Top 15 Best Esthetician Schools In California

15 Best Esthetician Schools In California
15 Best Esthetician Schools In California

Being an esthetician in California is a rewarding career path. You would constantly feel satisfied to take care of clients’ skin. You can also make them feel and look beautiful with no patches or scars.

However, before you start down that path, you’ll need to learn. This means going to the best esthetician schools in California. California has some of the best esthetician schools that will train you up to the master esthetician level.

We have outlined the top esthetician schools in California in this post. In addition, you would find the information you need about going to an esthetician school in California.

Why Should You Become An Esthetician?

Estheticians in California can earn between $21,500 and $47,480 per year. How much an Esthetician makes in California often depends on where they work. It also depends on how much demand there is in their area, and how the economy is doing.

The cities in California where estheticians make the most money are:

  • Santa Maria-Santa Barbara: $52,750
  • Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura: $40,810
  • Santa Rosa: $38,610
  • Modesto: $37,210
  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara: $36,870

Becoming an esthetician in California gives you access to different job opportunities. You can work in

  • The entertainment industry
  • Spas and resorts
  • Start your small businesses.
  • Salon
  • Hotels
  • Travel ships
  • Dermatology offices

Becoming an esthetician also gives you time for yourself. Imagine going to school in a little time, spending little money, and getting x2 value. This is what becoming an esthetician would do for you.

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Are There Any Esthetician Schools In California?

Yes, in California, there are many places to learn how to be an esthetician. That is the purpose of this article. Esthetic schools are set up so that students can take different courses and programs that lead to a bachelor’s, master’s, or certificate degree in esthetics.

15 Best Esthetician Schools in California with Certification

California has the largest number of professional estheticians in the United States. These schools all have accreditation and meet board requirements for licensure. We grouped these schools into four parts:

  • Medical Esthetician schools
  • Accredited Esthetician schools
  • Licensed Esthetician schools, and
  • Cheap esthetician schools

This ensures that we have a school for you no matter what you are looking for. The top esthetician schools in California with certification are-

1. Medical Esthetician Schools

  • Advance Beauty College
  • Bellus Academy
  • Career Academy of Beauty
  • Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy

2. Accredited Esthetician Schools

  • Cosmo Beauty Academy
  • Institute of Beauty Culture
  • International School of Beauty
  • Palomar Institute of Cosmetology

3. Licensed Esthetician Schools

  • Salon Success Academy
  • San Francisco Institute of Esthetics and Cosmetology
  • ZMS The Academy
  • KC Beauty Academy

4. Cheap Esthetician Schools

  • International College Of Cosmetology
  • Federico Beauty Institute
  • Cosmotek College

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Medical Esthetician schools

Medical estheticians don’t need a separate license in California or any other state. You can become one with your regular license, but getting more training is best.

Medical esthetics are very popular in California, so the state has very strict rules about the practice. Medical estheticians are not allowed to do microblading, laser treatments, Botox or other fillers, micro-needling, or dermaplaning. Procedures like microdermabrasion are okay if they don’t go deeper than the epidermis.

#1. Advance Beauty College

Tuition: $6,427

At Advance Beauty College, students learn how to look at and care for their skin properly. As a follow-up, students also take part in things like charity events. There are a lot of other ways to give back to their communities.

In Advance Beauty College, career services usually help esthetician students find the right job after they graduate. Even though the tuition is low, Advance Beauty College still gives students who qualify the chance to get a scholarship. It is one of the top esthetician schools in California.

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#2. Bellus Academy

Tuition: $9,000

If you go to Bellus Academy, you can work with clients in a local fashion and style center. Bellus has a brightly lit studio where students can learn how to do skin analysis and facial treatments. Bellus Academy is one of the best esthetician schools in California.

As a follow-up, some high school students at Bellus get involved in community service. They then get scholarships to join the program. Bellus Academy also has services to help students find the right job after they graduate.

Career Academy of Beauty

Tuition: $10,770

Career Academy of Beauty is one of the best schools for estheticians in California. This school puts a lot of emphasis on doing things about the skin the right way. At Career Academy of Beauty, 75% of the esthetician program is mostly spent practicing on real clients. This and much more make it one of the top esthetician schools in California.

Your classes will teach you about peels, masks, microdermabrasion, skin analysis, face mapping, and other beauty treatments. In Career Academy of Beauty, small class sizes make it easy to get one-on-one help with your studies.

#4. Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy

Tuition: $9,705

Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy is one of the best esthetician schools in California. It is where creative, artistic culture lives.

