July 30, 2013

Who is a Medical Esthetician?

Men and women may not know the difference between a medical esthetician and a regular esthetician. Both have been trained in certain skin care and other cosmetic services. Estheticians must be licensed by the state and are expert in a number of procedures, including hair removal and less invasive facial peels.  Medical estheticians receive a higher level of training and usually work in a physician’s office or medical clinic.  They can do more intensive skin peels and laser treatments and frequently work with patients recovering from cosmetic procedures or suffering from skin related problems.

Esthetician Training

Not all states offer medical esthetician licenses, so the number of services estheticians can perform differs depending on their location.  However, most commonly they do facials, peels, microdermabrasion, and other beauty services.  They are also trained to do hair removal, including waxing, and laser treatments. Their focus is to help average people maintain and improve the look of their skin.

Those states that do offer these licenses require more extensive training to achieve that designation.  Since they are most often employed in medical offices or clinics, medical estheticians are supervised by an MD.  They can use more potent treatments, including deeper peels, and complete more complicated procedures. They can also inject Botox and various fillers.  In addition, these professionals work with patients recovering from disfiguring illnesses or surgeries.  They still concentrate on improving patients’ skin, but they may be dealing with more severe problems.

Medical Esthetician Training and Licensure

To receive an esthetician’s license requires about 600 hours of training.  After receiving that basic, intense course of study, the student can go on and receive enough additional training to be designated a medical esthetician.  The exact requirements for these licenses vary according to each state, but training will generally require six months to a year of study.


The salary for these professionals varies depending on several factors.   According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical estheticians working for physicians or clinics can earn around $40,000 per year.  A spa technician may average closer to $30,000. However, spas and other beauty establishments expect their estheticians to cultivate their own clientele, so a popular technician can make a much higher salary.  Still, the wide separation in salaries for an esthetician vs medical esthetician makes acquiring the additional training attractive.


More and more patients, especially women, are seeking help in maintaining and improving their skin.  New cosmetic procedures are being introduced daily, and trained estheticians are frequently the ones performing the less invasive of these procedures.  It’s a growing profession that offers a reasonable salary for a relatively short training period. For those who want to train further, working for a physician or clinic is an attractive and better paying choice.

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