How and Why You Should Get Your Esthetician License

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Are you an esthetician-in-training, professional Esthetician solo-preneur, or running your Esthetics small business? If so, you’ll get invaluable advice in this article about the basics of getting your Esthetician license and ensuring you have all of your professional credentials up to date throughout the life of your skincare business.

No more waxing, exfoliating, or pore cleansing under-the-table.
That’s right, you’re going to signal to the world that you are a pro and take your Esthetics business to the next level!

But before we crack in, we’ll discuss the basics of why you should even bother to get your Esthetician license in the first place. (By the way, all puns are intended.)

This article consists of the following parts:

  1. Why you should get licensed
  2. How to get licensed

First off, let’s discuss why you should get licensed to begin with!
Get your lancet ready because we’re about to poke some holes in the argument that you don’t need your Esthetician license.


This is pretty straightforward. We’ve come up with 4 reasons why you need to get yourself licensed if you are a practicing Esthetician, and outlined them below:

  • Professionalism
  • Gaining Trust (and clients)
  • Training Others
  • Missed Opportunities (Financing, Payment-wise)

Let’s take these one at a time:


First off, being a licensed Esthetician is critical in order to appear more professional and distinguish yourself in the market.

We routinely see Estheticians showcasing their license on their Facebook and Instagram profiles, in order to prove to the world (and to potential customers doing their research before booking with them) that they are a true pro.


It’s not enough that you are marketing your services to clients – once they find you, they also would like to have confidence that you will deliver on your promise, whatever that is.

If folks will be trusting you with lancets and creams around their face, it’s fairly plausible to assume that they will be more comfortable with a high degree of certainty that you know what you are doing. Clients often fear the worst, “what if the chemicals burn my face?; what if I have a bad reaction to the creme?; or is there a chance I pay you and I don’t see any difference on my face?”

For this reason, it’s immensely important to showcase your license to folks in any and every way possible, so that you get a higher conversion rate of folks seeking out your facials and waxes and full body scrubs to people who actually book you.


At PocketSuite, we have an eye on Estheticians who are killing it, and a lot of them actually train other Estheticians once they get their license.

This can be an additional income stream for your business with the added benefit that you don’t have any inventory expenses. What you are delivering is your knowledge and experience to others who are just starting out.

This means your profit margin will be substantially higher when you train others. Time to take some of those extra profits and treat yourself to a pamper session (especially if you already work in a spa or salon!)


Think about all of the missed opportunities that will inevitably pass you by if you aren’t licensed. We’re talking financing, payments, etc.

For example, your business may not be eligible for financing from banks if you aren’t licensed.

Also, you won’t be able to get access to a reputable payment processing platform to accept client credit card payments if you don’t have that license hanging on your wall.

Payment processors do this to ensure that they are not hit with massive disputes chargebacks, for example should your clients pay for a facial and decide they are unsatisfied with the treatment because their unlicensed Esthetician didn’t do the “Swedish facial” the way that they  like it.

Furthermore, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the median hourly wage of a skin care specialist is $14.55 as of May 2016 or $30,270 per year in salary.

This is dated info, but it should still motivate you to get licensed for one simple reason…

“The highest paid specialists are those employed in dermatologists’ offices or otherwise working with physicians, making an hourly wage of $19.33”
Source: Chron

Try getting that hourly wage without a license!

So now that we’ve reviewed the key advantages of having an Esthetics license, let’s shuffle on to how you can do this with minimal time and effort on your part.



There are a number of authorities on this.

One community that comes to mind is Associated Skin Care Professionals, or ASCP for short, and they dominate the market in terms of being one of the largest professional organizations for Estheticians.

Their group consists of Professionals, Students, Educators, and Employers.
Navigate to their signup page, enter your email, and get connected with some resources that will launch your Esthetics game into the stratosphere.
What about finding a school? This varies by state, but there are resources out there to help you find one that works for you.

In order to find an Esthetician school in your state, you can go to our esthetician resources portal to get comprehensive information on schools, licensing, and associations. Explore a list of all the accredited schools in your state where you can get certified.

I would also recommend looking into getting certified on a national level, in order to further distinguish yourself and get more professional opportunities. You can do so by checking out the NCEA – according to them, getting the National Esthetician Certification is the highest voluntary credential for Estheticians in the United States.


So now that you’ve gone thru an Esthetician school and received your coursework completion diploma, let’s get you licensed on a State level!
There are 3 parts to getting your State license:

  • Go thru a school or apprenticeship (this part you’ve already completed)
  • Take the licensing exam and pass it
  • Maintain your license

First of all, depending on what state you live in (assuming you’re in the US), you should be able to contact your local state licensing board in order to get licensed.

This process is different in each state, but you can find all licensing info by state.

Here’s what Washington State’s licensing website looks like to get your Esthetician license:

First you would click on “Cosmetologist, Barber, Manicurist, Esthetician, Hair Design, or Master Esthetician” (yes, that’s all one category)

Then click on ‘Graduate of a school or apprenticeship’ and complete the prompts that follow.

Remember, this may vary by state so make sure you follow our instructions and figure out how it works in your state.

Once you pass the exam, consult the school of your choice on the best practices for maintaining continuing education, as these requirements vary by state as well.

So, what are you waiting for? Go find a school, take a course, get licensed, and start raking in the extra cash! You might even have enough to get some new facial creams or exfoliating treatments to expand your inventory and offer more options to your clients.

Here are some additional resources for your consideration:

If you’re an Esthetician and you’re looking for a one-app solution to run your business on-the-go, give PocketSuite a shot today. We come recommended by the ASCP!

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