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Program Information

A Truly Comprehensive Program

The Esthetics Program at Health Works Institute is 900 hours in length, because we have found that the minimum education requirement for licensing in Montana and many other states is not sufficient for a high-quality, fundamental education. A certification in microdermabrasion is included in our program. Upon graduation, you will be ready to perform these treatments, and you will be able to use your federal financial aid to cover the cost, rather than paying out-of-pocket for continuing education after graduation.

Program Content Details:

You will learn how to perform facials, chemical peels, back treatments, hand treatments, foot treatments, eye treatments, lip treatments, body wraps and body scrubs. To enhance these treatments, you will learn a variety of relaxing massage techniques for the face, neck, head, shoulders, upper chest, hands, forearms, lower legs and feet.

Our course in Makeup includes how to apply makeup and provide makeup consultations for clients about the best makeup products and methods of application for their specific skin type, skin conditions, facial contours and skin tone. You will learn techniques and products for daytime, evening, weddings and other special events such as costume parties, as well as basic theatrical makeup.

Also presented in the program are numerous techniques and detailed information pertaining to hair removal. Included are:  Brazilian waxing, as well as waxing techniques for brows, other facial hair, legs, arms, chest, back, nose and ears, using hard wax, soft wax and tweezing.

Many traditional beauty schools and esthetics programs focus on skin care only as beautification. Our program presents a whole-person approach to esthetics. We emphasize the connection between the client’s skin conditions and their physical, emotional and spiritual health. Our graduates are prepared to partner with their clients to identify strategies for achieving better overall health and well-being, which is manifested in clear, glowing skin. The strategies include product recommendations, home care regimens, suggestions for self-care and lifestyle choices, and referrals to traditional and alternative health care providers. We teach our students how to design skin care treatment plans for each session, as well as long-term treatment plans based on the esthetician’s expertise combined with the client’s desired outcomes.

Our program includes self-awareness, communication skills, group dynamics, conflict resolution, proper body mechanics, the wellness model of health care, nutrition, self-care strategies, as well as an in-depth business course preparing our students to succeed as employees and/or establish a thriving private practice.

In the Student Skin Care Clinic, you will have the opportunity to work with numerous clients who have a variety of skin types and conditions and a variety of preferences for the treatments on our menu of services. Each student also performs a series of chemical peels with a client. Photos are taken before the first peel and after the final peel, and the student and client discuss the results that have been achieved.

As a graduate of the Esthetics program at Health Works Institute, you will be eligible for licensure in Montana and other states. You will have the knowledge and skills required for private practice as well as employment in a variety of settings including medical facilities, spas and salons, cruise ships and numerous other sites.

The field of esthetics is growing, and new opportunities are becoming available for well-trained graduates. You will be able to take advantage of the opportunities that are most appealing to you, because you will be ready to join the skin care profession with a winning combination of competence and confidence.

Esthetics Program Mission & Learning Objectives:

In support of the mission of Health Works Institute, the Esthetics Program exists to enhance the physical, emotional and spiritual health of individuals and society, by providing a holistic approach to the training of estheticians. It is the mission of this program to contribute to high standards for the profession of esthetics by presenting a curriculum that exceeds minimum requirements for entry into the profession. It is also the mission of this program to prepare our students to sustain and promote healthy working relationships with clients, employers and colleagues in the field, as well as consistent compliance with codes of ethics and standards of practice for the skin care profession.

