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.
Should I Become A 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. Laser medical techs are often employed by medical offices, especially by dermatologists or plastic surgeons. They may also be found in health spas and clinics.
Most skincare specialists, including laser techs, work full-time jobs during regular business hours. Some are self-employed and, in such cases, they may have evening and weekend hours. This job may require hours of standing.
|Degree Level||Postsecondary certificate or courses.|
|Degree Field||Esthetician, medical aesthetic, aesthetic laser technician.|
|Experience||Must meet minimum training hours set by state.|
|Licensure and Certification||Varies by state: certification or license may be needed to perform cosmetic laser treatments.|
|Key Skills||Knowledge of skin care and aesthetics, specialized skill in operating laser equipment, basic computer skills, ability to stand for long periods.|
|Salary||$29,050 per year (Median Salary Skin Care Specialists. Laser techs may earn more.)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Institute of Medical Aesthetics,
Step 1: Complete the Appropriate Education
Individuals interested in working as certified medical laser technicians first need 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 states require a minimum number of hours in training to obtain a state license.
Step 3: Seek Employment
Medical laser technicians work in medical and health spas, at doctors' offices and at private clinics. Some training programs offer job placement after completing a program. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects that job openings for skin care specialists will grow by 40% between 2012 and 2022.
Step 4: Pursue Professional Credentials To Advance Your Career
Medical laser technicians may want to consider professional credentials to improve advancement and career opportunities in this growing field. 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.