In addition to learning about the theory behind esthetic services, students get hands-on experience. They give clients facials, peels, masks, microdermabrasion, makeup application, and other services. Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy has a lot going for it.

It is also one of the best schools in California for medical and master’s programs in esthetics.

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Accredited Esthetician Schools

The California State Board of Cosmetology gave these schools their seal of approval. This makes them recognized throughout all of California. The schools are-

#5. Cosmo Beauty Academy

Tuition: $5,500

The program at Cosmo Beauty Academy is one of the least expensive ways to become an esthetician in California. Students who sign up for the Cosmo Beauty Academy will not only learn. They will also be able to network at charity events. Cosmo Beauty Academy is one of the top esthetician schools in California.

Courses at Cosmo Beauty Academy include skin analysis, neck and shoulder massage, glycolic treatments, and more. You can be sure that by the end of your program, you will know the art and science of esthetics. You would also become one of the best estheticians in California.

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#6. Institute of Beauty Culture

Tuition: $6,500

Institute of Beauty Culture offers a full range of classes and training. It is one of the best esthetician schools in California. Students learn through technical instructions and have many chances to put what they’re learning into practice.

Students in the Institute of Beauty Culture Esthetician program will learn how to do facial techniques and shape eyebrows. They also learn to remove hair, analyze skin, and apply makeup using the latest techniques. If you want fast studies, you should apply to the Institute of Beauty Culture because the course is so short.

Visit the Institute of Beauty Culture

#7. International School of Beauty

Tuition: $7,200

The International School of Beauty is one of the best esthetician schools in California. This could attribute to the low cost of tuition and excellent teachers. The school has more to offer than just arts programs.

Courses at the International School of Beauty will cover business skills necessary for estheticians who work independently. The International School of Beauty programs will teach you everything you need to know. You would learn how to become a professional esthetician in California and run or own a spa.

#8. Palomar Institute of Cosmetology

Tuition: $7,150

Palomar Institute of Cosmetology teaches you how to treat your clients’ skin with confidence. You would also specifically learn to give them a great look. Here, you will also learn how to treat skin problems, give facials, put on makeup, remove hair, etc.

Palomar Institute of Cosmetology is popular because students can put what they’ve learned into practice. You would learn with brands like OPI, Eufora, and Design Essentials. When they finish their program, the Palomar Institute of Cosmetology’s career assistance services will help them find a job.

Palomar Institute of Cosmetology is one of the best esthetician schools in California.

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Licensed Esthetician Schools

The only way to get a job in this field is to get a license. State-by-state licensing requirements vary. In some states, it’s the tests or the hours for the program. However, there are schools whose goal is to prepare you for licensing. They are-

#9. Salon Success Academy

Tuition: $8,104

Salon Success Academy will teach you how to take care of your skin. You would also learn how to give good customer service and run a business. This will help you be successful in the industry for a long time. The school gives students the chance to test their skills on real clients, just like they would on the board exams.

The good news is that Salon Success Academy has classes during the day and in the evening. Students can choose the time that works best for them. Salon Success Academy is one of the top esthetician schools in California.

#10. San Francisco Institute of Esthetics and Cosmetology

Tuition: $9,582

The esthetics program can be during the day or in the evening at this school. The top-class education at this school makes it one of the best esthetician schools in California.

They work with Paul Mitchell The School, which is one of the Best Esthetician Schools in the USA. The school offers a standard program in California as an extension. In other words, you can expect the same high quality as at Paul Mitchell The School. Also, students who need help can get money through scholarships.

Visit the San Francisco Institute of Esthetics and Cosmetology

#11. ZMS The Academy

Since it opened in 2008, ZMS The Academy has been preparing Barbers, Cosmetologists, Estheticians, Nail Technicians, and Permanent Makeup Artists for careers in their fields. ZMS The Academy helps people who need it with financial aid. They are in Los Angeles, California.

It is one of the best places to learn Barbering, Esthetics, Manicuring, and Permanent Makeup. They are the best choice for your education because they have a high passing rate. You would get everything you need to be ready for the real world of hair, skin, and nail services. If you choose ZMS The Academy, you’re sure to do well.

ZMS The Academy is one of the top esthetician schools in California.

Visit ZMS The Academy

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#12. KC Beauty Academy

KC Beauty Academy is one of the top esthetician schools in California. The Cosmetology program at KC Beauty Academy gives you the training and skills you need to pass the Cosmetology exam given by the California State Board and become a licensed esthetician!

