Where Do Estheticians Make the Most Money?

where do estheticians make the most money

There are many places to work as an aesthetician, but the most common are medical spas and skincare salons. Aestheticians in these settings earn an average salary of $40,300 per year, while those working in dermatologist’s offices make about $43,880 a year. Aestheticians in medical spas and salons usually perform facials, pore cleansing, waxing, and exfoliation treatments. Some upscale salons offer luxurious treatments, such as aromatherapy, body wraps, and trendy facials.


The earning potential of an esthetician depends on a variety of factors, including prowess, proficiency, and reputation. The degree of commitment and focus that an esthetician puts into her craft will determine her salary potential. Typically, tips and sales commission can add up to about 25% of her total revenue. If you have a natural talent for your craft, that can make all the difference.

The highest-paying niche for estheticians is waxing. This service is relatively inexpensive, is easy to market, and is easily converted into other niches. For example, waxing attracts people who dislike time-consuming facials and body treatments. Additionally, if you’re a good waxer, you can justify a higher price for Brazilian waxing. With the right skills and experience, waxing can bring you six-figure income.

Medical spas

Medical spas, on the other hand, are a blend of a salon and a medical clinic. Licensed medical doctors always work in medical spas. In these facilities, estheticians perform procedures within a specific field of medicine, such as dermatology or plastic surgery. In these facilities, a large portion of the pay is based on commissions. Consequently, medical spa estheticians make the most money, as they earn much more than their salon peers.

Depending on where you live, you can earn between $23,356 to $33,764 per year as an Esthetician in Medical Spas. In contrast, the national average is $43,005 per year. In California, the highest-paying cities for estheticians in Medical Spas are Santa Cruz, CA, and Sunnyvale, CA. These three cities each pay an esthetician an average of $8,335 more than the national average.

Plastic surgeon offices

Some estheticians also work in medical spas. These estheticians may assist physicians during procedures. Estheticians who work in a plastic surgeon’s office generally clean instruments and provide postoperative instructions. Typically, they do not receive gratuity. However, many estheticians make significant sums of money in these offices. For this reason, estheticians working in a plastic surgeon’s office earn more than their counterparts in other settings.

Most plastic surgeons post their before-and-after photos on their websites. Since most viewers tend to look for the best examples, showing fewer before-and-after photos may be a sign that the surgeon is not as experienced as they claim. On the other hand, displaying a lot of before and after photos is a sign of success and relatability. Moreover, before-and-after photos can act as a silent salesperson, helping attract patients and make them feel more comfortable about their choice of treatment.

Waxing salons

If you are a newbie esthetician, a list of essential supplies may help you get started in the industry. While spa owners typically have many of these supplies on hand, those who are starting their careers from scratch need to invest in equipment wisely and use it safely. Damaged equipment can be very expensive and dent the bank account of the business. Also, you may be tempted to start a spa business without the necessary supplies, but it’s always better to invest in a little bit more than you think you’ll need.

As an independent contractor, you can set up shop at home or lease a booth in an established salon. While it’s not possible to make as much money as an employee-owned salon, you can expect to make at least $50,000 per year. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not collect data for this sector, many hard-working estheticians report making $50,000 to $100,000 per year. Of course, the amount you earn will depend on your location and clientele.

Independent contractors

In addition to their regular job, estheticians can choose to work as independent contractors in a spa, salon, or private home. As an independent contractor, you set your own schedule and pay rate. You choose which clients you want to serve and what products and services to offer. In addition, you decide how much you’d like to charge for each service. Make sure to charge enough to cover your living expenses.

Starting a business as a sole proprietor or an independent contractor requires a lot of planning. First of all, you must acquire a business license. You’ll need to fill out an application stating the name, address, and type of business you’ll be running. Once you’ve obtained a license, you’ll be able to shop for your business’s supplies and equipment. Most suppliers offer a discount to professionals.