Congrats — you’ve finished esthetician school, and you’re ready to bring in the big bucks doing what you love! Before you dive into your full-time gig as a money-making, skin-enhancing, confidence-boosting boss, let’s talk shop.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 71,800 estheticians in 2018. The average salary for these skin industry professionals was $31,290, making the median hourly wage $15.05. The top 10 percent of those earning an esthetician salary was $59,790 (or an hourly wage of $28.75).

If you have your cosmetology license and are wondering how to make good money as an esthetician, there are a handful of simple ways you can kickstart your career into one of financial abundance. 

From selling retail products to making efficient supply purchases, here are our top tips for making the most of your career as an esthetician.

1. Continue Your Esthetician Education 

If you’re looking to maximize your earning as a cosmetologist, start offering additional services. Continuing your education and enhancing your skill set, is a fantastic way to earn more money in the beauty industry.

  • Waxing: In the career of a skincare specialist, there are plenty of different waxing methods to master. From soft wax used for strip waxing large areas to fruit wax for sensitive skin — the waxing world is your oyster. 
  • Threading: From eyebrows to upper lips, threading is an art form in itself. If you’ve yet to see it done, essentially, it requires taking two cotton strings then pulling the hair out from the follicle. 
  • Facials: From acne facials and chemical peels to microdermabrasion, facials are a popular skin treatment — and a big part of your job as a beauty professional. The more facial treatments you know, the more customized service you can offer.
  • Wraps: Body wraps are a spa treatment used to enhance the overall look of your skin. Sometimes, they’re also used for detox and weight loss. 
  • Eyebrow Tinting: Eyebrow tinting refers to using a stain to darken the eyebrows. Typically, this is a semi-permanent dye that results in wow-worthy brows.
  • Eyebrow Feathering: Eyebrow feathering is a microblading technique that gives clients full and effortless brows. The end result looks more natural than the traditional microblading.
  • Plastic Surgery: Looking to become a paramedical esthetician? These skincare specialists are somewhat like assistants to the plastic surgeon and work with clients both before and after plastic surgery. 
  • Massage Services: From hot stone massages to romantic couples’ massages, a massage therapist is everyone’s best friend. Time to add it to your list of spa skills!
  • Makeup Application: If you have your esthetician license, you might as well become a makeup artist, too. When you’re searching for more ways of how to make good money as an esthetician, offering clients makeup applications can be a lucrative way to go.
  • Permanent Makeup: Permanent makeup, like eyeliner and lip tinting, are more complex services that requires more training and cost more than typical makeup application. In addition to the service itself, you must also be well versed in aftercare. For example, you should know whether to recommend wet or dry healing as sa part of your client’s permanent eyeliner aftercare routine.
  • Spray Tans: With some hands-on experience, online training, or simple certification, you can become a spray tan specialist. Give your customers a golden glow while also offering your other salon services. 
  • Hair Removal: For clients looking for a more permanent approach to hair removal, laser hair removal is the way to go. Sometimes, this certification will be included in your program at esthetician school. If not, there are other easy ways to obtain your certification and officially become a certified laser specialist.
  • Eyelash Extensions: Longer, thicker, more eye-catching lashes? Yes, please. Lash extensions can be pricey, which is why lash application is a good skill to have if you’re on the hunt for how to make good money as an esthetician. Learn how to apply different types of lashes like hybrid and volume.
  • Nails: Primping with polish is always a nice self-indulgence. And if they didn’t cover how to become a nail technician in your beauty school program, then it’s up to you to seek out your certification. 

While all of these may not interest you, some services may be right up your alley to add. And, if you’re wondering how to get clients as an esthetician, expanding your services might just be the trick.

2. Sell Retail Products 

In addition to selling your services, one tip for how to make good money as an esthetician is to sell retail products, too. It’s one of our favorite esthetician marketing ideas if you happen to get some sort of commission from selling certain products. Did your client love their facial service? Perfect. This is your chance to sell them that oil they adored or the scrub they couldn’t stop raving about. The same goes for everything from nail polish to makeup. Consider retail products your secret weapon as a skincare specialist.

3. Make Efficient Supply Purchases

When you’re a medical aesthetician, purchasing and using supplies efficiently and safely will not only save you from a stress-induced headache — it will also save you money. 

