15 Best Esthetician Schools In Richmond VA (Virginia) 

Virginia, as one of America’s original spa destinations, has a well-developed skin-care industry, with 1,120 estheticians employed in the state as of 2013. Whether catering to a broad clientele at the Spa or working with wealthy clients and tourists, Virginia has a wide range of spa and salon options. 

If you are an aspiring esthetician in Virginia who wants to start your career in the esthetics industry, finding a reputable city such as Richmond and a school with a dynamic esthetics program is a great first step!

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the best esthetician schools in Richmond VA and other little details that can help you choose the right esthetician school to start. Read on!

Check this out: How can I become an Esthetician in a Short time? Schools, Licenses, Salary & Cost

Why Become An Esthetician In Richmond, VA?

Estheticians are licensed skin care specialists who have been trained to perform a wide range of procedures. It’s a career that’s in high demand and changing all the time. 

The programs associated with being an esthetician prepare you for a career as a skincare professional. Here are a few compelling reasons to pursue a career as an Esthetician in Richmond.

The job market for estheticians is expanding

By 2024, the job market for Estheticians is expected to grow by 14%. With new job opportunities appearing all the time in Richmond, the demand for Estheticians is unlikely to diminish anytime soon.

It provides career opportunities

Being an esthetician opens up many career opportunities. You can train to be a medical esthetician, or you can work in a salon, spa, dermatologist office, or even as a skincare specialist.

It enables you to be a part of a dynamic industry

Esthetics is a constantly changing field. You have to never stop learning to stay current with new techniques or technology.         

To help people feel good about themselves

You can make others feel more confident in themselves while also feeling good about your role in the process.

To understand how to take proper care of your skin

Being an esthetician helps you understand what and how to take care of your skin. It can help you become much younger, glow and stand out from your peers.

Can You Take Esthetician Classes Online In Richmond VA?

Online esthetician classes are available for students who wish to study online in Richmond. These classes are convenient for Richmond VA students who work full-time and have family responsibilities that make attending a traditional school difficult. 

There are numerous online beauty school programs available that can be accessed at the student’s leisure via a desktop computer or laptop. Because many courses are only six or eight months long, more traditional beauty programs are frequently fast-paced.

You get to use the same amount of material with online programs, but you are not devoting numerous hours away from your home or traveling back and forth from classes.

However, the program you choose to study must offer internship opportunities in local salons and parlors to ensure that you receive the hands-on training required for a comprehensive education. 

It is difficult to obtain the skills required to work in any aspect of the cosmetology field without the internship component of the training. So, if you decide to enroll in an online school, make sure that internship training is available in your area.

Read this: How To Get A Diploma In Cosmetology This Year | Best Schools, Requirements, Cost, Job Outlook

How Much Do The Best Esthetician Schools In Richmond VA Cost?

According to Evergreen Beauty College, the average tuition for an esthetics program ranges between $3,000 and $10,000. The cost will vary depending on your state’s program length, location, and required training hours.

Other fees associated with attending a program may include textbooks, registration fees, and equipment, which vary by program.

Overview Of The Best Esthetician Schools In Richmond VA

Here are our picks for the best esthetician schools in Richmond VA that offer esthetic and cosmetology programs that meet state licensure requirements. 

#1 Institute of Advanced Medical Esthetics 

#2 Derma Elite Academy 

#3 American Spirit Institute  

#4 Lotus Professional College 

#5 Virginia College – Richmond 

#6 University of Richmond 

#7 Bryant & Stratton College – Richmond 

#8 ECPI University – Richmond South, VA  

#9 Randolph-Macon College 

#10 Virginia Union University 

#11 South University – Richmond 

#12 Virginia Commonwealth University 

#13 Empire Beauty School – Richmond 

#14 Dreamchaser’s Beauty Academy 

#15 Virginia State University 

Read also: Best Makeup Artistry Schools in the World | 2022

Best Esthetician Schools In Richmond VA 

We categorized the ten best esthetician schools in Richmond VA into different categories to help narrow down your search for a good esthetician school. They are:

Medical Esthetician Schools 

In clinical settings, medical estheticians may assist people in identifying and recovering from skin-related health issues, such as working with cancer patients or burn victims following surgical procedures.

Typically, an esthetician works with a client in a spa or salon setting but some estheticians work in a medical setting to supplement medical services, such as in a dermatologist’s office, but they are not medical professionals. 

Although there is no license for a Medical Esthetician, a licensed master esthetician can work in a medical setting under the supervision of a physician, a doctor, or a dermatologist, performing a variety of esthetic treatments on clients.

These treatments may include but are not limited to, patient education, pre and post-op treatments, retail sales, cleansing and preparing clients for surgery, and routine medical-grade facials that include extractions and microdermabrasion.