Graduates of the 900-hour program will be prepared for an entry-level position in the occupation of esthetics with these abilities:

  • Describe the history and current status of esthetics as a distinct, specialized profession.
  • Describe and use ethical principles and practices and comply with state laws and regulations for the profession of esthetics.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of a wellness model, including strategies for maintaining physical, emotional and spiritual health and well-being.
  • Develop and use good habits for personal appearance, hygiene, a good work ethic, and safe practices for infection control.
  • Conduct client consultations and practice effective communication skills.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the structure and function of the human body, with emphasis on the structure and function of the skin and hair, and including conditions and diseases likely to be encountered by estheticians.
  • Define, recognize and assess skin types and skin conditions and their respective contraindications.
  • Define principles of chemistry related to the practice of esthetics, and safely select, apply and recommend products based on knowledge of their chemical composition and properties.
  • Define principles of electricity related to the practice of esthetics, and safely use electrical devices and treatments.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the effects of nutrition on the health of the skin.
  • Skillfully perform facial treatments, back treatments, hair removal, makeup application, brow and lash tinting, hydrotherapy and body wraps.
  • Use proper body mechanics while performing skin care treatments.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of selected advanced treatments, including medical esthetics procedures and surgeries.
  • Create plans for securing employment and succeeding as an employee as well as developing a private practice and succeeding as an independent contractor.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the significance of credentials, regulation, and the activities of professional associations to the practice of esthetics.
  • Conduct oneself with a high level of professionalism as evidenced by confidence, respect, and the ability to uphold professional codes of ethics and standards of practice.
  • Recognize the value of continuing education and identify programs that enhance performance, knowledge, and skills.
  • Describe the value of research, locate research literature, and evaluate research articles
  • Perform microdermabrasion treatments
  • Perform eyelash extensions

Look into course descriptions, schedules, job placement and more:

Program Accreditation

Accreditation & Licensure

The massage therapy and esthetics programs at Health Works Institute are accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA), an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

The esthetics program is licensed by the Montana Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists.


The school is approved by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to accept non-immigrant students under the Student and Exchange Visitor Program.

Students who are veterans or their eligible dependents may use the educational assistance programs administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The school is also approved for the MyCAA Program, which provides assistance to spouses of active duty military personnel.

The school is also an approved training provider for the Workforce Investment Act, which is administered by the local Job Service office, and for various education assistance programs administered by Vocational Rehabilitation offices.

Program Schedule

The esthetics program begins twice per year. Classes are held year-round, with several breaks of one to two weeks each.


Enrollment Month
Class Days & Times
Graduation Month
Monday, Wednesday and Friday
8:45 a.m. – 5:20 p.m.
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
8:45 a.m. – 5:20 p.m.

2016 -2017 Esthetics Program Calendar

  • November 19-27 – No classes for Spring 2016 class – Thanksgiving Break
  • November 20-28 – No classes for Fall 2016 class – Thanksgiving Break
  • December 17 – January 1, 2017 – No classes for Spring 2016 – Winter Break
  • December 18 – January 2, 2017 – No classes for Fall 2016 – Winter Break
  • February 9, 2017 – Last day of classes for Spring 2016 class
  • February 11, 2017 – Graduation for Spring 2016 class
  • March 12-20, 2017 – No classes for Fall 2016 class – Spring Break
  • April 24-27, 2017– Required Orientation for Spring 2017 class
  • May 1, 2017 – First day of classes for Spring 2017 Class (see Required Orientation above)
  • May 27, 2017 – No classes for Fall 2016 class – Memorial Day Observance
  • May 29, 2017 – No classes for Spring 2017 class – Memorial Day
  • July 1-5, 2017 – No classes for Fall 2016 class – Independence Day Break
  • July 3, 2017 – No classes for Spring 2017 class – Independence Day Observance
  • July 20, 2017 – Last day of classes for Fall 2016 class
  • July 22, 2017 – Graduation for Fall 2016 class
  • 19 – Sept. 5, 2017 – No classes for Spring 2017 class – Summer Break
  • September 5-8, 2017 – Required Orientation for Fall 2017 class
  • September 11, 2017 – First day of classes for Fall 2017 Class (See Required Orientation above)
  • 18-26, 2017 – No Classes for Spring 2017 class – Thanksgiving Break
  • 19-27, 2017 – No Classes for Fall 2017 class – Thanksgiving Break
  • 16 – January 2, 2018 – No classes for Spring 2017 – Winter Break
  • 17 – January 1, 2018 – No classes for Fall 2017 – Winter Break
  • March 10-18, 2018 – No classes for Spring 2017 class -Spring Break
  • March 11-19, 2018 – No classes for Fall 2017 class -Spring Break
  • March 28, 2018 – Last day of classes for Spring 2017 class
  • March 31, 2018 – Graduation for Spring 2017 class
  • May 26, 2018 – No classes for Fall 2017 class – Memorial Day
  • July 4, 2018 – No classes for Fall 2017 class – Independence Day
  • July 19, 2018 – Last day of classes for Fall 2017 class
  • July 21, 2018 – Graduation for Fall 2017 class


