Master Esthetic Washington State – Raising the Standard?

Spa Facial ServiceLast night, I had a chance to attend the Rules Hearing on the House Bill 1779 for the Esthetic License.  It was held in Burlington and an opportunity for the public to give input on the rules that will govern the new licensure for esthetics and master esthetics.  From a quick scan, there were probably 30 people in attendance from estheticians, medical spa owners, trainers, educators, schools, etc.

I was proud to have five representatives from Evergreen there including me, three educator and a recent graduate who now owns a medical spa on the eastside.  At the end of the evening, the one word that can describe our experience was ‘colorful.’

At this meeting, there were many viewpoints, some wanting stricter rules in hopes of elevating the standards for the industry, and others wanting more general rules to give estheticians more leeway on how to run their practices.  There were some perspectives that I animatedly disagreed with and am sure that there were points that I brought up that were met with the same disagreement.

What is important to understand is that state laws are not about raising standards, rather they are providing minimum standards to protect public safety.   The state agencies are focused on protecting the consumer’s well-being.

What does raise standards and elevate the industry are credentials and associations.   There were discussions about using credentials such as certification through CIDESCO, NCEA and ITEC, a guideline to become this ‘Master Esthetician’ when we talked about reciprocity.  One individual said it well at the meeting, and I am paraphrasing, ‘To become a Master Esthetician isn’t about a license, it’s about your experience, training, time in the field with your guests and patients.   It takes years to truly be a Master Esthetician … the credentials help, but is not what makes you a ‘Master Esthetician’’


The rules that Master Estheticians will need to follow are a minimum requirement.   Does it mean that because of these rules that no one will get hurt because of laser or medium depth peel from this point on? No.  Does it mean that estheticians have a minimum understanding of laser or peels?  Yes.  What is that minimum?  That’s what we are trying to figure out.

That’s where we need you and your input.

I am going to share with you some of positions that were brought up last night by people at the meeting:

1. Estheticians should be required to complete continue education as a condition of licensure each year.  If you don’t complete additional education, you don’t get re-licensed. [Currently, there is no requirement of such]

2. To have your training certified for grandfathering, you have to take it from a ‘credible’ company.  [Define credible].

3. After grandfathering has lapse, an esthetician that has been working at a medical spa from another state that doesn’t have a two tiered licensed will have to go back to school for 450 hours to practice in Washington State or they can get their CIDESCO, ITEC or NCEA certification.  [Even though they can show that they have been practicing safely for years].

Let me know if you agree or disagree with the above statements and why?  Put in the comment section below.

The last rules hearing for public input is next Monday.  I hope to see you there.

When:  Monday, August 12, 2013 – 9:00 a.m.
Where: Department of Licensing
Conference Room 209
405 Black Lake Blvd SW
Olympia, WA  98502

There will be an Esthetician Workshop following the board meeting to discuss implementation of the new master esthetician endorsement that was passed earlier this year by the State Legislature

Evergreen Beauty College offers esthetics and cosmetology programs. Contact us for more information.

Frank Trieu
Vice President of Business Development & Industry Relations

Frank Trieu is a cosmetology industry leader, and despite his accomplishments and accolades, he still prioritizes students on the Evergreen campus. Through building relationships within the community and local salons, retail stores, and spas, he helps facilitate job placements for aspiring beauty professionals using his expansive network.

Happy Evergreen Beauty College Students


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Lori Thompson
Lori Thompson
10 years ago

Thank you for the re-cap Frank. I was stressed that I wasn’t able to attend last night. I have to think on these 3 points.
1) I am all for CE requirements; most licensed based fields require some form of continuing ed and its important to be up to date in an ever changing industry.
2) I’m not clear on the state’s definition of grandfathering. It seems there are a lot of seasoned estheticians out there who have experience over certification. I feel that also has to be considered.
3) I’m just not sure about this one without having more information.

One of my questions I would’ve liked to ask is if I take an out of state Laser Certification course now, under the new licensing would it be pointless. In other words, will I have to still take a 450 hour course to practice it? And if I currently offer peels and microdermabrasion (which was well covered at Evergreen) will I no longer be able to under the new plan?

Shannon Shepherd
Shannon Shepherd
10 years ago

Hello Frank,

Thank you for your updates on the new upcoming Washington esthetician licensing laws. There have been many questions and comments about the grandfathering process. However, I am concerned about those new to the profession, particularly those that will need to acquire the additional 600 hours of training. Are Washington educational facilities prepared to teach these additional topics such as medium peels and laser? Do they have the equipment and instructors with this expertise or are students going to be faced with going out of state to get additional training? What are your thoughts on this? Thanks.