From K-beauty to spa treatments, the skin care field has exploded in popularity in recent years. By 2026, its market is expected to be worth more than $200 billion.
This has thrust skin care professionals into the spotlight, such as estheticians and aestheticians. And if you love skin care, you may even be considering one of these careers.
But what’s the difference between esthetician vs aesthetician? Read on to find out.
What’s an Esthetician?
If you’ve ever went to a salon for a facial, you likely saw an esthetician.
Estheticians are responsible for offering facial skin treatments in a non-medical setting. They can pinpoint skin issues and symptoms, though they can’t diagnose them the way a medical professional can.
Their main goal is getting the client’s skin to look its best. They achieve this through massages, waxing, exfoliation, and other non-invasive procedures. They may also use makeup and other cosmetic products.
What’s an Aesthetician?
Compared to an esthetician, an aesthetician typically offers more clinical treatments. Their work setting may include hospitals, clinics, trauma centers, and medical spas.
Aestheticians are tasked with repairing and treating skin that has been impacted from burns, injury, chemotherapy, and other medical issues. They may also offer somewhat invasive cosmetic treatments, such as fillers and permanent makeup.
This career combines a love of skin care with medicine, helping patients to recover from trauma and deep-rooted skin concerns.
Which Should You Become?
To help you decide if you should become an esthetician or an aesthetician, it helps to understand the education and training requirements.
Esthetician training includes learning about:
- skin care ingredients
- skin concerns and conditions
- massage techniques
- beauty/cosmetic products and their applications
- disinfection and sanitation
Much of this is learned from a cosmetology program, not requiring a formal degree beyond a high school diploma. After completing the program, you will receive a license to start your career.
Aesthetics education can be a bit more involved, including courses on:
- physiology and anatomy
- medical-grade skin care products
- fillers and their applications
- treatments for wrinkles and aging
- the use of lasers on the skin
Like estheticians, aestheticians must be licensed following studies at a school or program for aestheticians. Generally, a university degree isn’t required.
To help you choose which career path is right for you, consider what aspects of skin care you gravitate towards. If you enjoy beauty and pampering clients, you might make the perfect esthetician. If you’re comfortable with more invasive treatments and you’re happy to learn about the medical side of skin care, consider becoming an aesthetician instead.
Understanding the Differences Between Esthetician vs Aesthetician
As skin care becomes more and more popular, there’s great demand for professionals like estheticians and aestheticians.
Consider the differences between esthetician vs aesthetician to help you decide which career may be right for you. And remember, though these positions are somewhat different, they both play an important role in helping others feel more confident in their skin.
For more career inspiration, check out our other education articles!