Certified Medical Laser Technician: Certification and Career Roadmap

Research the requirements to become a medical laser technician. Learn about the job description and duties and read the step-by-step process to start a career in medical laser technology.

Do I Want to Be a Certified Medical Laser Technician?

Medical laser technicians work in the field of medical aesthetics. They use laser technology for hair removal, skin lightening and tightening, tattoo removal, vein therapy, and other cosmetic procedures.

Most skincare specialists, including laser techs, work full-time jobs during regular business hours; medical techs are usually employed by medical offices, such as those of dermatologists or plastic surgeons. Some may be self-employed; in such cases, evening and weekend hours are possible. The job requires hours of standing.

Job Requirements

Most states require minimum training hours to supervise or perform these laser procedures. A state license is generally required. These workers may be employed as estheticians and skin care specialists. The following are core requirements to become a medical laser technician.

Common Requirements
Degree Level Postsecondary certificate or courses*
Degree Field Esthetician*, medical aesthetic*, aesthetic laser technician*
Licensure and/or Certification Certification or license may be needed to perform cosmetic laser treatments, depending on state**
Experience Must meet minimum training hours set by state*
Key Skills Knowledge of skin care and aesthetics*, strong customer service skills**
Computer Skills Basic computer skills*
Technical Skills Ability to understand and operate various laser technologies*
Additional Requirements Stamina to stand for long periods of time**

Sources: *National Institute of Medical Aesthetics, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Step 1: Complete the Appropriate Education

Individuals interested in working as certified medical laser technicians first need postsecondary training in cosmetic laser technology. This type of program may be found at community colleges, cosmetology schools and associations focused on laser technology training. Subjects include laser hair removal safety, treatment protocol, skin typing and reaction, laser physics, burns and eye protection. Students learn how to perform skin tightening, hair removal, resurfacing, photo-rejuvenation, tattoo removal and more.

Estheticians and skincare specialists perform laser hair removal as part of their duties and must complete state-approved esthetic or cosmetology programs. Registered nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants interested in gaining additional skills may also become certified medical laser technicians. Each of these occupations has specific education and training requirements that must first be met.

Step 2: Obtain a State License

Individuals will need to check with their state to determine specific licensing requirements for medical laser technicians. Most require a minimum number of hours in training to obtain a state license.

Step 3: Seek Employment

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical laser technicians work in medical and health spas and at doctors' and dermatologists' offices. Some training programs offer job placement after completing a program.

Step 4: Pursue Professional Credentials

Medical laser technicians may want to consider professional credentials to improve advancement and career opportunities. The National Council on Laser Certification (NCLC) offers certification programs for esthetic laser specialists and laser hair removal specialists. Applicants must meet educational requirements before they can take the multi-choice certification exam. For example, laser hair removal specialists need 16 hours in a formal laser course, while aesthetic laser operators need 24 hours of educational training.

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