Fed up with a dead-end job and a salary that doesn't cover rent? Make a fresh start! These sunny career paths will shine on no matter how stormy the economy gets.
Someone’s got to sandblast Saturday night off your face, and that’s where a skin-care specialist comes in handy. These men and women specialize in treatments such as facials, chemical peels and microdermabrasion as well as body and hair-removal treatments like body scrubs, seaweed wraps, waxing, eyebrow tinting and lash extensions. They’re considered aestheticians and are licensed to touch from the face down to the toes (but in the Land of Lincoln, not the scalp).
Dayna DeLaurentis is a licensed aesthetician and the owner of Urban Spa Chic (1401 W Hubbard St, 312-492-8050), a full-service day spa in East Village. After eight years of grinding away at places like the Peninsula Hotel, she struck out on her own and now enjoys the benefits of both doing what she loves and reaping the rewards of owning her own business—which recently celebrated its third birthday. Thanks in part to the ever-increasing attention paid to good health, DeLaurentis says day spas are thriving. “People don’t think of [a spa service] so much as a luxury anymore,” she says. “We think about it as a necessity, positive health and mental well-being.”
A first-year skin-care specialist can expect to earn less than $30,000 (although that’s not including cash gratuities). The key is to build a loyal clientele who will follow you—and boost your earnings.
This career is for you if…
You’re a people person who hates the daily grind of an office job but still loves a challenge. “Giving someone their self-esteem back is number one,” DeLaurentis says. She also cites meeting new people and building strong relationships with her clients as motivating parts of her day. Time spent sitting behind a desk is at a minimum.
To become a certified aesthetician in Illinois, you need to find yourself a good school of cosmetology. Coursework includes 750 clocked hours geared toward prepping you for the state board exam. This is followed by hands-on and book training. Once you pass your test, you can start rejuvenating people.
Both Aveda Institute (2828 N Clark St, 773-883-1560) and Pivot Point International Academy (3901 W Irving Park Rd, 773-463-3121; 1560 Sherman Ave, Evanston, 847-866-0500) offer the requisite 750-hour programs geared toward full aesthetic licensing and certification starting this fall.
The Cortiva Institute (17 N State St, 312-753-7900) offers an open house on August 26 from 6–8pm. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet with instructors as well as members of the admissions and financial-aid departments. The aim is to give prospective students a feel for what the school is like and what kind of instruction it offers.