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What Is a Medical Esthetician's Salary?

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Typically, medical estheticians are paid higher salaries than are other members of this profession. Estheticians, also called skin care specialists, provide skin treatments to improve the appearance and health of people's skin. Usually, a medical esthetician works closely with other health care providers to provide care for patients who have a range of skin-related health problems. By contrast, most non-medical estheticians are employed in beauty salons, spas and similar facilities.

Medical Esthetician Job Description

The job duties of medical estheticians and other skin care specialists are similar. Both types of skin care specialist cleanse the face and apply treatments to improve appearance and minimize the effects of aging and skin conditions. The esthetician begins by consulting with and examining the client. She determines which treatments are most beneficial. These treatments may include a simple facial or a body wrap. Medical estheticians frequently use lasers, chemical peels, waxing and other techniques to remove excess hair and to reduce the visibility of discolorations, scars and wrinkles. They teach client how to properly clean the skin and apply makeup. Skin care specialists may recommend specific lotions, creams and cleansers. When an esthetician identifies a serious skin condition, she will refer the person to a dermatologist or other health care specialist.

Hygiene is particularly important, so estheticians must keep work stations clean and disinfect tools and equipment prior to use. Medical estheticians working in a health care setting work closely with plastic surgeons, dermatologists and other health care providers to select treatments that support the medical care the patient receives. They also provide emotional support by easing patient concerns about their post-treatment appearance.

The Medical Esthetician Industry

Medical estheticians make up a minority of this occupation. About 8 percent of all estheticians work in the offices of dermatologists, plastic surgeons and other physicians. Health care and personal care stores employ another 6 percent. Most estheticians work for personal care firms or own their own businesses. Some medical estheticians are self- employed and typically partner with physicians. Some work in hospitals or other clinical facilities.

The work of the medical esthetician can be physically demanding. They spend long hours on their feet. Most work full time, and may work evenings or weekends. Sometimes they must wear protective clothing because they must apply chemicals for skin peels or other treatments to remove dead or dried skin.

Medical Esthetician Education

Esthetician classes are offered at most vocational schools, although some high schools offer them as a vocational training option. Training at a medical esthetician school can take u to six months as a full time student. The exact time required depends on state's requirements to qualify for an esthetician license. The Associated Skin Care Professionals offers a state regulation guide that provides information for each state. Every state except Connecticut requires that prospective estheticians pass an examination that combines a written test and demonstration of practical skills.

Esthetician classes teach students how to evaluate the condition of a person's skin. They also learn to give facials, chemical peels, face and neck massages and similar treatments. Medical estheticians may need additional training to use lasers to remove unwanted hair and to treat skin discolorations and other conditions.

Medical Esthetician Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that estheticians earned an average of $41,180 in 2020. The lowest paid 10 percent were paid less than $28,940. The top 10 percent made more than $58,390. Skin care specialists working in physicians' offices are typically considered medical estheticians. This group earned an average annual income of $22.25/hour in 2020. Medical estheticians employed in other health care offices averaged $15,81/hour. Other estheticians providing personal service and working in health industry stores made average salaries of $35,400 and $30,350, respectively.

Job Growth Trend

The BLS projects that jobs for estheticians will increase 14 percent from 2016 to 2026. This is a faster growth rate than for all occupations. Demand for medical and other estheticians is being fueled by innovations, such as mobile services, as well as the increased use of advanced technology, such as lasers. In addition, an increasing number of men are using the services of estheticians. Beauty salons and health spas are also adding medical estheticians to their staffs in increasing numbers.


Based in Atlanta, Georgia, William Adkins has been writing professionally since 2008. He writes about career, employment and job preparation issues. Adkins holds master's degrees in history and sociology with a focus on employment and labor from Georgia State University. He has conducted research sponsored by the National Science Foundation to develop career opportunities for people with disabilities.

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