How To Become A Cosmetic Laser Technician
A cosmetic laser technician uses laser therapy to remove body hair, tighten skin, erase tattoos, minimize wrinkles and perform other cosmetic procedures. As a licensed esthetician, you will be meeting with clients to look into their skincare issues, meet with your supervising medical doctor to come up with the most effective form of treatment and then apply the prescribed laser treatment.
As a skincare specialist, cosmetic laser technicians build good relationships with their clients. Part of your job includes recommending the best products for the skincare concerns of your customers. You will also give them tips on how to care for their skin.
In consultation with the supervising medical doctor, you will be referring clients to a dermatologist or other skincare specialists if their skin problem is more serious and won’t be solved through cosmetic laser treatment. It will also be your responsibility to ensure that all equipment is sterile and the work area is clean and hygienic.
To succeed as a cosmetic laser technician, you need to be able to expertly use laser equipment. This is crucial so that you can perform the prescribed treatment thoroughly and ensure the safety of your client at the same time. You also need to be very tidy—both in your personal appearance and in your work space. This is very important because customers will only return if they feel that you and your place are sanitary and provide excellent service.
You also need to have excellent listening skills so that you will understand your client’s concerns. You should be very keen in observing changes to the area under treatment as well as the overall condition of your client to prevent any untoward incidents.
Why Become A Cosmetic Laser Technician
This is a relatively new and evolving career and as such, it is an exciting field to get into. Besides, working with lasers is bound to be fun and exhilarating. Aside from the novelty of the procedure, one reason to become a cosmetic laser technician is the satisfaction that can be felt in the knowledge that you are helping people address a very crucial part of their physical looks.
The skin is the most visible part of a person’s body and any blemishes on it can affect an individual’s sense of self-worth. As a cosmetic laser technician, you get your fulfillment in the knowledge that you are making people beautiful so they move through life with confidence.
A practical reason to pursue this career is that it doesn’t take too long in order to become one. The training period can take only a few months. Moreover, it’s a rapidly-growing profession that is forecasted to offer a lot of job opportunities for aspiring cosmetic laser technicians in the next few years.
Cosmetic Laser Technician Work Environment
Cosmetic laser technicians typically work in a medical spa under the supervision of a medical doctor. They may also work in salons and health and beauty spas. Their workspace is well-lighted so that that they can make a thorough evaluation of the client’s skin. The area is also clean and hygienic.
The work schedule is typically fulltime, although many could work in the weekends or evenings to accommodate clients’ needs. Most of the work of cosmetic laser technicians is done standing up so it’s important to be physically fit. Moreover, they are also required to wear protective clothing while performing the procedures.
Cosmetic Laser Technician Salary
Because the profession of a cosmetic laser technician is fairly recent, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics does not yet have wage information specifically for cosmetic laser technicians. However, it does have the salary data for skincare specialists who also work to enhance a person’s appearance.
The May 2013 Occupational Employment and Wages report of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the mean annual wage of skincare specialists is $32,990. This is relatively higher than that received by other personal appearance workers. Barbers received mean wages of $27,710 while hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists were paid $27,530.
Cosmetic Laser Technician Career Outlook
There are no official projections from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics specifically for cosmetic laser technicians. However, the agency reported in 2012 that the projected job outlook for skincare specialists is very positive. For the decade covering 2012 to 2022, the employment rate of cosmetic laser technicians is projected to increase 40 percent, a rate that is much faster than the average for all job types. Thus, from the 44,400 skincare specialists who were employed in 2012, the number is expected to grow to 62,000 in 2022.
The demand for skincare specialists, cosmetic laser technicians included, will be fueled by the desire of more men and women to stay youthful and combat aging. New services like mini-sessions which provide quick facials at a cheaper cost are also becoming increasingly popular which will contribute to the demand.
Cosmetic Laser Technician Degree
The first step towards becoming a cosmetic laser technician is to enroll in a certification program for medical estheticians which lasts anywhere from a few weeks to several months. This is available in some community colleges but since this is a new field, there is still no uniform standard of education for the field.
It is often necessary to have been trained previously as an esthetician to be accepted to these programs but there are schools that offer the two certifications to be finished together. These courses teach students topics on skin anatomy, pathophysiology, kinds of medical lasers, interaction between lasers and tissues and safe handling of laser equipment.
As far as certification goes, The International Commission for Hair Removal Certification (ICHRC) provides the Certified Laser Hair Removal Professional (CLHRP) or Certified Pulse Light Hair Removal Professional (CPLHRP) certifications. These certifications are only good for laser hair removal and do not cover other laser cosmetic procedures.
To obtain certification, the cosmetic laser technician must pass an exam after finishing a program. She must retake it every five years so that she can remain certified. If you want to work in Florida and other states, it’s important to get one of these certifications because it is a requirement, according to the Society for Clinical and Medical Hair Removal.