How to Become a Medical Esthetician

The work of a medical esthetician relates to a different class of work to the beauty esthetician. A medical esthetician works performs procedures like chemical peels, therapeutic treatments and operates equipment like lasers for various purposes. The broad context of the work is much more in the therapeutic field, and many of the procedures are performed in medical practices like dermatologist's clinics. These procedures are in fact usually medically sanctioned treatments dealing with skin conditions, which means there's a big difference between the two types of estheticians and their work.

Education and training

Medical estheticians receive formal training in cosmetology and technical colleges. Prerequisites require that students be at least 18 years of age and hold a High School Diploma.

Training includes:

  • Skin diagnosis (may include bacteriology, disinfection, hygiene, infection control, and related subjects)
  • Porosity
  • Laser skin rejuvenation and hair removal
  • Medical facials
  • Chemical skin peels
  • Chemabrasion
  • Dermaplaning
  • Intense Pulsed Light therapy
  • Tattoo reversal
  • Skin care
  • Teen studies (teenage skin conditions)
  • Business training for professional practices

As you can see from this list, many of these procedures and studies involve significant levels of treatment and therapy. The procedures are strongly related to dermatology, and are not purely cosmetic processes.


State licensing in the US involves many different requirements on a state by state basis. 

The common factors for licensing are:

  1. Successful completion of the medical esthetician course.
  2. Successful pass of state examinations.
  3. Paramedical esthetician's license must also be obtained by training and examination.

(Note: Operation of some equipment and storing and handling some chemicals and materials may require additional licensing and certifications depending on Federal, state or local government requirements)

Further education

Because of the highly technical nature of the job and the equipment and materials used, medical estheticians also engage in further education as a matter of necessity, learning new procedures. For advanced professionals operating their own business, these studies are also commercially important as new treatments and therapies come on the market.

Types of medical esthetician jobs

Medical esthetician's jobs may devolve on specializations in treatments offered by clinics. In some cases treatments like skin care, acne, skin infections, tattoo or hair removal or other treatments may be commercial operations forming a significant part of the clinic's business. In other workplaces, a medical esthetician may be regularly engaged in the many different forms of treatment and procedures involved in a dermatologist's practice.

As a medical esthetician acquires skills and experience, career progression can develop in several different ways At this stage of a career, there are several excellent job and career options available, some very lucrative:

Operating their own medical esthetician businesses: These can be either specialist or general medical esthetician services, receiving referrals from local medical practices.

Operating a general cosmetology and medical esthetician service: This works as above for the purely medical esthetician business, but includes the wider cosmetology market as a revenue stream.

Working as traveling therapists for medical practices: This is more common in less serviced regions, where the demand is spread across areas where medical esthetician and dermatology services are less available.

Advanced specialist medical esthetician: This is the upmarket medical esthetician, working with the latest equipment servicing top level skin specialists.