Licensed vs. Certified Lash Tech – Does it Matter?

A common new part of any beauty routine is the use of false lashes to accentuate the eyes. The use of false lashes helps to accentuate the eyes similar to the effect when finding the perfect mascara. While some people stick with the tried-and-true method of at-home lashes, others prefer to go to a trained professional for a lasting lash option by getting lash extensions.

These lash extensions give that accentuated look for six weeks without having to apply copious amounts of mascara or damaging your natural lashes with an eyelash curler. Like anything, finding someone who can perform lash extensions that have been professionally trained is key to getting quality lash extensions safely.

Lash technicians provide the service of eyelash extensions and refill those extensions in which the false eyelashes are glued individually onto the client’s natural eyelashes. This is a process that does use glue that contains chemicals that can be dangerous for clients, which is an important reason for ensuring that your lash tech is qualified and licensed.

Licensed vs. Certified Lash Tech- What’s the Difference?

A lash tech may go through several different types of training prior to becoming a lash tech, with two primary paths: certified vs. licensed. These two different classifications are based on the amount of training that a lash technician has gone through, along with specific legal requirements that one must go through to obtain a cosmetology license or an esthetician’s license.

For a lash tech to be certified there is training involved. Becoming a certified lash tech requires specific training on the application of lash extensions and how to handle the chemicals that could be dangerous for the client if not handled appropriately. As a certified lash tech, you are working with a very sensitive part of the body, which means that applying lashes can be extremely dangerous if not properly trained.

Becoming a certified lash technician gives you the skills to apply lash extensions, however, obtaining a license allows you to legally operate a lash business in the state that you are licensed to practice in. Along with being able to legally run a business, becoming licensed in the state where you wish to practice provides another level of professionalism and confidence in your skills for your clients.

From a client’s perspective, going to a licensed lash technician means quality work being done and a safer place to get those lashes done. A lot of master lash technicians have multiple certifications, which means that going to a lash technician with only one certification is also a red flag similar to that technician not being licensed.

There are several states, such as Utah, that are issuing public health warnings about the potential health risks that may be associated with getting any form of cosmetic procedure, including lash extensions, by someone who is not licensed. It is often required that the lash technician has a cosmetology or esthetician’s license that is issued by the state. Requiring a license issued by the state allows for another level of security and safety for the clients who will be getting lash extensions done by that individual.

Finances of a Lash Technician

When embarking on the journey of becoming a lash technician, there are several considerations that need to be considered. Lash technicians on average make between $48,000 and $50,000 annually, while the top paid lash technicians earn approximately $65,000 to $70,000 annually. The amount that can be earned as a lash technician is based on the client base of the specific lash technician and the frequency of the appointments.

The more experienced a lash technician is, the more they will be able to charge their clients, which means that there is a higher earning potential for lash technicians who have been working in the field for a longer period.

It is important to note that the earning potential above does not include the fees and taxes that are associated with such a position. Most people who work as lash technicians are considered to be self-employed by the United States government and are taxed as such.

Other things that need to be considered include the fee to rent space to have your lash business, licensing fees, and any necessary equipment, and supplies, all of which need to be taken into consideration when setting prices for your lash business.

Becoming a Licensed Lash Technician

When looking at a career as a lash technician, there are several things that one must do in order to develop a licensed business.

When first deciding to become a lash technician, it is important to search for the specific state requirements that are needed to become licensed. Each state may have different requirements for becoming licensed, so it is important to look at a checklist for the state that you are looking to practice in specifically.

If you are planning to move, it would also be important to check the requirements for any state that you may be practicing in later. This checklist will outline both the educational requirements and the paperwork that is required in order to obtain a cosmetology or esthetician license.

After reviewing the specific license requirements for your state, make sure to take the appropriate accredited courses, and then complete the appropriate training hours as required by your state. The number of training hours is dependent on each state, but are all time spent working within the field under the supervision of a licensed person who is already practicing.

Through these specific courses and the completion of those training hours, you will be certified. While being certified is a good step, obtaining your final license is necessary for beginning your own successful business.

The final step to earning your cosmetology or esthetician’s license is to take the licensing exam as required by your state’s Board of Cosmetology or Esthetics. Once you have passed the licensing exam, you will need to complete an application, along with any other paperwork to complete the licensing process. The application and paperwork will be reviewed by the licensing authority in your state which will give you the final license as long as you have completed all necessary requirements.

The amount of time to become licensed depends on the requirements of the state. There are some training programs that you can go through that take up to a week, and there are other programs that may be significantly longer.

The longer part of the process to become a certified lash tech is the licensing process, which includes the mandatory training hours that the candidate must receive, studying for and taking the licensing exam and the amount of processing time it can take to have your application and paperwork reviewed.

Starting Your Own Lash Business

After obtaining your license, you can begin building your own lash business. The location is an important part of the amount that you can make as a lash technician. It is common that in more urban areas, there is a larger client base that your lash business can tap into.

After selecting where you will be setting up your business, the fun part begins. Selecting a name for your new company, developing a logo, and branding allows you to take your business to the next level and makes it more personal for you.

The development of your business name is important not only for the customer-facing part of your business but is also essential when legally creating your business, such as with an LLC, developing your business plan, opening a business bank account, and tax documents.

After developing the basics of your business, acquiring all of the necessary supplies and equipment is important to ensure that you have everything that is needed to start working with clients. Once these steps are done, you are ready to begin setting prices, marketing your services, and opening the doors to your brand-new lash business.

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