What Is the Best Esthetician School to Attend?

Renée Rouleau in front of Catherine Hinds School with diploma

Updated 6/26/21. Being an esthetician is such a rewarding career. After all, I’ve been one for over 30 years and love it more than ever. I attended the Catherine Hinds Institute of Esthetics outside of Boston and recently went back for the first time since I was a student in 1990. (See the above picture of my visit!)

I now live in Austin, Texas, and will occasionally speak at the local esthetic schools to future esthetic graduates, as you can see me doing on my Instagram. I always enjoy seeing what the schools are teaching these future estheticians. Surprisingly, other than some new advancements in skincare, the general curriculum is very similar to when I attended.

Many esthetics schools have a basic program that requires a minimum number of hours as required by the State in order to operate as an entry-level esthetician. The schools usually also offer advanced courses at a higher fee for more advanced training.

I’m often asked for my opinion on the best esthetics school. That’s a hard question for me simply because I only have experience with the one that I attended. However, I do have some thoughts on how to go about finding one.

How to Find the Best Esthetics School in Your Area

Here are my five tips to help you find the best esthetics school in your area:

1. Be sure that being an esthetician is truly your passion and you’re ready to commit to the profession

I love the profession and it works for my lifestyle, but you need to be sure it works for you. To help you decide, read more about the pros and cons of being an esthetician.

2. Ask other skincare professionals for esthetic school recommendations

Use social media to ask around for recommendations. Or, if there is a school that you are interested in, look at the followers of that school and message them to see what their experience is like.

3. Interview the schools and ask a lot of questions

When you are looking for a school, it is similar to interviewing with a potential future employer. You are interviewing the school to see if it’s a good fit for you. You’ll be spending a lot of money to go to school and probably taking out loans so you really need to get a good feel for their program and culture.

4. Decide which program is best for you

I have always felt that the best education doesn’t come from school, but with hands-on experience working in a skincare spa, clinic or salon. When you work for someone else, it’s like getting paid to learn. If you are on a budget, then just do the basic courses at school and take advanced courses from skincare vendors. There are always continuing education opportunities at trade shows and from skincare companies that will also give you a certificate of completion that you can attach with a resume.

5. Meet the teachers

I think it’s best to ask to meet your teachers before you enroll. Do they have a professional disposition and look like a good leader? How long have they been practicing esthetics? Many students are hired as a teacher right after they graduate and they will not be able to share “real world” experience. Anyone can teach you how to pass an exam, but it’s the stories of those who have actually worked in the spas and clinics that I personally felt were the most interesting. This is a value add to your hour requirements.

When I attended school, I did the basic class, which was 300 hours. Since I already had a job waiting for me, I opted to not take the additional programs the school offered. I was fortunate because, at this job, my co-worker (who was also my mentor and later business partner) was a former instructor at my esthetics school when it first opened, and she helped them develop their curriculum.

In my case, I was ready to get working and knew that I would receive continuing education at my new job. Thirty years have passed and I love being an esthetician more than ever. If you love skincare and are passionate about lifelong learning, this profession is for you!

I have been interviewed on many podcasts that are geared toward estheticians. If you want to learn more about a career in esthetics, listen to them here for more of my advice. You can also read about the five esthetician rules I live by.

Disclaimer: Content found on www.ReneeRouleau.com and Blog.ReneeRouleau.com, including text, images, audio, or other formats were created for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website or blog.

Comments:

Post a comment
  1. Thank you Renée what an awesome blog, can you recommend a good esthetic school in New York. I’ve searched and am quite confused right now. Am taking it up as an international student and will be coming to New York from my country for this course. So passionate about skincare but unfortunately my country doesn’t have esthetic schools here. Your recommendation will go a long way to help me make this great decision. I wouldn’t want to invest so much as an international student in a school that won’t offer the best.

    Posted By: Love  | 

    Reply
    • Hi! Unfortunately I don’t have any recommendations, but if you follow the tips in this blog post it will help you find a school that’s a good fit for you. Make sure to do your research and learn as much as you can about a school first!

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply
  2. Hi Renee! I just wanted to thank you for this website and your blogs! I listented to a podcast with u and Lori and i felt so inspired and truly moved! The information you give is so comforting! Thank you so much for your great advice as i am about to embark in my journey with skin care! I am still very young but i truly see myself loving this career ! You are someone I look up too and i hope one day i can feel confident in my own skin! Apperciation post for you!

    Posted By: Sarah  | 

    Reply
  3. Hi Renee! First of all, I love your website! It’s so nice to have a place to come to that actually answers everything you need to know about this industry. I’m moving to Dallas very soon from Los Angeles and I am looking for a reliable school and I see that you recommend the Paul Mitchell school in Carrollton. What makes you rely so well on that school and the graduates that come from there?

