Aesthetician vs Esthetician: What’s the Difference?

Updated on 03/26/2024


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  1. Aestheticians focus on medical treatments, while estheticians offer beauty treatments.
  2. Aestheticians perform tasks like encouraging collagen production, while estheticians focus on skincare routines.
  3. Aestheticians work in hospitals and clinics, whereas estheticians work in beauty salons and spas.
  4. Skincare specialist jobs are expected to grow 9% from 2022 to 2032.
  5. Esthetician has an average annual salary of around $35,094, while aestheticians earn $42,554 for estheticians.

Many fancy terms are used in the skincare world, and it can be confusing trying to figure out how to differentiate between them all. You might come across two common terms: "aesthetician" and "esthetician." Many people think they're the same, but they have some differences. Understanding these differences can help you choose the right skincare professional for yourself.

Both aestheticians and estheticians focus on skincare and offer similar services, but their training, licensing, and practices vary greatly. So, in this article, we’ll explain the main differences between aestheticians vs estheticians, the services they provide, and more!

What is the Difference Between Esthetician and Aesthetician?

Aestheticians treat skin problems like skin burns and perform chemotherapy and surgeries. While estheticians work in beauty salons and provide skin treatments like hydra facials, microneedling, etc.

Let’s explore more differences between them:


An aesthetician, also known as a skincare specialist, helps people take care of their skin. They work in places like salons or clinics. Aestheticians treat people with skin problems from chemotherapy, burns, or surgeries. They also help people keep their skin healthy after treatment by teaching them how to clean it properly and apply makeup.

Some aestheticians focus on specific treatments like laser therapy, while others know how to do many different kinds of skin care procedures.


An esthetician, a skincare specialist, or a facialist works in places like beauty salons. They specialize in providing skincare treatments like facials. Estheticians look at their clients' skin and suggest ways to keep it healthy based on what type of skin they have.

Besides knowing about skin care tools and equipment, estheticians must have good people skills and patience. Estheticians usually work with clients who want services like massages and facials and have minor skin issues like dry skin or wrinkles.

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Aesthetician vs Esthetician Work Settings

Aestheticians usually work in places like hospitals, clinics, and medical spas. They might also work in centers for burn victims, trauma patients, or people getting reconstructive surgery. Additionally, you can find them in dermatology clinics, health centers, and rehabilitation centers.

However, experienced estheticians might have their own beauty salons or centers. They usually work in places like spas, salons, resorts, fitness centers, or boutiques where people go to relax or beautify themselves.

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Aesthetician vs Esthetician Duties

An aesthetician's job involves:

  1. Tightening loose skin by encouraging collagen production
  2. Making skin look younger through rejuvenation
  3. Improving skin texture with laser resurfacing
  4. Removing the top layers of skin for a youthful appearance with microlaser peels
  5. Getting rid of unwanted hair or tattoos using lasers
  6. Massaging to reduce fluid buildup after surgery or due to medical conditions
  7. Reducing scars or blemishes
  8. Treating varicose veins by injecting chemicals to make them disappear
  9. Applying permanent or semi-permanent makeup like eyebrow fillings or lip color
  10. Advising patients on treatments and keeping records updated.

On the other hand, an esthetician's duties may include:

  1. Checking skin condition
  2. Cleaning the skin
  3. Removing dead skin cells
  4. Putting on masks and scrubs to improve skin appearance and make it look younger or tighter
  5. Giving massages and facials
  6. Using scents like essential oils for relaxation
  7. Removing unwanted hair, like waxing or shaping eyebrows
  8. Applying makeup
  9. Treating skin issues like acne or wrinkles
  10. Helping with Botox injections or fillers and caring for skin afterward
  11. Shaping the body to reduce cellulite
  12. Recommending skincare products and teaching clients how to use them correctly.

Aesthetician vs Esthetician Licence and Education

Aestheticians and estheticians are licensed skincare experts who need formal training to work legally. Here's what you need to become licensed:

  1.  High School Education

Start by getting your high school diploma or GED certificate. After high school, complete a cosmetology program at a school approved by your state. This usually takes about nine months and earns you an associate degree in cosmetology.

  1.  Training and Requirements

Becoming an esthetician or an aesthetician requires different training and qualifications. Estheticians usually attend beauty school to learn about skincare, beauty treatments, and makeup. They study skin anatomy, various skin conditions, and treatments like facials and waxing.

Aestheticians, however, undergo more advanced training, often at medical esthetician schools. They learn advanced skincare techniques such as chemical peels, laser therapy, and assisting in minor surgeries. They also learn about pre and post-surgery care and how to work with medical professionals.

Are you thinking of pursuing a career in the field of dentistry but don’t know how to choose between dental hygienist vs dental assistant. Read our detailed guide on this to choose the right path

  1.  Get License

Both estheticians and aestheticians must be licensed to work, but the requirements differ based on their scope of practice and location. Estheticians typically complete training at an accredited beauty school and pass a state licensing exam, which includes written and practical parts.

Aestheticians have stricter licensing requirements due to their advanced practice. They often need more training, sometimes in medical settings, and must pass a comprehensive licensing exam.

  1.  License Renewal

You must renew your state license regularly. You can continue your education through conferences and workshops. You might also opt for a master aesthetician license, which requires 600 hours of advanced training.

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Aesthetician vs Esthetician Salary and Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupation Outlook Handbook, jobs for skincare specialists like aestheticians and estheticians are expected to increase by 9% from 2022 to 2032. Each year, an average of about 12,400 job openings are expected for skin care specialists over the next decade.

This growth rate is much faster than many other jobs. On average, aestheticians earn around $35,094 per year, while estheticians earn about $42,554 per year.

Aesthetician vs Esthetician Career Path

After working in a spa or salon for a few years, an Esthetician could:

  • Start their own spa
  • Teach other estheticians how to use products and equipment as a beauty educator.
  • Become an instructor at a cosmetology school.

After gaining experience in a health clinic or rehabilitation center, an Aesthetician might:

  • Obtain a master aesthetician license.
  • Work as a training inspector, ensuring medical skincare facilities comply with state regulations.

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The terms aesthetician vs esthetician are often used interchangeably; they represent distinct roles within the skincare industry. Aestheticians focus on medical treatments, whereas estheticians specialize in beauty treatments. Despite their differences, both professions require formal training and licensing, with career advancement and specialization opportunities. With the skincare industry projected to grow significantly in the coming years, these careers will be fulfilling and provide many opportunities.


Is Aesthetician And Esthetician The Same?

Aestheticians are skincare experts licensed to give treatments in places like clinics or medical offices. They often team up with dermatologists or plastic surgeons for advanced beauty procedures. On the other hand, estheticians are specialists found in salons and spas. They offer basic facials, beauty treatments, and body care services.

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Aneeb Ahmad

Update at 03/26/2024

Aneeb is a full-stack SEO & Content Marketer. He drives our inbound marketing efforts on all touchpoints & writes just about everything related to career guidance, interviews, and professional growth. He loves talking about football when he’s not wordsmithing.

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