Dual licensing as a massage therapist and an esthetician is one of the latest and greatest trends in the beauty and wellness industries.

Sponsored by Elite Beauty Society

Maybe you’re the world’s greatest massage therapist.

You’ve completed all of your licensing, you’ve been in the business for years, you have hundreds of regular clients that you’ve loved seeing every week for decades. Still, something seems missing.

Perhaps you’re the best esthetician in your area. Your clients love you, you’ve mastered the industry (and continue to learn every day) and know every trick in the book—but you want more.

You don’t want to do away with your established career that you’re passionate about; you simply want to offer more to your clients, challenge yourself, and learn a new, complementary skill that can only benefit you and your business.

Our solution? Two words.

Double. License.

That’s right. Dual licensing as a massage therapist and an esthetician is one of the latest and greatest trends in the beauty and wellness industries.

It only makes sense that you should be able to offer both to your clients, right?

The benefits and opportunities that go hand-in-hand with dual licensing are lengthy, and although earning each of these licenses will require dedication on your part, we’re here to walk you through all of it.

Check out our thoughts on dual licensing, some of the benefits, the requirements, and how to get started.

1. Benefits of Being Dual Licensed

Let’s get down to the best parts about being dual licensed—all of the benefits!

For starters, you can bet that by being dual licensed you’re entering an expanding market that has a high ceiling for growth.

Consider employment for just estheticians for a moment. Esthetician employment, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is expected to grow about 14 percent from 2016 to 2025. This is listed as faster than average for all the occupations in the U.S..

This increase shows that women (and men, too) are increasingly looking toward licensed professionals to help them maintain their grooming, health and relaxation.

Now take all of that demand and add on being dual licensed as a massage therapist, a career whose demand is growing significantly as well. The BLS says that massage therapists are expected to be more in demand even than estheticians, clocking in at 26 percent growth from 2016 to 2026.

Are you hearing that? Both industries are in high demand and are only growing—can you imagine being able to offer both of these things in your practice or salon/spa? You’ll be busier than ever.

Another huge benefit is that with more services, you’ll reach an entirely new client base. As an esthetician only offering skin care services, you never tapped the massage therapy market, and vice versa, but now you’ll be licensed to dip into both.

This will dramatically increase the number and type of customers you’re going to reach. Those seeking out just massage will come to you; those seeking out facials will come to you; and those seeking out massage during their facial will come to you.

Do you see how a dual license makes you a double threat? It’s a beautiful benefit, that’s for sure.

Being dual licensed will also help break up the monotony of your services and likely help you develop regular customers more easily. Sure, you can have a regular client come in for a massage once a month, but if you dream of boosting your business with clients who want to keep coming back for more, you’ll need to offer them choices.

Now, your clients can come in for a massage one week and a facial peel the next, or, they can get both done at once, and add on a skin evaluation for another day.

You can continually schedule with your regular clients (whom you love) with your variety of services and prevent them from getting bored with the same old Swedish massage.

You can broaden your clients’ horizons, keep yourself in demand, and offer services that your competitors might not be able to.

2. Requirements for Licenses

As you know, not just anyone can start up a massage therapy or esthetician career at the drop of a hat. It requires hard work, testing, licensing and a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears. If you’re curious about the requirements for each license, we’ve laid it all out here for you.

Massage Therapy License

Most states require massage therapists to earn a license. Typically, a post-secondary massage education program requires about 500 or more hours of study, experience and hands-on training.

A high school diploma or equivalent will be (typically) required to enroll in a massage therapy program. Programs are typically available full- or part-time, but will likely require the same number of hours and the same curriculum.

It’s probable that you will need to pass an exam in order to receive your license to practice massage therapy. As of 2016, massage therapy candidates in 45 states plus the District of Columbia, must pass a state-specific exam or the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards.

Some of the top massage therapy schools in programs in the U.S. include the National Massage Therapy Institute, The National Holistic Institute and the National University of Health Sciences.

Esthetician License

Estheticians have to work hard, too. Typically, you’ll need to complete a state-approved cosmetology or esthetician program and then pass a state exam for your license. In fact, all U.S. states require this except for Connecticut, so if you’re planning to work as an esthetician you’re going to need to get on board with this.

After you’ve completed your appropriate number of hours of study and your full program, you’ll need to contact your state board in order to figure out your exams. The National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology provides all of the information for licensing, so reach out to them for your license and exam information.

Some of the best esthetician programs and schools include places like Aveda Institute, Paul Mitchell and Ogle School.

If possible (and it is) and if you need it, try to find a program that allows you to work on both of your licenses at once.

Although some people might not need this option (you might already be licensed in one of these professions, for example), this can be a great kickstart for soon-to-be professionals who want to get to work on both licenses.

Check out your options and see if you’re able to work on a program that allows you to go for both licenses at one time, or see if there are specific combined license programs out there that work best for you.

3. Results You Can Expect

Once you make the plunge, put in the work, and come out on the other side with your dual licenses, you’ll certainly reap the benefits. You can expect tons of results specific to the way you run your business, but there are a few blanket outcomes that you should anticipate.

For starters, if your skills and business are properly marketed and people know you’re offering a double-whammy for services, you’ll start to see more clients, and you’ll start to see them quickly. As we said, one of the benefits of being dual licensed is that you’re able to offer more services across several different markets.

This will definitely grow your business and client base much more quickly.

You can begin to appreciate the longevity and flexibility of your dual career. Like we said above, both massage therapists and estheticians are anticipated to have industry growths ranging from 14 to 26 percent, which are incredibly high numbers for careers in the U.S.

You’ll have the chance to turn your business into an established, dependable career that you can count on, or further evolve your already-developed business into an even more fruitful career.

The best result yet?

You’re going to be far more in-demand and gain far more experience.

As with most careers, the more experience you have, the more in-demand you are; and in the beauty industry, being dual licensed certainly creates demand. You’ll have much more knowledge than your competitors with single licenses, will make it to the top of the list for high-pressure interviews, and will be able to offer clients more.

Being someone who can provide all the services offered on a menu—rather than an employer having to hire two people to ensure all items can be offered—will be incredibly valuable not only to you, but to the people who will want to hire you.

About the Author

Hanna Marcus is a 25-year-old adventure enthusiast who loves to travel and explore the world with her boyfriend in their jeep Wrangler. Freelance writing is her no. 1 passion and she’s so happy to have developed a career in it early in her life. When she’s not writing, you can find her rock climbing, camping, hiking, traveling the country, or taking lots of nature photos.

About Elite Beauty Society

We are a community of beauty professionals dedicated to providing business and long-term career support for cosmetologists, estheticians, nail technicians, barbers and makeup artists. At EBS, we strive to support all the various and unique needs of our professional beauty community and we are excited to be a part of your journey in our industry! In addition to our business resources, Elite Beauty Society offers professional liability insurance to protect and provide our professionals with the confidence and coverage they need during their career. 

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