Certified Medical Aesthetics Certification and Career

A position as a medical aesthetician can combine your passion for make-up with helping ill and injured people. Learn about this skin care specialization, education options, certification and salary info. Schools offering Esthetics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

As a medical aesthetician, you can use make-up and skin care procedures to help patients camouflage unwanted scars. Additionally, you may help them relax by applying massage and relaxation techniques like aromatherapy. Voluntary certifications are available, although licensing is required by the state to work as a practicing medical aesthetician.

Median Annual Salary (2017) $41,100 for skincare specialists working in the offices of physicians
Certification Voluntary National Esthetician Certification is available through the National Coalition of Estheticians, Manufacturers/Distributors & Associations (NCEA)
Licensing Licensure is required to be a practicing medical aesthetician

What's the Difference Between an Aesthetician and a Medical Aesthetician?

Aestheticians are skin care professionals who provide treatments such as facials, waxes and make-up. Medical aestheticians are individuals in the field who specialize in assisting patients recovering from injury or disease.

Medical aestheticians work at medical spas, medical offices or hospitals. With their background in skin care and skin analysis, medical aestheticians are especially helpful in dermatology and plastic surgery offices. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), aestheticians working in surgical hospitals and medical offices earn more than the average for most skin care specialists (www.bls.gov). A May 2017 BLS survey found that skin care specialists working in physicians' offices earned an average annual salary of $41,100.

What Prerequisites Are Needed?

To be a medical aesthetician, you must have a state aesthetics license. To earn an aesthetician license, most states require that you have graduated from a state-approved cosmetology program. Cosmetology training programs can range from 600-1600 hours in class and practical instruction. In some states, like Washington, an apprenticeship may be completed in place of a training program. After meeting your state's requirements, you will be eligible to take the aesthetics licensing examination.

What Specialized Programs Are Available?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical aestheticians often study in general skin care programs that they then supplement with more specialized medical training. This can include college courses in anatomy or on-the-job training. However, you can find some colleges offering advanced training programs in master aesthetics and medical aesthetics. You may study the following topics:

  • Cosmetic chemistry
  • Anatomy and physiology for estheticians
  • Facial procedures
  • Skin diseases and disorders
  • Spa/clinical operations
  • Laser theory and applications
  • Bacteriology, salon safety and sanitation
  • Medical terminology for estheticians

In some programs, you may participate in clinics on campus, where you can practice techniques in a real-world setting. Because aesthetics work requires hands-on experience, online program options are rare. However, some programs may have a few individual courses that can be completed online.

How Do I Become Certified?

The National Coalition of Estheticians, Manufacturers/Distributors and Associations (NCEA) is an organization that strives to standardize the educational requirements for aestheticians and offers voluntary certification. You may be able to find certification preparation classes in your state or online. Additionally, you can find NCEA-approved schools that prepare you for state licensure in addition to NCEA certification.

The certification exam covers topics on ethics, medical applications, communication, skin care treatments and business. Medical topics may include the following:

  • Medical terminology
  • Pre-operation care
  • Post-operation care
  • Cosmetic applications
  • Medical procedures
  • Enhancing surgery recovery

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Empire Beauty School

    Empire Beauty School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Empire Beauty School:

    • Certificates
    • High School Diploma

    Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Maryland: Owings Mills
    • Pennsylvania: Owings Mills, Hanover
  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Westside Tech

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Winter Garden
  • West Tennessee Business College

    Campus Locations:

    • Tennessee: Jackson
  • West Georgia Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Georgia: Waco
  • W Academy of Salon and Spa

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Danville
  • Victoria's Academy of Cosmetology

    Campus Locations:

    • Washington: Kennewick
  • Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Georgia: Valdosta
  • VICI Aveda Institute

    Campus Locations:

    • Wisconsin: Greenfield