As a licensed esthetician in New Jersey, you’ll have the freedom to choose the type of clients you’ll be working with. Whether you are drawn to the elegance of a resort spa in northern New Jersey or prefer a smaller fashion-forward salon in Jersey City, you’ll have the privilege of bringing a youthful, radiant glow to your clients’ skin.
To practice as an esthetician in New Jersey, you will need a skin care specialty license from the New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling. Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how you can become an esthetician in New Jersey:
|Obtain an Education in Esthetics|
|Apply for the Written Exam and a Temporary Permit|
|Pass the New Jersey Written and Practical Exams|
|Establish Yourself in New Jersey’s Salon and Spa Industry and Keep your License Current|
Step 1. Obtain an Education in Esthetics
Your first step to becoming an esthetician in New Jersey is to enroll in a formal training program. You’ll need to complete 600 clock hours of coursework and practical training to qualify for licensure through the New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling. The board has approved three-dozen beauty schools offering programs that meet state licensing requirements.
If you have taken classes in esthetics in high school, you can apply these credits toward the 600 hours required for licensure. Your high school must certify these hours. When you submit your student registration application, your beauty school will contact your high school for certification of coursework as applicable.
Esthetician schools teach vital knowledge and skills through a mix of theoretical coursework and practical training. The Board requires that your program cover these specific areas of esthetics:
- New Jersey state cosmetology rules and regulations
- Decontamination and infection control
- Professional image, hygiene and related practices
- Structure and functions of skin
- Anatomy, physiology and nutrition
- Chemistry related to skin care
- Superfluous hair
- Electricity and machines
More than half of your clock hours will be spent on practical training in such areas as:
- Facial and body procedures
- Makeup techniques
Once you have completed half of your coursework, you can get a student permit and start beautifying customers! You will need to fill out three forms to qualify for a student permit:
Step 2. Apply for the Written Exam and a Temporary Permit
You will have to pass two exams within three years of getting your education, or you will have to take a refresher course. Your first step in this process is to schedule your written exam. You have to be at least 17 years old and show proof of your a high school education or GED to sit for the exam.
New Jersey contracts with the testing service provider, PSI to administer the written exam. You can apply for the exam online. The New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling will then review your application to ensure you have met all requirements.
You will have to pass this with a score of at least 75 before you can take your practical exam.
Once approved to take the exam, you can request a temporary permit that is good for 120 days and cannot be extended. If it expires before you get your state license, you will have to stop practicing.
Step 3. Pass the New Jersey Written and Practical Exams
New Jersey Written Esthetics Exam – You can find the content for the written exam in New Jersey through PSI. The exam will likely be structured to include:
- General concepts
- Applied anatomy and physiology
- Skin treatments
- Hair removal
- New Jersey laws and regulations
Use these board-recommended references to prepare for the exam:
- New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling Regulations
- Salon Fundamentals Esthetics Textbook, 2nd Ed., 2010
- Milady’s Standard Esthetics: Fundamentals, 10th Ed., 2009
You should arrive at least half an hour ahead of time with the proper ID.
As soon as you have finished, you will see your score on the screen and get a printed score report. You need to keep this report to submit with your license application.
New Jersey Practical Esthetics Exam – Now that you have passed your written exam, you can schedule the practical exam directly through the Board by filling out the application form and including these required items:
- Physician’s certification
- School certification
- Notarized affidavit
You will pay a fee of $50 for the exam and an additional $60 for your license by check or money order.
The Board will notify you by mail with your exam date.
In addition to demonstrating your practical knowledge of skin care techniques, you should be prepared to be very thorough with your sanitation and infection control procedures.
After passing the practical exam, the Board will send your license to you.
Out of State Candidates – If you completed your esthetics training in another state, you have to ask for a license application in writing.
If you have less than three years of experience as an esthetician, you will have to show that your program meets New Jersey’s training requirements.
If you have practiced for at least three years, you can qualify for a license by submitting proof of your licensure and experience by submitting the following:
- Work experience: notarized affidavit
- License: certification of licensure
The fee to become licensed by endorsement is $100.
Step 4. Establish Yourself in New Jersey’s Salon and Spa Industry and Keep your License Current
As a major tourist area, New Jersey has a very well developed salon and spa industry. Some of the state’s top resort spas include:
- The Element Spa at Crystal Springs Resorts—Vernon
- The Seaview Resort and Spa—Galloway
- Ocean Spa Resort and Spa—Long Branch
If you want a more fast-paced atmosphere, the major casinos in Atlantic City are also home to a number of elegant spas:
- Borgata: Spa Toccare
- Caesers: Qua Baths and Spa
- Golden Nugget: Salon and Spa
Your New Jersey esthetician license will be good for two years and will expire every even-numbered year. The Board will send you a notice at least 60 days before you have to renew it. You will then submit a renewal application along with your fee before your license expiration date.
You must apply for your renewal more than 30 days before it expires. You will have to pay a late fee if you apply within that 30-day period.
