Post-Graduate Esthetic Education

As the NW Institute of Esthetics we taught basic and advanced estheticians for over a decade. Today, Esthetics NW offers only post licensing training…. continuing education. Advanced skills.

We offer post graduate training to those estheticians who want more than just the basics. As the Contributing Editor for Milady Standard Esthetics: Advanced.  Advanced esthetics is my passion.

See our Post-Graduate Esthetic Class Detail Page for complete class information.


If you are looking for a basic school the following tips may help you make a choice.  Wherever you go, I will be delighted to help you get your advanced training.

What You Need to Know Before You Start Esthetics School or Take Advanced Classes

Over the years we have heard many estheticians say, “I wish I had known this before I started school there,” or “We didn’t learn that.” There are several questions you should ask before deciding on where to take your training.  Here are some common questions we get asked and what we share.

Q. Does it matter where I go to school to get my license?

A.  While all cosmetology schools must meet state minimums some barely cover these and others teach a lot more.  Here is something most school candidates don’t find out until they are finished with their schooling.   In the beauty industry career schools were set up with the concept that the student would receive minimal training to so they could work safely on the public and then get an entry level position with a business who would then teach them what they needed to know.  This has worked well for hairstyling and even for nails.  There are a lot of salons and chains out there that love to mentor new stylists.  But this is not the case for estheticians.  Many times there is only one esthetician at the facility.  The owner needs them to be trained well enough that they can operate on their own and already know the services that their clients are asking for.  If you check the job openings you will see that most want the esthetician to have 1-2 years experience or advanced training.  They want them ready to offer microdermabrasion, chemical exfoliation, full body waxing and a diversity of facial treatments.  You need to carefully examine the school curriculum to see what is included.  Look for instructors who are experienced and have worked as estheticians.  In the State of Oregon if you are a fully licensed cosmetologist (hair, nails, esthetics) you can teach any of those three fields, even if you have not worked in that area or taken advanced training in it.  You need to know who will be teaching you and if they have the expertise to help you get your career off and running.

Q. How do I know what they will teach?

A. Take a look at the student service menu. This will give you an idea of their scope of services.

Q. Why are some schools so much more expensive?

A. Esthetic equipment is expensive and it is much more expensive to set up an esthetics treatment area than it is to set up hair stations.  They take a lot more space.  If you are going to study esthetics, be sure to take a look around the school.  Do they have a well set up practice area with esthetic equipment for you to use?  At a minimum there should be massage tables (or facial lounges), magnifying lights, steamers, hot towel cabinets and a multi-function device.  No more than 2 students should be sharing a device.  These items are all part of basic esthetics education.  What kind of products do they use?  Some schools use the cheapest products available while others teach you to work with one or more professional lines.  Some provide you with a product kit and then if you need more supplies you have to purchase them from the school. There are many variations on this.  You are going to be there for several months. It should be a pleasant environment to learn and work.

Another factor in school cost is teacher to student ratio.  If classes are very large you won’t get as much instructor support.  With competency schools, you self-instruct your sciences and the school observes your procedures.  How many hours will you actually be in the school where they will be supporting you?  Divide it out and compare the hourly costs as well as the total expense.

Q. What about post-graduate training, why do I need this?

A. Post-graduate training is needed because not all the skills you need can be covered in a basic program. Keep in mind that this training is considered continuing education and may be 100% tax deductable.  You need these skills to make yourself more employable and able to offer the services your clients need.  Make sure that the any form of advanced training includes the theory AND HANDS-ON.  You need to actually work with the products and equipment.  At a minimum you should see a demonstration and then give and receive a treatment for each modality or type of service.   We limit our advanced class size to 4 students to maximize your learning opportunity and have reformatted them into workshops that give you the theory and to experience and perform the treatments.  This allows the esthetician to keep working as classes run 1-3 days consecutively.

Q. What about a DVD or You-Tube, can’t I learn from there?

A. These methods don’t offer you interaction or support for developing technique.  They would not be considered adequate training to meet the Oregon regulations.  You need to see it done but you also need to perform the service and to receive it.  During this giving and receiving, you will learn a lot and fine-tune your techniques.  Our work is technique sensitive.  We need feedback from our client and from an instructor.

Q. How long should training last?

A. Pre-license training must meet state guidelines.  The NCEA recommends an additional 600 hours or a total of 1200 hours to reach the master level.  However if you take workshop style classes and gain the ability to pass your NCEA Certification, you can complete your practice hours on the job.  It takes time to cover all the sciences and to develop skills with each new treatment.  There is no way a person can learn microdermabrasion, peels, laser and a diversity of other services in say 5 consecutive days.  Be very careful. The NCEA recommends 15 hours for microdermabrasion, 21 hours of chemical peels and more.  If you have questions on the length a course should be and ask if they have guidelines.


Esthetics NW is located at 81 Centennial Loop, Suite 3, Eugene, OR 97401. Phone: 541-344-7789.  Email: