Best Esthetician Schools in California

Best Esthetician Schools in California in 2024


Last Updated on March 24, 2024 by II Editor

With people becoming increasingly focused on personal care and beauty, there has been a rise in demand for estheticians in California. An esthetician is a skin care specialist trained in facial treatments, waxing, eyelash extensions and more. If you have a passion for helping others look and feel their best, then pursuing an esthetician career through esthetician school could be the right path. In this blog post, we will explore the 10 best esthetician schools in California based on factors like curriculum, accreditation, placement rates, facilities and cost. By the end, you’ll have a good understanding of top program options to help you make an informed decision about your esthetician education.

What to Look for in an Esthetician School

Before diving into specific school recommendations, it’s important to understand what makes for a high-quality esthetician program. Here are some of the most important factors to consider:



Look for schools that have accreditation from one of the main accrediting agencies for esthetics, like the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS). This ensures the program meets national standards for curriculum, facilities and more. Programs without accreditation may not adequately prepare students or qualify them to become licensed.


The curriculum should cover all aspects of skincare and esthetics in-depth, with hands-on training as the main component. Core topics should include facial treatments, waxing, makeup application, product knowledge, business skills and state board preparation. A strong curriculum results in well-rounded graduates ready for jobs.

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Skilled, experienced instructors who have worked in the esthetics field are ideal. They can share real-world insights and techniques to boost students’ learning. Instructor qualifications and experience levels vary greatly between programs.

Placement Rates 

Consider the school’s placement rates, which indicate the percentage of graduates who found jobs in their field of study within 6 months of completing the program. Rates over 70% suggest the school has strong industry connections and prepares students well for careers.

Cost and Financial Aid 

Always research complete cost information like tuition, fees, supplies, books and living expenses. Ask about financing options, like student loans, grants or scholarships. Lower total program costs increase accessibility for students.


Modern, well-equipped facilities with industry-standard tools and technologies are vital for hands-on learning. Look for features like treatment rooms, waxing areas, facial beds and high-quality skin care products for practice.

Program Length

Esthetician programs typically take 6-12 months of full-time study to complete, depending on credit hours. Shorter programs are convenient but ensure core topics are thoroughly covered. Longer programs allow more in-depth learning but increase costs.

Top 10 Best Esthetician Schools in California

With those factors in mind, here are recommendations for the 10 best esthetician schools in California:

1. Milady School of Cosmetology 

Milady is one of the premier names in cosmetology education nationwide, and their California campuses offer top-rated esthetician programs. The curriculum covers all areas of facial treatments and waxing in over 600 hours. Hands-on training is a major focus using high-end equipment like Dermalogica products. Accreditation, career services and 98% placement rates further highlight this program’s strength. Tuition is about $15,000, with financing options available. Milady has one of the best online esthetician programs.

2. Venice Beauty Academy 

Located in the heart of LA, Venice Beauty Academy has educated estheticians for over 20 years. Their 750-hour Esthetician program includes advanced training in microdermabrasion, LED light therapy, and more. Students practice with real clients in the on-campus spa. Accreditation, a 95% placement rate, and financial aid packages make this affordable option highly respected in the community. Graduates often secure jobs at top spas.

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3. Baldwin Park Beauty College 

Baldwin Park Beauty College is a top choice for hands-on, career-focused training. Their 900-hour Esthetician program immerses students in clinical practice from day one. In-depth anatomy, chemistry, and dermatology courses ensure graduates have a solid foundation. Instructors have decades of industry experience. Accreditation, over 90% job placement success, and financing also set this program apart. Graduates often secure positions at medical spas.

4. Taylor Andrea School Of Esthetics and Cosmetology 

Offering esthetician training for over 35 years, TAYLOR ANDREA SCHOOL is an excellent choice in San Diego. Their 750-hour curriculum goes beyond basic facial treatments with advanced courses in LED light therapy, microdermabrasion, and more. Hands-on clinical practice is the main focus, and instructors work closely with each student. Financing is available, and job placement support leads to a 95% success rate. Graduates often find work at top resort spas.


5. Cortiva Institute 

As a leader in esthetician education, Cortiva Institute campuses provide high-quality training across California. Their 750-hour Esthetician program immerses students in hands-on clinical work and coursework covering essential topics like anatomy, chemistry, and dermatology. State-of-the-art facilities, career services teams, 90%+ placement rates, and various financing options make Cortiva an accessible choice. Graduates often pursue work at medical spas and dermatology offices.

6. Milan Institute 

A nationally respected career college, Milan Institute branches offer dedicated esthetician programs at various locations across the state. Their 750+ hour curriculum covers all categories, and students have ample clinical practice using Dermalogica products. Instructors are licensed professionals sharing real experience. Financing options, high placement rates, and career services further validate this program’s strength in preparing job-ready graduates for success.

7. Bellus Academy 

With 30+ years serving students in CA, Bellus Academy’s 900-hour Esthetics program places emphasis on hands-on industry experience. Clinical sessions let students practice techniques for paying clients in the on-site beauty salon. Small class sizes ensure personal attention from instructors teaching advanced modalities like micro-needling, microdermabrasion, and more. Placement success and solid academic foundations make this ideal for serious students.

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8. Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy 

As a globally renowned hair and beauty academy, Toni & Guy campuses offer strong esthetician training in California. Their 600-hour Esthetics program provides a well-rounded education addressing all core areas of skin care over 12 months of full-time study. Modern facilities, highly qualified instructors with industry experience, and career services help graduates find success. Affordability is a bonus through assistance like financial aid eligibility.

9. Skinworks Institute of Esthetics & Advanced Skin Care 

Dedicated solely to esthetics, Skinworks Institute provides in-depth 900-hour esthetician programs through 12 months of full-time study. Small class sizes ensure personalized instruction, and students gain hands-on clinical experience serving clients in the on-campus spa. Career advising, strong state board prep, and 89% graduate job placement success make this intensive program worth the investment. Financing is available.

10. Beverly Hills Esthetician Institute 

In business for 30+ years, Beverly Hills Esthetician Institute offers an intensive 900-hour esthetics program, equipping graduates to handle all types of advanced skin treatments. Five days a week of clinical practice in the on-site European spa immerses students in industry experience while earning hands-on hours. Proprietary LED light therapy certification supplements the curriculum. Placement services and instructor experience further differentiate this LA favourite program.


With this variety of excellent options across California, you have many opportunities to receive a high-quality education as an aspiring esthetician. Researching programs based on accreditation status, curriculum, facilities, placement rates, and cost will help you identify the best fit for your budget and career goals. With proper training from a top California esthetician school, you’ll be well-prepared to make a difference in helping clients feel their best through skincare treatments and services. I wish you the best in pursuing your dream career in aesthetics!

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