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How to Become a Licensed Esthetician in Washington

The State of Washington is known for its beautiful landscape, Microsoft, and as being home to the original Starbucks. If you are an aspiring esthetician, it can also be known as the place where you started a challenging, yet successful career.

Licensed estheticians are in high demand in Washington, especially in establishments such as:

  • Spas
  • Salons
  • Resorts and hotels
  • Cruise ships
  • Medical spas and plastic surgery offices
  • Chiropractic and dermatology clinics

If you want to begin your career as a licensed esthetician in the state of Washington, keep reading, as this in-depth informative article will tell you exactly what you need to know.

Esthetician License Requirements and Training Schools in Washington

Step 1: Complete a State Approved Esthetics Program or Apprenticeship

To become licensed as an esthetician the Washington State Department of Licensing requires that you:

  • Be at least 17 years of age
  • Graduate from an esthetics school licensed by the Department of Licensing with the minimum required 750 hours

OR

  • Successfully complete a state-approved esthetics apprenticeship program of 800 hours

If you choose to get your training through an apprenticeship, your apprentice salon must fill out the Apprentice Registration Form and the Salon Shop Data Sheet.

Mail your completed and signed forms to:

Cosmetology
Department of Licensing
P.O. Box 9026
Olympia, WA 98507-9026

Whether you choose to enter into an esthetics school program or an apprenticeship, your esthetics education and training will need to include the following:

  • Manual and machine facials
  • Aromatherapy and body wraps
  • Hair removal methods
  • Make-up applications
  • Infection control procedures
  • Skin care products
  • Client consultation
  • Business skills and ethics

 

The Master Esthetician Option

You can also choose to get a master esthetician license in Washington State. To do so, you will need an additional 450 hours of schooling at an approved school or an additional 600 hours in an apprenticeship program.

Your additional training or apprenticeship will focus on the following topics and procedures:

  • Exfoliation and medical esthetic treatments
  • Treatments involving laser, light frequency, and ultrasound
  • Deep chemical peels
  • Full body lymphatic drainage procedures and advanced facial massage
  • Alternative treatments

Your esthetics education will most likely include classes on esthetics theory as well as hands-on training.

Let Esthetician Schooling Connect You With a High Quality Esthetician School in Your Area!

Are you ready to take the next step and begin your career as a well-paid esthetician? Esthetician Schooling has partnered with some of the best esthetician schools in the nation.  Our huge network of nationally recognized esthetician schools will make it easy for you to find the right school and get started training immediately!

The beauty schools in our network contain one or more of the following high quality standards:

  • State Board Recognition
  • NACCAS Accreditation
  • Student Financial Aid
  • Job Placement Assistance for Those Who Qualify

To get started, simply fill out the quick 1-minute application below.

Step 2: Complete and Submit the Esthetician Application for Examination


The Washington Cosmetology Program has contracted with Ergometrics (National Testing Network) to administer the National Interstate Council (NIC) theory and practical examinations.

Once you are within 80 hours of completing the hourly requirements, your school or apprenticeship supervisor will refer you to Ergometrics to register for your exams. Your program should also provide you with a username and temporary password which will allow you to log in to the Ergometrics website. Once you are logged in, you will be able to register with Ergometrics and schedule your exams. The practical exam fee is $120 and the written exam fee is $60, both payable to Ergometrics.

Prior to your first exam date, your school or apprentice program will report the completion of the remainder of your program hours to Ergometrics. Exams are by appointment only. Walk-ins are not permitted.

 


Step 3: Take and Pass the Written and Practical Esthetician Examinations

Preparing for the Written and Practical Exams

The National-Interstate Council of State Boards Of Cosmetology (NIC) recommends the following reference materials to help you prepare for and pass the written (theory) and practical esthetics exams, which can be purchased at discounted prices on Amazon:

We also recommend that you purchase and study the following books in preparation for your exams:

 

What to Bring to the Exam

It is strongly recommended that you arrive at the exam site 30 minutes early. This allows time for the check-in process. Late candidates will not be admitted to the exam and will not receive a refund of the exam fees.

