The Beauty of Science: 5 Careers That Combine Beauty and Medicine
Many beauty lovers may be surprised to find that there are many medical careers that will allow them to follow their passion for beauty. Most beauty lovers tend to pursue careers as makeup artists or hair stylists— career paths that typically don’t make much money unless you’re working with famous clients.
Not very many will think to take their love of beauty into the medical field, where they have the potential to not only earn more money but also be exposed to different medical careers that can help people achieve the look they desire. Here are five examples of medical-related careers that focus on beauty.
For the beauty gurus who consider themselves to be “product junkies”, a cosmetic chemist may be the perfect career path. These scientific professionals work in labs to create skincare, personal care, hair care, makeup, and body care products. With an extensive knowledge of chemistry and other reactive sciences, cosmetic chemists mix raw ingredients to create beauty products that can be safely used by consumers.
To become a cosmetic chemist, you must first earn a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry, pharmaceutical science, or another related field and gain experience working in labs. Typically, a Bachelor’s degree is enough to become a cosmetic chemist, but those who pursue a Master’s degree or PhD tend to earn more money. Cosmetic chemists can expect to earn around $78,000 per year, but this salary will vary depending on your education, experience, and where you work.
A cosmetic dentist is sometimes confused with an orthodontist because they both perform dental procedures that improve teeth. However, orthodontists perform more complex dental procedures that improve functionality and overall oral health, whereas cosmetic dentists focus more on the appearance of teeth. Cosmetic dentists improve the way a person’s smile looks by:
- Installing fake teeth (i.e., crowns and veneers)
- Repairing chipped and/or uneven teeth
- Whitening teeth
In the U.S., the national average salary for a cosmetic dentist is around $236,000 per year. Cosmetic dentists are trained in general dentistry and can perform simple dental procedures (such as teeth cleanings and fillings) in addition to cosmetic procedures.
Dermatologists are doctors that specialize in skin, nails, and hair. They diagnose and treat different conditions that affect the skin and the sensitive areas of the body. They can also perform certain procedures, such as botox, chemical peels, cryotherapy (freezing technique that removes warts), fillers, laser therapy, and microneedling. Dermatologists can also treat the following conditions:
- Eczema and rosacea
- Hair loss
- Nail issues
- Skin cancer
- Skin lesions and rashes
Becoming a dermatologist takes about 11 years to achieve, requiring a Bachelor’s degree, attending medical school, and a residency in dermatology. Dermatologists earn an average of about $270,000 per year.
Estheticians are similar to dermatologists, but their focus is strictly on skincare. Their specialty in skincare is applied to the look and health of skin, but they don’t treat skin issues other than acne. Estheticians are qualified to:
- Apply facials
- Provide chemical peels
- Recommend a skincare routine
- Remove facial hair
To become an esthetician, you must first earn a high school diploma or GED and then attend an esthetician school for certification. Estheticians make a decent salary of $36,000 per year on average.
Plastic surgeons perform medical procedures on patients in need of cosmetic or reconstructive surgery. They are trained medical doctors, so becoming a plastic surgeon is much like becoming a heart surgeon: obtain a Bachelor’s degree (focusing on pre-medical studies), attend medical school, complete a residency, and become board certified as a surgeon. Some of the procedures that plastic surgeons perform include:
- Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery)
- Breast augmentations/reductions
- Rhinoplasty (nose jobs)
On average, plastic surgeons make about $280,000 per year, but again, this depends on where you work and the amount of experience you have. Plastic surgery is a very lucrative career field, and plastic surgeons can search for jobs in their specialty or open their own practice in underserved areas.
There are many more career paths in the medical field that relate to beauty, or assist the professionals listed above in some way (e.g., anesthesiologists, physician assistants, surgical nurses). Medical careers can be challenging at times, but they are also very rewarding. These are just a few examples of how you can combine a rewarding career with your love for all things beauty.