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Medical Aesthetician: Career Summary, Employment Outlook, and Education Requirements

Explore the career requirements for medical aestheticians. Get the facts about training requirements, salary and job outlook to determine if this is the right career for you.

What is a Medical Aesthetician?

Medical aestheticians (or estheticians) provide cosmetic procedures for patients who have had surgery or a disease that affects the skin's appearance. Like many other skincare specialist they evaluate a person's conditions and make treatments recommendations. If patients agree with the recommendations they proceed to treatment. These professionals may also recommend different skin care products and teach patients how to apply them. Some times they may also have to refer patients to other skincare professionals, like dermatologist. A summary of this career is available in more detail in the table below.

Training Required Technical certificate or associate's degree
Education Field of Study Cosmetology, esthetician
Key Skills Time management, customer service, communication, attention to detail
Licensure Requirements varies by state
Job Growth (2018-2028) 11% (for all skincare specialists)*
Median Salary (2018) $31,290 (for all skincare specialists)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What is the Career Summary for a Medical Aesthetician?

While working as a medical aesthetician, you are qualified to perform numerous cosmetology procedures, such as microdermabrasion, laser hair removal, medical facials and medical peels. You work with surgeons and other physicians to help patients look their best after medical procedures such as chemotherapy and major surgery. As a medical aesthetician, you interact directly with patients, and explain and answer any questions they may have about a procedure. This helps them feel comfortable about the procedure and informs them of expectations.

Additional opportunities may include applying make-up to ill and bed ridden patients. Alternatively, you could be employed as part of a plastic surgery team or even work alongside a dermatologist.

What is the Employment Outlook?

As of 2018, there were about 50,740 skincare specialists employed in the country, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov). Licensed medical aestheticians will be in demand because of a trending desire for individuals to want more specific and scientific beauty services. Additionally, emerging technologies in the beauty and skin care field may help advance employment opportunities in the future.

What are the Educational Requirements?

To become a medical aesthetician, you must enroll in a college or vocational school training program and obtain licensing through a state Board of Cosmetology. Courses in a training program will teach you about facials, massages, make-up application, manicures and pedicures, and hair removal services. While the rules and regulations may vary between states, the licensing typically requires completion of a cosmetology program and an exam.

Opportunities may also be available for you to receive on-the-job training from an employer in specific procedures as well. With proper experience and education, you can obtain certifications to take advantage of promotional opportunities and higher salaries.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are a few related jobs to estheticians. Massage therapist uses massage therapy to relax tense muscles, alleviate pain, improve circulation and help heal injuries.Though not in the medical field, barbers, hairdressers and cosmetologists provide hair cuts and other beauty services for clients to make them look aesthetically pleasing. Similarly, manicurists and pedicurists help improve the health and appearance of client's finger and toe nails.