The Small Business Times

Do You Need A License For Body Sculpting?

Perhaps you’re an aspiring esthetician and wondering whether you need a license for body sculpting. In other words, would you have to obtain your esthetician’s license after training if body sculpting is all you wanted to do?

If you’d like to specialize in body sculpting, you may not necessarily need a license. However, each city and state has its own set of requirements regarding the cosmetics and beauty industry. So, you’d need to check with your state board to make sure. If you’d like to become a body sculpting instructor, on the other hand, you will need a license.

Most states don’t seem to require you to have a license if you’re only going to perform standard body sculpting procedures. But we’ll cover this in more detail later in this blog post.

Should you wish to train others to perform these treatments, you must be fully licensed. And you’ll need to have a specific number of practical training hours under your belt. This is to ensure that you provide the highest possible standard of training to your students. And that proper state board-approved health and safety precautions are taught along with the techniques.

In addition, if you’ve completed your body sculpting training and want to open a body sculpting business, you’ll need a business license. But that’s something that’s required by all businesses and entirely different from an esthetician’s license.

Let’s take a closer look at what body sculpting is and then further explore whether you need a license for body sculpting.

What is Body Sculpting?

Body sculpting, also known as body contouring, is a procedure performed by individuals in the beauty and cosmetics field. You’ll generally find this procedure offered at a spa, medical spa, or beauty clinic. And the treatment is most often performed by an esthetician.

The procedure involves using various techniques to remove excess fat and cellulite in the body. It’s considered a safe way to reduce fatty tissue in the body. And this treatment is also used to stimulate skin elasticity to prevent flab after weight loss.

It’s important to note that this is a non-invasive method of fatty tissue removal. In other words, it does not involve any sort of surgical procedure. It’s considered to yield similar results to liposuction over an extended period. But, in contrast to liposuction, there is no cutting or piercing of the skin required.

There are four primary types of body sculpting techniques used by practitioners. They are:

  1. Cryolipolysis: With this technique, fat deposits in the body are minimized using cold temperatures. Cryolipolysis is also referred to as “CoolSculpting” or “fat freezing”. 
  2. Radiofrequency: Also referred to as RF body contouring, this technique eliminates unwanted fat cells and reduces cellulite and sagging. The procedure incorporates the use of heat and radiofrequency energy.
  3. High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU): This treatment kills off unwanted fatty tissue in the body using sound waves and heat.
  4. Laser Therapy: With this procedure, a laser eliminates fatty cells under the skin. The procedure is often referred to as laser liposuction. Still, it is a safe, painless, and non-invasive alternative to liposuction.

Is it Essential to Have a License for Body Sculpting?

Body sculpting is a treatment typically performed by an esthetician. And it is part of the esthetician course. It’s considered to be a non-invasion procedure. And as such, most states don’t require you to be a licensed esthetician to carry out a body sculpting treatment. 

But it’s best to double-check with your local cosmetology state board just to be sure. They’ll provide you with all the regulations and requirements for performing various procedures in this field.

That said, you cannot perform a body sculpting procedure without the proper training. Therefore, you may not require a license to carry out this treatment, but you must have completed the training to do it.

This training will involve both theoretical studies and practical experience. And you’ll need to complete a minimum number of hours of practical experience to complete your training. The total number of hours required will depend on your state’s particular requirements.

When training for body sculpting, you’ll learn the science behind how excess fat and cellulite are formed and how to remove them. You’ll also learn how to consult with a client and identify the proper body sculpting techniques to employ.

However, obtaining your esthetician’s license will give you credibility and attract more clients. Clients will have more faith in your abilities, and you’ll come across as a professional service provider. 

With the proper training and licensing exams behind you, you’re also less likely to harm your client’s skin during a procedure. 

How to Obtain an Esthetician’s License

It’s best to obtain your esthetician’s license to set yourself apart from other body sculpting technicians. This will allow you to delve into other beauty and skincare treatments down the line.

Obtaining your esthetician’s license isn’t complicated, but it can take some time to complete. First, you’ll need to take an esthetician’s course at your community college or a private esthetician school. Here you’ll learn about all the different skincare procedures, and you’ll get to practice them.

In fact, there is a minimum number of practical training hours you need to complete before you can receive your certificate. The number of required hours is different from state to state. However, on average, you can expect to put in about 700 hours of gaining practical experience.

Once you’ve completed the required hours and obtained your certificate, you’ll be able to apply for the licensing examinations. First, you must apply and sit for your written examination at a local PSI testing center. 

Once you’ve passed the written exam, you can apply to take the practical exam. And when you’ve passed your practical examination, you’ll receive your esthetician’s license. Bear in mind that you’ll need to renew the license every two years.

An esthetician course should take approximately six to nine months to complete. And taking your state board written and practical exams for the license can take a month or two. It depends on how many people have applied to take the exams and how busy the PSI centers in your area are.

That said, you could obtain your esthetician training, certificate, and license in less than a year. But it’s a small price to pay for the proper qualifications and potentially a higher salary.


While you can perform body sculpting procedures without an esthetician’s license, it will serve you well to get one. Even if you don’t obtain the license, you’ll still need to complete the training required to carry out these treatments. And, if there isn’t a specialized body sculpting course available, you’ll need to do an esthetician’s course to practice. 

That said, you can still enjoy a rewarding career as a body sculpting technician without the licensing. And, with experience, you should be able to move up the ranks and improve your salary. You also always have the option of opening your own body sculpting business after you’ve gained enough experience.