If you find yourself torn between a career in the medical field and work as an esthetician, then you’ll be happy to learn about how to become a medical esthetician. With a career in medical aesthetics, you can indulge your passion for skincare while assisting those in need. Let’s take a closer look at this field and how you can become a medical esthetician.
What Medical Estheticians Do
If you’ve researched careers in skincare and cosmetology before, then you probably know what estheticians do: they provide skincare in the form of facials, exfoliation, hair removal, skin peels, and other techniques. Medical technicians perform similar treatments, but specifically for remedying medical issues under a physician’s supervision. They’re also responsible for advising patients about skincare while undergoing treatment for diagnosed medical conditions or recovering from surgery.
In addition to a regular esthetician’s job duties, medical estheticians often perform procedures such as…
- Laser hair reduction.
- Laser wrinkle reduction.
- Laser acne reduction.
- Laser tattoo removal.
- Permanent makeup.
Medical estheticians most often work with dermatologists, cosmetic surgeons, and oncologists, but some find employment in hospitals. Though they can apply their skills in each of these settings, their day-to-day tasks may look slightly different depending on where they work. For instance, a medical esthetician working in an oncologist’s office is more likely to treat the side effects of chemotherapy than one employed with a dermatologist’s office.
Should I Become a Medical Esthetician?
If the above sounded interesting, you’re probably wondering if you have what it takes to become a medical esthetician. Other than the knowledge needed to perform the day-to-day duties, there are certain skills and personality traits that can lend themselves to this career.
First and foremost, those with a caring, nurturing personality will likely fare better in any medical or medical-adjacent position—including medical aesthetics. A strong desire to help those in need will motivate you towards success and help you better empathize with your clients.
To that end, good people skills are also very important. You’ll be working closely with numerous people, and you’ll need to know how to listen, communicate, and avoid judgment. Brushing up on your people skills will help you excel in this role.
You’ll also want to maintain a degree of flexibility since your day-to-day work can vary a good deal depending on what sorts of patients you’re seeing and what medical issues they’re experiencing.
Steps to Becoming a Medical Esthetician
Once you’ve decided becoming a medical esthetician is the right direction, you’ll need to figure out how to accomplish your goal. Fortunately, the process is fairly straightforward.
Choose & Apply to an Esthetician Program
Naturally, the first step is finding an accredited esthetician program. Be sure to check the program’s course offerings to make sure they’ll teach you everything you need to know about the science of the skin and an esthetician’s day-to-day duties. You’ll also want to research the prospective school’s reputation for preparing students for the state board exam.
Complete an Esthetician Program
Once you’ve found the right program, you’ll need to start taking courses. You’ll want to make sure you focus in all your classes, since you’ll be learning skills directly relevant to your career. In particular, you don’t want to miss out on any hands-on training.
Earn Your License
Most states don’t have a license specifically for medical estheticians. Instead, you’ll take the same licensing exam a non-medical esthetician would. Each state has a different exam and different requirements, so you’ll want to research this information far in advance.
In Tennessee, for example, the esthetician licensing exam consists of two parts: a written theory exam and a practical exam. You must complete the written theory exam with a passing grade before you can take the practical exam. Once you’ve passed both exams with a 70% or higher, then you’ll be able to apply for your license.
Find a Medical Esthetician Job
In this growing field, you likely won’t have to search long for a job. Still, you should make sure the job you’re getting pays fair. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly wage for estheticians working in doctors’ offices is $20.25 per hour. Since you’re just starting out, your base pay may be a bit lower, but not by much.
Try checking local dermatologists’ offices, oncologists’ offices, and hospitals to see if they’re hiring a medical esthetician, then submit your application. With your new license, finding the right job shouldn’t take too long.
If you’re looking to care for people and their skin, a career in medical aesthetics might be a good fit for you. If you’re looking for even MORE info about becoming an esthetician, check out our Ultimate Guide: How to Become an Esthetician.
Now that you know how to become a medical esthetician, you should start looking for schools that can help you get there. Check out Chattanooga College’s aesthetics program to learn more or chat with an advisor.