Many women love the look of long, thick eyelashes. Eyelash technicians are specially trained to apply high-end false eyelashes safely and securely. Becoming an eyelash technician usually, but not always, requires qualifying for an esthetician or cosmetologist license, as well as additional training in eyelash application.
An eyelash technician applies false eyelashes to the eyelids of their clients. Clients will typically come in for a consultation, at which time the technician makes recommendations as to the style and color of eyelashes best suited to the client’s face and desired appearance. Eyelash technicians who are also aestheticians or cosmetologists may offer additional services during these consultations, such as eyebrow waxing, threading or tinting.
In most states, eyelash technicians must be either a medical professional or a licensed barber, cosmetologist or esthetician. However, some states don’t regulate the practice of eyelash application, opening the field to anyone, and a few jurisdictions have introduced legislation that would create a separate eyelash technician’s licensing program. Minnesota, for example, licenses eyelash technicians who have completed an approved training program.
If you do not live in a state that issues a specific eyelash technician license, you’ll have to choose between completing a training program in cosmetology or esthetics. Cosmetologists are trained in every aspect of beauty culture, including hairdressing, skin care and hair removal, although the bulk of their training focuses on cutting, coloring and treating client’s hair. Estheticians, sometimes known as skincare specialists or aestheticians, focus on skincare, makeup and hair removal. Esthetician training programs often require significantly less time to complete, and these programs may also be less expensive than the full cosmetology program.
If you are having difficulty deciding which program makes the most sense for you, take some time to research the licensing laws in your state. For example, in Illinois, a cosmetologist must complete 1500 hours of education to be eligible to sit for the licensing exam. Estheticians, on the other hand, only need 750 hours of instruction. If you are interested in providing a full range of services, including hairdressing, a cosmetologist license may be your best option. On the other hand, if you want to focus on providing a more narrow range of services, such as hair removal and skincare, an esthetician’s license is a quicker, less expensive option.
Companies that sell professional-grade lashes and lash extensions also offer educational programs and certification for those who wish to become lash technicians. Because these programs are often proprietary to the products sold by the company, do some research before selecting a lash brand that you feel comfortable working with and representing.
The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics does not track the income of eyelash technicians. It does, however, monitor the income of estheticians, who frequently offer niche services such as eyebrow and eyelash grooming and tinting. According to the BLS, the median hourly wage for skincare specialists was $17.55 in May 2018. This means that 50 percent of estheticians earned more and 50 percent earned less than this amount.
In many cases, a lash technician will opt to work in a salon, spa or boutique that offers makeup application services. Depending on the laws where you live, you may also have the option of providing lash services in your own home or in the homes of your clients. However, this may not be possible in all states, so it’s important that you research the regulations in your area.
Years of Experience
Because eyelash technician wages are not yet tracked by the BLS or other wage survey providers, it isn’t possible to show a correlation between job experience and earnings. However, a survey of estheticians by PayScale.com showed the following upward trend of annual median earnings for those who work as estheticians:
0-5 years: $34,000
5-10 years: $40,000
10-20 years: $43,000
20+ years: $50,000
Job Growth Trend
According to the BLS, employment for estheticians is expected to grow by 14 percent between 2018 and 2026. This expected growth is in part due to the opening of an increased number of spas and salons to meet consumer demand. As consumer demand for lash application increases, lash technicians may find their skills to be in high demand, opening up new opportunities for employment.