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Washington State's New Licensing Law for Estheticians

Posted: April 22, 2013

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

This new esthetics law belongs to everyone. From its inception, many have worked hard to craft the ideas into a truly viable proposals 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, CIDESCO Diplomate, creator and instructor of the medical esthetics program at Clover Park Technical College; Jennifer Errigo, CIDESCO Diplomate, instructor in fundamental esthetics at Clover Park Technical College; Debbie Caddell, esthetician and owner of Caddell’s Laser Spa; Karlee Sorenson, esthetic instructor and laser specialist; Renee Beck and Christine Brown, students - and their many classmates. Each wrote the letters and made the calls, testified or showed up to support the bill in the House and the Senate, endured late nights and long days, and stood together in on behalf of our beloved profession.

And a special huzzah to Sylvia Garcia, chair of the Department of Cosmetology, Manicuring and Esthetics at Spokane Community College. 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 legislative process demanded, 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 passed successfully through the Legislature. This good bill, soon to be signed into law by our governor, accomplishes the following:

  • Increases current esthetician 600-hour training to 750-hour 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 esthetician;
  • Specifies that injections are beyond the scope of practice for all estheticians;
  • Creates a master esthetician license that requires 1200 hours of 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 esthetician can operate lasers and perform medium-depth peels (while still adhering to the MQAC rules for laser operation);
  • Automatically grandfathers into the 750-hour esthetician license all currently licensed estheticians;
  • Provides five avenues for current licensees to qualify for the master esthetician license during grandfathering; and,
  • Gives until January 1, 2015, for estheticians to qualify for the master esthetician under grandfathering.