You will need to ensure that you bring the following items with you to the exam site:

  • Two forms of required identification (see page 3 of the Exam Preparation Guide)
  • A mannequin head (for the practical exam only)
  • A testing supplies kit (for the practical exam only, see page 10 of the Exam Preparation Guide)

The video below will show you what you can expect on the day of your exams.

An Overview of the Esthetician Exam

The Written Esthetics Exam

You will be given 90 minutes to complete the written exam. This computerized exam is made up of multiple choice questions, 60 percent are based on scientific concepts and 40 percent are based on esthetic practices. A full outline of the exam can be found on page 10 of the Exam Preparation Guide.

The esthetics written exam will include topics such as:

Scientific Concepts (60%)

  • Sanitation and Infection Control
  • Human Physiology and Anatomy
  • Integumentary System and Skin Histology
  • Disorders of the Sebaceous and Sudoriferous Glands
  • Skin Conditions, Disorders, and Diseases
  • Hair, Follicle, and its Growth Cycle
  • Basic Chemistry (Skin Care Products & Factors that Affect the Skin)

Esthetic Practices (40%)

  • Skin Analysis and Implementation Procedures
  • Treatment
  • Product Application and Removal Procedures
  • Cleansing Procedures
  • Steaming Procedures
  • Exfoliation Procedures
  • Extraction Procedures
  • Massage Manipulations and Their Effects
  • Appropriate Use for Masks
  • Electricity and Use of Electrical Devices
  • Hair Removal Procedures
  • Color Theory and Makeup Application
  • General Knowledge of Specialized Services

You are required to score at least a 75% or better to pass the written (theory) exam.

 

The Practical Esthetics Exam

You will be evaluated at all times during your practical exam. During five of the seven sections of the exam you will be timed. The exam proctor will grade you on how well you listen to the instructions given and how well you perform the esthetic services requested.

The practical exam portion covers these seven core domain sections:

  1. Setup and Client Protection (15 minutes)
  2. Cleansing and Steaming the Face (15 minutes)
  3. Massaging the Face (10 minutes)
  4. Manual Extraction on the Forehead (not timed)
  5. Hair Removal of the Eyebrows (not timed)
  6. Facial Mask (10 minutes)
  7. Facial Makeup (20 minutes)

You must achieve a score of 75% or greater in order to pass the practical exam.

 

How to Prepare for the Master Esthetician Written Exam

The National-Interstate Council of State Boards Of Cosmetology (NIC) advises that you use the following reference materials to prepare for the master esthetician written exam, which can be purchased on Amazon at discounted prices:

 

The Master Esthetician Written Exam

You will be given 90 minutes to complete the master esthetician written exam. This computerized exam is made up of multiple choice questions, 60 percent are based on concepts and 40 percent are based on practices.

The master esthetician written exam outline is as follows:

Sanitation and Infection Control Procedures

  • Microbiology
  • Methods of infection control
  • Levels of infection control
  • Safety procedures

Advanced Knowledge of Human Physiology and Anatomy

  • Cells
  • Tissues
  • Organs
  • Body systems and their functions

Skin Histology

  • Structure and function of the layers of the skin
  1. Epidermis
  2. Dermis
  3. Subcutaneous
  • Glands
  1. Sebaceous
  2. Sudoriferous
  • Functions of the skin
  1. Protection
  2. Sensation
  3. Temperature regulation
  4. Excretion
  5. Secretion
  6. Absorption

Advanced Knowledge of Skin Conditions and Disorders

Chemistry

Cosmetic Ingredients

Factors that Affect the Skin

Dermatological Terms

Plastic Surgery Terms

You must score at least a 75% or better to pass the master esthetician written (theory) exam. More information about the exam can be found on page 10 of the Master Esthetician Exam Preparation Guide.