Some of the best esthetician schools in Richmond VA that fall under the medical esthetician schools include:

Institute of Advanced Medical Esthetics 

A prime Richmond location and a proven 12-year track record of excellence are just two of the many reasons why the Institute of Advanced Medical Esthetics has earned a spot on our list of the best esthetician schools in Richmond VA.

The Institute has an advisory board of industry professionals who evaluate the curriculum and facility each year to ensure that the program continues to outpace industry demands.

It also has a fully equipped facility that ensures you have plenty of hands-on training. You will, for example, be able to work with advanced product lines and equipment found in leading mede-spas.

Tuition cost: $9,950/year

Program Length: 6 months

Visit School here

You might want to read: 15 Best Esthetician Schools in NC (North Carolina) | 2022

Derma Elite Academy 

Derma Elite Academy is a career training center in Richmond, Virginia, that is privately owned and operated.

They’ve provided an exciting, fun, intimate, and rewarding learning environment for adults interested in a skincare and beauty industry career since 2005.

You can expect an interactive learning environment to prepare you for your future career with small class sizes and a focus on real-life, hands-on experience. 

The academy provides basic and advanced esthetics, nails, and waxing courses. With flexible scheduling and part-time classes available, anyone with interest in skincare and beauty can learn and begin a new career. 

Tuition cost: Unspecified

Visit School here

American Spirit Institute  

One of the best esthetician schools in Richmond VA that offers programs in Esthetics, Cosmetology, and Massage, with Locations in Richmond and Williamsburg.

American Spirit Institute (ASI) is certified by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). The Virginia State Board of Cosmetology licenses the institute. 

Tuition cost: $7,000-$8,000/year

Visit School here

Lotus Professional College 

Lotus Professional College (LPC) is located in Henrico/Richmond, Virginia, and is accredited by the Virginia State Council for Higher Education (SCHEV). This college is an Esthetics and Master Esthetics school licensed by the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulations (DPOR).

The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges has accredited Lotus Professional College (ACCSC).

The LPC prepares you for a career in Acupuncture, Therapeutic Massage, Basic Esthetics (Aesthetics), and Master Esthetics (Aesthetics), allowing you to make a difference in your life as well as the lives of your patients and clients.

Students in this college receive an excellent academic education and practical clinical experience. 

Tuition cost: $8,450-$10,000/year

Application Fee: $100

Visit School here   

Accredited Esthetician Schools

National accreditation in Virginia ensures that your program meets the requirements for licensure.

The best esthetician schools in Richmond VA can be accredited by accrediting bodies such as the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences (NACCAS), Accrediting Commission for Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT), Council on Occupational Education (COE), Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) and the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET). 

Below is a list of the best esthetician schools in Richmond, VA with accreditation.

Virginia College – Richmond 

Virginia College, located in Richmond, works with each student to provide personalized cosmetology training. You can attend day or night classes, and each class is kept small to ensure that instructors can give you personalized attention.

The internationally recognized Pivot Point curriculum, which combines theory and technique with essential business training, will be used to teach you. 

The school will also work with you to find a salon that is a good fit for you as soon as you graduate.

As a Virginia College student who is involved in the Richmond community, you will have the opportunity to put your cosmetology skills to use at charity events. Veterans can also get VA benefits at Virginia College.

Tuition cost: $21,325/year

Program Length: 11 months

Visit School here

University of Richmond 

The University of Richmond follows an interdisciplinary approach that integrates the arts and sciences with business, leadership, and law, allowing for both broad exploration and focused career pursuit.

The University pays you up to $4,000 for summer research or internship.

24% of students in this University enroll in graduate school within a year of graduation and 96% of those looking for work found work.

Tuition cost: $25,700/year

Application Fee: $50

Acceptance Rate: 31%

Visit School here

Bryant & Stratton College – Richmond 

Bryant & Stratton College is a private university in the United States that offers more than 45 diploma, associate, and bachelor’s degree programs.

Its mission has been to prepare students for every step of their academic journey for over 165 years by providing personalized career education and career services beyond graduation.

This college can tailor your education to your needs and goals with online, hybrid, and on-campus learning options. The college’s courses are eight weeks long, and you will be taught by experienced faculty who are committed to your success.

The Middle States Commission accredits Bryant & Stratton College on Higher Education. They believe that all students should be able to study in the way that best fits their lives. 

Tuition cost: $16,030 / year

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Visit School here

ECPI University – Richmond South, VA  

From the moment you arrive on campus at ECPI University, their supportive faculty and staffs are committed to your success. The University’s hands-on, student-centered education tradition is an effective way to develop skills. 

ECPI’s accelerated programs are designed to fit your schedule. The University is dedicated to students’ success, from student support services to employer partnerships. 

