesthetician over an esthetician with premedical history relating to the skin is the right choice. A person with a fine complexion and no medical background is usually recommended to an esthetician.


What are the Next Steps?

What comes after a successful career as an aesthetician? First, many seek new ways to apply what they have learned. An evaluative or regulatory role is typically the next step. For example, after their career, many become medical skincare inspectors. Such adhere to all applicable regulations by visiting medical skincare facilities and inspecting them for proper care delivery.

After working for several years, many estheticians take a training course to become an aesthetician. 

After working for several years, many estheticians take a training course to become an aesthetician. 

For example, providing clients direct cosmetic services. Then, an esthetician may train others on how to deliver those services. Cosmetology schools also hire experienced estheticians as instructors.

Many people seeking employment in the spa or salon industry also consider starting their own business. They often buy a franchise to become business owners instead of employees.


Conclusion 

Estheticians and aestheticians care for the skin in every aspect of their careers. But there are some major differences between them. The biggest difference is that aestheticians work in a medical environment, while estheticians do not.

To practice either esthetics or aesthetics, you must attend an educational program.

Consider a career if you want a hands-on career in a medical setting, spa, or salon. Estheticians and medical aestheticians have great career prospects, especially given that employment opportunities are growing rapidly.

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