Aesthetic medicine is constantly evolving as new solutions and techniques emerge and gain FDA approval. New and experienced providers alike can benefit from continued education to perfect existing skills and gain new knowledge. In this article, we’ll explore several opportunities to start your training as an aesthetic injector or take your experience to the next level.
In order to become a licensed aesthetic injector, you must first have earned credentials as a registered nurse, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or doctor. In some states, dentists are permitted to earn certification in a few types of injectable treatments, as well. You will need to complete the requisite undergraduate and graduate degrees to move forward with national licensing or certification exams to become licensed to practice.
Once you have your medical certifications, you will need to follow state guidelines for practicing as an anesthetic injector. In states like California and Texas, RNs, NPs, and PAs who perform injectable treatments are required to work in collaboration with a physician. It is important to understand the legal requirements of working under the supervision of a medical doctor so that your practice is in compliance with the law. Be sure to consult your state guidelines to determine your requirements.
Most states require providers to receive additional training to be certified in specific aesthetic injections and techniques. The training requirement may seem daunting, but there are a wide variety of options available, including workshops that take place over the course of a weekend, making the time commitment quite reasonable.
To ensure your time and money is well spent, attention to detail when booking trainings is critical. Costs can be significant, so ensure the course hits on the topics you’d like to learn. Look over the agenda and note if they offer hands-on exercises, what supplies you'll need to bring, and if you can get CME hours for the course. If you have questions about a program, ask colleagues if they have experience with the course. You can also check with your state board and insurance provider to find out if courses and subject matter are approved under state requirements.
Examples of some quality training programs are:
This training is designed for doctors, dentists, physicians, and nurses who want to advance their skills in administering injectables. This series of courses specialize in training based on anatomical principles. The first-level course covers safety and preparation as well as how to incorporate injectables into your business. The injection training covers lip augmentation, filling nasolabial folds, smile lines, and using Botox® to relieve jaw pain. The level-two course builds on injection skills and teaches techniques like Botox® brow-lift, neurotoxins for migraine management, and scaffolding and cross-hatching techniques for fillers. Level three goes into using Botox® for "gummy smiles," chin enhancement with dermal fillers, and treating the undereye area. Classes offer demonstrations as well as hands-on experience. CME credits are available at each level.
This course is an 8-hour intensive training with background material in the morning and hands-on training in the afternoon. The morning session includes lessons on anatomy, different types of injectable products, their uses, and contraindications. Participants will learn about preparation, patient consultations, and complication management. During the hands-on training, participants can practice techniques to correct nasolabial folds, elemental folds, wrinkles and perform lip augmentations. The training includes access to live models for hands-on training, and participants are permitted to volunteer as models. Botox®, Juvederm® Ultra, and Juvederm® Ultra Plus are provided to participants at no extra cost. Training takes place at multiple locations; check their website for details. CME credit is available.
The Aesthetic Medical Educator's Training has a range of webinar trainings that focus on the nuts and bolts of running your business. They can also provide private training. A facilitator can visit your studio and offer customized training to a small group.
This class is a two-day intensive course covering all the fundamentals of injectable administration. The first day includes sessions on successfully incorporating injectable treatments into your practice, including legal requirements and the full scope of practice considerations. Other sessions address facial anatomy, building patient relationships, and appropriate use of fillers and neurotoxins for treatment. The second day features demonstrations of injection techniques, with several opportunities for Q&A. There is not an opportunity for hands-on training during this program. All sessions take place at the AmMedSpa headquarters in Chicago. This class provides 10.75 CME hours. For more on-going training, American Med Spa Association has a series of on-demand courses that you can access online. Topics include: The Perfect Lip with Lori Robertson, MSN, FNP-C, Non-invasive Filler Techniques for Cheek and Chin with Gretchen Frieling, MD, The Ins and Outs of Jawline, and Jowls with George Baxter-Holder, ARNP, DNP, CANS, and more.
This course is a two-day intensive on botulinum toxin injection. The course reviews facial anatomy and musculature as well as a thorough review of the epidermal layers. Instructors give an overview on identifying skin concerns, including cancers and other cutaneous diseases. Participants will learn how neurotoxins are used for cosmetic enhancements, and they will have opportunities to watch demonstrations and participate in hands-on exercises. Training takes place in Phoenix, AZ. Live models are provided for the hands-on portions of the course and injectables are included in the cost of the workshop. The course is eligible for CME credits.
