How to Get Started as a Cosmetic Injector
If you’re thinking about learning to administer BOTOX® and filler, you have chosen an exciting time to break into the world of injectables. With growing applications and techniques from “liquid facelifts” to “baby Botox,” the demand for skilled injectors is rising. But this fast-growing industry is also highly competitive, so it’s critical to invest in top-tier training first and foremost in order to lay the groundwork for a thriving practice.
Below, I explain the importance of your training course, plus the next steps to take as you establish yourself in today’s injectables market.
1. Get hands-on training & experience
The first step is to seek hands-on training in today’s uses of injectables. Here in Denver, we offer Core Aesthetics Training Institute (CATI) courses—the highest caliber of injectable training available. CATI combines classroom-style lessons with hands-on training at our thriving plastic surgery practice. We also teach you the business and marketing side of injecting and provide shadowing opportunities.
A high-quality training course is an essential investment, setting you up to build your clientele from day 1.
CATI injector training vs. “budget” injector courses
There are numerous budget injectables training courses out there, many of which are only offered “virtually” with zero hands-on training. This shortchanges you more than you may realize, leaving you unprepared to start injecting on day 1 of the job and hampering your career success. This is why a high-quality training course is an essential investment when it comes to genuinely preparing you with the skills you need to begin offering facial contouring with injectables.
Here is how CATI far exceeds most other courses:
- We are 100% transparent about our teachers’ training & background. We are experienced injectors actively working in the industry, understand current and upcoming trends, and thus are proud to share our full credentials. Other courses simply assign you to a random trainer who may have little-to-no real world experience offering injectables. (Read about our credentials here: Dr. Gregory Buford and Lauren Mitschrich, PA-C.)
- We offer additional shadowing in our practice to give trainees real world exposure to the reality of working with patients, building on the hands-on training with clients that is offered as part of the course. Most programs simply train you and then let you go.
At CATI, we don’t just teach you how to administer Botox and filler, but also help to springboard your career as an injector with these value-added opportunities:
- We introduce you to industry contacts as part of the course so that you can establish accounts right out of the gate. We are in contact with an extensive network of medical spas, and we are happy to set up introductions and pass along employment opportunities to our CATI graduates.
- We help you develop business and marketing strategy in our business development course module, covering practice set-up, practice management, and social media.
- We work closely with the medspa industry in addition to our private injecting practice, so we know what employers are looking for in a good injector.
- We give our trainees a reading list with the most reliable information available about neurotoxin and dermal filler.
CATI is designed for physicians, nurses, NPs, and PAs
As a physician, nurse, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant, you may think you do not need top-tier injectables training—or that you can be trained “on the job.” However, if you want to secure a position at a respected aesthetic practice, you will be expected to arrive with a thorough understanding of anatomy and physiology, injectable product characteristics (i.e. Juvéderm Voluma vs. Juvéderm Volbella), and safe, effective injection techniques. These are basic job requirements taught in our robust CATI course, and they allow you to begin to build your clientele from your first day, whether on the job or at your own practice.
2. Document all of your work!
It’s easy to be so attentive to learning injectable techniques and treating your initial patients that you may neglect to take proper photos of your results. As you begin injecting, make it a rule to pause and take a ‘before’ photo before you inject, and again, a photo after treatment. Your photo portfolio will be the backbone of your marketing efforts as well as helpful documentation of treatment.
Don’t be casual about this: ensure your photos are well-lit, and the angle and zoom are matched in your before and after photos. Ideally, you will get follow-up photos when results have had time to fully develop. Develop a system for labeling and securely storing your patient photos, rather than simply mixing them with personal shots on your smartphone.
When possible, video treatments for social media as well. And don’t forget—document photo use permissions from each of your patients.
3. Establish your social media presence & marketing voice
Establishing yourself through a social media account is key in the competitive market of injectors. Your future clients have options, so making a name for yourself online and showing what you’re capable of can go a long way in helping you stand out from less proactive providers.
On our BEAUTY by BUFORD Instagram account, we let our patients know about new treatments, show our favorite before and afters, and offer insights into our values and who we are outside of the office. We are also able to share stories of patients with common concerns and educate the public about options, all while demonstrating our aesthetic taste and competency.
4. Begin offering injectables, either at an existing practice or on your own
Joining an existing practice
Joining an existing cosmetic practice allows you to focus on treating patients (versus managing a business) and is the easiest way to build up an injectable clientele. Scope out plastic surgery and dermatology practices led by board certified doctors who have an excellent reputation based on reviews. Once you have identified practices you think would be an ideal fit for you, personally approach them with your resume, examples of your work, and your social media account(s)—even if they are not currently advertising for an injector, this is worth doing. There is a shortage of talented injectors and, should they be impressed with your training and results, they will likely be eager to establish contact.
Establishing your own practice
If you decide to establish your own practice, learning the business is very important. This is a topic we touch on as a part of our CATI injectables training course, and we also offer a stand-alone Business Development Module training session. You will need to set up the legal entity for your business, establish protocols and processes, and grow your client base with an understanding of the industry and the clients you’ll be seeing. Learning all of this from a mentor who is experienced in the field is key to getting the details right at the very beginning.
5. Start building relationships with patients
Succeeding as an injector requires more than clinical skill: you must also demonstrate people skills—connecting with patients, listening sensitively, and understanding how to balance their priorities. It’s also key to show your ability to handle client frustrations, complications, or to fix unsatisfactory results (past customer service experience is a plus!).
Be very intentional in building relationships with your patients from day one. It may take longer than you think to establish these relationships and may be a year or more before you have a full schedule, but don’t fret—word-of-mouth marketing works, hustle pays off, and our industry is growing! Go the extra mile to be there for your patients, and you will outshine the competition.
6. Continue to invest in your career and grow your expertise
While a superb injectables training course is a key first step to becoming an injector, it will not instantly propel you into a successful career. The art and science of injectables is an ever-evolving field, and you will benefit tangibly from seeking out continuing education opportunities. Here are some of the ways that I and my fellow master injector, board certified physician assistant Lauren Mitschrich, stay on top of our field:
- Look for local peer-to-peer mentoring groups (i.e. Mastermind groups) and join relevant societies where you can trade tips and techniques with fellow injectors as part of a mutually beneficial relationship.
- Read everything you can find, subscribe to relevant peer-reviewed journals, and keep up with influential injectors on social media.
- Attend conferences, continuing education workshops, and educational events.
- Seek mentorship (or internship) opportunities in which you work in exchange for a chance to learn from more experienced injectors.
It is understandable that many new injectors are hesitant to invest in continuing education. However, staying abreast of the field is well worth the cost in an exciting, competitive field that bridges art and science.
Begin your journey to a fulfilling career as a medical injector today
We believe that becoming an aesthetic injector is an exciting journey toward a sincerely rewarding career. With Dr. Buford and Lauren’s Denver CATI course, you will begin your journey with the best—and you can even expect to have some fun along the way!