Medical Aesthetician Degree Programs

Medical aesthetics degrees prepare you to help clients improve their appearance in physicians' and surgeons' offices, hospitals or spas. Read on to learn about education, credentialing and salary info. Schools offering Esthetics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Where Can I Find Medical Aesthetician Degree Programs?

You can find medical aesthetician degree programs at community colleges and technical schools around the U.S., though 'medical esthetics' is a more frequently used term. Some for-profit schools and specialty education institutions offer these programs, too. You can also look for cosmetology programs that offer concentrations in aesthetics/esthetics.

An associate's degree in medical esthetics typically takes about two years of full-time study to complete. Some schools structure their esthetics programs with concentrations in medical esthetics or spa esthetics. You can also find certificate programs that take less time to complete and might qualify you for entry-level jobs. Advanced esthetician programs are available for those who've already completed their initial training.

Degree TypesAssociate's degree, certificate programs
Key Course TopicsSkin care and analysis, nail care, anatomy, pathology, nutrition
Licensure and CredentialingStudents can opt to take the CIDESCO exam to obtain international recognized credentials
Median Salary (January 2016)$39,992 medical estheticians


How Does It Work?

An associate's degree in medical aesthetics or a related area typically requires you to take basic courses in skin care and analysis, makeup, nail care and anatomy. Your medical aesthetics courses might include discussions in nutrition, pathology and psychology. You might also be required to take yoga or other physical courses that teach you about well-being and overall health. Chemistry and communication courses are also required for aspiring medical aestheticians. To complete the associate's degree program, you'll also have to take some general education courses.

You'll likely take courses that cover your state's licensing requirements and industry regulations. Though these policies vary by state, you'll probably have to get licensed prior to practicing medical esthetics. Often, this takes a designated number of hours of training, sometimes 600 hours or more. Certificate programs are usually sufficient to meet this requirement.

What Other Options Are There?

Often, medical aesthetics degree and certificate programs include preparation for the Comite International d'Esthetique et de Cosmetologie (CIDESCO) exam, which grants internationally recognized credentials to qualified candidates. You'll be required to complete 1200 hours of training, take a facial exam, a body exam, a written exam and a test in another subject. You'll also have to write a 4000-plus word paper on a topic in beauty therapy. You can also find Master Esthetician programs designed for those who've received their basic esthetician license.

What's the Job Like?

As a medical aesthetician, you can work in spas, clinics, medical practices and surgeons' offices. Often, medical aestheticians work closely with physicians and surgeons to ensure a high level of patient care. According to, medical estheticians earned from $24,281 to $51,328 in March 2016.

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:

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

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

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  • Westside Tech

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Winter Garden
  • West Tennessee Business College

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    • 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