Make It or Break It

Minimally invasive procedures are a rapidly growing medical specialty. Of all cosmetic services, nonsurgical procedures are increasing in popularity the fastest. The 2014 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) states, "Facial rejuvenation procedures experienced the most growth, as 2014 marked the highest number of botulinum toxin type A injections to date, with 6.7 million injections." They also reported a percentage change from 2014 vs. 2013 overall with 13.9 million cosmetic minimally-invasive procedures in 2014, which is an increase of 4 percent from 2013.

Advancements in techniques, such as the use of cannulas for dermal filler injections, have made nonsurgical procedures safer, more effective and, most importantly, much less burdensome for the client than surgical procedures. This is great news for all health care practitioners, but especially for practitioners who are not physicians.

In most states, nonsurgical aesthetics can be practiced by not only physicians, but also physician assistants, registered nurses, and nurse practitioners. Learning to perform nonsurgical aesthetics is an excellent way to increase the income and job-readiness of these professionals in the growing field of cosmetic medicine.


First steps

There are a variety of ways to break into the field, but step one is finding a good course that provides basic training. Without training specifically in aesthetic injectables, it is unlikely that a professional will be hired by a cosmetic clinic.

When choosing a course for basic training, select an educational company or college that specializes particularly in nonsurgical procedures, such as Aesthetics Advancement Institute. Specialized companies tend to remain more aware of new developments in the field, leading to better and more relevant education.

After establishing fundamentals through a high-quality basic training session, in some states medical professionals will be able to break into the aesthetics industry right away. Even if this is the case, it is still worthwhile to continue building knowledge. Patients prefer medical professionals with advanced credentials. To attract more business, it is important to continue to complete courses that offer continuing education (CE) credits and certification. You can find out about aesthetic CE/CME courses through a variety of sources, including searching online, and talking to peers and professional organizations. Just make sure the training organization offers the type of CEs you wish to obtain, as well as a certificate of completion.

Second steps

There are many job openings for nonsurgical aesthetic medical staff at existing clinics. Proper training and certification make it easier to find a good job working for someone else.

If, on the other hand, you want to work for yourself, there are also options; however, the process of getting there could be a long road! New aesthetic practices open all the time. In some states, they can even be opened by registered nurses instead of doctors. A successful practice will:

  • Offer a wide variety of aesthetic services;
  • Provide patient financing;
  • Hire only well-trained and experienced staff; and
  • Continue to encourage team members to learn about new trends in aesthetic advancement.

The field of aesthetic medicine is already underserved, and the demand for trained professionals will continue to grow into the foreseeable future. Entering the field early is a great way to find career success.



There are different state requirements for minimum education to do nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. It is crucial to determine whether your current scope of practice will allow you to provide nonsurgical aesthetic enhancements.

The American Med Spa Association (AmSpa) provides its members with an easy-to-understand summary of each state's medical aesthetics regulatory requirements through its State Summaries, along with a variety of additional member benefits. Learn more and become a member at