CHOOSING A CAREER / AUG. 17, 2014
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How to Become a Laser Therapist

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Due to the onset of laser technology, laser therapy has become a major option to many people. Laser therapists are trained professionals who use laser equipment in a wide range of medical practices. They work under administration of a medical doctor after they have received the required training to offer skincare, face treatment, hair treatment and ophthalmic care to name a few.

What Do Laser Therapists Do?

Laser therapists receive training on a wide variety of medical practices. These include:

  •          Medical spas
  •          Laser centers
  •          Doctors’ offices

Their duties include but are not limited to:

  •          Analyzing the skin concerns of various clients
  •          Helping medical providers in optical measurements, LASIK eye curative surgery and diagnostics
  •          Using laser equipment in removal of varicose veins, unwanted hair, tattoos and skin irregularities
  •          Using laser equipment in dental offices to detect and treat periodontitis
  •          Reducing clients’ wrinkles using laser equipment
  •          Recommending products such as creams, cleansers and lotions to enhance the clients’ skin quality
  •          Providing broad skin care treatments such as scrubs, peels and masks to exfoliate dead or dry skin

Salary

Owing to various kinds of levels and licensing, salary information for laser therapists varies. However, they generally earn a median hourly wage of about $13.77. In the U.S., their median annual earnings are as follows:

Low

$57,850

Typical

$66,171

High

$75,574

Source: Payscale

Skills

A laser therapist normally works together with a team to recover the client’s self-esteem and health. Apart from having excellent customer service skills, laser therapists need to:

  •          Have attention to detail
  •          Have outstanding manual dexterity
  •          Have excellent eye-hand coordination
  •          Excellent mechanical aptitude
  •          Have knowledge working with computer-based equipment
  •          Good judgment skills to distinguish the conditions they can treat and those that require professionals
  •          Excellent interpersonal and verbal skills

Qualifications

The entry-level for one to enroll in a recognized laser therapist training program is a high school diploma or its equivalent. This program’s coursework includes hands-on training and various subjects such as:

  •          Regulatory laws and safety recommendations
  •          Laser skin renewal
  •          Laser hair removal
  •          Cellulite improvement
  •          Laser tattoo removal
  •          Laser vein removal

Once they complete a recognized laser training program, laser therapists qualify to take a qualifying exam. Once they pass the exam, they qualify for certification from a variety of major laser certification bodies such as NCLE and SCMHR that have a nationwide accreditation. However, state requirements might vary since they have a varied set of principles for one to practice as a certified laser therapist.

Laser therapists who have secured vocational diplomas can proceed to pursue associate’s, master’s or bachelor’s degrees in laser therapy. These programs provide them with training in various fields such as electromechanical engineering and photonics. Acquiring a more advanced degree will not only improve their job prospects but also their earning potential.

Career Prospects

Generally, the BLS predicts a 40% increase of job openings for skin care specialists between 2012 and 2022 and laser therapists can anticipate a similar growth. This is attributed to the migration towards medical processes that are less invasive hence a rise in the dependence on laser therapy. As familiarity and comfort in laser increases, its use is becoming more widespread.

Laser therapist typically work 40 hours a week. However, they might work part-time and have more flexible hours. Those therapists who offer elective medical and cosmetic cures might be required to adapt to their clients’ schedules such as weekends and evenings. This career needs you to be at the forefront of new laser discoveries and be ready to execute them as they develop.

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