How To Get Certified For Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal technicians are in charge of using laser treatments to remove unwanted body hair. They perform these services for clients who want to get rid of hair on their legs, underarms, and other parts of their bodies. Laser hair removal technicians must be skilled at using a laser treatment machine and must also have a good understanding of the safety requirements for operating such machinery.

The first step in becoming a laser hair removal technician is to earn an associates degree from an accredited school. Most states require that you be licensed before you can work as a laser technician, so it’s important to check with your state’s Board of Cosmetology before enrolling in training programs.

A degree program in this field typically covers topics such as anatomy, physiology, and biology; chemistry; physics; and medical terminology. In addition to these core courses, students will also take electives related specifically to lasers and their uses in medicine and beauty care.

This post also considers laser hair removal requirements by state and laser hair removal technician salary.

How To Get Certified For Laser Hair Removal

If you’re interested in beauty, healthcare and wellness, you may want to consider a career as a laser hair removal technician. This may be a good option for people who enjoy skin care and cosmetic-related tasks. Understanding specific details about the job of a laser hair removal technician can help you decide if this is the right career path for you. In this article, we describe what a laser hair removal technician is, how to become a laser hair removal technician and the typical job duties, education, skills and work environment of a laser hair removal technician.

What is a laser hair removal technician?

A laser hair removal technician is a beauty professional who specializes in laser hair removal techniques. Laser hair removal technicians are client-facing professionals who provide cosmetic and health-related services to enhance a person’s appearance. With this specialized skill set, laser hair removal technicians provide safe and professional hair removal services to clients in a variety of settings.

What does a laser hair removal technician do?

A laser hair removal technician uses a light beam treatment to damage a client’s hair follicles so that the hair does not continue to grow. This process includes pretreatment preparation, procedure execution and post-treatment client care. Specific responsibilities may vary between jobs but typically include:

  • Conducting a pretreatment consultation to understand a client’s needs and objectives
  • Providing pretreatment and post-treatment instructions to help clients prepare for a safe and successful procedure and recover as expected
  • Cleaning, preparing and sanitizing equipment to ensure a sterile and safe experience
  • Implementing one or more rounds of hair removal treatment by selecting the laser instrument, preparing the skin and applying the light to the follicles in accordance with industry regulations
  • Maintaining awareness of health and safety protocols and evolving best practices in the field to ensure high-quality service delivery
  • Consulting with estheticians or medical professionals to deepen knowledge and identify treatment solutions for unique client needs

How to become a laser hair removal technician

Becoming a laser hair removal technician requires a combination of education, certification, licensure and related work experience. There are no federal laws governing this industry, so the exact education and certification requirements vary by location. Regardless of the specific job you want, you can follow these five steps to become a laser hair removal technician:

1. Research the certification requirements

The first step to becoming a laser hair removal technician is to research the education, certification and licensure requirements in the state where you plan to work. You can find this information by contacting your state’s cosmetology or medical boards or by visiting websites of leading cosmetology organizations. You can also contact cosmetology schools or esthetician programs in your area to verify the requirements.

2. Pursue education

There are several education options for developing the skills necessary to be successful as a laser hair removal technician. The most comprehensive option is an esthetician or master cosmetologist program, as these programs include laser hair removal as one area of a broader curriculum. Another option is to complete a laser hair removal certification program that requires a set number of classroom hours and clinical practice requirements. In Arizona, for example, technicians must complete 40 classroom hours, 24 clinical practice hours in laser hair removal and 24 additional hours in alternative light-based treatments.

Regardless of the exact program, the most important requirement is that you have the necessary skills to perform hair removal procedures safely and professionally. As part of your coursework, you learn about hair removal techniques, safety protocols, machine and equipment maintenance and client assessment. Most programs include a combination of classwork and training at an accredited institution.

3. Obtain national certification

Even if it is not required in your state, earning a national certification can strengthen your skills, increase your preparedness and enhance your marketability with prospective employers. The most recognized industry certification is the Certified Professional Electrologist (CPE) designation from the American Electrology Association (AEA). You can earn this certification by passing the CPE exam, which is offered annually at the AEA convention.

Four additional certifications are available through the Society for Clinical and Medical Hair Removal, including:

  • Certified Clinical Electrologist
  • Certified Medical Electrologist
  • Certified Laser Hair Removal Professional
  • Certified Pulse Light Hair Removal Professional

4. Apply for a state license

In addition to education and certification, many states also require laser hair removal technicians to obtain a laser technician state license. You can earn this license by passing both the NIC National Electrology Theory and Practical Examinations from the National Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology. You can increase your chances of success on the exam by participating in preparation courses and completing practice exams.