 

The Master Esthetician Practical Exam

You will be evaluated at all times during your practical exam. During eight of the nine sections of the exam you will be given 10 minutes to complete the procedure. During the last section of the exam you will be given 15 minutes to complete the procedure. The exam proctor will grade you on how well you listen to the instructions given and how well you perform the esthetic services requested.

The master esthetician practical exam covers these nine core domain sections:

  1. Setup and Client Protection (10 minutes)
  2. Cleansing the Face (10 minutes)
  3. Manual Lymphatic Drainage (10 minutes)
  4. Ultrasonic Exfoliation Treatment (10 minutes)
  5. Jessner’s or 20% BHA Chemical Peel (10 minutes)
  6. Particle Microdermabrasion (10 minutes)
  7. Advanced Facial Treatment-LED (10 minutes)
  8. Electricity and Electrical Equipment – Microcurrent (10 minutes)
  9. Advanced Body Treatment-Dry Exfoliation and Mud or Seaweed Mask (15 minutes)

You must score at least 75% in order to pass the master esthetician practical exam. More information about the exam can be found on pages 12 thru 18 of the Master Esthetician Exam Preparation Guide.

 

Obtaining Your License

Your exam results will be posted to your Ergometrics account about a week after you take the exams. You are required to score a 75% or better on each exam in order to pass.

After you have passed both exams, you can log in to your account and apply for your license. There is a $30 licensing fee. Once you have applied and paid the required fee, the Washington State Department of Licensing will mail your license.

 


Step 4: Renew Your WA Esthetician License Every Two Years

Your Washington esthetician license will need to be renewed every two years based on the month in which your original license was issued. There is a $55 renewal fee.

You may renew your license online if you were mailed a renewal notice from the Cosmetology Program that contained a password. You’ll need to use a Visa, Mastercard, or American Express credit card to pay the $55 renewal fee (there is a $55 late fee for late renewals).

You may also renew your license with the License Renewal Application. Complete and sign the application and submit it along with a check or money order made payable to the “Department of Licensing” to cover the $55 renewal fee (there is a $55 late fee for late renewals). Read the application instructions carefully as you may be required to submit certain documents as well.

Mail your completed and signed application, any required documents, and fee payment to:

Department of Licensing
P.O. Box 3856
Seattle, WA 98124-3856

Once the Washington Department of Licensing has approved and processed your application, they will issue you your new license.

The Washington Department of Licensing does not require continuing education credits for license renewal.

 


Esthetician License Reciprocity in Washington

If you have a current license in good standing in another state, you may qualify for a Washington esthetician license via reciprocity.

You will need to:

  1. Be at least 17 years of age
  2. Complete and sign the Reciprocity Application
  3. Pay the $50 transfer fee with a check or money order made payable to the “Department of Licensing”
  4. Have the licensing board in the state that holds your license send license certification directly (certification cannot be sent by you) to the Washington Department of Licensing
  5. Read the application instructions carefully as you may be required to submit certain documents as well.

Mail your completed and signed application, any required documents, and check or money order to:

Department of Licensing
P.O. Box 3856
Seattle, WA 98124-3856

Once the Washington Department of Licensing has approved and processed your application, they will issue you a Washington esthetician license.

 


Washington State Board of Cosmetology Contact Information

Washington State Department of Licensing
Cosmetology Program
405 Black Lake Blvd SW
Olympia, WA 98502
Phone: (360) 664-6626
Fax: (360) 586-1596
Email

 


Washington Written and Practical Exam Locations

Below is a map showing the locations of the written and practical exams administered by Ergometrics. Before you arrive at an Ergometrics test center, please be sure to call Ergometrics toll-free at 1-866-563-3882 or 480-999-7259, Monday thru Friday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST, to confirm the test center’s current address and inquire about their hours of operation.

 

Map of Written and Practical Exam Locations in Washington

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How to Become a Licensed Esthetician in Washington
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