Medical Esthetician – A Specialized Career Track

Photo of medical esthetician at workA medical esthetician is a licensed, professional skin care professional who performs duties under the direction and supervision of a physician, usually a dermatologist or plastic surgeon.

Of course, this position involves improving and enhancing the beauty and health of skin. However, for a medical esthetician, there is substantial work with patients recovering from facial surgery or facial injuries.

It is also common for a medical esthetician to work with burn victims and patients who have had cancer and lost their eyebrows and lashes due to chemotherapy. And, of course, there are many healthy patients getting treatment from physicians for beautification reasons. Medical estheticians may also assist in delivering anti-aging procedures or may give care to patients after surgery or while healing from other  invasive care.

Medical Esthetician Training

Becoming a medical esthetician requires specialized training.  Generally a medical esthetician begins training by enrolling in a regular esthetician school — either a stand-alone school or an esthetician program within a cosmetology school.  Some community colleges and vocational schools also offer associate degrees or certificate programs in general esthetics.

After completing esthetics education, a medical esthetician usually undertakes additional, advanced training in the field of medical aesthetics. Sometimes this additional education is “on the job training” or it can be obtained through a supplemental training program that specializes in medical esthetics.



Medical esthetics certification is an option to consider once an esthetician has graduated from a traditional esthetics program. Advanced medical esthetics programs are generally offered by independent schools, training providers, or organizations, rather than schools or colleges.

A typical medical esthetician program will cover subjects such as advanced skin care practices, clinical skin care applications, botox, rosacea treatment, and medical resurfacing techniques. There is also a practical component of these programs where students work with actual clients under supervised clinical conditions. Upon completion, there is often an exam required to obtain certification. (Note: Most states do not require certification to become a medical esthetician, but being certified can often be an asset in competitive job environments.)

Interested in typical pay for medical estheticians? See our Esthetician Salary page.

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