Paying for esthetics school is something you need to consider before you even apply. Financial aid is generally not available on the federal level, but some schools accept state funding if the student is eligible. The tuition rate varies from school to school, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 for a basic license and $8,000 and $10,000 for a master license. Schools that offer drastically reduced tuition rates are suspect and should be avoided -- like most things, you get what you pay for.
Becoming certified as an esthetician isn't as easy as completing the course work. You need to apply for certification in the state where you want to work. This means that it behooves you to go to school in the state where you desire employment because the curriculum will be tailored to meet those requirements. Each state has its own test, but they all have a written portion, accompanied by a practical, hands-on test. If you want to work as an esthetician, you might want to check into your state's testing requirements and compare them to the curriculum of potential schools.
In 2006, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the average salary for an esthetician was a little under $30,000 [source: Spabeautyed.com]. However, some schools claim that you can earn up to $60,000 per year if you work in a large market or a high-end spa or salon. Management opportunities may arise as well, allowing for even more earning potential.