The Northwest Aestheticians’ Guild is dedicated to providing educational and networking opportunities for experienced members as well as students just getting started in this exciting and rapidly changing profession.  We also provide a voice for aestheticians in the complicated and changing legislative environment. 

Rethink the Guild, celebrating more than 15 years supporting the art and science of skin care.          ____________________

As estheticians, our scope of practice, training requirments and licensing are defined in RCW18.16 and WAC 308-20 and governed through the Department of Licensing (DOL).  The full law and administrative code can be found on the Stae of Washington website, and entering the RCW or WAC code in the search enginge.  The specific scope of practice and training requirments sections of the RCW and WAC, along with DOL contact information is listed below.  DOL contact information:

Cosemtology Program


PO Box 9026

Olympia, WA 98507

360-664-6626   e-mail:

RCW 18.16.020 (27,29)

(27) "Practice of esthetics" means the care of the skin for compensation by application, use of preparations, antiseptics, tonics, essential oils, exfoliants, superficial and light peels, or by any device, except laser, or equipment, electrical or otherwise, or by wraps, compresses, cleansing, conditioning, stimulation, superficial skin stimulation, pore extraction, or product application and removal; temporary removal of superfluous hair by means of lotions, creams, appliance, waxing, threading, tweezing, or depilatories, including chemical means; and application of product to the eyelashes and eyebrows, including extensions, design and treatment, tinting and lightening of the hair, excluding the scalp. Under no circumstances does the practice of esthetics include the administration of injections.

(28) "Practice of manicuring"

(29) "Practice of master esthetics" means the care of the skin for compensation including all of the methods allowed in the definition of the practice of esthetics. It also includes the performance of medium depth peels and the use of medical devices for care of the skin and permanent hair reduction. The medical devices include, but are not limited to, lasers, light, radio frequency, plasma, intense pulsed light, and ultrasound. The use of a medical device must comply with state law and rules, including any laws or rules that require delegation or supervision by a licensed health professional acting within the scope of practice of that health profession.

WAC 308-20-808                                                                                   The minimum instruction guidelines for training required for a student or apprentice to be eligible to take the license examination for the following professions shall include:

 (4) For esthetics:

Theory in the practice of esthetics services and business practices (750 hours):

(a) Care of the skin compresses, massage, facials, wraps, masks, exfoliation, use of electrical or mechanical appliances or chemical compounds;

(b) Temporary removal of superfluous hair of the skin by means including tweezing, waxing, tape, chemicals, lotions, creams, sugaring, threading, mechanical or electrical apparatus and appliances;

(c) Sanitizing and disinfecting of individual work stations, individual equipment and tools and proper use and storage of linens;

(d) Diseases and disorders of the skin of the face, neck and hands;

(e) Safety including proper use and storage of chemicals, implements and electrical appliances;

(f) First aid as it relates to esthetics; and

(g) No more than twenty-five percent of skills training using mannequins.

(5) Master esthetics (450 additional hours):

Theory in the practice of master esthetics and business practices includes all of subsection (4) of this section and the following:

(a) Exfoliation and medical esthetic procedures;

(b) Laser, light frequency, radio frequency, ultrasound, and plasma practices;

(c) Medium depth chemical peels;

(d) Advanced client assessment, documentation, and indications/contraindications;

(e) Pretreatment and post-treatment procedures;

(f) Lymphatic drainage and advanced facial massage;

(g) Advanced diseases and disorders of the skin; and

     (h) Advanced theories; alternative, touch, and spa body treatments.

Department of Licensing contact information:  

Cameron Dalmas                    Phone: (360) 664-6643

Cosmetology Program             Email:

Department of Licensing          Fax: (360) 664-2550

PO Box 9026                          ListServ:

Olympia, WA 98507-9026        Website:


April 23, 2013

Washington State has just successfully passed a 2 tier licensing law, consisting of 750 and 1200 hours, for Aestheticians.