5. Gain relevant experience

You can prepare to become a laser hair removal technician by working in an esthetician’s office or related cosmetology facility. Through this, you can develop your skills and create a client base. You can include this experience on your resume and list your employer as a professional reference.

Laser Hair Removal Requirements By State

The licensing standards are defined by individual state boards, and they differ greatly from one state to the next. The process nearly generally involves a predetermined amount of training hours, albeit the specifics vary. These hours should be covered in your educational and training program. You should also prepare to pay a fee and take one or more exams. You will frequently need to renew your license, which can entail completing continuing education. For more information, see our page with connections to state requirements, which is explained in greater depth further down the page.

Prerequisites for Training Hours
The number of training hours you must complete before you can submit an application for a license is set by each state board. Training hours, as the name suggests, are the amount of time you spend preparing for a career in a recognized program that exposes you to both classroom and practical instruction.

Keep in mind that the typical esthetics program lasts 650 hours and can be finished in six months if you reside in one of the numerous states that mandate that you obtain an esthetician license. Yet a lot of that depends on where you live. For instance, you need to finish 1,000 hours of training in Alabama, but only 250 hours if you live in Oregon.

Several states permit you to use an apprenticeship program in place of training. If you take that route, be prepared to put in a lot more time—often twice as much—to finish an apprenticeship.

You should prepare to devote roughly 40 hours to your certification program if you reside in a state that mandates that you obtain both a certificate and a license. For instance, the 40 hours required to earn the Certified Laser Hair Removal Professional (CLHRP) credential from the Society for Clinical and Medical Hair Removal (SCMHR). On the other hand, the New York Institute of Beauty curriculum lasts 38 hours over five days.

requisite tests
The National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC) exam is typically required in places where you need to obtain an esthetician license, while some states also offer their own version of the NIC exam. It includes a written theory exam as well as a practical or hands-on examination. There’s also the Certified Laser Hair Removal Professional (CLHRP) exam, which you might have to take instead of, or in addition to, the NIC test. This is a written test that comprises of 100 multiple-choice questions. The majority of certification programs also call for you to take an exam.

Average salary of a laser hair removal technician

Laser hair removal technicians can be full-time salaried employees or hourly wage employees, depending on their work environment. The average annual salary for a laser technician is $55,947 per year. They are considered skin care specialists, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment opportunities for this occupation to grow 17% by 2029, which is significantly faster than most occupations.

Laser Hair Removal Technician Salary

As of February 27, 2023, the average Laser Hair Removal Technician pay in the United States is $44,284, although the normal salary range is $39,987 to $50,840. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

Skills for a laser hair removal technician

Laser hair removal technicians require a combination of technical and interpersonal skills to be successful, also referred to as hard and soft skills. This includes skills obtained during education and certification programs and skills you refine as you gain work experience. The most important skills for a laser hair removal technician to have include:

Attention to detail

This skill involves the ability to understand and attend to information such as hair removal procedures, safety guidelines and client needs to ensure high-quality work. Laser hair removal technicians are attentive when identifying characteristics of a client’s skin, determining the most appropriate laser instrument, observing treatment efficacy throughout procedures, monitoring post-treatment progress and complying with industry regulations. Attention to detail is especially important during treatment to ensure the health and safety of clients.


This skill involves the ability to clearly and effectively convey information to other people. Using primarily verbal communication, laser hair removal technicians explain procedures, answer questions, provide recommendations and schedule appointments. An important component of this is being able to explain things to clients in easy-to-understand, nontechnical language.


This skill involves presenting yourself as competent and capable of meeting the requirements of a given situation. Laser hair removal technicians use this skill by presenting themselves as confident to clients in order to ensure that clients are comfortable participating in a treatment. This is important in any service industry, especially one where health and safety are involved. You can communicate confidence by speaking clearly, answering questions, providing detailed answers and remaining calm under pressure.

Work environment for a laser hair removal technician

Laser hair removal technicians work across a variety of settings including salons, spas, doctor’s offices and plastic surgery facilities. They may work any day of the week, during traditional business hours and possibly evening hours as well. If working independently with private clients, they may have a less traditional work schedule and perform services at the request of the clients. This job requires technicians to stand for much of the day, move around often and operate laser equipment.

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