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Working as an Esthetician/ Cosmetologist/ Make-up Artist [NOC 6562]

Job Descriptions

Estheticians, cosmetologists and make-up artists are beauty professionals who work on hair, skin, and nails to keep them healthy and attractive.  There are a variety of jobs within this beauty sector.


  • you give facial and other body treatments using specialized products and techniques


  • teach customers how to use makeup and other beauty products
  • apply makeup to customers
  • may specialize in applying makeup to models or other individuals for special occasions


  • remove unwanted hair permanently from client’s face or body using specialized electrical hair removal equipment, laser and other equipment

Manicurists and pedicurists:

  • clean, shape and polish fingernails and toenails and provide related treatments

Scalp treatment specialists:

  • apply medicated lotions to treat scalp conditions and hair loss

Tattoo artists:

  • apply permanent designs to customer’s skin, using electric needles and chemical dyes
  • may also apply temporary designs to customer’s skin

Hair replacement technicians (non-medical):

  • prepare and apply custom-made hair pieces to customer’s scalp
  • weave customer’s hair to hair pieces
  • give scalp treatments

Sources: WorkBC Career Profile [NOC 6562]

Industry Overview

Employment prospects are expected to be limited in BC in the next few years. You may have to start in a low-paying position until you can get yourself established. There are lots of entry level opportunities in this industry.

This is an entrepreneurial business. You secure your job by building your clientele. Happy clients will follow you if you change salons, and having an established client list makes you more valuable to employers.

Estheticians trained in skin care, body treatments, massage, and nail art are more in demand than people trained only in manicures and pedicures.

Sources: Career Cruising database (Profiles for Esthetician & Cosmetologist),  WorkBC

Job Outlook in BC

job outlook in BC

Chart from WorkBC

WorkBC provides employment outlook within BC regions for 2015-2025:

Region Expected # of
Job Openings
Average Annual
Increase in
Vancouver Island
280 0.7% 75
Lower Mainland /Southwest 920 0.4% 170
Thompson-Okanagan 200 1.0% 80
Kootenay 30 0.9% 10
Cariboo 60 1.3% 20
Northeast 40 1.1% 10

Source:  WorkBC Career Profile [NOC 6562]

You can learn more about working as an esthetician, cosmetologist and make-up artist in BC from:

  • Career Cruising (Profiles for Esthetician, Cosmetologist, Makeup Artist)

Types of Employers

Estheticians and cosmetologists work in a variety of settings:

  • beauty salons and spas
  • electrolysis studios
  • scalp treatment and hair replacement clinics
  • cosmetic departments of retail stores such as pharmacies and department stores
  • beauty salons/spas in hotels, resorts and on cruise ships
  • beauty product companies
  • sales representatives for beauty product companies

Make-up artists work for:

  • television and film production companies
  • theatre and dance companies
  • modelling agencies
  • photographers
  • retail outlets
  • bridal parties and other special events

You may also be self-employed.

Source: Career Cruising database


In BC, the average median salary is $27,113. Your salary depends on:

  • the size and reputation of the salon or spa
  • the size of your established clientele
  • the type of work being done
  • the number of hours you work
  • if you are working on a commission compensation basis

Tips received from your clients may be a significant part of your earnings.

If you run your own business, you can earn a higher salary.

Job Bank Canada provides hourly wages for estheticians and other related occupations in BC regions:

Hourly wages for estheticians and other related occupation in BC regions

Chart from Job Bank Canada
Sources: Career Cruising & WorkBC

Working Hours

You may be expected to work a variety of hours, including daytime, evenings and weekends. Part-time work is very common, especially at the beginning of your career. Some people also work 7 to 8 hours a day, and a minimum of 35 to 40 hours a week.

Skills, Education and Experience


  • Friendly and outgoing; enjoy working with people
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Tactful and sensitive
  • Willing to continually upgrade knowledge and skills
  • A sense of style
  • Work well with your hands
  • Patient and sensitive
  • Ability to follow safety and infection control procedures

Education and Experience

To work in BC you require:

  • completion of a college or beauty school program for cosmeticians, estheticians, electrologists, manicurists and pedicurists


  • on-the-job training
  • certification with the BeautyCouncil is not mandatory but may increase your employment opportunities

Source : WorkBC


This occupation is not regulated in British Columbia.

Certification is not mandatory to work as an esthetician, cosmetologist or make-up artist in BC. However, you may choose to become a Certified Cosmetology Professional (CCP) through The BeautyCouncil. The BeautyCouncil is the voluntary professional trade association in BC.

To become a certified professional, you will need to complete an esthetics program at a cosmetology school.  To choose what school is right for you, you must do your research and consider the course curriculum, the location of the school and financial commitment of the esthetics program.

You can search for registered cosmetology schools here:

Certification Exam: Once you have completed your training you may apply to write the BeautyCouncil examination in Hairdressing, Esthetics or Nail Technology. These cover both theory and practical exams.

After successfully passing the examination, you receive a BeautyCouncil Certificate of Qualification. The Certificate of Qualification is required to obtain the Certified Cosmetology Professional (CCP) designation.

For more information see:

Finding Jobs

You’ll find job advertisements in local newspapers, trade journals, and electronic sources, as well as through professional association publications.

Local Newspapers

You can look at the Vancouver Sun and The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings daily and the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays and in The Province on Sundays.

Job White Pages

  • Available online or in print at the Central Library
    NOTE: You can only access this database from the Central Library or VPL branch libraries. Access is NOT available from home or outside the Library.

Online Job Postings

    Find jobs posted on a multitude of company career sites and job boards
    Can search by job title (e.g. esthetician) and search by city

Professional Associations’ Career Resources

Identifying the Right Position

When you browse job advertisements, you’ll find a wide range of different job titles that are relevant.

  • Cosmetician
  • Electrologist
  • Esthetician
  • Manicurist/Pedicurist
  • Beautician / Beauty care specialist
  • Beauty treatment operator
  • Hair replacement technician
  • Scalp treatment specialist
  • Consultant, skin care
  • Body piercer

Creating a List of Potential Employers

You can use directories to produce lists of potential employers. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.

  • Reference Canada
    Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
    Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
    In the top search box enter “cosmetologists” or “estheticians” and click LOOKUP.
    Select the appropriate headings.
    Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
    NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).

Applying for a Job

In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume or curriculum vitae and a cover letter. These should identify the position you are applying for and summarize your relevant experience.

Use the library catalogue  to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry.

To learn about applying for jobs in Canada, use the following guides, which are also available in print at the Central Library:

Getting Help from Industry Sources

Industry Associations

Associations for estheticians, cosmetologists, make-up artists can provide information and assistance. Registration and fees are required for membership.

Industry Journals

Search the Vancouver Public Library catalogue for journals related to your profession. Examples at the Central Library:

  • Cosmetics / Claro Publications
    Also available in print at the Central Library, 668.505 C834