What is a Dermal Therapist? How Do They Compare to Other Beauty Providers?

By: Stephanie Davis

What is a Dermal Therapist? How Do They Compare to Other Beauty Providers?

In Australia, we have a number of different professions that all sound the same, so what is a dermal therapist? And how does it compare to a Beautician, Beauty Therapist, Dermal Clinician and Registered Nurse?

Let's find out!

What is a Dermal Therapist?

A dermal therapist is someone who holds a Graduate or Advanced Diploma in Cosmetic Dermal Science.

This qualification in dermal therapy signifies a focused expertise in skin health, cosmetic procedures, and the foundational aspects of cosmeceutical science.

Dermal therapists do treatments such as:

  • Laser and light-based treatments

  • Epidermal resurfacing procedures

  • Skin Needling (also known as microneedling)

Their role is more specialised in skin care and treatment, often incorporating advanced cosmetic technologies and techniques.

Health professionals in the dermal therapy industry are well respected by their more advanced peers.

Comparing Dermal Therapists with Beauticians, Beauty Therapists, Dermal Clinicians and Registered Nurses.

We go over the in-depth details below, but for all you TLDR people, here is a quick table to compare their qualifications.

Type Qualification Cosmetic Injectables
Beautician Certificate III No
Beauty Therapist Certificate IV No
Dermal Therapist Advanced Diploma No
Dermal Clinician University Degree No
Registered Nurse University Degree Yes

What is a Beautician?

A beautician should hold a Certificate III in Beauty Services.

This qualification can be achieved in approx. 6 months' worth of study.

Beauticians do treatments such as:

  • Hair removal

  • Makeup application

  • Spray tanning

  • Eyelash and eyebrow tinting

  • Facials

  • Manicures & pedicures

These professionals are trained to enhance aesthetic appeal and handle basic skin care routines.

What is a Beauty Therapist?

A beauty therapist has attained either a Certificate IV or a Diploma in Beauty Therapy.

This involves a more extensive training period of around 12 months.

Similar to a beautician, beauty therapists are equipped to offer a diverse array of non-medical, customised services including:

  • Traditional facial treatments

  • Massage therapies

  • Manicures & pedicures

  • Various hair removal options (laser hair removal)

  • Waxing

What is a Dermal Clinician?

A dermal clinician has attained a full 4-year bachelor’s degree from university.

A dermal clinician's range of services is focused on skin health management and non-surgical cosmetic procedures, particularly suited for both acute and chronic skin conditions, disorders, and diseases.

Their specialised services include:

  • Advanced skin analysis and consultation

  • Laser and light-based therapies

  • Chemical peeling for skin rejuvenation (chemical peels)

  • Dermoscopy

  • Management of acute and chronic skin conditions

  • Post-surgical wound care

  • Nutritional advice for skin health

Dermal clinicians are equipped to work in various locations including a cosmetic clinic, medical clinics, skin clinics, and can collaborate with dermatologists.

Their role is very important in bridging the gap between beauty treatments and advanced medical skin care.

What is a Registered Nurse?

A registered nurse (RN) has attained a Bachelor of Nursing degree from university.

After completing their education, they must register with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia and meet the standards set by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

They're qualified for services such as:

  • Cosmetic injectables

  • Assessing and monitoring patient health

  • Administering medications and treatments

  • Coordinating with doctors and other healthcare professionals

  • Educating patients and families about health conditions

Registered nurses in Australia work in diverse settings like hospitals, clinics, community health services, and various aged care facilities.

They are extremely important in the healthcare system, providing essential care and support to patients across various medical contexts.


If you're wanting to become a dermal therapist or simply wanted to know the difference between the main dermal therapies and their qualifications in Australian society, we hope we've helped you to understand.

Skin treatments depending on how advanced require a different qualification, so if looking for something advanced like dermal fillers, make sure you choose a cosmetic medical practice that has a fully qualified cosmetic nurse (registered nurse).

For a list of cosmetic treatment providers in your area, make sure to check out our Australian cosmetic treatments page.

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