Medical Aesthetician Education Requirements and Career Information
Medical aestheticians are state-licensed skin care specialists who work in healthcare facilities. They provide skin care treatment and makeup tips to help patients whose illnesses, injuries or surgeries have affected their appearance. Read on to learn more about the educational and career requirements of medical aestheticians.
Education Requirements for Medical Aestheticians
An aspiring medical aesthetician needs a high school diploma or GED certificate to enter cosmetology school. Each state's board of cosmetology approves relevant training programs, which last up to nine months and lead to diplomas or associate degrees. Students learn about skin care procedures such as facials, microdermabrasions, specialty masks and hair removal.
While there are no specific requirements for aestheticians pursuing a medical specialization, some candidates take college-level biology, anatomy and other science courses in addition to their aesthetician training. Others may complete a 1,200-hour aesthetician training program where they learn about the latest scientific and technological advancements. Practical work or volunteer experience in a medical setting can also prepare would-be aestheticians.
Medical aestheticians must be licensed to practice in the U.S. Although requirements vary by state, candidates generally need to complete an approved cosmetology program and pass a state licensing examination that consists of a written test and, in some states, a practical test.
Career Information for Medical Aestheticians
Medical aestheticians work in hospitals, physicians' offices, care centers and other healthcare facilities. Plastic surgeons and dermatologists commonly employ medical aestheticians to perform procedures including medical peels, exfoliations and photo light facials under their supervision. They also apply prescription skin care products and treat wounds for patients who have recently undergone surgery.
In hospitals and clinics, these professionals support patients having operations and medical treatments that affect the skin. They teach injured patients to use makeup to reduce the appearance of facial swelling, skin discoloration and hair loss. They show trauma victims how to clean and care for sensitive skin and how makeup can cover affected areas, such as burned facial skin. Medical aestheticians also comfort patients and boost the self-esteem of those receiving long-term treatments.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of aestheticians and other skin care specialists was projected to rise faster than the national average, at 25%, from 2010-2020 (www.bls.gov). As of 2012, the BLS revealed an average yearly salary of $31,720 for skin care specialists, with those working in outpatient care centers, hospitals and offices of physicians earning the top salaries.
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