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Schools for Aspiring Medical Aestheticians: How to Choose

A medical aesthetician (also spelled esthetician) is a licensed skin care specialist who administers topical treatments to improve the health and appearance of the skin. Medical aestheticians often work in doctor's offices, hospitals and medical spas. A number of vocational schools offer advanced training programs in medical aesthetics.

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To receive training as a medical aesthetician, an individual must already be a licensed aesthetician. Most states require aestheticians to have a minimum number of training hours to be licensed; vocational and technical schools offer aesthetics certificate programs that fulfill training hour requirements.

Schools with Medical Aesthetics Programs

These institutions offer medical aesthetics programs.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered 2015-16 Tuition
Lanier Technical College Oakwood, GA 2-year, Public Certificate $2,937*
Beauty and Health Institute Tampa, FL Less than 2-years, Private Certificate $11,600**
Empire Beauty School Indianapolis, IN Less than 2-years, Private Certificate $7,497**
Academy of Cosmetology Janesville, WI Less than 2-years, Private Certificate $5,850**
Clover Park Technical College Lakewood, WA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-state $5,382; Out-of-state $12,855**
Institute of Advanced Medical Esthetics Richmond, VA Less than 2-years, Private Certificate $9,950**
Paroba College Everett, WA Less than 2-years, Private Certificate $10,797**

Sources: *School website; **National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

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School Selection Criteria

Few medical and paramedical aesthetics programs exist in this emerging career field, and many of the schools that offer these programs are for-profit institutions. There are several things to consider when choosing an aesthetics program.

  • Aspiring medical aestheticians may want to seek schools that offer advanced courses in chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser technologies, light therapy and mechanical exfoliation equipment and procedures.
  • Individualized attention is important in this program, so students should pay attention to the faculty qualifications in the medical field as well as a school's teacher-to-student ratio.
  • Working students may want to look for programs with flexible scheduling and with night and weekend classes. This will allow them to continue working while pursuing a new career in skin care.
  • Students should also look for schools that offer internships and career assistance to have the best job opportunities, as these programs will allow students to gain hand-on experience with clients.

Aesthetics Certificate Program

To earn initial licensure, students can complete a technical certificate in aesthetics from a vocational or technical college. These programs provide both classroom and hands-on training and prepare students for state licensing exams.

Medical Aesthetics and Master Aesthetics Certificate Programs

These programs for licensed aestheticians typically take one semester to complete and include clinical lab work and testing. An independent research project may be required.

Aestheticians may want to pursue advanced training to earn their master aesthetics certificate or aesthetics certificate. Flexible scheduling and faculty to student ratio are factors they should consider when choosing a school.

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