How to Become a Laser Technician
Laser technicians can find employment at spas and medical centers or in dermatologist offices. Training to become a certified laser technician includes classroom and hands-on experience. There are many certification options to choose from, but different states have different education and experience requirements for laser technicians to be able to work.
A certified laser technician performs cosmetic procedures that remove unwanted hair, cellulite and tattoos, as well as rejuvenating skin. Training programs for laser technicians usually award a certificate upon completion. A number of voluntary certifications are available in this field, including Certified Laser Hair Removal Specialist or Certified Laser Operator. Are you wondering how to be a tattoo removal technician? What about how to become a laser therapist? Becoming a laser technician will allow you to do these or a number of other interesting jobs.
|Required Education||Depends on level of certification desired*|
|Other Requirements||State licensure|
|Job Outlook (2019 to 2029)||17% growth (all skincare specialists)*|
|Median Annual Salary (2019)||$34,090 (all skincare specialists)**|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Laser Technician School Requirements
What are the necessary laser technician qualifications? Laser technician training in order to become a certified laser technician can be completed in a short period of time through a vocational program. Some laser tech school programs restrict enrollment to nurses or licensed aestheticians or cosmetologists. Coursework is typically divided into classroom training and hands-on experience in using a laser. Topics of study include laser devices, laser safety, physics, regulatory guidelines, hair removal, tattoo removal and collagen rejuvenation. How much does it cost to become a laser technician? The cost of laser tech courses will vary based on where you take them. If you're worried about the laser technician school cost, you may be able to find scholarship opportunities that can save you money.
Are you wondering how to become laser hair removal certified? Once you finish laser technology training, laser technician certification can be earned through the National Council on Laser Certification (NCLC). Applicants must complete an accredited training program, meet clinical experience requirements and pass an exam to gain certification. A few training institutes include the NCLC examination and certification process at the end of their program curriculum.
Certain states have licensing and registration requirements for laser technicians, with some requiring nursing credentials to operate a laser. Students should research which states have licensing and registration requirements prior to enrolling in a program.
You can also complete certified laser specialist training to gain credentials in a certain domain of laser technology, such as tattoo or hair removal. This will add to your laser technician qualifications beyond becoming a licensed laser technician or certified laser therapist.
Employment as a Laser Technician
Training should qualify laser technicians to work under supervision at a medical spa or laser center. Laser technicians also might work in a dermatologist's office, assisting the doctor. In most states, those with basic laser training can operate a laser, but the treatments they are allowed to perform might be limited by cosmetology and medical laws.
Lasers are risky to operate; because of this, a set of standards for safety has been established by the American National Standard Institute (ANSI). To make sure these standards are met, ANSI requires facilities that offer laser treatments to have a laser safety officer (LSO) coordinate a safe laser program.
Skills Required for Laser Technicians
In order to work as a laser technician, you'll need a specialized skillset that will allow you to succeed in this field. Here are some of the most important skills you will need:
- Effective Communication: You'll need to have conversations with your clients while you're administering laser treatments.
- Detail Orientation: Laser treatments often take place on small lesions, and it is essential that you pay attention to fine details in order to succeed when using lasers.
- Dexterity: Like detail orientation, dexterity will allow you to operate with precision when administering laser treatments.
Careers Related to Laser Technician
There are many lines of work related to laser technicians. One example is estheticians. Like laser technicians, estheticians are involved in operations and treatments that promote skin health and appearance. Another related career is a cosmetologist. Cosmetologists focus on hair and nails more than skin, and they may also work at spas.
Laser Technician Salary & Job Outlook
Since demand for personal care services is on the rise, the job outlook for certified laser technicians is favorable. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected 17% growth in job opportunities for skincare specialists, including laser technicians, between 2019 and 2029 (www.bls.gov). Also, according to the BLS, the median salary for all skincare specialists, including laser hair removal technicians, was $34,090, as of May 2019.
Additionally, the salary for laser technicians will vary based on geographical location to account for different costs of living and other expenses. As a result, laser technicians living in some cities or states will make more than ones who work in different locations. The table below displays the top 5 highest-paying states for laser technicians as well as the average salary in these places.
|State||Mean Annual Salary|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The job outlook for laser technicians in the next decade is promising. The minimum training for a certified laser technician depends on the certification that is being pursued. Most training programs are short and provide an understanding of hair and tattoo removal and skin revitalization. Certification can be obtained by passing an exam once a technician has finished a training program and gained work experience.