Becoming a wax specialist is one of the easiest ways to start your career in the beauty or cosmetology industry.
But do you have the necessary information, skills, and dedication for the role?
Should you explore alternative beauty industry jobs like hairstylists, makeup artists, or nail technicians?
Let’s help you assess whether this profession aligns with your passion and career aspirations.
Below, we’ll offer a clear roadmap on how to become a waxer, including the training requirements, costs, duty expectations, and licensing considerations.
- An Overview of Waxing: A Primer
- How Much Do Waxers Make?
- What You’ll Need to Become a Waxer [& Associated Costs]
- Is It Hard to Become a Waxer?
- How to Become a Waxer in 6 Simple Steps
- Reasons to Consider Becoming a Waxer
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Similar Gigs to Check Out
- Wrapping Up
An Overview of Waxing: A Primer
A waxer (a wax specialist or cerologist) is a personal grooming professional offering hair removal services to clients.
Waxers have the skills to remove unwanted body hair using various types of wax, such as soft wax or hard wax.
The primary responsibility of a wax technician is to perform waxing procedures and waxing treatments on different body areas, including legs, arms, underarms, bikini areas, back, face, and eyebrows.
They work in multi-service salons, spas, hotels, or waxing studios. Some waxing specialists also offer home or mobile waxing services.
Here’s an overview of the responsibilities of a wax specialist:
- Meeting with clients to understand their waxing needs and technique preferences
- Creating a relaxed, comfortable, and hygienic environment for clients
- Sanitizing and disposing of used waxing supplies between appointments
- Advising clients on different hair removal techniques, such as sugaring, tweezing, hair removal creams, threading, and applying depilatories
- Educating clients on the waxing procedures, including waxing preparation, and after-care practices
- Performing additional skincare and beauty services like massage therapy—for those with an esthetician or cosmetology license
- Using various tools to remove unwanted hair, including wax heaters, applicators, wax removal strips, and preparation creams
- Observing the best practices for different body areas and skin types when performing services
- Following health and safety standards or regulations
While hair removal technicians can work on various body parts, you can specialize in specific areas depending on your preferences and expertise.
The different areas of specialized waxing services include facial, body (legs, arms, underarms, back, and chest), bikini, and Brazilian waxing.
A waxing technician can also offer waxing services to all genders or specialize in male or female waxing.
How Much Do Waxers Make?
Waxing specialists’ income depends on location, experience, employer, and other factors.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn’t provide a specific average salary for a wax technician.
However, waxers fall under the skincare specialist occupational category, with an average hourly pay of $18.30 or annual pay of $38,060 as of May 2022.
Waxing technicians in upscale salons could earn more and get better tips and commissions.
What You’ll Need to Become a Waxer [& Associated Costs]
Every career has its requirements that you must fulfill to begin training and become successful when you start practicing.
Here are the prerequisites for kickstarting a successful waxing career:
- High school diploma or GED: Most waxing technician, esthetician, or cosmetology programs require applicants to hold a high school diploma. Getting a high school diploma via online classes costs about $1,500 to $5,000, and online GED exams cost $36 per subject.
- Esthetician or cosmetology school: Training is essential to becoming a certified waxer. You’ll obtain the skills for hygiene practices, temperature control, before and after care, skin types, and more to offer professional waxing services. The training requirements vary by state, and the program costs can range from $3,000 to $10,000.
- State licensure: Most states require wax specialists to hold a license to offer personal grooming services legally. The specific requirements vary by state, but the licensure process often involves a practical and written exam with an application fee of $40 to $100.
- Physical stamina: Waxers spend a lot of time standing, which requires physical stamina if you’re working every day.
- Professionalism and customer service skills: Waxing causes pain and can be done on different body parts, including private or sensitive areas like front and back pubic hair. You must be calm, kind, non-judgmental, and patient to create a non-awkward space for clients. Products like numbing creams come in handy.
- Experience: You’ll feel more comfortable and confident in offering hair removal services and specific preferences, like Brazilian waxes, based on your training and experience. Employers and clients might also desire to work with wax specialists who have experience.
How Much Does It Cost to Become a Waxer?
You’ll need an average of $4,540 to $15,100 to become a waxing specialist.
The costs could rise or fall depending on your location, training programs/beauty schools, and course requirements.
The most significant investment is the waxing training program you opt for, meaning you can lower your costs by looking for reputable and budget-friendly cosmetology schools.
Is It Hard to Become a Waxer?
Becoming a waxer isn’t hard. Compared to other specializations in the beauty industry, waxing is one of the most accessible skills you can learn and earn within months.
You only need professional training to learn how to safely and successfully conduct various waxing techniques and get a lot of practical experience to build up your technique and confidence.
Once you’ve mastered your hair removal skills, they become routine and easy to execute.
It’s also critical to ensure you cause the least pain possible for your clients and work on your customer service skills.