Tuition cost: $17,479/ year

Application Fee: $45

Visit School here

Licensed Esthetician Schools 

Most states require estheticians to be licensed. In most cases, you must complete a state-approved educational program and pass a licensing exam.

Also, as part of the licensing process, states require you to complete a certain number of supervised training hours. 

The best esthetician schools in Richmond VA that are properly licensed to practice cosmetology include:

Randolph-Macon College 

Randolph-Macon College, founded in 1830, has one primary goal: to help students develop their minds and personalities.

They accomplish this by providing a broad and personalized college experience that includes career-driven preparation through Edge Career Center, nationally recognized academic programs, a vibrant campus life, and a strong alumni network.

You can learn more about Randolph-Macon College and how it offers a truly personalized and transformative college education.

Tuition cost: $26,061/year

Application Fee: $0

Acceptance Rate: 71%

Visit School here

Virginia Union University 

Virginia Union University is a private Christian university in Richmond, Virginia. VUU, as a historically black college, has a long history of and commitment to black American education. It is a small college with a total enrollment of 1,069 undergraduate students. 

Admissions are somewhat competitive, with a 75% acceptance rate at Virginia Union. Criminology, Biology, and Business are popular majors. Virginia Union graduates earn a starting salary of $22,800, accounting for 36% of all students. 

Tuition cost: $18,722/year

Application Fee: $25

Acceptance Rate: 75%

Visit School here

South University – Richmond 

This brick-laden campus, located in West Broad Village, is easy to spot with its orange awnings and chiming clock tower.

It consists of individuals from different aspects of life that spend time in the community helping others.

But, more importantly, they work daily to improve students’ lives through the admissions process, advice, or in the classroom.

Tuition cost: $23,154 / year

Application Fee: $0

Acceptance Rate: 100%

 Visit School here   

Virginia Commonwealth University 

Virginia Commonwealth University is an above-average public university in Richmond, Virginia. It is a large university with 18,734 undergraduate students enrolled.  

Psychology, business, and health teacher education are all popular majors. Virginia Commonwealth graduates earn an average starting salary of $34,400, with 66 percent graduating.

Tuition cost: $20,566/year

Application Fee: $70

Acceptance Rate: 91%

Visit School here

Cheap Esthetician Schools 

Most of the best esthetician schools in Richmond VA can be quite expensive, but other not-so-expensive schools fall under the best esthetician schools. Here is a list of a few of the cheap best esthetician schools in Richmond VA.

Empire Beauty School – Richmond 

This is one of the best esthetician schools in Richmond VA, with online classes. It’s a for-profit college with only 75 undergraduate students. The school provides training in three qualifications, the most popular of which are Cosmetology License, Empire Beauty School for Cosmetology, and Food Handler Certification. 

Furthermore, the time required to complete this education training ranges from 9 months to 21.9 months depending on the qualification, with a 12-month median completion time.

The most frequently mentioned benefits of attending Empire Beauty School are “Good teachers” and “Hands-on training,” but respondents also mentioned “Good career preparation” and “Helpful career services.” 

Tuition cost: $3,300-$23,000/year

Application Fee: $100

Visit School here

Dreamchaser’s Beauty Academy 

Dreamchaser’s Beauty Academy was founded in September 2020 in Richmond, Virginia. Cosmetology, Eyelash Extensions, Eyebrows, Full Body Waxing, Nails, and Braiding are all available at Dreamchaser’s Beauty Academy. ‘

The academy provides a licensure program, specialty classes, and refresher courses. 

Dreamchaser’s Beauty Academy aims to change the beauty industry by producing students with high ethical standards, confidence, excellent customer service skills, and knowledge that exceeds all expectations.

When it comes to the best esthetician schools in Richmond VA, Dreamchaser’s Beauty Academy is an outstanding school to watch out for.

Tuition cost: Unspecified

Visit School here

Virginia State University 

Virginia State University is a public university in the Richmond metropolitan area in Ettrick, Virginia. VSU, as a historically black college, has a long history of and commitment to black American education.

It is a small university with 3,507 undergraduate students enrolled. Virginia State has a 96 per cent acceptance rate. 

Criminal Justice and Safety Studies, Psychology, and Communications are popular majors. Virginia State graduates earn a starting salary of $27,400, accounting for 46 per cent of all students.

Tuition cost: $18,332 / year

Application Fee: $0

Acceptance Rate: 96%

Visit School here

How Long Will It Take To Attend The Best Esthetician Schools In Richmond VA

The program length is directly related to the number of training hours required in your state, and most schools require some hands-on training to comply with state requirements. On average, the best esthetician schools in Richmond VA take about 600 hours over six months, though some states require up to 750 training hours. 

