Careers in Medical Esthetics: Options and Requirements

Sep 22, 2019

Medical estheticians are skin care specialists with additional training in medical esthetics. They usually assist dermatologists or cosmetic surgeons with skin care treatments. Entry into this field usually requires completed a course of study in esthetics, plus further training or certification.

Essential Information

Estheticians can earn a certificate in medical esthetics to become medical estheticians. Medical estheticians are skincare specialists who provide beauty treatments and assist dermatologists or cosmetic surgeons with certain skincare procedures. In most states, medical estheticians must complete an approved course of study at a school of cosmetology or esthetics.

Required Education Postsecondary training, such as a certificate or degree program
Other Requirements State licensure
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 11% for all skincare specialists
Average Salary (2018)* $36,350 for all skincare specialists

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Licensed and certified medical estheticians are qualified for a wide variety of skincare occupations in medical spas, dermatologists' offices, beauty salons and day spas. They may provide clients with specialized services, including laser hair removal, corrective makeup application and advanced anti-aging treatments. Depending on the treatments, medical estheticians may be required to work under a physician's supervision. Medical estheticians may open their own business, work as instructors or manage a salon or spa.

Education Requirements

Individuals interested in becoming a medical esthetician must complete a certificate or degree program in esthetics. States vary on the amount of required training, so individuals need to check with their state cosmetology board for details.

Basic Esthetics Certificate Program

Basic esthetics certificate programs may provide students with the knowledge and training needed to pass a state licensing exam. The programs usually begin with subjects such as sanitation, makeup, waxing and general skincare. Other coursework may provide students with knowledge in skincare treatments, corrective makeup, clinical procedures and business. Students are typically required to complete lab work and obtain hands-on experience in the school's beauty clinic.

Specialized Esthetics Certificate Program

Estheticians with previous training may benefit from a certificate program in medical esthetics or master esthetics. These programs typically focus on advanced skincare techniques and procedures, including acne treatments, laser hair removal, body treatments, anti-aging treatments and clinical assistance. These specialized certificates may enhance a medical esthetician's professional credibility and open up new career opportunities.

Licensing Requirements

Most states require medical estheticians to obtain a license in esthetics. Individuals must apply for the exam, which typically covers subjects such as sanitation methods, safe equipment use, procedure skills and skin care knowledge. In addition to training and licensing, medical estheticians may benefit from strong interpersonal skills and a well-groomed appearance.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

As of May 2018, skincare specialists, including medical estheticians, earned an average yearly salary of $36,350. At that time general and surgical hospitals and physician offices offered the top pay, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). During the 2018-2028 decade, the BLS predicted much faster-than-average job growth of 11% for these professionals.

Medical estheticians are trained to conduct cosmetic services such as lasers, peels, or advanced anti-aging treatments. Becoming a medical esthetician usually entails formal esthetics training in addition to an esthetician license. They may work in the office of a cosmetic dermatologist or surgeon, in a medical or day spa, or a salon.

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