What is an Esthetician's Salary?

Estheticians are skin care professionals who work with clients to provide skin care treatments, hair removals, and product recommendations for healthier skin. Estheticians typically work in day spas or salons and provide services likes facials, simple face massages, eyebrow waxes, threading, chemical peels, and product recommendations. Estheticians, like cosmetologists, are beauty professionals. If you’re interested in becoming a skin care professional, you may be wondering, what is an esthetician’s salary? You’re in the right place to learn more about your salary prospects.

Median Salary

The median salary for estheticians is $28,640 per year or around $13.77 per hour. Estheticians often work in salons or day spas, so they tend to work long hours, in the evenings, and on the weekends. The lowest 10% of all estheticians earn less than $8.39 per hour (which is a little more than a dollar over minimum wage) and the top 10% earn over $24.00 per hour.

Upward Mobility

Estheticians typically work in day spas or own their own day spas. This means there’s a limited career ladder to move up on. So while you may end up making around $24.00 per hour after years of experience, you’re not likely to make any more than that, and you’re likely to stay in the same job position throughout your career. However, some beginning estheticians aspire to one day own their own day spa, which could increase your cash flow, but owning a business also makes you responsible for a lot more than just your clients.

Job Outlook

We live in a beauty-obsessed age. Increasingly, women and men are concerned with looking their best by reducing age spots, getting facials, removing hair, and keeping up with their overall esthetic appearance. This is good for estheticians. Over the next 10 years, jobs for skin care professionals are expected to grow by 40%, which is much higher than the average job growth for other fields.


Like most other occupations, your salary will be higher if you work in a city or large metropolitan area. The highest paid cities for estheticians are Bridgeport, Connecticut, Jefferson City, Montana, Albuquerque, New Mexico and Oakland, California.


Like cosmetologists, estheticians typically go to a vocational program for esthetics or cosmetology. Cosmetology school is different from esthetics school in that it focuses more on overall beauty and less on skin. However, cosmetologists and estheticians tend to work in similar places. After attending a program, which usually lasts around a year, estheticians take a written or oral test to get a state license to be able to practice.

Comparison to Similar Jobs

The median salary for estheticians is a bit higher than hair stylists and nail technicians. Hair stylists make around $22,720 per year, and manicurists only make around $19,220. Massage therapists, however, who go through more training, tend to be paid more and make around $35,970. 

Last Updated: April 15, 2015