What is the difference between a Beautician and a Dermal Clinician?

Beautician, Beauty Therapist, Aesthetician, Laser/Skin Therapist, Dermal Clinician – Do you know who is taking care of your skin?

In Australia the training between each of these roles varies significantly and they have very different responsibilities.


Beauticians can be trained on the job with no formal qualification or training, most do attend TAFE and have a Certificate III in beauty treatments. Beauticians mostly perform beauty services such as spray tanning, waxing, tinting, nails, makeup and eyelash extensions. Some businesses may also have beauticians perform express facials, body treatments and massage.

Beauty Therapist, Aesthetician, Laser/Skin Therapist

These titles can be given to anyone who is certificate IV or diploma qualified however, there are differences in what treatments they are able to perform.

A Beauty Therapist typically concentrates on performing beauty and spa treatments such as facials, massage, spa treatments, waxing, tinting and nails. Further in-house training may be provided by some businesses for these employees to understand cosmeceutical skincare and allow them to perform treatments such as microdermabrasion, superficial peels, laser/IPL and LED light therapy.

Dermal Clinician

A Dermal Clinician has studied for four or more years to obtain a formal degree. Some of the subjects they will cover during their course will include dermal science, cosmetic chemistry, nutrition and nursing basics (such as wound management and infection control). Dermal degree qualifications are the most highly regarded in the industry, and leading businesses will employ experienced Dermal Clinicians. They can perform advanced skin treatments such as laser/IPL, chemical peels, skin needling, radio frequency, LED light therapy and high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). A Dermal Clinician has a working knowledge of cosmetic medicine and often works with other health professionals such as dermatologists, plastic and reconstructive surgeons.

The industry is predominantly self-regulated in Australia, and there are no formal guidelines or licenses, so as a client it is important to understand the different qualifications and scope of treatments each of these beauty practitioners can perform. This is especially important with advanced treatments such as laser/IPL, chemical peels and skin needling.

At Avenue Advanced Skin Care, as part of Avenue Plastic Surgery, we are proud to have a highly experienced team of Dermal Clinicians who are specifically trained and qualified to assist in the therapeutic and cosmetic application of skin treatments and non-surgical rejuvenation of the skin.

Find out more about our team here