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Esthetician School vs. Cosmetology School

Posted by Nima | April 1, 2022

If you’re considering a career in cosmetics, you may be contemplating esthetician school or cosmetology school. But, in which case do we compare them? What does each teach you? Overall, the programs of study are quite distinct. Read on to find out what is best and the difference between esthetician school vs. cosmetology school. The instructors at NIMA educate you exactly what you’ll learn in esthetician school, from A to Z.

Pursuing a Career in Beauty

It’s exciting to be looking for a new career! Whether you’re just out of high school and looking for the perfect professional path for you, or if you’ve worked many years in another field and are ready for a change, NIMA’s aesthetician education may be the answer.

You’re probably aware that estheticians work with skin, but so do cosmetologists. What are the differences between an esthetician vs. cosmetology school? 

Cosmetology Licenses in Utah

Hairdressers and barbers who give haircuts for money must have a license in all 50 states. A barber’s certificate is required to operate a salon that offers haircuts and shaving services in Utah. A barber’s license does not allow you to apply chemicals to hair or provide any other kind of hairstyling service. If you wish to offer these services, you’ll need a cosmetology license.

A cosmetology license, in some respects, seems somewhat of a misnomer because it is hairdressers who are required to hold them. However, they are so dubbed not because they specialize on cosmetics extensively, but because they learn cosmetic techniques. In cosmetology school, you study about hair, skin and nails. In order to be a nail technician, however, you must complete a longer program that covers only these topics.

A cosmetology school provides cutting and styling as well as braiding and weaving instruction. You’ll learn how to create a variety of hairstyles, mix and apply color, curl and straighten hair with perming chemicals, and make beautiful braids for special events such as weddings and proms.

Manicures and pedicures, as well as nail art and nail extensions, are all services that cosmetologists can provide.

Skin care is the topic of overlap between cosmetology school and esthetician school. Students in a cosmetology program learn basic skin care treatments such as facials, exfoliating, and waxing.

They also pick up cosmetic application skills as part of their education. Cosmetology students study such topics as color theory, face form, shading and tinting, eyelash and eyebrow shaping, airbrushing, skin smoothing techniques, wedding makeup, and more.

Esthetician Licenses in Utah

Because hair is not part of the aesthetician curriculum, schools like NIMA that teach eyelash extensions are more specialized.

In Utah, to obtain an esthetician license, you must complete 600 hours of study and pass your state exam. Facials, waxing, eyelash treatments, and the fundamentals of skin anatomy are all covered in the curriculum.


Esthetician school — and cosmetology schools, in general — emphasizes instructing students on safe work methods and sterilization procedures. It’s why you need a license to perform hair, nail, facial, or other bodily treatments.

Beauty salons, spas, and medical offices are all subject to state inspection and may have their licenses revoked if sanitary practices aren’t followed.


Esthetician school covers skin care in considerably more detail than sterilization procedures. When a client has a hair salon’s facial, it is most often performed by cosmetologists with little facials expertise. Despite the fact that these treatments are safe, they aren’t as beneficial as a facial from an esthetician.

An esthetician will consider the client’s objectives for a facial and select the components based on these goals. An esthetician creates each facial specifically for each individual customer, whether they want brighter skin, smaller pores, blemish treatment, or extra moisture.

Eyelash Treatments

Other forms of beauticians are permitted to apply eyelash extensions, tints, and perms, however estheticians have usually received more training in this area. While the techniques themselves are not difficult, having a novice perform them so close to the client’s eyes with glues and chemicals makes this an unsafe procedure for a first-time.

Esthetician School vs. Cosmetology School: Business Management

Esthetician schools also educate students on how to start and run their own company. Whether NIMA graduates work as employees at a dermatology clinic, independent contractors for spas, or operate their own skin-care business, we teach them what they need to do to protect themselves and make a comfortable living as an esthetician.

Master Esthetician School

Estheticians seeking a master’s degree must complete an extra 600 hours of education to acquire a master’s license. After they pass their state licensing exam, cosmetologists can perform more complicated procedures such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser hair removal, skin rejuvenation, microblading, intense pulsed light therapy, acne treatments, tattoo removal, and other treatments.

Dermatologists can now use magnets to encourage hair regrowth for patients suffering from baldness. They may also assist with medical treatments like lip and facial injections and fillers, as well as spider vein treatment and other therapies.

The Time it Takes to Become Licensed

It takes 1,600 hours to train for a cosmetology license in Utah — more than twice as long as it takes to become an esthetician. The difference in competence is due to the fact that cosmetologists study a variety of topics, while estheticians only focus on one. Estheticians, on the other hand, go much more deeply into skin care treatment than cosmetologists do.

We offer makeup lessons at NIMA, but if you want to further your makeup artistry knowledge after graduation, there are additional courses available. To be a make-up artist, no license is required, and it’s possible to learn on your own.

Is Esthetician School for You?

After leaning a bit about esthetician school vs. cosmetology school Are you interested in pursuing a career as an esthetician after obtaining your license from the NIMA? Now that you know the difference between cosmetology school and esthetician school, are you prepared to apply to the NIMA? Please contact us immediately if you have any questions about esthetician education. Read on reasons to consider becoming a master esthetician for more information to help decide between the esthetician school vs cosmetology school.