Education and Training Requirements

High School

While you are in high school, you should take classes in science, anatomy, physiology, and health if you are interested in pursuing a career as an electrologist. These classes will give you a good understanding of the human body and its functions. Learning about hair and how it grows, in addition to the theories and practices of electrology, can help a potential electrologist decide if this is the proper career path for him or her. In addition, you should consider taking classes in communications, psychology, and bookkeeping, accounting, and business management. These classes will give you skills for working well with people as well as help you if you decide to establish your own practice. 

Postsecondary Training

Once you have gotten your high school diploma or equivalency certificate, you can enroll in a trade school or professional school that offers electrolysis training. (Visit http://professionals.electrology.com/electrology-schools-and-scholarships.html for a list of training programs.) The quality of these programs may vary, so you should look for programs that offer courses of study in such areas as microbiology, dermatology, neurology, and electricity. You will also learn about proper sterilization and sanitation procedures to avoid infections or injury to yourself or your clients. Classes that cover cell composition, the endocrine system, the vascular pulmonary system, and basic anatomy will also be beneficial.

Although the training offered is designed to educate students about the theory of electrolysis and its relation to the skin and tissue, the greater part of the training is of a practical nature. You will spend many training hours learning the purpose and function of the different types of equipment. In addition, hands-on experience with patrons needing different treatments will give you confidence in operating equipment and working with people.

Programs may be offered on a full-time or part-time basis. Although tuition varies, some schools offer financial assistance or payment plans to make their programs more affordable. Sometimes lab and materials fees are charged. Check if the school you are interested in is accredited or associated with any professional organizations. Also, consider what state you want to work in after graduation. Licensing requirements of the various states may affect the length and type of training that the schools offer.

Other Education and Training

The American Electrology Association, theSociety for Clinical and Medical Hair Removal, and their approved affiliates provide continuing education classes, seminars, workshops, and self-guided home study programs to electrologists. Contact these organizations for more information.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Certification, while voluntary, can indicate your commitment to the profession. A number of certification options are available. For example, the designation of certified professional electrologist is offered by the American Electrology Association through the International Board of Electrologists Certification. The Society for Clinical and Medical Hair Removal offers different certification levels through its International Commission for Hair Removal Certification: certified clinical electrologist, certified medical electrologist certification, certified laser hair removal professional, and certified pulse light hair removal professional.

Some states require electrologists to be licensed. Those with this requirement offer the licensing examinations through their state health departments. The examination usually covers various topics in the areas of health and cosmetology. Most states require applicants for electrology licensing to have a minimum number of study hours and practical training. They must also pass a written theory examination, a state exam, and a clinical examination. You should become familiar with your state's licensing requirements prior to beginning your training so you can be sure your education provides you with everything necessary to practice. Visit http://professionals.electrology.com/be-an-electrologist/electrology-licensing-requirements.html for information on licensing requirements in your state.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Experience as an assistant, as well as the completion of a formal training program, are required to become an electrologist.

Electrologists help people feel good about themselves by improving aspects of their physical appearance. People with excess body hair see the procedure as a way for them to have a "normal" life, in which they do not have to rely on temporary methods to remove hair or hide hairy areas. Electrologists feel a great sense of accomplishment through helping people with the various stages of their treatment and helping them to achieve their hair removal goals. They may sometimes feel the anxiety of a client who is impatient or unrealistic about the results or is nervous about the process. Because electrologists perform personal and sometimes uncomfortable treatments, it is important that they be patient and caring and develop an empathetic working style. A potential electrologist also should not be squeamish, since the procedure involves probes. Since the area to be treated is sometimes delicate, electrologists need to have good visual acuity and coordination to perform the procedures, although special accommodations may be made for practitioners with different abilities.