Licenses and Certifications
According to the National Council of Laser Excellence, certification is available for those who want to operate lasers, but it is issued based on competency in laser usage and is not a medical certification (www.lasercertification.org). Most states don't require certification for laser technicians, but it is recommended by most employers. Licensing regulations should be researched by students, because state medical board requirements differ on education and training hours. There are two applicable certifications for prospective laser technicians:
Certified Laser Hair Removal Provider
As the name suggests, this certification is for individuals who plan to use a laser to remove hair. Candidates must be 18 years or older, have at least 16 hours of laser hair removal courses and have experience in 20 cases where laser hair removal was performed. In addition, the student must have had ten cases of direct supervision and ten cases of indirect supervision. If more than one type of laser was used under direct supervision, that additional device must have been used ten times. A 100-question multiple-choice examination is required and covers areas such as regulations and standards, laser hazards and procedural controls.
Certified Laser Operator-Aesthetic
The CLO-A certification allows graduates to perform all cosmetic procedures using a laser, whether under direct or indirect supervision, as granted by state law. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, have one year of experience in a cosmetic or aesthetic office and at least 24 hours of medical laser courses. With experience in laser safety and operation, candidates with a bachelor's degree or dermatology nurse certification qualify for certification, as do those with a medical credential or degree. Candidates must take a 125-question multiple-choice examination testing areas such as non-beam hazards, tissue interactions and administrative controls.