Easy Methods to Make More Money as an Esthetician

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This post may contain affiliate links and I may receive a small commission when you click on those links. You can read my full disclaimer here.

The current media salary for estheticians in the US is $31,290. That’s not much, so it might not seem like a good career choice. But it’s not hopeless! This post looks at the best ways to supplement your income to see how to make good money as an esthetician. You can beat out the competition and bring in a nice paycheck, all while working your dream job.

What Does an Esthetician Do?

Estheticians make us look our best. It’s a shame they’re not paid well, because they make us feel great about ourselves. While it’s true that beauty is more than skin deep, we all have an ideal look. Who doesn’t love the feeling they get after a great makeover? It’s not as simple as just putting on a bit of makeup. Estheticians bring out peoples’ true beauty. There’s nothing like that confidence of knowing you look amazing. And it takes so much more than putting on some makeup. From moisturizers, to lotions, to skincare knowledge, estheticians are masters in the art of beauty. You come out feeling transformed. It’s also a wonderful stress reliever, like going to the spa.

Beauty experts are in high demand. We’ve written a few guides on this type of work. Read about How to Make Extra Money Working in a Salon.

how to make good money as an esthetician

How to Make Good Money as an Esthetician?

We’ve put together a list of the top recommended methods for increasing your income. Check them out below.

Offer Classes & Consulting

Put all your knowledge to use educating others. People love getting a look behind the scenes, so share insider beauty tips with the general public. This is also a great way to gain new clients. Start with basic tutorials and branch out to something more advanced. Get creative and have fun with it! You can do private consulting work too. Just keep it casual. Nobody wants to feel like they’re back in high school.

Take it Online

We’re living in an increasingly digital world. Use that to your advantage by connecting with people on social networks and YouTube. Charisma helps to draw in viewers and keep them entertained. You can review beauty products or discuss trending fashions. Just find your passion and share it with the world. You’ve got a global audience now! If you’re really successful you’ll reach influencer status and brands will pay to endorse their products. Just don’t compromise yourself by endorsing something you don’t support.

Make Connections

Scout out local businesses looking for partnerships. It’s hard being successful with so much competition out there. So, you can get a leg up on the competition by teaming up. Do cross-promotion to trade advertising and referrals. It’s a win-win situation for everyone. Consider joining your local chamber of commerce too. There’s a membership fee, but it gives you more exposure and comes with benefits.

Get into Showbiz

The entertainment industry is all about appearances. It’s unfortunate that society can be so shallow, but that gives you tons of opportunities as an esthetician. Show business is all about money too, with people willing to pay more to make sure they look good. Try to find work as a personal stylist, or a spot in the makeup department for a movie or tv show. The fashion industry is another good option for job seekers.

Find a New Location

Larger metropolitan areas will have much more call for your expertise. Your town might just be too small to get much work. If that’s the case, you might want to relocate. Bigger cities also have higher costs of living which means you get to charge more for your services. There may be more competition, but the greater opportunities you’ll have will more than make up for the difference.

Sell Products

As an esthetician, you’ll be responsible for mastering many aspects of your job, including sales. One of the best ways to learn how to make good money as an esthetician is the products you use on your clients. You must pay close attention to the needs of each client and the products they could benefit from.

For example, if your client has rosacea and you have fabulous creams that reduce redness, why not sell them a bottle? You might help them find their next holy grail product and keep them coming back for more. In fact, after every service, you should be giving your clients a list of products you used on their skin.

Ensure you remind them that you carry the products in-house, so they can buy them then and there rather than online. With comparable pricing to other retail locations, you can generate extra income per client than ever before. You might even find some clients who will come to you to buy products (even without services) because it’s more convenient than finding them on their own.

learn how to make good money as an esthetician

Upsell Your Services

Another massive part of esthetician work is ensuring you’re giving your clients what they need and then some. Always ensure you’re recommending extra things per appointment to learn how to make good money as an esthetician. Clients often don’t know what they need until they talk to you, a professional.

You have to refer them to a list of services you think their skin could benefit from. You can then charge them a separate service or offer an inclusive price as an add-on. For example, if your clients come in for a regular facial, sell them upgrades using higher-quality products.

Upselling can be challenging for people who aren’t sales-inclined, but it can also be a fantastic way to generate more income. The worst your client can say is no, and you would continue with your original service anyway. They agree to the services you’re upselling in the best-case scenario, and you make even more.

Add More Services

There’s no doubt that when clients are looking for a new esthetician, they want a one-stop-shop. Coming in for a facial? What about also getting your brows threaded and tinted?

If your salon offers several services, your clients will be more inclined to sign up for what you have to offer. They’ve already established trust in your abilities, so they’ll be interested in seeing what else you have. With that said, ensure you offer services you’re highly trained in so you acquire happier customers.

Although adding more services means you’ll have to do more work, you’ll also be getting paid more. Over time, you can consider hiring additional estheticians to build a versatile place for your clients to get everything they need. Some of the most popular add-on services for estheticians to consider include:

  • Hair removal services
  • Wet treatments
  • Lash services
  • Brow tinting
  • Luxury skincare
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Laser hair removal
  • Anti-aging services
  • Full body scrubs
  • Scalp massages and shampooing
  • Lip treatments
  • Specialty men’s treatments
  • Couple’s treatments
  • LED skin phototherapy
  • Detoxifying treatments
  • Brightening treatments

Offer Beauty Product Delivery Services

With the pandemic’s impact on in-person services, it can be challenging for estheticians to keep their books full. However, just because you don’t have clients coming in doesn’t mean you can’t go to them. Depending on the regulations of your area, you may or may not be able to offer at-home services.

As an even safer alternative, why not deliver beauty products instead of offering at-home salon services? Help your clients curate a list of must-have products that you can drive to their homes and offer curbside delivery. With this process, you can ensure they maintain their skin easily without leaving their homes.

One of the largest advantages of this extra step is that it helps to retain loyal clients. They’ll be thankful that you’re going above and beyond to ensure they’re maintaining their skin. Also, the added convenience of hand-delivered products is something everyone can benefit from.

Even once the pandemic slows, you can continue offering the service to generate extra income. You can even add a delivery fee to generate even more income on the side. It’s a fantastic way to keep in touch with your clients, remind them of your services, and make substantial sales.

Additional Resources

EsthiticianEDU.org – How to Become and Esthetician

Beauty Schools Directory – Program Information / Esthetician School Search

Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) – Esthetician Career Resources & Toolkits

Empire Beauty Schools – Career Paths in the Beauty Industry


So, as you see, it’s quite possible to make a decent living in the aesthetics industry. The overall average pay might not be so great, but those in the top 10% make an average of $59,790 a year. That’s nothing to scoff at! And that doesn’t factor in independent gigs, like those mentioned above.

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