Course Descriptions


This course presents body scrubs, body wraps, hand treatments, foot treatments, cellulite wraps, hydrotherapy treatments, superficial chemical peels and information about microdermabrasion (Montana law requires that estheticians receive 50 hours of additional training in order to perform microdermabrasion). The holistic health model is explored, and selected therapies are presented. Current trends in the profession are reviewed, focusing on spa menu selections such as reflexology, lymphatic drainage, and other practices. Students learn about the potential effects of touch on the integration of body, mind and spirit, and students learn and practice how to respond when clients express emotions during a skin care session.


This course presents information about the structure (anatomy) and function (physiology) of the human body, as well as conditions and diseases (pathology) of each body system, with emphasis on pathologies commonly encountered in the practice of esthetics. Contraindications and endangerment sites related to esthetics treatments and products are reviewed in conjunction with the Science of Skin Care course. Also presented are the physiological effects of touch, the physiological mechanisms and principles involved in the effects of hydrotherapy, and the histology of the skin.


BUSINESS – 34 hours

To meet the requirements of the Business course, students must create realistic, specific plans for both employment and private practice in the field of esthetics. Emphasis is placed on identifying each step that each individual student will take upon graduation to pursue their particular interests and begin working in their preferred setting. Topics include marketing, client record keeping, budgeting, strategies for success as an employee, customer service and client retention, legal requirements, salon/spa management, licensure, certification, and professional associations.


This course presents advanced treatments that are performed in medical facilities, including hospitals, out-patient surgery centers, doctors’ offices, and medical spas. Students receive the information about what is required of estheticians in the medical setting work, and they learn about opportunities for continuing education related to medical esthetics. Research about esthetics treatments and skin care products is also presented, and students learn to use critical thinking skills when reading the results of research studies.



Success as an esthetician is determined not only by scientific knowledge and good hands-on skills; several other factors are crucial in preparing students to succeed in the skin care profession. This course requires students to grow personally, developing behaviors, attitudes and abilities including: awareness of personal values and beliefs; understanding of one’s personality type and one’s impact on others; communication skills and conflict resolution. Additionally, this course supports students in practicing good self -care and proper body mechanics, to maximize their longevity in the profession. A wellness model of health care is presented, and students create a self-care plan to guide them in striving to maintain their physical, emotional and spiritual health and well- being. Students learn to assess and correct their posture, breathing habits, and tension-holding patterns, which enables them to develop good body mechanics practices.


This course emphasizes the development of skills necessary for achieving and maintaining a high level of professionalism as an esthetician. By utilizing the skills presented in this course, the student will be able to: follow ethical principles and respond appropriately to a variety of ethical dilemmas; establish and maintain professional boundaries; and understand numerous dynamics of the client-esthetician relationship. Students learn how to locate and analyze information about new trends in the skin care industry, and they learn to use professional journals, e-newsletters and other sources to stay current in their knowledge about developments in the field of esthetics. Also presented is information about the importance of continuing education and how to select advanced training programs that will result in better performance, more knowledge and advanced skills.


Topics presented in this course include microbiology, bacteriology, infection control, first aid and personal hygiene. Students are taught the detailed procedures for infection control and first aid that are required of estheticians. Emphasis is placed on the safety of the client and the esthetician.


