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Medical Esthetician

Esthetics is a term most people associate with salon based professionals, providing beauty treatments like facials, eyebrow shaping and hair removal. In actual fact, there is also a huge demand for people with esthetics specialisms in the medical world. Medical estheticians are in many ways similar to mainstream estheticians in terms of what they are trained to do – help people to make their skin look better – but they work in a medical setting. A medical esthetician could work in places like:

  • A doctor’s office
  • A hospital
  • An oncology office or ward
  • A dermatologist’s.

They specialize in providing skincare treatment and advice to people who need it for medical reasons. This can include helping people with burns and scars learn how to conceal them with make up, helping cancer patients learn how to meet the special moisturizing demands their skin can have during treatment, treating patients with acne, and providing hair removal treatments. Medical estheticians are sometimes also called paramedical estheticians – these terms essentially describe the same job.

Becoming a medical esthetician is appealing to a lot of people who are interested in skin and skincare, and who also want to work in a rewarding job where they get to help people who need it. Often, the work of medical estheticians can really benefit patients who are self conscious about how they look because of injuries or skin conditions, or can help people feel more comfortable when undergoing intensive and aggressive courses of treatment like chemotherapy.

How does someone become a medical esthetician?

A medical esthetician does not require a degree or nursing training, so it can be a great way to get into the medical world without having to spend years and thousands of dollars getting qualified. In fact, the training is quite similar to the training a cosmetic esthetician would take, and can often be done at a beauty school full or part time. How long the training takes will depend on the licensing requirements in your state. Some states require around 300 hours of practical experience, but others as many as 1000 hours. Studying full time, it is not unusual to complete your medical esthetician training and be ready to look for a job as a licensed medical esthetician in just six months. For part time students or students in states with very strict licensing requirements, it can take a year.

Students can start training to become medical estheticians during or immediately after high school, or at any other point after graduation. Some people choose medical esthetics as a second career later in life because it is a rewarding career where you also can have a lot of flexibility around the number of hours you work.

People who already have esthetician experience and qualifications can look at additional courses to help them transition from salon based work to medical work.

How much can a medical esthetician earn?

A medical esthetician’s earnings will depend on the number of hours they work and their level of experience. Salaries tend to range from $25,000 to $56,000 per year, however this is a very wide range and where a given person will fit within it depends on a lot of factors. Location can have a bearing on your salary, as can any specialist skills or treatments you can offer beyond those expected as part of your normal medical esthetician education.

Once you have started working as a medical esthetician, it is usually easy to increase your earning potential by taking extra courses, and simply by gaining more experience and working your way up. There are also options to go into management and supervisory roles should you want to once you are experienced.

Medical estheticians who work full time will usually be expected to work some weekends, evenings or other unusual hours depending on the opening hours of the clinic or surgery they work for, or the needs of the hospital or hospice they work at. Some medical estheticians may also make home visits. There are so many different options in terms of where you can work and the kind of patients you can specialize in that you have a lot of choice, and if you want to work part time or avoid working at certain times of the day or week then this is also usually possible.