This 5-week program offers a complete overview for starting an aesthetic practice. The course includes extensive training on business practices and how to evaluate the market where your studio is located. Instructors teach participants how to use social media to build a brand and attract clients. Participants will review facial anatomy and physiology, with special attention to the effects of aging on the face. Instructors will discuss FDA-approved injectable products, their uses, contraindications, and managing adverse events. Participants will learn how to do a patient assessment and develop a treatment plan for each client. Classes are online, so there is no hands-on training.
This 3-part series covers a wide array of topics related to aesthetic dermatology. Level 1 is a three-day certification course that includes training on chemical peels, dermal fillers, neurotoxins, lasers, and IPL. Participants will get to watch demonstrations and participate in hands-on training. The Level 2 course lasts five days and teaches treatment of non-cosmetic dermatological conditions such as acne and rosacea, advanced techniques for aesthetic procedures, and offers workshops to help you run a successful practice. The Level 3 class is a Board Certification exam. The exam has written, and oral sections and is administered in a single day. Training takes place at multiple locations; check their website for details.
The American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine has higher-level courses in topics such as "Masters Course in Threadlifting and Combination Techniques." They also host a conference called the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine Congress. The event includes workshops such as: Preventing and Managing Common & Rare Complications and Contraindications in Aesthetic Medicine, Aesthetic Dermatological Considerations for Skin of Color, Marketing and Management Certification for Aesthetic Clinic Owners and Clinic Managers, and more.
The Level 1 half-day intensive workshops provide introductory training on neurotoxin and filler use for facial rejuvenation. Workshops include training on facial anatomy and appropriate treatment for different genders and skin types. Level 2 takes a more advanced approach to the same topics. Palette also offers a wide variety of specialized workshops on topics such as treatment of the hands, neck, décolleté, and arms. Additional workshops provide training for the eye and lip areas. Training takes place at multiple locations; check the website for details. Participants who wish to participate in hands-on training must bring a live model and provide their own products for use during training.
Palette offers a robust catalog of online trainings. Trainings are live, and the schedule is updated regularly. Virtual workshop topics include: Male Facial Aesthetics and Rejuvenation, Rejuvenating the Arms and Knees Featuring Poly-L-lactic Acid, Battle of the Lips, Temples, Tear Troughs and Cheeks, and more.
Mentoring and Networking
Workshops and courses are outstanding resources, but continued hands-on experience and mentorship is essential for building a strong educational foundation. Before venturing out into the aesthetics world alone, it is highly recommended that you seek opportunities to train with experienced providers. Finding a seasoned aesthetic injector to serve as your mentor can be an excellent way to gain skills and perspective. Your mentor may offer you opportunities to shadow their own in-office services, so you can see the full scope of practice, from patient consultation to treatment to record-keeping.
Social media is another way to keep connected to the industry and find opportunities to perfect your skills. Following organizations that offer training will give you a heads up about new classes you can pursue. You can get onto mailing lists from trainers, other professionals, and companies that make your favorite products to keep updated on new developments.
As a Portrait provider, you will have access to our Portrait Provider Community. We offer providers a space to connect and share advice, experiences, and support. In addition, we offer exclusive opportunities for training with our expert instructors.
If you are already certified as an aesthetic injector, you may be ready to pursue additional certifications. Adding board certifications to your resume is a great way to assure clients that your skills are top-notch, and gain new experience at the same time. Some certifications are exams that you can sit for without taking a specific training course—instead, the board gauges professional experience as the threshold for eligibility.
One excellent extended credential is the Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist (CANS) certification through the International Society of Plastic and Aesthetic Nurses (ESPANOL). The CANS certification is available to registered nurses who have been practicing in the field for at least two years. You must pass an exam that covers a variety of topics that relate directly to skills used in practice. ESPANOL offers several opportunities to take the exam each year.
To be eligible for the certification, you must:
- Have at least 1,000 practice hours during the last two years
- Have a minimum of two years of nursing experience in the core specialties, in collaboration with a physician certified in a core area
- Be currently working in collaboration with a physician that is board certified in plastic surgery, ophthalmology, dermatology, or facial plastic surgery (ENT)
- Have your supervising physician endorse your application
You can learn more about the certification program by watching the informational webinar on the ESPANOL website.
Whether you are just getting started or have years of experience, Portrait can help you receive the training you need to take your career to the next level. Contact a Portrait specialist today to explore launching your own practice and furthering your education.