See this: 13+ Best Esthetician Classes Online for Beginners & Experts | 2022

How To Become An Esthetician In Richmond VA: A Short Guide

Formal esthetics education entails at least 600 hours of classroom instruction. To become an esthetician in Richmond, you need to follow the steps below as a guide to help you achieve your dream.

Step 1: Decide your school.

You must attend a school that the Board has approved as providing high-quality education. Before deciding on a school, you can check the pass rates for the practical and theory exams on the Board’s website. 

If you already have extensive knowledge of esthetics, the school may grant you up to 300 credit hours toward a basic or master esthetician education.

Step 2: Register for Exams 

You can apply for the Virginia esthetics exam at either the esthetics or master esthetics level once you are within 80 hours of finishing your esthetics education at a school.

Your exams will be scheduled through Ergometrics/National Testing Network (NTN). The Board recommends that you apply online, but you can also print and mail a PDF application.

They only accept the most recent version of this application therefore, you should apply through the Exams & Applications section.

If you received your esthetician training from a Virginia esthetics school, they will refer you online.

To sign up, they will provide you with a temporary username and password and your school will have reported all of your training hours on the website by the time you go to take your exam.

You or your school must provide a professional passport colour photo. This must have been completed within the last 6 months. The exact requirements for this photo should be found in the candidate bulletin. 

If you received your training as an esthetician apprentice, the procedure for scheduling the exam will be different. You will need to fill out an online Non-School application. Also, your written and practical esthetician exams will be taken separately. 

Step 3: Obtaining Your Temporary Permit

After you’ve scheduled your exam, you can apply for a temporary permit and begin serving customers!

This form can be found on the Education and Exams website under the General Forms (All Board License Types) section.

Step 4: Pass the Written and Practical Exams

To find detailed information on how to prepare for your exams, consult the relevant candidate bulletin.

The esthetician and master esthetician exams have separate bulletins. You should prepare ahead of time because passing your written and practical exams will require a score of 75.

After passing your exams, you can now obtain your Virginia esthetician’s license. A licensure fee notice will be available online.

This must be downloaded from your account and sent to the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DOPR). Your notice will include the address and payment information.

You can transfer your license to Virginia if you are a licensed esthetician in another state and have completed at least 80% of the required training hours.

You must have six months of full-time esthetician experience if you do not have all the required hours.

Step 5: Begin Your Professional Career in Richmond VA

After obtaining your license, you can now work as an esthetician in Richmond. Choose from a wide range of spas and salons that will allow you to express your creativity.

Step 6: Every two years, renew your Virginia Esthetician license

Your license is valid for two years from the date it was issued. When it is time to renew your license, you will be notified.

Keep track of the due date because it is your responsibility to renew it even if you do not receive a renewal notice in the mail.

If you do not receive a notice, you can apply for renewal using a copy of your old license.

Virginia does not require continuing education credits, but keeping up with the latest advances and trends would be beneficial.

You can do this by enrolling in classes at your local beauty school. You’ll be able to impress your clients and keep them coming back!


Choosing the right esthetician school is the first step toward obtaining your career goal of becoming an esthetician.

The best esthetician schools in Richmond VA provide high-quality education in esthetician programs.

Various colleges in Richmond can help you establish a successful career as an esthetician but this list gives you an edge in making the right college choice. 

Frequently Asked Questions On The Best Esthetician Schools In Richmond VA

Is a license required to work as an esthetician in Virginia?

Yes, the state of Virginia requires completion of an approved, licensed esthetician program that the Virginia Board approves of Barbers and Cosmetology.

How do I obtain my Virginia esthetician license?

To become a licensed esthetician in Virginia, you must first complete:
– A minimum of 600 hours of esthetics training at a licensed esthetic or cosmetology school.
– Complete and pass both the written and practical exams for esthetician certification.

To become a licensed esthetician in Virginia, you must first complete:
A minimum of 600 hours of esthetics training at a licensed esthetic or cosmetology school.
Complete and pass both the written and practical exams for esthetician certification.

Estheticians earn approximately $34,190.00 per year based on full-time employment in the state of Virginia, with a mean wage of $16.44 per hour, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. This excludes tips and commissions, which are common in the beauty industry.

How long does it take to finish esthetician school in Virginia?

A licensed esthetician program must be 600 hours long. A 600-hour program takes about three to five months to complete on average. This is determined by whether you attend full-time or part-time.

What is the cost of an esthetician school in Virginia?

The average cost of an esthetics program in Virginia is $7,296.00, according to estheticianedu.org.

Should I enroll in an esthetic program that is accredited?

An accredited school has met the requirements of national education performance standards established by an independent non-governmental organization. However, attending an accredited school is not required in Virginia for esthetician licensure.



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