 A bit of context for the need for law change in Washington State: Aestheticians are increasingly being hired by doctors, medical spas, and clinics. We cost less than nurses and ARNPs, and our subject expertise is skin.



In 2008 the cosmetic industry was a 60 billion dollar industry; in 2011 it had increased by 5.3% ... in a recession no less! The call for Aestheticians to work in these medical spas and laser clinics is sounding louder as the industry responds to the demands of aging baby-boomers.

Currently, in Washington, Aestheticians are required to have 600 hours of education from a licensed school, and then take a state exam given by our governing body, the Department of Licensing-DOL-) to earn the Aesthetics license. Embedded in that 600 hours is the scope of practice that permits use of lasers on the public. Granted, this work has to be delegated or supervised by a physician (a condition imposed upon Aestheticians by the Medical Quality Assurance Commission,-MQAC- i.e. doctors- not DOL). But, and here’s the rub: no 600 hour school curriculum can fit into it even the most rudimentary instruction on lasers, let alone the in-depth teaching that would prepare Aestheticians for laser work .

 How does that laser training happen now? It relies on the business that does the hiring, with no training consistency required. Typically, that “education” consists of the rep who sold the laser equipment offering 2-4 hours of training. And then that “trained” person usually does the training on the next hire, etcetc ... a little like playing telephone. Some Aestheticians or their employers opt to pay for private classes, (1-2 days); some pay to go out of state to recognized laser schools, for better and longer training. A good training idea, but it comes at an economic loss to this State. A colleague who operates a laser clinic, with two physicians on board for oversight, reckons she has spent over $25,000 sending her estheticians out of the state for training over the last several years.

To address the laser dilemma, and to raise educational standards in our remarkably advancing Aesthetic profession, the NW Aestheticians’ Guild  first presented the idea of tiers in stakeholder workshops held over a span of three to four years and sponsored by DOL. We had carefully considered the idea of a single 1200 hour license and then discarded it, because we think there will always be that group of our colleagues who prefer to practice traditional Aesthetics, sans lasers and medium depth peels, and we wanted room at the table for all. Moreover, we believe it important in this economic climate to not put smaller schools under such pressure to double their training that they go out of business. Choice, then, was strongly supported: for schools, as to which tier they would offer (if not both!), and Aestheticians, as to which they would study. Our belief is that the workplace demands will help potential students make the decision as to which tier best suits their goals and answers the marketplace needs.

When offering our proposal, we kept laser and medium depth peels within scope for the new 1200 hour Master Aesthetician; the added hours will more broadly and safely educate, while producing work-ready Aestheticians. And we raised educational standards with the 750 hour Aesthetician, while defining laser and medium depth peels as beyond scope of practice.

This new Aesthetic law belongs to everyone. From its inception, many worked hard to craft the ideas into a truly viable proposal for law; for that work, they should be justifiably proud. But most specifically and at the last, when we needed people to show up and, most notably, to stalwartly defend against attacks by those who sought to either destroy the bill or co-opt it, the following formed the “Committee of The Crossed Fingers”: Melissa Siedlicki , creator of, and instructor at, the medical Aesthetics program at Clover Park Technical College, and Jennifer Errigo, (also Clover Park), instructor in fundamental Aesthetics, both CIDESCO Diplomates, (Jenn, there’s no room for all your credentials!), and both inspirers of students; Debbie Caddell, Aesthetician and owner of Caddell’s Laser Spa; Karlee Sorenson, Aesthetic instructor and laser specialist; students Renee Beck and Christine Brown, Samantha Tah, Nina Brooks, Amber Wirkkala,  Ashley Berg, Arin Cothren, Sara Dickson, Tammy Gladney, Patrice Jackson, Chau Lam, Jeanna Rasmusson, Nikita Schipper, and Linsey Shepard.   Each and all: wrote the letters and made the calls; willingly dropped all things at a moment’s notice to rally and write and call yet again; testified, or showed up to support the bill in the House and the Senate; endured late nights and long days; and stood together in all ways on behalf of our beloved profession.

