What's the Difference Between an Aesthetician and a Cosmetologist?


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People interested in making their career in the health and beauty industry often ask the question, what's the difference between an aesthetician and a cosmetologist? There are many misconceptions and some confusion surrounding the two career options due to overlap and some similarities in the kind of work involved. However, understanding the difference between the two is important for potential students to define their career path and specialty in a particular field.

To clear the air, here's a quick guide to explain the difference between an aesthetician and a cosmetologist based on their area of study, license, educational requirements, and the type of treatment they provide.

Area of Study
The major difference between these two beauty professionals is their specializations. They specialize in different areas and focus on giving specific beauty treatments. A cosmetologist is a person trained in giving skin, hair, and nail beauty treatments. Some cosmetologists specialize in handling both hair and nails, while others focus on just one discipline. An aesthetician is someone who focuses only on skin care.

In some cases, an aesthetician can also work in hospitals, dermatology practices, and plastic surgery centers offering skin treatments whereas cosmetologists are confined to the beauty industry.



License and Educational Requirement
To become a cosmetologist, a person is required to complete training from a certified cosmetology school and get his/her license. Generally, the duration of a cosmetology course is from 1,000 to 1,500 hours. After obtaining the state license, the person can practice as a cosmetologist.

To become an aesthetician, it's necessary to complete an aesthetician program from a certified aesthetic school. It can be either full-time or part-time, depending on the person's scheduling restraints. An aesthetic course generally ranges from 500 to 750 hours and it is compulsory to obtain a state license to work as an aesthetician.

It is important to note that an aesthetician is not a cosmetologist, but a cosmetologist can become an aesthetician with additional training and education. The licensing requirements of both professions vary by state. However, most of the cosmetology and aesthetic schools require students to be at least 17 years of age with a high school diploma or any other educational qualification to become eligible for the course.


Type of Treatment
Cosmetologists and aestheticians address the different beauty needs of the clients. The type of treatment they offer also differs depending on their area of specialization. A person certified in cosmetology is a styling professional who can offer various services such as hairstyling, hair cutting and coloring, nail application and decoration, makeup, pedicures, eyebrow shaping, and other beauty treatments. Unlike a cosmetologist, a person trained in aesthetics can offer skin treatments such as electrolysis, massage and reflexology, microdermabrasion, body wraps, chemical surfacing, waxing, and superficial chemical peeling.

Both cosmetologists and aestheticians are certified professionals in the beauty industry. They offer various services and treatments to their clients who want to look good. If you want to pursue a cosmetology program or an aesthetics course, then contact us to get more details on our diploma course and certificate programs held in our aesthetics school.