When you finish esthetics school and are ready to embark on your lucrative career, here’s a supply list to keep in mind. Remember, if you join forces with a spa owner, he or she may already have a lot of these supplies but if you’re starting from scratch, it’s critical that you purchase equipment wisely. 

  • Facial machines
  • Facial steamer
  • Towel warmer 
  • Manicure table
  • Laser hair removal equipment 
  • Facial chair
  • Sterilization unit
  • Front office equipment
    • Reception desk
    • Magazine stand
    • Storage for retail products
    • Chairs for the waiting area
  • Massage table
  • Magnification lamp
  • Exfoliating brush
  • Microdermabrasion 

It’s also important to use it safely to not break or damage the equipment, which can lead to potentially pricey repairs and a dent in your business bank account. Although this list isn’t comprehensive, and it will be a bit different for every esthetician, it’s a good place to start.

4. Upsell Services During Booking 

Upselling is a sales technique, and if you’re interested in how to make good money as an esthetician, it’s one you’ll want to familiarize yourself with because it’s one of the most successful tips for estheticians.

Essentially, upselling works by persuading your client to purchase either:

  1. A more premium version of the service they’ve chosen.
  2. An add-on to the service they’ve chosen.

In the beauty industry, upselling can be done in a wide variety of ways. Did your client order a facial? Utilizing the art of upselling, you can offer a more premium facial for a higher price point

Premium facials, for example, may include microdermabrasion to sweep away those old skin cells or specialized ultra-luxury oil. Add ons, on the other hand, might take the regular facial, but make it more enticing with something like a blackhead removal service. 

Both of these forms of upselling serve to give your client a deal they simply cannot resist. In turn, they’re happy with your salon because you give them a good deal and you’re happy to keep them coming back because it promises consistency.

5. Avoid Undercharging Your Services

When you’re an esthetician, charging your worth is important on so many levels. Not only does it ensure that you’re getting adequate payment for your services, but it boosts your confidence and aids in a job well done.

After all, the better you feel, the better service you’ll give, and the happier your clients will be.

But exactly how do you avoid undercharging when you’re figuring out how to make good money as an esthetician?

First, keep your charging process clear and simple, so that it can be easily maintained by you and your team — and easily understood by your clients. A good rule of thumb is to keep your price list minimal and know exactly what you’re charging. At StyleSeat, there are certain tools to help keep your payment process easy, so that you can avoid mistakes and undercharging.

  • Your service menu is online: This means clients can get clear, concise pricing information right away for the work you offer a medical esthetician. 
  • Get paid when clients don’t show: One way to seriously undercharge is to not charge for no-shows. The average stylist faces 1-2 no-shows per week, which can translate to a whopping $5,000 a year. With StyleSeat, you can easily set up a no-show late cancellation policy and bid that problem farewell. 
  • Get paid instantly: With our instant deposit feature, along with our credit card features, you no longer have to think about getting paid the day of your clients service. When you’re chatting with a client in person and handling credit cards and cash, it can be easy to get sidetracked and therefore, undercharge for your esthetician services.

6. Charge More for Popular Time Slots

In the beauty industry, certain time slots are more popular than others. Whether you’re a massage therapist or a lash extension specialist, you may notice your bookings skyrocket during a particular time — like, say, after work or on the weekends. 

Charging more for popular time slots is an excellent tip for how to make good money as an esthetician. With StyleSeat, our Smart Pricing feature helps estheticians maximize their earnings through data science. We analyze your popular time slots, then raise the prices to match their true value. As Meridian, an esthetician in Idaho says, “I’m super excited about the Smart Pricing Feature!” and we think you will be, too.

Maximize Your Income With StyleSeat

Whether you’re focusing on upselling or fine-tuning your skills through continued education, there are so many ways for how to make good money as an esthetician. Sometimes, it just comes down to you and your own personal style. But at the end of the day, if you’re really looking to grow your esthetician business, you have StyleSeat.

Make sure to sign up for StyleSeat today, so we can help you manage — and grow — your beauty business with our online booking platform, Smart Pricing feature, no-show late cancellation policies, and marketing program.

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