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Certified Laser Technician Education Requirements

A certified laser technician performs cosmetic procedures that remove unwanted hair, cellulite and tattoos, as well as rejuvenating skin. Society demands these services more and more, creating job openings for individuals with the proper education. Training for laser technicians usually awards a certificate upon completion.

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Education Requirements for a Certified Laser Technician

Training for a certified laser technician can be completed in a short period of time through a vocational program. Depending on the school, programs may 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.

Laser technician certification can be earned through the National Council on Laser Excellence (NCLE). Applicants must complete an accredited training program, meet clinical experience requirements and pass an exam to gain certification. A few training institutes include the NCLE 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 in order to operate a laser. Students should be prepared to research which states require licensing and registration requirements prior to enrolling in a program.

Employment

Training will qualify laser technicians to work under supervision at a medical spa or laser center. Laser technicians may also 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 may be limited by cosmetology and medical law restrictions.

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.

Career Outlook

As demand for personal care services is on the rise, the job outlook for certified laser technicians should be very favorable. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a 38% growth in job opportunities for skin care specialists such as laser technicians between 2008-2018 (www.bls.gov).

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