August 2012

Lisa Kind - Editor

Esthetic Endeavors | by Judith Culp

 

You are Worth the Investment

by Nicole Riding

[Note from Judith Culp] This month features guest contributor Nicole Riding. Nicole has a degree in sociology and is a student of the 1200 hour esthetics program at NW Institute of Esthetics.

Did you know you can make or break your career with your educational choices?

With technological advances, ingredient discoveries and changing trends, the skincare industry is constantly evolving. In order to best serve yourself and your clients, continuing your education should always be on the forefront of your mind.

A good esthetician never stops learning. Fortunately, there are many ways to further your education including seminars, workshops, online courses, advanced programs and more.

Skin care professionals must stay on top of current trends and techniques in order to stay relevant in this competitive industry.

Some estheticians balk at taking additional training because of the cost and time involved; however, you need to invest in yourself to maximize your future earning potential.

Look at it as a deposit in a money market account. Your learning will yield a return on your investment. Training doesn't have to be expensive. There are many independent study options for the esthetician who can't afford taking classes. The time and money you spend to further your education will advance your career and give you more opportunities.

To best utilize your time and money, evaluate the programs before considering taking them. When deciding on a course of study, consider the following: What are the objectives of the course? What is the curriculum being covered? Who is teaching the course, and what are their credentials? Where is the course being held? Do you receive a certificate on completion of the course? Is there a way for you to utilize these new skills?

One of the major advantages of studying online is the convenience. This lets you study from where you prefer and allows you to go at your own pace. Of course, there are advantages to attending a class in person as well.

Hands-on classes involve active personal participation and allow you to perform and receive the service that you will be learning. This gives you the invaluable knowledge of knowing exactly how a service should be performed and what it is supposed to feel like.

Attending a seminar in person has its advantages. You can discuss problems face to face with a qualified professional, and it also you a chance to make professional contacts.

Each state has set guidelines for how many hours an esthetician needs to complete before they can apply for their license. Look at these as minimums. These hours make an esthetician proficient but not a master. If you want to become a master of your craft, think about attending an advanced esthetics program.

These programs usually include advanced procedures, skin care knowledge and business practices. They also provide you more hands on experience with additional practice. A basic esthetics program is set up for an entry level work position upon graduation.

Advanced programs prepare you to work in advanced fields such as medical esthetics. These programs are becoming more commonplace as the skin care community begins to realize the importance of advanced training. Many skin care professionals are pushing for the advanced 1200 hour program to become the new standard.

A good esthetician not only has excellent practical skills but also has to have the business skills to match. Marketing, customer service and sales are at the core of an esthetician's livelihood. Without these skills an esthetician might scrape by but will not flourish.

There are many options to choose from. Universities, community colleges and trade schools all offer courses with varying levels of difficulty. And again, online classes are an option with most of these educational facilities offering their services online. Become proficient with these skills to achieve your full potential and maximize your profits.

Lastly, one of the best ways to further your education is simply to stay involved in your field. Think of it as independent study. Find out the services and products your clients are interested in. Talk with other estheticians, plastic surgeons and dermatologists in your area. Keep in touch with local and national skin care representatives.

Get involved with skin care organizations such as ASCP, NCEA or CIDESCO. Subscribe to skin care magazines. Attend trade shows which follow current trends and will keep you aware of what is becoming popular and what new technologies and products exist. Make sure you attend your state board meetings.

You have to be a smart, savvy business person. An advanced education will open doors for you. It will provide you with more employment opportunities and professional growth. Have confidence in yourself and know that you are worth the investment.

Judith Culp, has been in the esthetics industry since 1980. She is the owner of NW Institute of Esthetics, Inc. and contributing editor for Miladys Standard Esthetics: Advanced and lead author of Esthetician's Guide to Client Safety & Wellness. For more information visit www.estheticsnw.com.