Every esthetician should understand a certain body of knowledge and possess a specific skill set to be a competent, successful practitioner. At COMTA, we’ve listed and defined this knowledge and skill set as the COMTA Curriculum Competencies. When you’re choosing a esthetics institution or program, make sure the required classes align with these competencies.
Our curriculum competencies set standards of professional knowledge and abilities, and place emphasis on student learning outcomes.
When you graduate from an esthetics program, you should have the following competencies:
You will learn anatomy and physiology of the face, neck, head and general physiology of all the organ systems of the body and how they effect the health of the skin. You will learn about how chemicals and cosmetic products can be used to change the health of the skin, and how to decide which products to use. You will learn about the equipment estheticians use in their professional practice, such as lamps for evaluation, steamers to warm and soften the skin, and various machines that use electricity to stimulate the skin.
You will also learn how to evaluate different skin types and conditions, to be able to work with all different types of clients.
All the planning of your sessions will then be transformed into the performance of treatments, to address the needs of clients with all different skin types. You will learn hands-on techniques, such as massage for the face and neck, how to properly use warm towels and sponges to remove products, various methods for exfoliation, and many more. This competency ensures that your school has taught you the skills beyond just theory information, to make sure you can perform the skills needed after graduation.
Whether you prefer long walks or a warm bath, making time for yourself is important for the longevity of your career in a helping profession like esthetics. This competency is intended to ensure that schools are teaching their students about how to manage stress in healthy ways, and to plan ahead to create a lifestyle that balances work with the types of activities that will support you in making this a career that lasts.
From understanding cultural differences, to practicing professional boundaries such as timeliness and dressing professionally, you will learn about important ways that your own behavior can influence your relationships with your clients.
Right after graduation, you might want to work for someone else to build your experience and see as many clients as possible. Or perhaps you want to go into business for yourself! Either way, we want to make sure your school has prepared you for the most common career pathways for esthetics professionals, so we use this competency to check that aspect of the curriculum. Remember, we want this career to last, so we want you to know a little bit about how to be either an employee or an entrepreneur, and to build a successful practice with loyal clients in either case.
Becoming an esthetician may only take a few months, but the profession changes every year as new equipment and new products are developed. You will need to learn about the ways to keep up to date with the latest information available, as well as how to maintain any licenses you need to practice, which might require that you take refresher courses every few years. We want to make sure you have tools for your future career, so we ask your school to teach you more than just what you need to know for your first year.