Ask an Expert

By Joel Schlessinger, MD

What forms of incentives do you give to spa employees or estheticians?

We have tried various methods of compensation, and the one that seems to work best is a combination of hourly rate plus bonus based on production (including product sales). While there are many different ways to determine the final number depending on the value for each of these services, I would generally base the hourly wage on a reasonable figure for a front desk individual.

As for the production side, many factors separate different practices, ranging from the type of services being provided (lasers versus facials), the maturity of the practice, and the "ownership" of the clients. For example, if the esthetician has recently come to the practice and has a large, built-in clientele, there may be more goodwill associated with the services than if the practice is just starting out and significant advertising is being done to recruit clients.

It also pays to know what the competition is doing. If an esthetician comes in making a certain amount already, it stands to reason that they will want to continue on that same level or higher. If you are uncertain, ask the potential employee or check with a colleague in the area or nearby to see the "going rate", as this will be important for retention purposes.


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About Practical Dermatology

Practical Dermatology is the monthly publication that provides coverage of medical care, cosmetic advancements, and practice management for clinicians in the field. With straight-forward, how-to advice from experts in various fields, we strive to enhance quality of care and improve the daily operation of dermatology practices.