Esthetician Schools in California
Between California's thriving beauty industry and outdoorsy population, estheticians are in high demand in the state. In fact, California employs more estheticians than any other state in the country.
Browse our directory of esthetician schools in California, or skip ahead to learn about the state's esthetician licensing requirements and job outlook.
Browse All Esthetician Schools in California
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Chula Vista, CA 91911
1073 East Main Street
El Cajon, CA 92021
13266 Poway Road
Poway, CA 92064
1024 East March Lane
Stockton, CA 95210
72-840 Highway 111
Palm Desert, CA 92260
520 San Ramon Valley Boulevard
Danville, CA 94526
1679 East Monte Vista Avenue
Vacaville, CA 95688
2822 F Street
Bakersfield, CA 93301
731 West Shaw Avenue
Clovis, CA 93612
780 Loughborough Drive
Merced, CA 95348
75-030 Gerald Ford Drive
Palm Desert, CA 92211
6500 South Mooney Boulevard
Visalia, CA 93277
16852 Devonshire Street
Granada Hills, CA 91344
3100 Mchenry Avenue
Modesto, CA 95350
19401 South Vermont Avenue G100
Torrance, CA 90502
Asian-American International Beauty College – Accredited
Westminster, CA 92683
International Academy of Cosmetology & Barbering – Accredited
South Gate, CA 90280
International College of Beauty Arts & Sciences – Accredited
Los Angeles, CA 90039
San Francisco, CA 94103
You must attend school in the state you want to practice in. Most states require that you graduate from an accredited school. Learn more about the requirements in your state.
Esthetician Schools Near Me
- 600 education hours or 600 apprentice hours are required to become licensed.
- You must renew your license every 2 years.
- 0 continuing education hours are required to renew your license.
- The average salary for estheticians in California is $32,050 ($15.41/hour). This is higher than the national average of $34,090 ($16.39/hour).
- There is a predicted 17% job increase between 2016–2026 for estheticians. This is higher than the expected national growth of 11%.
To become an esthetician in California, you need to meet the following requirements:
Note: Some violations may be overridden with proper documentation.
Esthetician Salary in California and Projected Job Growth
Average yearly salary for esthetics in California
The highest-paying metro areas for estheticians in California are:
What to Expect From an Esthetician Program in California
Required to earn a esthetics license
To become an esthetician in California, you need to undergo 600 clock hours of training. Schools are expected to break these hours down as follows:
Schools are given substantial flexibility in meeting these criteria. For instance, regarding facials, schools need to provide a minimum of 70 hours in manual, electrical, and chemical facials and 15 hours in preparation skills—leaving them 265 hours to divide up how they see fit.
A unique requirement for the health and safety coursework is instruction in physical and sexual abuse awareness. California recognizes beauty professionals work closely with clients and have a unique opportunity to spot signs of abuse, such as bruising. If you work in the industry in the state, you're legally required to report suspected abuse to the proper authorities.
In addition to training hours, you'll need to perform specific types of treatments a minimum number of times:
In addition to ensuring your school provides training that follows those rules, you need to verify your school is approved by the state board. A school can have its license revoked if the following occurs:
California doesn't allow estheticians to do the following, so you shouldn't be trained in these at your esthetician school:
If you want to perform these treatments, you may need to seek additional endorsements or licenses. Be sure to determine if the practice is legal in the state.
Can I Apprentice as an Esthetician in California?
You may receive your California esthetics training via an apprenticeship program. To qualify for the program, you need to be at least 17, have completed 10th grade or the equivalent, and complete training at a licensed establishment under an approved licensee. You must also obtain an apprentice license, which expires after two years or if you fail the examination twice.
Before working with the public, you must complete pre-apprentice training. You're required to complete the same number of minimum hours and operations as those in schools, covering the same topics.
California Esthetician Licensing Requirements
You may sit for your esthetician practical and written licensing exams after you've completed all of your training. However, you may also apply to take the exams when you're done with 75% of your training, which may allow you to take the tests more quickly after completing your training.
The $125 fee, which you must pay before taking your test, covers both the exams and your license. While there are only two permanent testing sites in California—Fairfield and Glendale—you may be able to reschedule your written portion at a different site. Your practical exam doesn't have this option.
Tests can be taken in English, Korean, Spanish, or Vietnamese. If you speak a different language and don't speak, read, and write English at a minimum of a 10th grade level, you can request to have an interpreter present during your tests.
If you have an officially diagnosed disability requiring accommodations, you may request to have those accommodations during your tests. Your application needs to include information about the professional who diagnosed you, details and documentation of your disability and why it allows for accommodations, and which accommodation(s) you need. Accommodation options include the following:
For the practical examination, you need to bring your photo ID and supply kit with all supplies labeled in English. This test generally takes a maximum of one and a half hours to complete, and the order of skill demonstration is as follows:
- Work area preparation and setup: 10 minutes
- Client preparation and facial: 25 minutes
- Work area preparation and setup for a new client: 10 minutes
- New client preparation and eyebrow hair removal via simulated soft wax and tweezing: Five minutes to set up; the procedure isn't timed
- Makeup: 20 minutes
- Blood exposure procedures: 10 minutes
- Forehead particle microdermabrasion: 10 minutes
- Eyelash enhancement: 10 minutes
The written test consists of 100 multiple choice questions covering scientific concepts and skincare as well as other services. You have two hours to finish the test. Be sure to bring your photo ID and stow away any electronic devices or notes.
California Esthetician Licensure Reciprocity
If you move to California from another state and were trained or licensed as an esthetician in your former state, you may be eligible for reciprocity.
Those who trained as an esthetician elsewhere but didn't receive their licenses need to complete the following steps to potentially be granted a California license:
If you're a licensed esthetician in another state and your license isn't considered an apprentice license, follow these steps:
How to Become a Medical Esthetician in California
There is no separate license for medical estheticians in California or any other state—you can become one with your standard license, though advanced training is recommended.
California has a massive market for medical esthetics, so they have strict rules surrounding the practice. Medical estheticians may not perform microblading, laser treatments, Botox or other fillers, microneedling, or dermaplaning. Microdermabrasion procedures are allowed if the treatments don't go any deeper than the epidermis.
How to Become a Nurse Esthetician in California
Nurse estheticians are registered nurses who provide esthetics treatments, so you need to obtain your RN degree to work in this area.
All nurse estheticians in California must practice under the supervision of physicians. Unlike medical estheticians, they may use lasers, perform Botox treatments, and do microdermabrasion that goes deeper than the epidermis. Only licensed tattoo artists can perform microblading in the state, so this is off-limits to all estheticians.
License renewal period
Continuing education required
You need to renew your California esthetician license every two years. If your renewal application is postmarked on or before the expiration date, renewal is $50; if it's postmarked later, it's $75. Renewing online is also an option. Active duty military or California National Guard members may have their renewal fees waived.
There are no continuing education requirements for esthetician license renewal, though it's always a good idea to keep learning.
If you don't renew your license within five years of its expiration, it will be canceled by the state and can't be renewed simply by paying the fee. If you're in this situation, you need to reapply for a license and sit for your tests again.
Contact the California State Board of Esthetics
Resources for Estheticians in California
California State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology
This is the official state resource for all licensure and legal aspects of California's beauty industry.
Professional Beauty Federation of California
This membership organization strives to improve the California beauty industry's image and professionalism.