You don’t have to take any continuing education classes to renew your license, but it would be a good idea to periodically take classes at your local beauty college. The field of skin care is advancing very rapidly, and you can learn the latest trends and techniques, so you will be prepared to provide any service your clients ask for!
Once you are confident with your skills, you can open your own salon, or even begin practicing out of your home. This will require permission from your zoning official and a shop license from the New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling.
Esthetician Salaries and Job Prospects in New Jersey
Earning potential and job opportunities in New Jersey’s skincare industry continue to impress. The Department of Labor and Workforce Development reveals that the number of positions in this field will increase from 3,400 in 2016 to 4,200 in 2026 – that’s an increase of 24% just to keep up with the growing demand for professional esthetics services.
It’s no secret New Jersey’s guys and gals are all about looking their best, which is why, even as a newbie to the profession, you can expect to earn about $18,500 a year – and that’s before tips and commissions. Get a few years’ experience under your belt and your base salary can easily top $30,000 – add tips and commissions on product sales to that and you’re looking at a solid income for a job you literally love doing.
Combine that with the New York professionals heading your way in the northern part of the state and the vacationers in New Jersey’s southern resort towns looking for a day of pampering and it’s easy to see why tips and commissions can easily make your salary skyrocket. All figures shown here represent base income before tips and other incentives.
- Low: $8.89
- Median: $13.66
- High: $27.48
- Low: $18,500
- Median: $28,410
- High: $57,160
Show Me Where the Money Is: Skincare Specialist Salaries Throughout New Jersey
As expected, your salary will differ depending on where in New Jersey you set up shop. Of course, living and working in the state’s largest metro regions will come with the benefit of higher income potential. Practice your craft as an experienced skincare specialist in any of the largest metro regions in New Jersey and you’ll enjoy a salary that tops $60,000.
Most estheticians work under an hourly salary plus commission and tips model instead of a straight hourly or annual pay, so most published statistics of earning potential tend to be on the lower end of the scale. You may even rent a booth in a spa or salon and work as your own boss. In other words, while salary statistics may reveal regions where hourly or annual salaries tend to be higher, your earning potential is largely determined by whether you work as an employee or independent practitioner who rents space, as well as your reputation, how many clients you have on your roster of regulars, and the reputation of the salon or spa in which you work.
Here’s the basic ranges, from low to high, in different parts of New Jersey.
- Low: $32,560
- Median: $38,470
- High: $68,410
New York-New Jersey-White Plains, NJ-NY
- Low: $20,620
- Median: $33,360
- High: $62,900
- Low: $18,790
- Median: $37,450
- High: $69,960
- Low: $18,270
- Median: $33,070
- High: $68,460
- Low: $19,030
- Median: $32,420
- High: $40,640
2017 salary data provided by the U.S. Department of Labor-Sponsored resource CareerOneStop – https://www.careeronestop.org/ExploreCareers/Plan/salaries.aspx. State and MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) data includes estheticians at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries. Employment conditions in your area may vary.
2016 job growth data provided by the U.S. Department of Labor-Sponsored resource Projections Central – https://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm.
All data accessed June 2019.
11 Notable Esthetician Programs in New Jersey
New Jersey is home to some of the most recognized and well respected esthetics programs in the entire country. And with an average tuition rate of only $8,371 for licensure programs, New Jersey institutes of esthiology are also very affordable. An astounding six out of the ten schools on our list see students graduate with almost no outstanding loan debt. All the way around, New Jersey’s esthetics schools provide a lot of bang for your buck!
Here you’ll find our pick for the top ten schools in New Jersey offering esthetics programs that meet state licensing requirements, plus one program that offers continuing education in medical aesthetics specifically for currently licensed estheticians, cosmetologists and healthcare professionals.
- Tuition: $3,999
With three prime locations in Southern New Jersey, Rizzieri has a longstanding reputation as the area’s premier salon and spa… but with its medical aesthetics training program in Voorhees Township, it’s also the place for licensed aestheticians, cosmetologists and healthcare professionals to go for continuing education in medical aesthetics services like dermaplaning, medical microdermabrasion, medical grade peels, micro-needling and laser treatments. With The Integrative Medical Aesthetics Program specifically designed for currently licensed aestheticians and cosmetologists or recent graduates gearing up for their licensing exams, as well as LPNs, RNs, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, A Medical Spa at Rizzieri offers a unique opportunity for more advanced aesthetics students to get the kind of training they need to work alongside dermatologists, plastic surgeons and physicians in medical and clinical settings. With a curriculum that covers both medical skin conditions and corrective medical treatments, graduates leave this program with a certificate of completion and a whole new set of advanced skills that help bring aesthetics and physician services together to complete the “Circle of Care”, a team-based approach to attending to the advanced skin care needs of patients in virtually any medical setting.