Customers will only return to you if they feel comfortable and satisfied with your services.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Waxer?
The cosmetology program or school you enroll in will determine how long it will take to become a waxer.
There’s no standard duration for waxing certification courses. Some allow you to finish your coursework as quickly or slowly as possible.
Some states also specify the amount of training hours, coursework, or work experience you should have before applying for a license.
Averagely, it can take three months to a year to become a skilled and licensed waxer.
How to Become a Waxer in 6 Simple Steps
Now that you know what being a waxer entails, let’s explore the step-by-step path you need to take.
Step 1: Get a High School Diploma
Depending on the state licensure requirements, some cosmetology or esthetician schools require a high school diploma or GED during application.
If you don’t have a high school diploma, consider completing a GED program online or in person.
Step 2: Look for an Accredited Esthetician or Cosmetology School
Wax technicians obtain technical skills from professional training programs.
Review your state’s licensure requirements before you identify the right program for you. You don’t want to complete a program and discover later that you don’t meet the requirements for obtaining a license.
Some states require wax specialists to complete a cosmetology, esthetician, or waxing certification from an accredited program.
Others might allow esthetician apprenticeships instead of formal educational programs.
For instance, to become a licensed waxer in New York, you need a waxing certification with at least 75 training hours.
In Pennsylvania, you’ll need to complete an esthetician program which takes about 300 hours.
Double-check the minimum training hours for your state, the specific course required, and accredited cosmetology or esthetician schools.
You might also consider your overall career goals. If becoming an esthetician or a fully-fledged beauty therapist sounds good to you, undertaking cosmetology training instead of a waxing certification makes more sense.
It’ll allow you to provide different beauty-related services, including waxing.
Step 3: Get Hands-on Experience by Offering Waxing Services
Most employers will require work experience when you’re looking for jobs. Seek hands-on experience through apprenticeships, part-time work, or a salon, spa, or waxing studio internship.
These opportunities will also allow you to gain essential soft skills required for the role, understand the daily operations, and network.
You might even get hired where you intern if the employer sees your value and has an opportunity.
Step 4: Obtain State Licensure
Getting a license to practice as a wax technician won’t be hard if you’ve completed the required training hours from an accredited cosmetology school.
There might also be other requirements, such as an age limit. For instance, in New York, you must be at least 17 years old, pass license exams, and undergo an assessment by a physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner.
Almost every state administers a written and practical exam at a small fee before issuing a waxing license.
Step 5: Apply for Jobs as a Wax Technician
Once you have obtained your waxing license and gained some experience, you can apply for entry-level jobs at spas, hotels, beauty salons, and waxing studios.
You can find waxing jobs via online job boards, friends, company websites, and personal connections. Read job postings carefully and tailor your application materials to the specific job.
You can also set up your waxing business from home, set your rates, and work to your schedule.
If you take this route, it might pay to explore opportunities to collaborate with freelance hair stylists, who often work closely with clients seeking grooming services.
Step 6: Maintain Your License and Continue Your Training
What are the requirements for waxing license renewal in your state?
The renewal processes and requirements vary by state. Some require an exam, a certain number of practical hours, or updated education.
Refreshing your knowledge and skills through additional training also allows you to remain updated on developments in waxing and learn new techniques.
Reasons to Consider Becoming a Waxer
Here are a few reasons why working as a waxing specialist might be a rewarding career path:
- Freedom: You can set up your waxing salon from home and work on your schedule. You also have the flexibility to choose which type of clients to work with and which waxing services to provide, for instance, leg waxing, bikini waxing, or arm waxing.
- Variable: If you’re a fully qualified beauty therapist, you can offer other personal grooming services when you don’t have waxing appointments.
- Flexible income: You can offer hair removal services to as many clients as possible to increase your income.
- Rewarding: Like other beauty careers, you’re helping people look and feel better. After offering your services, you’ll feel great when clients feel more confident and happy.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Professional Waxers Called?
Professional waxers are called cerologists or wax technicians.
What Are the Three Types of Waxing?
There are three main types of waxing: soft wax (made from a resin-based formula that’s melted and applied to the skin), hard wax (a thicker wax that cools and then hardens), and sugar wax (made from sugar, lemon juice, and water).
Similar Gigs to Check Out
Do you want to explore other career paths with a high earning potential, schedule flexibility, and a varying work environment? Here are a few to consider:
- How to Become a Stylist: Learn how to become a stylist and build a successful career in fashion.
- How to Become a Makeup Artist: Discover what it takes to become a successful makeup artist.
- How to Become a Nail Tech: Find out what you need to become a nail technician and start a rewarding career in this growing industry.
Becoming a successful waxing specialist takes training, practice, and dedication.
With waxing experience and great customer skills, you can create a thriving hair removal business and achieve your income goals.
Ready to kickstart your waxing career? Tell us what you think about this guide in the comments section below.
Feel free to share it with other aspiring waxing specialists to help them find their path too.