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Aesthetic Nurse vs. Esthetician: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

Aesthetic nurses and estheticians are both professionals who work in the beauty industry. Aesthetic nurses provide medical treatments, while estheticians provide beauty treatments. Both roles require knowledge and skills in order to provide quality services to clients. In this article, we compare and contrast aesthetic nurses and estheticians, and we provide information on education and training requirements, job duties and salary expectations.

What is an Aesthetic Nurse?

Aesthetic Nurses work in medical spas, plastic surgery offices, and dermatology clinics providing non-surgical cosmetic treatments to patients. They consult with patients to determine the best course of treatment and then administer injectable treatments such as botox, fillers, and Kybella. Aesthetic Nurses may also provide laser treatments, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion. They educate patients on aftercare and provide follow-up appointments to monitor results. Aesthetic Nurses must be licensed Registered Nurses and have specialized training in aesthetic treatments.

What is an Esthetician?

An Esthetician is a skincare specialist who offers professional facial and body treatments. They analyze each client’s skin to determine the best course of treatment and recommend a skincare routine. Estheticians perform a variety of services, including facials, microdermabrasion, waxing and chemical peels. They may also apply makeup, teach clients how to properly care for their skin and provide other skincare services. Estheticians typically work in spas, salons, resorts, dermatology offices and other skincare facilities. Some Estheticians may also work as independent contractors.

Aesthetic Nurse vs. Esthetician

Here are the main differences between an aesthetic nurse and an esthetician.

Job Duties

Aesthetic nurses may perform medical procedures, such as administering Botox or performing laser hair removal. They also help patients manage their care and track progress. In comparison, estheticians provide cosmetic services and treatments to improve a person’s appearance without providing medical care. An esthetician may cleanse the skin, apply lotions and creams and administer facial treatments. They may also educate clients on skincare products and recommend products they can use at home.

Job Requirements

Aesthetic nurses must first become registered nurses (RNs) by completing an accredited nursing program and passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). RNs can then pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing with a focus on aesthetics. Some aesthetic nurses may also choose to earn certification through the American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses (ASPSN).

Estheticians typically need to complete a postsecondary cosmetology program, which can take about nine months to a year to finish. These programs cover topics like skincare, makeup application and salon management. After completing their training, estheticians must obtain a license from their state before they can start working.

Work Environment

Aestheticians work in a variety of environments, including salons and spas. They may also work for cosmetic companies or travel to different locations to provide services. Aesthetic nurses typically work in hospitals, nursing homes and other medical facilities. Some aesthetic nurses work as part of a team with doctors and other healthcare professionals to provide care to patients.


Both aesthetic nurses and estheticians need to have excellent customer service skills. They work with clients to help them improve their appearance, so it is important that they are able to understand the needs of their clients and provide them with high-quality service.

Aesthetic nurses also need to have strong nursing skills. They need to be able to assess the health of their clients and make sure that any procedures they perform are safe for them. They also may need to administer injections or other treatments. Estheticians do not need to have nursing skills, but they do need to be knowledgeable about skin care products and how to use them to achieve the desired results for their clients.

Both aesthetic nurses and estheticians need to be detail-oriented. They need to be able to pay attention to the small details in order to ensure that their clients are happy with the results of their treatments.


Aesthetic nurses earn an average salary of $75,369 per year, while estheticians earn an average salary of $44,359 per year. Both of these average salaries may vary depending on the size of the company at which you work, location of your job and the level of experience you have prior to pursuing either position.


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