    Posted By: Samantha  | 

    Reply
    • Honestly, the traits of a good esthetician is not dependent on the school but the Paul Mitchell school is simply the one that I am most familiar with.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply
  4. Hi Renee! i’m from long island NY and i’m afraid to commit to an esthetician school because i’ve heard so many horror stories of receiving a lack of education and not landing good jobs due to their school of choice. I’m very much interested in facial care considering my skin isn’t that great and i really want to become a laser technician as well. I know you live in Texas but would you happen to have any suggestions for good schools in Long Island or NYC? I’m very serious about this career choice and I don’t want to waist my time and money on a non reputable school. Your acknowledgment is appreciated, thank you!

    Posted By: Briana  | 

    Reply
    • Hi Briana, I don’t have any suggestions for schools there however, I would suggest looking at possible places of employment where you might apply when you have your license and ask them which schools they attended.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply
  5. I’m in houston, i got laser hair removal license but I couldn’t find a job so I decided to get esthetician license as well to get a good job, i found Houston training school and they gave me fainicial aid , so my question is it doesn’t matter from which school I graduated or it does? And can i work with the certificate or should i get the license ( i mean get the state test) ?

    Posted By: Sarah  | 

    Reply
    • Hi Sarah, I’m unclear as to what you’re asking. As an employer, it doesn’t matter to me which school an esthetician goes to, a license is a license, as far as I’m concerned because we have an extensive training program.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply
  6. Hi! I would love to be an Esthetician! But I keep finding so many different schools/courses that do not seem legitimate. I have heard over and over that “Medical Estheticians” or “Master Estheticians” do not exist. But I would love to work in a doctors office! Is there a specific school or course I would have to take to get there? Or can i go to any cosmetology school in my state (Idaho) and get there one day from there with a regular Esthetician course?

    Posted By: Mary Fowler  | 

    Reply
    • From what I understand, an esthetician course can allow you to provide most treatments. Sometimes, an employer will need you to go through additional training to use various modalities such as lasers. Everyone has their own interpretation of what a medical or master esthetician is so it varies widely. Ultimately, it’s up to your employer to get you additional training to do medical treatments.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply
      • I am not employed yet. Would it be completely insane to go to a facility that i would love to work for and ask what they would require? or would getting a medical assistant certification and an Esthetics license be a good place to start?

        Thank you!

        Posted By: Mary Fowler  | 

    • To work in medical office first you have to finish certified medical assistant course and than a esthetician course if you want to work in medical practices. Thats what i m doing at the moment, my goal is to work in plastic surgery spa center or dermatology office. Good luck!!!

      Posted By: Julie V  | 

      Reply
  7. Good Afternoon Renee,

    I have been looking into schools here in Austin for quite awhile now. I would love to hear your thoughts on the best school. Also what you think of Ann Webb’s school program vs. Avenue Five. Please feel free to send me a personal email! Absolutely love your blog and your entire platform! I hope to have my own one day 🙂 Cheers,
    Sarah

    Posted By: Sarah Palacios  | 

    Reply
    • Hello Sarah, I honestly don’t know how the curriculum varies for Austin esthetic schools. You’ll just have to interview and see which sounds like it’s the best for you. Good luck. It’s a great profession and one you’re sure to love!

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply
  8. What esthetician school would you recommend for the Dallas area?

    Posted By: Brandi  | 

    Reply
    • I’ve hired estheticians from the Paul Mitchell school and they seemed to have been happy with the program so check them out.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply
  9. Can you recommend a school in Southern California, Inland Empire Area

    Posted By: Danielle  | 

    Reply
  10. Thank you Renee for the time you dedicate to help us all in our dreams of being a great skin care professional. I would like to ask your opinion on using a private office space in the back of our natural food store. Our store in located in a small island community. I would like my niche area to be organic… Thank you!

    Posted By: Kim  | 

    Reply
    • As long as it’s private, I think that can totally work! Plus, I love the idea that you can tap into the customers that come into the store. Good luck!

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply
      • Ok….great! I feel the same way… plus I think it would be a great way to help people even more because what we eat and drink matters a great deal to our skin. Creating beauty from the inside and outside. I wanted your opinion because I feel like you’re a very honest lady. Blessings to you always.

        Posted By: Kim  | 

Post a Comment:

Find your
skin type

Great skin starts with knowing your skin type. Take our quiz to get personalized tips and product recommendations.

Take the Quiz