The demand for skincare specialists or estheticians in Georgia will increase by more than 62 percent from 2006 through 2016, making it the fastest-growing occupation in the state during that time frame, according to the Georgia Department of Labor's Georgia Labor Market Explorer website. State cosmetology laws require all prospective estheticians to gain licenses prior to working in the field. The Georgia Board of Cosmetology oversees the state licensing program and enforces its requirements.
Prospective Georgia estheticians must complete state-approved training programs prior to obtaining licenses from the Georgia Board of Cosmetology. Estheticians can choose to participate in a classroom-based course of study or a formal apprenticeship. The classroom option requires 1,000 credit hours of coursework and lasts for at least nine months. Programs include hands-on experience working with clients in school-run or off-site salons. With the apprenticeship option, prospective estheticians must work in the field for at least 2,000 hours under a licensed professional.
Only applicants age 17 years of age or older qualify for esthetician licensing in Georgia. All licensure candidates must typically have high school diplomas or GEDs; those who complete post-secondary training programs can qualify even without diplomas or the equivalent. Georgia cosmetology laws require estheticians to have "good moral character." To demonstrate their meeting this criteria, prospective skincare specialists must undergo and pass criminal background checks.
To qualify for licensing, prospective Georgia estheticians must pass both written and practical examinations. D.L. Roope Administrators, headquartered in Macon, give the test. The written test is the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology nationwide exam for estheticians. It is multiple choice and lasts up to 90 minutes. The practical examination requires prospective skincare specialists to perform procedures commonly used in esthetician clinics and salons. The exam is three-hours long.
Reciprocity and Continuing Education
Estheticians who have licenses, certificates or registration to practice issued by other states can qualify for Georgia licensing without completing additional education or testing. Such applicants must provide copies of their unexpired, unrestricted out-of-state licenses to the Georgia Board of Cosmetology for verification. Once issued, Georgia esthetician licenses remain valid for two years. During each licensing cycle, skincare specialists must complete five credits of continuing education coursework to qualify for renewal. Of these five hours, three hours must come from a state-approved safety, health and sanitation class. The remaining two hours can come from other types of cosmetology training, attending a trade show or conference, or home-study coursework.