This course presents the scientific theory and principles of the profession of esthetics. Students learn about the history of esthetics and terminology that reflects the scope of practice of esthetics. Emphasis is placed on chemistry, skin and hair physiology, nutrition and how it relates to the integumentary system, and color theory. Product chemistry, ingredients, product lines and contraindications of products for skin types and conditions are presented. Students also learn and make presentations about specific skin conditions and product characteristics.


The Student Clinic course begins with an orientation to clinic policies and procedures, preparing students to successfully participate in this component of the program. Students develop their skills for creating and completing client records. Students review proper use of esthetics terminology, how to take a client’s medical history, and client case management. On Student Clinic days, students perform esthetics treatments with members of the public. The Instructor provides support, instruction, feedback and evaluation of the student’s work. Students also receive oral and written feedback from each client. Students learn how to work with clients who have a variety of skin types and conditions. Students learn case management, focusing not only on the treatment plan for each day’s treatment session, but also on recommending products and routines for clients to perform at home as well as setting forth a long-term treatment plan for repeated treatments over time.


This is a hands-on course consisting of time spent in the classroom practicing all of the sanitation techniques, skin care techniques, client assessment and history-taking, and protocols for all of the treatments taught in the program. This course supports the student’s learning process by providing the opportunity to integrate the information presented in the Science of Skin Care course with hands-on skills.

Additional Requirements


All students are required to attend an orientation session that takes place before the first day of classes. The Session is from one to five full days in length. Orientation dates and times are announced to new students when they are notified of their acceptance to the program.


Students will perform 2 Feedback Sessions with approved practice clients who in most cases will be Health Works Institute instructors. These focused, one-on-one sessions are designed to allow for direct, specific and valuable feedback. Students are required to participate in a tutoring session whenever a skill evaluated during a feedback session is below the minimum level of competency.

Job Placement

The Esthetics Program and the Massage Therapy Program both include an in-depth Professional Development course that provides each student with guidance for achieving the goals that she/he has identified for their entry into their selected profession.

If the student’s immediate goal is to obtain a job as an employee, the student is required to identify the employers for whom they would like to work, arrange to be interviewed by the employer, and continue this process until the student has received a job offer that she/he is ready to accept. These steps will be taken whether the employer is local or in another city or state.

If the immediate goal is to establish a home-based private practice, the student must prepare an appropriate space in their home where they will conduct their private practice, purchase equipment and supplies, and take other steps to establish their practice.

If the immediate goal is to establish a private practice or a related business (e.g. day spa) in a rented commercial space, the student is required to select the location, negotiate a lease, and take other steps to establish their practice. These steps will be taken regardless of the student’s intention to work in our area or move to another city or state.

Over the course of their long-term careers, many estheticians and massage therapists engage in both private practice and employment. Therefore, all students are required to create both an Employment Plan and a Business Plan.

The Institute regularly surveys graduates and gathers names of employers from completed survey forms. The Institute also surveys employers and regularly updates information regarding the kind of job opening that usually occurs at the various locations. Employers occasionally call the Institute, seeking qualified practitioners. Information on current job openings is posted on bulletin boards at the Institute, and email messages are sent to all graduates. A list of current and past employers is kept in a binder notebook in the library.  Graduates of the Institute and other local practitioners are invited to place notices on the Institute’s bulletin board regarding job openings and office rentals.


The practice of esthetics is regulated in Montana by the State Board Barbers and Cosmetologist. The requirements for licensure include 650 hours of education (the Health Works program is 900 hours), as well as passing a written test and a hands-on (“practical”) test. There are other requirements for licensure, including being at least 18 years old and having a high school diploma or the equivalent. Specific details are provided to students in the Business course and may be obtained on the internet at Forty-one states and Washington D.C. have separate licenses for estheticians; the remainder of the states regulate esthetics as part of cosmetology. There are 9 states that require 250 to 450 hours; 25 states that require 600 to 650 hours; and 7 states that require 700 to 750 hours. Alabama and Virginia both require 1,500 hours. Related information is avaliable on the website of Associated Skin Care Professionals (

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