The skin care world has changed dramatically over the last decade. Although it’s still popular to see estheticians for brow waxes, facials or chemical peels, more people are seeking out laser technicians in order to see more dramatic–or even permanent–skin care results.
Estheticians and laser technicians both work to help clients achieve their skin care goals. But there is a big difference in what types of treatments each can perform. Estheticians are limited to the epidermal layer of skin. Laser technicians can treat epidermal and dermal layers of skin. Many laser treatments penetrate the skin on a deeper level in order to achieve fast and remarkable skin care goals, and laser technicians are trained on how to safely perform these treatments on clientele.
Cosmetic Lasers: A Skin Care Miracle
It seems like there is a cosmetic laser treatment for any type of skin care insecurity. Laser hair removal is probably the most well known for getting rid of unwanted body hair. Laser tattoo removal is another infamous laser treatment. In fact, Hollywood celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Lea Michele, and Megan Fox have received laser tattoo removal treatments.
Other cosmetic laser treatments tend to fly under the radar. One of these is IPL (intense pulsed light) photofacials, which are capable of eliminating sun damage, dark spots, age spots, rosacea, broken capillaries, and more. Another, eMatrix skin rejuvenation, uses bi-polar radiofrequency to significantly tighten your skin and improve wrinkles and fine lines.
There are countless laser treatments that laser technicians are capable of performing, but many people don’t enter this field by accident. Expert laser technician, Samantha Perrin, explains she became a laser technician because she hated her own skin.
“I had cystic acne from the age 12 until 22, so I got made fun of,” Samantha says. “When I got into this industry I realized not only do laser treatments help my skin, but it’s so much fun! I love performing laser treatments on clients and making clients feel good about themselves. I love building client confidence. Also, I’m not doing backbreaking work.”
Mary Berry, a mother who took her teenage daughter to a laser specialist, said she saw her daughter’s self confidence drop dramatically after suffering from breakouts.
“Her personality completed changed when she was suffering from breakouts,” Mary said. “She didn’t want to see friends or family. As a mother it hurt me to watch her go through that. But after hearing about laser acne treatments, I took her in to see a laser tech. After multiple laser treatments over a six week period, her skin was perfectly clear. More importantly, she was happy–she’d gained her self confidence back.”
A Day in the Life of a Laser Technician
As a laser technician, Samantha sees all types of clients on a daily basis. Her mornings begin by going to National Laser Institute Med Spa to prep for the clients she’ll see for the day. As a full time laser technician, she will typically see 6 to 8 clients in a day. This includes evaluating a client’s skin and consulting with them to see what they want to improve.
Laser treatments can take anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour depending on the size of the area. Afterwards, Samantha will brief her clients on how to take care of their skin as well as recommend skin care products that go hand-in-hand with certain laser treatments.
Samantha also teaches cosmetic laser training courses for National Laser Institute, the leading cosmetic laser school in the nation. As an instructor, she teaches people from all walks of life including estheticians, cosmetologists, medical professionals, and even those seeking a new career. She covers important topics like laser safety, the Fitzpatrick scale, skin and tissue interactions, operating lasers, performing laser techniques, and hands-on training.
“This industry is really so versatile,” Louis Silberman, President and CEO of National Laser Institute says. “I’ve seen our graduates go to work for medical spas, laser clinics, dermatology offices, and many have even opened up their own laser business! It’s incredible.”
The Booming Laser Market
Medical esthetics is a billion dollar industry that’s expected to continue to grow. In fact, the laser tattoo removal industry is expected to reach $83.2 million alone in the next four years. In 2013, nonsurgical cosmetic treatments increased by 13%. While woman had more than 8 million noninvasive cosmetic services that same year (90.8% total) it was also reported that men still made up 1 million, or 9.2%. With thousands of medical spas open across the United States, there is certainly room for more laser technicians.
Some ask, is the pay worth it? Laser treatments are set at a higher price point than, say, a basic wax. A treatment of laser hair removal may cost $100 versus a $40 wax. However, salaries, commissions, and hourly wages can vary. The most common is a hourly wage plus a commission, which can be anywhere from $12 – $25 an hour with anywhere from 10% – 25% commission. Other places may offer commission only, which may be 20% – 40%. There are other places that offer a fixed salary. All of these can vary based on your state and working environment.
A Demand for Cosmetic Laser
Because there is a demand for cosmetic laser treatments, there is also a demand for cosmetic laser technicians. Just like esthetician school, you must complete training in order to start working with cosmetic lasers. But unlike esthetician school, it does not take months to complete a cosmetic laser program. The good news? It only takes two weeks.
That may not seem right, but it’s true. National Laser Institute was the first to pioneer the cosmetic laser training curriculum over a decade ago. Since then, they’ve been successfully training fully knowledgeable laser technicians who are ready for the working world.
“It’s normal for attendees to be nervous or apprehensive about training,” Silberman says. “Students often say ‘wow, how can I learn how to efficiently treat clients in two weeks with no prior background in the field?’ But it’s possible. We train both in the classroom and through hands-on clinical training in our med spa so attendees gain the most comprehensive approach.”
Attendees aren’t taught by just one instructor, but many expert laser technicians, leading dermatologists and plastic surgeons in this industry. In the classroom, attendees learn the fundamentals of cosmetic laser: the Fitzpatrick scale, risks and benefits, how lasers affect types of skin, laser safety and more. Through clinical training, attendees gain hands-on experience with different types of advanced cosmetic lasers. By treating real clients under instructor supervision, attendees become comfortable and confident in handling cosmetic laser equipment and performing the best laser techniques for outstanding results.
In this two week comprehensive laser training course, attendees learn a variety of cosmetic laser treatments. These include laser hair removal, laser tattoo removal, IPL photofacials, fractional wrinkle reduction, cellulite reduction, laser stretch mark reduction, laser acne reduction, and many more.
Laser training courses take place each month at National Laser Institute, but classes fill up rather quickly. If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a laser technician, you can fill out the form on the right or call 800-982-6817.