December 17, 2021

Esthetician Licensing Requirements

An esthetician is a licensed professional specifically trained to help clients keep their skin healthy. People may seek the services of an esthetician when they want to minimize the effects of aging and sun damage. Estheticians have numerous techniques and skills to improve skin wellness, remove unwanted hair, and give therapy to the body through scrubs and massages. If you are interested in a career that helps people, pays well, and doesn’t require many years in school, read on to learn more about becoming an esthetician.

Step 1. Graduate From Esthetician School

To become an esthetician in Iowa, you must first complete an esthiology program at an esthetician school.

The state requires at least 600 hours of esthetician classes before you can sit for your licensure exam. Those hours must include 150 hours in Core Life Sciences, 115 hours in esthetics theory, and 335 hours of applied practical instruction. Some of the topics included in the training are:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Skincare techniques such as how to perform facialsA licensed esthetician performs a service for a client
  • Methods of hair removal
  • Makeup selection and application
  • Medical terminology for estheticians
  • Business management and operations
  • Professional growth and career development

Step 2. Pass the National Theory Licensing Exam

Once your educational program is complete, the next step is to pass the 90-minute NIC National written exam administered by PSI Exams online. You can take the test at nine locations in Iowa, including Ankeny, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, and Coralville. You need a score of at least 75% to qualify, according to Iowa Board regulations. Here are some of the topics you’ll see on the exam:

  • Skin and glandular disorders
  • Chemistry
  • Cleansing methods
  • Hair removal
  • Sanitation and infection control procedures
  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • Exfoliation procedures

Step 3. Submit Esthetician License Application

Once you pass your test, you are ready to apply for your license, either by examination or endorsement.

  • Most students pursue licensure via examination, the only method available to you for your first license. Application through examination involves submitting an application, paying the fee, sending in your transcripts, and submitting your official NIC exam scores.
  • If you already have an esthetician license and you’ve had it for at least 12 of the last 24 months, you can apply to the Iowa Board for a license through endorsement. As with the examination method, you submit an application and fee, transcripts, and test scores. However, through endorsement, you also submit a copy of your original license.

Step 4. Start Your Career as an Esthetician in Iowa

With the licensure process behind you, you’re ready to go to work as an esthetician!

Your first job might be at a salon or spa, focusing mainly on skincare and makeup. However, you might also pursue a career in a medical office or entertainment as a professional makeup artist. Other avenues available to you include sales or product representation and beauty advising.

After some time in practice, Iowa offers the opportunity to pursue a master certification to perform advanced procedures such as microdermabrasion and laser procedures. This advanced certification requires a separate licensure process.

Step 5. Complete Continuing Education to Renew Your License

Once you start work as an esthetician, you must complete at least eight hours of continuing education every two-year cycle.

Your original educational program covers you for the first year of your career. At least four hours must be related to estheticians’ practical tasks, and two years must be specific to practicing in Iowa.

You can renew your license and pay your fee online or on paper.

How Can I Learn More?

If you’re looking for an esthetics program, consider Aveda Institute Des Moines. The school offers a 600-hour curriculum covering all the topics you need to begin your career as an esthetician. We emphasize the use of pure plant essences for treatment. Contact us today to learn more.

Image Source: Lithiumphoto / Shutterstock

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