Students will learn the basics of styling hair, coloring it, cutting it with precision, and giving it a permanent wave. When you leave this school, you’ll be sure of yourself and ready for the State Board Exam

Cheap Esthetician Schools

To become an esthetician, you must first sign up for and finish an esthetician program. Your curriculum will depend on the school you go to and where you live. It must prepare you for all licensure exams in your state. Some schools give all of these services at a good rate. They are-

#13. International College Of Cosmetology

The cosmetology program gives you the skills you need to start an exciting new career in the beauty industry. International College Of Cosmetology is one of the top esthetician schools in California. Here, you would learn how to treat skin problems, give different kinds of facials, remove hair, and more. You can even practice all you have learned with real clients.

#14. Federico Beauty Institute

Are you a stylish, outgoing person who wants to work as a barber or beauty professional? Do you like making other people look and feel good? Federico Beauty Institute in Sacramento, California, has helped thousands of people get hands-on training, real-world experience, and help from the beauty industry.

They are a beauty school in Sacramento, run by the same family for three generations. The founder, James A. Federico, said, “A license doesn’t make a living, but an education does.” It is one of the best esthetician schools in California.

Visit the International College Of Cosmetology

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#15. Cosmotek College

Cosmotek College gives you the skills you need to be the best in your field. They offer skill-based training that prepares you for the state board exam and gives you professional skills. They have connections with industry leaders and can give you a competitive edge. Cosmotek College is one of the top esthetician schools in California.

You get to meet new people, learn about the latest trends, and gain skills that are in demand. They give you the time you need to learn about the area you want to go into. They are very proud of their high-quality products, the om kits, and modern, roomy building. You will also know how to be successful in the business world and how to make the life you want.

Visit Cosmotek College

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Colleges That Offer Esthetician Programs

The colleges that offer esthetician programs in California are-

  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • California Institute of Technology
  • California Polytechnic State University

Can You Learn To Be An Esthetician Online In The Best Esthetician Schools In California?

Yes. California allows for online learning. However, make sure that the school you choose can give internship training at neighboring salons and parlors. This would help you to get the hands-on training required for a thorough education.

It is difficult to get the skills necessary to operate in any area of the esthetician profession without the internship component of the training. So, if you decide to enroll in an online school, make sure that there is internship training.

How Much Do The Top Esthetician Schools In California Cost?

Each beauty school has its fees, which are very different from those of other schools. We’ve outlined how much each school’s tuition is below.

  • The average cost of tuition in California- is $7,993.
  • Esthetician license costs – $70
  • The application fee for an apprenticeship – is $177.
  • Kit costs – $2,000
  • Books – $1,100

How Long Are The Best Esthetician Schools In California?

The first big thing that scares people about becoming an esthetician is finishing a program. Every school has different lengths. However, it will take full-time students about 4–6 months and part-time students 9–12 months.

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How to Become an Esthetician in California

In California, it’s easy to train to become an esthetician. All you have to do is meet the following conditions-

  • Be at least 17 years old or the equivalent of the 10th grade.
  • Complete at least 600 hours at one of the schools in California listed above.
  • Apply for the Esthetician license when you’re done. The price is $40.
  • Prepare for the test.
  • Get a good grade.
  • Renew your license every six months. To renew the license will cost $50.
  • Look for work and join the Estheticians’ League in the state of California.
  • Keep in mind that in California, apprenticeship hours are not accepted by the board.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the California esthetician school cost?

The average cost of tuition for these top California esthetics programs is just $7,993. You can get your license in as little as four months. A low cost to get into a field that pays well and is rewarding.

What can an esthetician do in California?

The new Board of Barbering and Cosmetology state law says that licensed estheticians will be able to lift, tint, and laminate the lashes and brows.

Can estheticians do micro-needling in California?

As of January 1, 2022, both estheticians and cosmetologists will be able to do this service. For the safety of the customer, licensees should make sure they are fully trained before providing this service.

How much do licensed estheticians in California make?

Even though ZipRecruiter has seen salaries as high as $86,414 and as low as $15,396. Most Licensed Esthetician salaries are between $29,798 (25th percentile) and $45,690 (75th percentile). With the highest earners (90th percentile) in California making $64,065 per year.


California has a booming beauty industry and a lot of people who like to be outside. As such, estheticians are in high demand there. California is the only state in the country that has more estheticians than any other.

We hope that this article has helped you choose one of the best esthetician schools in California. You should apply for your license after you finish your program.

Remember that if you want to move up in your career, you have to go to medical and master esthetician schools in California and study more.



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