Electrologist Job Description
Considering becoming an electrologist?
Are you interested in helping people achieve long-lasting beauty results? If so, electrology (also called “permanent hair removal”) could be a great fit for you. It’s a unique aspect of the beauty business that is continually growing in popularity with women and men alike who wish to cut back on the time and costs they invest in shaving and waxing unwanted hair. Beauty Schools Directory has put together this extensive resource with tons of information about becoming a permanent hair removal specialist. If you like the sound of becoming a licensed electrologist, simply enter your zip code in the box to the right and choose "Electrology" to find schools near you.
Jump to Your Question:
- List of Permanent Hair Removal Schools
- How should I find, compare and contact electrology schools?
- What is electrology, and what does an electrologist do?
- What qualities does a permanent hair removal specialist need?
- How do I become an electrologist?
- How long does it take to become a permanent hair removal specialist?
- What are an electrologist’s career options?
- What is the average salary of an electrologist?
- What is the job demand outlook for permanent hair removal?
The first step to becoming a professional electrologist is to get the education your state requires and get all the appropriate licensing. If you are considering becoming a permanent hair removal specialist, talk to electrolysis schools about their programs, the cost of tuition at their campuses, the curriculum they teach, and any other questions you may have. Everyone learns a little differently and may have different criteria that are important to them when choosing the right training program, so we created this “How to Choose a Beauty School” guide to help you make a confident decision. We always recommend talking to as many schools as possible in your area to get all your questions answered, though electrolysis is a highly specialized program so your school options may be limited. What’s nice about electrolysis is that programs enroll year-round. Permanent hair removal schools nationwide are enrolling now! Find schools near you to get started.
The definition of electrology is using electricity to remove hair at the root, or even moles and warts and other skin imperfections. So electrologists permanently remove unwanted hair from the face and body of their clients and patients through the use of electrolysis. The process of electrolysis uses an electric current to destroy the tissue, the dermal papilla, ridding the patient of the unwanted hair. Electrolysis is a permanent hair removal treatment, as opposed to temporary procedures such as laser hair removal.
There are three modalities of electrolysis that are used widely today. First is galvanic, which is a chemical process that eliminates hair growth cells through a chemical reaction. The galvanic modality is usually used with multiple (up to 16) needle galvanic electrolysis.
Second is thermolysis, which uses heat to destroy the hair growth cells within the follicle. Thermoloysis can use the flash method with high intensity current for less time, or a lower intensity current for a longer time. Lastly, both galvanic and thermolysis can be blended to use both heat and chemical reactions to destroy the hair growth cells.
Patients of electrologists are often women who wish to removed excess facial hair, or are tired of wasting their valuable time shaving and waxing legs, armpits, upper lips and other unwanted hair. But many men also choose to visit electrologists to have their beard or eyebrows thinned, or to have unwanted hair removed from their bodies. Other common procedures include eyebrow shaping, hair line adjustment, or the removal of hair from moles. Electrologists are often entrepreneurs working in private practice, or in a cosmetology setting. Patients will see the permanent hair removal specialist by appointment.
The electrolysis process begins with the electrologist sterilizing the client's skin with an antiseptic. A tiny needle is slid down the opening of the follicle into the papilla, tissue below the hair root. The electrologist adjusts the timing and intensity of an electric current that is then sent through the needle. The hair is then removed by the electrologist with a tweezer. Amazing, right?
The most important part of an electrologist’s job is make their patients feel comfortable, and to form a trusting relationship with their clients. Permanent hair removal is a very private, personal experience for clients, and some may even be embarrassed about their unwanted hair. Be ready and willing to let them know that they are in good hands, and that you are going to take great care of them.
The next most important trait for permanent hair removal experts is to have a genuine desire to help people. An electrologist needs to be outgoing and be able to make a client feel relaxed, and also very understanding and empathetic with any feelings of discomfort the client may have. Having a friendly, warm electrologist to guide them through the process step-by-step can be an immensely helpful thing for the patients.