And a special huzzah to Sylvia Garcia, (Chair of the Dep’t. of Cosmetology, Manicuring, and Aesthetics at Spokane Community College), who, in October of 2012, didn’t flinch when I told her I was going to bring the Aesthetics bill forward to the Legislature ... and that I wanted her to do it with me. Many long conferences (particularly those with a very patient legislative committee lawyer, as we worked with the original proposal to craft the language that was ultimately passed into law), strategy meetings, and all the rest that this tortuous legislative process demanded (did I mention late nights and long days?) have been our lot from the beginning ... and we wouldn’t have traded it for the world. Gratitude, Sylvia. Gratitude, Team.

All together, this Committee worked with excellence and doggedness, doing what was needed each and every time to make sure that our beautiful bill (aka “The Little Bill That Could”) passed successfully through the Legislature.

 This good bill, soon to be signed into law by our Governor, accomplishes the following:

  • ·         Increases current 600 hour training to 750 hour Aesthetician, to meet the needs of new  
  • technology and allow students additional practice and theory while in school;
  • ·         Prohibits the use of lasers and medium depth peels for the 750 hour Aesthetician;
  • ·         Specifies that injections are beyond the scope of practice for all Aestheticians;
  • ·         Creates a Master Aesthetician license that requires 1200 hours training, a standard which is in line with several other states; notably Utah with 1200 hours, Kansas with 1000 hours and Nevada with 900 hours;
  • ·         Stipulates that the Master Aesthetician can operate lasers and perform medium depth peels (while still adhering to the MQAC rules for laser operation);
  • ·         Automatically grandfathers into the 750 hour Aesthetician license all currently licensed Aestheticians;
  • ·         Provides five avenues for current licensees to qualify for the Master Aesthetician license during grandfathering;
  • ·         Gives until January 1, 2015, for Aestheticians to qualify for the Master Aesthetician under grandfathering.                                                                                                                                                     

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

 Warm Best Wishes,

 Anne Martin, CIDESCO Diplomate;

Licensed Aesthetic Instructor and Reiki Master;

Founder/Chair NW Aestheticians’ Guild;

Former Chair, State Advisory Board to DOL for Cosmetology, Barbering, Manicuring and Esthetics


Rule filing process —Master Esthetician rule rewrite

The bill's effective date is July 28, 2013. The department expects to have all rules written and administrative supports in operation by January 02, 2014. This will include all rule writing, form changes, information services, and licensing processes.

January 2, 2014 will be the official start date of the Master Esthetics program. This includes the completion of all the rule writing and operational supports.

January 1, 2015 will be the end of the grandfathering period. After this date any new Esthetician\Master Esthetician will be required to meet the minimum licensing requirements; educational hours and written and practical examinations.   

 Rule filing process —Master Esthetician rule rewrite 

CR 101; Pre-proposal Statement of Inquiry. The CR-101 form is notice that is provided to the public that the department is considering developing a new rule, amending an existing rule, or repealing an entire rule. 

CR102; Proposed Rule Making. The CR-102 announces to the public that a change to a DOL rule is being proposed.  Included is a brief description of the rule, the associated WAC number, a copy of the proposed rule text, as well as the date, time, and location of the public hearing(s), and the deadline and process to submit comments.

CR103; Rule Making Order. The CR-103 form is filed on or after the intended adoption date identified on the CR-102 form. The CR-103 form is used to adopt into WAC the proposed rule text that was filed on the CR-102 form. Usually, unless specified otherwise; a rule becomes effective 31 days after filing. 



Washington Department of Licensing - Cosmetology

Current Law and Administrative Code governing Esthetics:  RCW: 18.16   WAC: 308-20

Chapter 18.16 RCW Cosmetologists, barbers, and manicurists


RCW Sections  18.16.020


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