- Tuition: $7,900
- Kit Cost: $1,320
- Program Length: 5 months
Artistic Academy charges a below-average tuition rate, but gets above-average results in their skin care program, with high on-time completion and job placement rates, and low levels of student debt. The school provides an excellent esthetics education, but more remarkable is the degree of community involvement that students realize while in the program. The academy hosts food drives, clothing drives, and beauty-a-thon fundraisers for charitable causes, and sponsors an annual summer camp called Camp Nova to provide beauty services to children with developmental disabilities. The academy also accepts G.I. Bill benefits from qualified veterans.
- Tuition: $7,300
- Kit Cost: $675
- Program Length: 5 months
Like many of New Jersey’s beauty schools, the Capri Institute offers scholarships to help cover tuition costs. And like others, it charges tuition that is below the state average. But unlike every other school in the state, Capri has one stellar achievement to offer students: a 100 percent job placement rate after graduation. It seems that employers approve of the first-rate education that Capri’s instructors offer. And the community approves of the extra lengths that Capri goes to in order to lend a helping hand. Charitable events include participation in breast cancer fundraising and the annual Women’s Health and Beauty Conference in Patterson New Jersey.
- Tuition: $9,265
- Kit Cost: $685
- Program Length: 5 months
The Christine Valmy skin care program provides a wealth of detailed information on the latest techniques and hands-on practice with makeup, waxing, and advanced treatment methods. Thanks to scholarships offered by the school and the fact that VA benefits are accepted, most students graduate from the program with very little outstanding loan debt. A comprehensive business skills component to the course prepares students for independent practice and business ownership. A career services department helps graduates get the ball rolling by assisting them with finding jobs after they pass the state licensing exams.
- Tuition: $8,059
- Kit Cost: $975
- Program Length: 7 months
The instructors at the Jolie Academy are passionate about sharing their love of the health and beauty industries with ambitious students looking to contribute their own passion to those fields. They seek to foster creativity and competence in skin care techniques, including skin analysis and the use of microdermabrasion and chemical peels. Tuition costs at Jolie Academy are below the state average, and VA benefits are accepted.
- Tuition: $8,300
- Kit Cost: $2,075
- Program Length: 5 months
From the slick, colorful interior styling of this school, you might not realize from the inside that you are in Hackensack rather than Paris … but you might still guess that you are inside a Paul Mitchell partner school. The Parisian Academy comes with all the usual Paul Mitchell amenities, nationally-available scholarships, and a curriculum designed by some of the best skin care experts in the business. It also has some extra touches all its own: a 75 percent on-time graduation rate, an 86 percent job placement rate, and extremely low loan debt among graduating students. On top of all those advantages, the tuition rate is lower than the overall average for the schools that made our list, making this school a great choice for value!
- Tuition: $8,850
- Kit Cost: $1,000
- Program Length: 5 months
The Rizzieri School is an Aveda partner program, which means it has access to the full line of world-renowned Aveda skin care products. A job placement arrangement with the thousands of Aveda salons around the country means that students will have help when it comes time to line up a lucrative position after graduation. It also means that students have access to the deep line of scholarships available to Aveda students nationwide.
- Tuition: $6,200
- Kit Cost: $1,435
Robert Fiance operates a small chain of beauty schools around the state, but the Perth Amboy location stands out. The skin care program there is a great value, with below-average tuition costs, but also a comprehensive education, covering facial procedures, body treatments, and makeup application using industry best practices. The facilities are also top-notch, with ergonomic workstations and colorful, bright interior lighting. Robert Fiance Beauty School even provides some scholarships to qualified students.
- Tuition: $8,080
- Kit Cost: $900
- Program Length: 7 months
The Roman Academy is another New Jersey school with across-the-board high marks on our most objective scoring elements: a 75 percent on-time graduation rate, an 80 percent job placement rate, and low student debt loads. Did we mention the low tuition costs and the fact that it accept G.I. Bill benefits from qualified veterans!?
- Tuition: $9,847
- Kit Cost: $1,445
- Program Length: 5 months
With a high-tech, stone tiled floor, full-size mirrors, and spacious workstations for every student, TSPA looks good, and with the highest on-time graduation rate in the state, it is good! In addition to providing a first-rate skin care education, the school also does good, holding fundraising events for breast cancer research. With a low average outstanding loan debt among graduates and a job placement rate of 76 percent, TSPA is a solid bet for students who want an effective esthetics education. The school also conducts an additional regimen of business training courses, preparing students for independent practice or spa management roles out in the real world. A variety of scholarships are available, all of which are easy to apply for directly from the school’s website.
- Tuition: $7,559
- Kit Cost: $1,669
- Program Length: 5 months
With a comprehensive skin care program that covers massage, facials, and body treatments, the Shore Beauty School teaches students both Redken and Dermologica professional cosmetics systems. The Dermologica curriculum even involves off-site visits to the International Dermal Institute for classes with Dermologica instructors.
Extra business training is offered in finance and operations management. A modern, clean, stylish salon floor makes on-site work a pleasure. The school enjoys a high on-time completion rate, and offers both scholarship and job placement assistance to students. VA benefits are accepted and scholarships are available.