Being a self-starter is important for electrologists who wish to own their own businesses. Though salons, spas and dermatologists’ offices may employ permanent hair removal specialists, many instead choose to work independently and start their own companies. If that’s the case, you should have the entrepreneurial spirit to start and maintain your business as it grows.
The first step to becoming an electrologist is to attend an electrology school. There are several permanent hair removal schools accredited by the American Electrology Association and other accrediting bodies. At electrolysis school you will learn how to perform all types of electrolysis, through state-of-the-art hair removal technology that uses a small amount of electricity at the base of the hair follicle to help remove it and discourage future growth. During this program you will learn to recognize hair growth patterns, and the factors that contribute to unwanted hair growth. If you pursue medical electrolysis, you may use technology that destroys the hair growth cells with heat or chemical energy.
You also need to research your state’s laws, regulations and licensure requirements. Every single state has a different policy for the amount of training required, the board exam requirements, licensure periods and more. Click here to view electrology license requirements by state. This can also affect the cost of electrolysis school. For states with shorter training requirements, the programs are often less than $5,000, whereas programs in states with longer requirements tend to fall between $5,000 and well under $10,000.
Another step in the process is to become a Certified Professional Electrologist (CPE). To become certified you must pass the CPE exam given by the American Electrology Association. The education you have received at electrology school will prepare you for the CPE. It is not mandatory for you to become a CPE, but it is highly recommended. Being a CPE demonstrates your professionalism and dedication to the field, and can be a very valuable point on your resume when applying for jobs, or certification to have on your wall if you own your own business. Many hair removal customers will look for this CPE certification.
If this list of traits sounds like you have the potential to be a great electrologist, there are many schools enrolling students now. Click the button below to find permanent hair removal training near you.
The length of time it takes to become an electrologist depends on your state. Some states do not license electrologists at all, and the course could be as short as 5 weeks, or 200 hours, to complete. But most states do require licensure in order to perform permanent hair removal services for clients.
Our survey of licensing boards across the U.S. shows that the average amount of hours required is between 400 and 800 training hours for an electrolysis license depending on your state. However, many states (like Ohio and Alabama) regulate this license under the Esthetician/Skin Care Specialist license instead of a separate certification. Those programs take on average 600 to 1200 hours depending on your state.
Almost all trainings and certifications to become eligible to perform permanent hair removal can be completed in less than one year.
This is a highly specialized field that is specific to the beauty and skin care business. The variety of potential job titles may be small, the amount of job opportunities and locations where you could become employed is great. Electrologists can work in day spas or salons, or sometimes in dermatologists’ and other medical offices.
Individuals can either apply to an existing electrolysis practice, or as a complement to medical or cosmetology practices. Because of the low cost of opening one’s own electrolysis business, a huge amount of the licensed professionals in this field are entrepreneurs who have founded their own hair removal businesses.
The American Electrology Association estimates the average salary for a full-time electrologist somewhere between $25,000 and $50,000 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (2015) lists the median annual salary for skin care specialists and electrologists as $33,810, not including gratuities. The salary of an electrologist can vary greatly by location of the business, whether you are self-employed or working for a salon or spa, whether you work part-time or full-time, the number of years of experience you have, and many other factors.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics includes electrologists and laser hair removal specialists in their “Skincare Specialists” category. The BLS (2015) anticipates that job demand in the skincare field will grow 40% through the year 2022, with the possibility of about 17,700 jobs being added to the field. This is significantly faster than the average for all other occupations and faster than that for other personal appearance worker occupations. If you are considering a career in the beauty trade, electrologists and other skin care related fields are hot right now.
Still have questions?
Not to worry! We have tons more information about how to become an electrologist, even answers to questions you never thought to ask. Please contact us with your questions. No question is dumb, and we're here to help you find all the information you need to make an educated, confident decision to start your career off right.
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