Is there anything better in life than spending a relaxing afternoon at a spa? Enjoying a massage or perhaps a rejuvenating skin care treatment offers us a chance to relax and forget about the trials and tribulations of day-to-day life.

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to be part of the spa industry? Demand for spa services has grown at an incredible rate over the last decade, and the need for qualified professionals is at an all time high. Imagine a relaxed work environment where your primary objective is to help your client look and feel their best.

The first step to getting involved is training. There are numerous schools available nationwide that are dedicated to helping to prepare you to develop your knowledge and confidence in providing these popular services.

Skin care professionals are often called estheticians or facial specialists. Most states require specific training and licensure of these professionals, and this is most often regulated by the local cosmetology board. Completion of esthetics training and successful navigation of the local state license application process can open opportunities for employment at spas, salons, physician offices, or allow you the chance to start your own business.

An exciting new trend in the skin care industry is the emergence of medical spas. A medical spa typically represents the fusion of esthetics and medicine. The result is the ability to provide skin care services with more significant, and often permanent, cosmetic enhancements utilizing high-technology devices such as a laser.

These services might include wrinkle reduction, skin tightening, cellulite reduction, hair removal, tattoo removal, and several other treatments designed to resolve specific imperfections or to help fight the effects of aging. These services are typically non-invasive, which means that there is no cutting or bleeding, and virtually no negative after effects or down-time. In other words, these are services that you can schedule on your lunch break just like traditional spa services.

With a medical spa and medical aesthetic services, seeking proper training is more important than ever. As this segment of the industry continues to grow, more consistent regulations and standardized training requirements will follow.

In most states, the regulation of medical spas has been left to the state medical board. The first state to establish specific regulations for medical aesthetic professionals is Arizona. The Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency (ARRA) has helped to established state authorized private laser training schools. With the success of the ARRA program, additional states are likely to follow suit in the coming years.

When selecting an institute for medical aesthetics for laser training, there are a few things to consider in order to be sure that you are going to receive the most comprehensive training program possible. How experienced are the faculty members? Does the faculty include a physician instructor and additional medical and aesthetic professionals? What specific certifications or licensing are offered? Do they offer a limited number or a wide range of certifications? Have they invested in a number of technologies for you to utilize at the school to make certain that you are well prepared upon graduation? Are they a professional organization with a full-time dedication to training and research?

The future of the spa industry is here, and the quality of the training you receive at this early stage of your new career will have a lasting impact on your confidence and success as a professional.

Jason Begley