In today’s incredibly difficult job market, the savvy professional will identify growth industries and build a career path within one. There are no guarantees that the job you’re in today will be there tomorrow, and no contract is unbreakable. But you can give yourself a great shot to remain employed if you work within an industry in demand, one that promises to be around regardless of changes in technology of the economy. And one of those fields is plastic and cosmetic surgery. The middle class may not have much money sitting around for elective surgeries, but the wealthy continue to spend large amounts on procedures as varied as breast augmentation, permanent makeup, liposuction or the removal of moles. And regardless of your expertise, working in the cosmetic surgery field will provide a wealth of opportunities, as you’ll find within every medical practice in the coming decades. Here are some of the different career options in plastic and cosmetic surgery you may want to consider.
The first and most obvious is work as a plastic surgeon. Doctors who focus on this specialty average an annual salary well over $300,000 a year, and for some of the top surgeons in the field that could be on the conservative site. The plastic surgeon is the head of the practice, and makes most of the larger decisions as to focus and direction. He or she works with the patients from consultation through to follow-up, and must take on years and years of training to live up to that responsibility. That means a full medical school program as well as an extensive residency. True success runs from owning a thriving practice, and that will also take a strong mind for business, branding and promotion. It’s an incredibly rewarding field, but one of the most difficult.
Below the surgeon is the surgical nurse. This is a registered nurse who has trained for years to assist with surgeries. The surgical nurse will be a hands-on member of the team actually performing the procedures, and will either handle the post-surgery care or manage the other nurses who are responsible for that part of the process. Although not nearly as intensive as the surgeon route, a surgical nurse should obtain an advanced degree and work in surgical situations.
Many cosmetic practices also employ one or more estheticians. An esthetician focuses on skincare, but is much more highly trained than a beautician. In this line of work you can assist the plastic surgeon with any skin treatment, including laser work, chemical peels and microdermabrasion. Some of the more experienced estheticians handle some of these tasks on their own, as well as administering botox injections and helping with patient consultations. You don’t have to be a medical doctor and the specific training and certification process varies state by state. But there will be certain amounts of specialized work required, including a series of exams and hands-on practice with the machines commonly used.
Assisting these professionals are the nurse’s aids and physician’s assistants. The PA or physician’s assistant is licensed to work within the practice, and may assist in the surgery itself. He can write out prescriptions and administer certain medications, but only under the supervision of the surgeon. You can get this work with a graduate degree, as long as you can pass the medical boards. It’s a great stepping stone if you want to eventually become a surgeon. The nurse’s aid will support the surgical nurse, assisting during patient recuperation efforts. They are the ones with the best bedside manner, and as such should have some experience working with patients in a hospital setting. You can get these jobs with a degree in nursing even with limited experience, as long as you find the right office fit.
Any office, whether the smallest Perth cosmetic surgeon or the busiest Beverly Hills medical center, needs a support staff. This mix of secretaries, front desk receptionists and billing specialists do not need medical training. They are administrative professionals, and no office can function properly without them. They aren’t the most lucrative or dramatic jobs, but they are consistent, and a good administrative professional is as necessary to a practice’s success as the surgeon himself.