2022 Guide: Online Esthetician Skin Care Degree Programs

Skin care professionals clean and beautify the face and body. An online skin care program teaches you a variety of skills to help you accomplish that goal, from understanding the biology of the skin to creating skincare products from scratch. You might choose to follow a study path that leads to you starting your own line of skincare or makeup products, or you might decide to earn your diploma or certificate in cosmetology. If you want to practice professional cosmetology after earning your certificate or degree, you will also need to get a licence from your local licensing body.

What Is an Online Skin Care Program?

These programs will teach you how to perform regular procedures on the skin such as injecting Botox and dermal fillers like Restylane. You may also learn how to perform facial scrubs, massages and soothing treatments for dehydrated and aging skin. The best online skin care programs will teach the biological foundation of skin care, including popular procedures and strategies to maintain the health of the skin. You will learn how to wash and moisturize skin on the face and body to prevent sensitivity or premature aging. As a skin care student you will also learn hair removal techniques, as well as how to use tools such as the microneedle, electrolysis machine, and microdermabrasion machine.

Skin care professionals are often responsible for the following tasks:

  • Evaluating clients’ skin condition
  • Suggesting treatment options
  • Hair removal
  • Cleaning clients’ skin
  • Recommending ideal skin care products
  • Teaching clients how to care for their skin
  • Teaching clients to apply makeup
  • Maintaining and cleaning equipment and work spaces

Why Choose an Online Skin Care Program?

A skin care certificate sets you apart from the rest of the pack when it comes time to apply for jobs or a business loan. It shows your dedication to the field and lets potential employers or partners know that you are qualified to work with skin care clients.

If you want to study skin care in college, it’s a good idea to get a head start during high school. Biology and chemistry classes are very relevant to the post-secondary study of skin care, as you will soon understand the hidden processes of the body’s largest organ. Studying skin care not only will allow you to move into a variety of health and beauty careers, but it will also help you take better care of your own skin.

An online skin care program will prepare you to administer multiple skin treatments, while providing basic training in related nutrition, anatomy, and business. These courses will be useful while on the job as an esthetician, cosmetologist, or hair removal expert. Earning your certificate in skin care prepares you for a career working in a spa or beauty salon.

If you enjoy helping people achieve their healthiest, most beautiful skin, this could be the perfect college program for you. Skin care professionals are meticulous and friendly, and always able to make clients feel understood and cared for. An interest in health, beauty and science is highly recommended for this industry.

Skincare specialists give facials, full-body treatments, and head and neck massages to improve the health and appearance of the skin. Some may provide other skin care treatments, such as peels, masks, and scrubs, to remove dead or dry skin.

In addition, skincare specialists create daily skincare routines for clients based on skin analysis and help them understand which skincare products will work best for them. A growing number of specialists actively sell skincare products, such as cleansers, lotions, and creams.

How Much Does a Skin Care Qualification Cost?

A skin care qualification costs anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000 and up. The cost depends on whether you choose to attend a local or out-of-state college, or attend a program online. Non-local students, whether out-of-state or from another country, are regularly charged more by traditional schools. Online programs are often priced the best, and they usually won’t penalize you for not being a local student.

You can major in skin care at reputable technical schools, career colleges and universities throughout the country. Look for a program that will provide the right expertise that you’re looking for, whether it’s a holistic approach to skin care or a concentration on electrolysis. Next, find out what types of hands-on experience, internships and career placement services prospective schools offer. Practice is important in this industry, so if you choose an online school look for additional hands-on lessons or internships.

How Much Do Skin Care Professionals Make?

As of May 2020, the median earnings for skin care professionals was $36,510 per year according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That works out to about $17.55 per hour, which is higher than the median annual income of all workers in the United States. That number, reported by the Social Security Administrationin 2019, was $34,248. If you own your own salon, those earnings can go up with good business strategies and service.

What Is the Job Outlook for Skin Care Degree Holders?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 78,600 jobs in the skin care industry in 2019, and that number is expected to jump by 17 percent by 2029. That is a very quick increase, compared with the average 4 percent increase in the overall job market.

Scholarships for Online Skincare Programs

Sydell L. Miller “Total Image” Scholarship, Beauty Changes Lives Foundation,   $7,500   

Horatio Alger Career and Technical Scholarship, Horatio Alger Association, up to $2,500   

Beauty School Scholarship, Beauty Schools Marketing Group,   $2,500    

Sven Peterson Memorial Scholarship, University of California, San Diego,   $2,000   

Is skin care specialist a good career?

Skin care is a popular, growing industry, which bodes well for you as a student! You also have plenty of options, including starting your own spa or independent practice, joining an established team, or offering services to multiple commercial locations such as wedding venues and theaters.

What jobs require a skin care certificate?

Your skin care certificate shows potential employers and partners that you are dedicated to the industry, and educated properly. You need a certificate or degree to validate your job application at a beauty salon, spa, or other type of service company. On top of this, you might require a local esthetician license. You can use your certificate to pursue general skin care roles, or focus on anti-aging, esthetics, hair removal, or massage.

What are the different fields of skin care?

The main fields of skin care include cosmetologist, esthetician, massage therapist, pedicurist, hair removal professional, and salon or spa owner/manager.

How long does it take to get a skin care certificate?

Skin care programs take anywhere between four months to two years. You can earn an Esthetician & Skin Care degree in as little as four months if you choose to enroll in a certificate program at a technical school, career college or university. Students can expect classes to cover facial treatments, vitamin therapies, mask therapy, electrolysis, hair removal, skin physiology and facial massage. Plus, many programs provide basic business skills since some students will take on managerial roles later.

While certificates are the most common, associate degrees are also offered at technical schools, colleges, and universities for skin care majors. With a 2-year degree program, you may learn a greater variety of skills or gain more experience in a particular area to give you an edge when applying for jobs. Typically, clinical or medical skin care programs, which include instruction in cosmetic dermatology procedures like microdermabrasion and chemical peels can qualify you for higher paying careers.

What does a skin care program curriculum typically include?

The best online skin care programs include a basic understanding of human anatomy, skin health, nutrition, and germ theory. You will also learn about client care, including how to make people comfortable while undergoing various procedures. Some business theory is often included, which is great for students who want to open their own salon in the future. 

Post-Secondary Skin Care Programs

  • Short-term or full-term programs available
  • Popular concentrations include nail technician and cosmetology
  • Programs typically take 48 months to 2 years to complete
  • Many programs can be completed totally online

  • Prepares graduates to apply for various licenses, such as esthetician
  • Provides essential training for make-up artists and spa workers
  • Offers opportunities in high-growth health and beauty industry

  • Full programs cost as little as $3,000
  • Multiple scholarships are available for students in skin care studies
  • Online and local programs offer more affordable options

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