Estheticians must be licensed in the state that they are working in. Qualifications for esthetician licensing vary by State, but generally a person must have a high school diploma or GED, be at least 16 years old. They typically require about 300 to 900 hours of training (depending on the state) and must pass both a written and a practical, or hands-on, esthetician exam. A fee is usually required upon application for an esthetician license, and periodic license renewals may be necessary.
Contact information on state esthetician examinations along with sample exam questions is provided in the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology website. The Professional Beauty Association and the American Association of Cosmetology Schools also provide information on state examinations.
The National Coalition of Estheticians, Manufacturers/Distributors and Associations (NCEA) offers esthetician certification. NCEA certification means that the student has passed state exams plus they have completed six knowledge review sections on Ethics/Professionalism, Medical Professional Interaction, Client Care and Sciences of the Skin, Professional Treatments, Risk Management and Business. In addition, they have passed a rigorous computer-based NCEA examination administered by proctors at a third-party testing facility.
CIDESCO offers a diploma in the field of Aesthetics and Beauty Therapy and lists accredited CIDESCO schools in various countries. ITEC also offers certification in various beauty fields. Continuing education is typically required to stay current in the field.