Over 3.2 million* people in Georgia have at least one tattoo on their bodies. Thinking of entering the tattoo removal field? This article will answer all your questions – what are the basic requirements of a tattoo removal business start up, tattoo removal market Georgia, tattoo removal certification Georgia, and more.
Tattoo Removal Business Start Up
When starting a tattoo removal business, there are several crucial things to consider, plan, and implement. For a step-by-step guide to starting a tattoo removal business, click here. This article covers important aspects of building your business including:
- tattoo removal equipment choices
- types of laser tattoo removal machines
- tattoo removal business space
- marketing and business plan
- training and hiring
- business profitability, and
- Licenses, state regulations, and insurance
For a detailed analysis of which insurance covers the business might need, click here.
It ultimately comes down to this: laser tattoo removal. Laser removal has emerged as the go-to treatment. It is effective and comparatively safe, being a non-invasive skin treatment. A laser tattoo removal clinic can be a highly profitable business.
Tattoo Removal Market Georgia
Not everyone loves their tattoo forever. According to Harris Poll (2015), almost a quarter of people with tattoos suffer from tattoo regret. In fact, the tattoo removal market is currently witnessing a huge expansion. It is set to grow into a $795 million market by 2027 at a growth rate of 19.3% (Allied Market Research). Over 3.2 million people in Georgia have at least one tattoo. Many of these tattooed individuals will face tattoo regret too. And when they do start looking for removal options, your tattoo removal clinic in Georgia can emerge as their savior.
Tattoo Removal Certification Georgia
To obtain tattoo removal certification in Georgia, the individual must meet the requirements set by the state medical board. Continue reading for detailed information on tattoo removal certification in Georgia.
Georgia Tattoo Removal Laws
In Georgia, the laser field is regulated by the Georgia Composite Medical Board. The board has established that apart from physicians with an active Georgia license, any other eligible candidate must have a valid laser license authorized by the state to perform non-ablative cosmetic laser services. Chapter 360-35 of the Rules & Regulations of the State of Georgia titled Lasers widely discusses the regulations applicable to cosmetic laser technicians. The law defines cosmetic laser services as “nonablative elective cosmetic light based skin care, photo rejuvenation, or hair removal using lasers or pulsed light devices approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for noninvasive procedures.”
There are two levels of cosmetic laser technicians in Georgia – assistant laser practitioner and senior laser practitioner. A person must either be a United States citizen, or a legal permanent resident, or a qualified alien or non-immigrant to apply for either of the two positions.
Assistant Laser Practitioner
To become an assistant laser practitioner, the person must
- be either 21 years or older;
- hold a current license as a physician assistant (PA), licensed practical nurse, nurse, esthetician, or master cosmetologist or must have held a former license or certificate as a medical practitioner; and
- have completed a minimum of 3 laser/intensed pulse light courses from an institution approved by the board.
Senior Laser Practitioner
To be eligible for the role of senior laser practitioner, the person must
- be either 21 years or older;
- hold a current license or certificate of registration as a physician assistant or a nurse or must have held a former license or a certificate of registration as a medical practitioner;
- Have a minimum of three years of clinical and/or technological medical experience;
- Be or have been a licensed or nationally board-certified medical practitioner for at least 3 years;
- submit any state license(s)/national certification held by the individual for verification;
- Have completed a minimum of two laser/intense pulsed light continuing medical education courses from an institution approved by the board.
It is the responsibility of the cosmetic laser technician to get the informed written consent of the patient. Possible material risks, nature and purpose of the procedure, credentials of the laser practitioner, personal aftercare response to any complications, and emergency contact number and principal place of practice of the consulting physician (not needed if the treatment is taking place at the physician’s office) must be given to the patient in writing. After the procedure is over, emergency details must be shared with them again.
An assistant laser practitioner can operate laser or pulsed light devices to perform cosmetic laser services only under the on-site supervision of a licensed physician or a licensed senior laser practitioner. The patient will first undergo examination by the supervisor (the consulting physician or the physician assistant/advanced registered practice nurse with a cosmetic laser practitioner license). When it comes to laser hair removal and pulsed light treatments, assistant laser practitioners can forsake these requirements. For a senior laser practitioner, no such supervision is required.
However, there are certain rules which must be followed by all. No laser practitioner can perform a cosmetic laser procedure in the 1-inch radius of the nearest part of the eye socket of a consumer. It is also illegal for them to administer a pharmaceutical agent or any other substance by injection. A laser practitioner whose conduct is found to be unlawful and unprofessional will be subject to disciplinary action.
A physician must meet certain conditions to qualify for the role of consulting physician:
- Must have an active Georgia license to practice medicine in the state
- Must have a principal place of business within the state. If the physician practices outside the state, they must be located within a 50-mile radius of the concerned facility.
- Must be available for emergencies
- Must have necessary training and education in the following laser modalities: safety, physics, and surgical techniques associated with lasers, including indications for such surgical procedures; pre and post-operative care; and treatment of complications that may arise during such a procedure.
The consulting physician is required to lay down a set of protocols for all cosmetic laser services provided at the establishment, and file it to the Board. Apart from that, the name, address, and credentials of the consulting physician and her/his delegates, if applicable, must also be submitted. The establishment must also have on display, a sign mentioning the consulting physician’s name, address, emergency contact number, board certification and area of specialty, address of their principal place of practice, and whether she/he is physically present. If absent, the name of the acting supervisor must be given, along with their name, emergency contact number, degrees and qualifications, and type of laser license held.
Tattoo Removal Certification Georgia – Approved Courses
The Board will only accept certifications from laser courses directly taught by a licensed physician or certified continuing medical education or continuing education educator. The course structure should cover cosmetic laser services, equipment safety and operation, procedures, and relative skin modalities.
The laser license needs to be renewed every two years. The date of expiration is the last day of the applicant’s birth month. While there is no additional requirement for the first renewal, every subsequent renewal requires the individual to meet a minimum quota – at least 5 hours of Board-approved continuing education.
Courses the Board will accept for continuing education credits:
- Courses approved for Category I credit by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).
- Courses approved for Category I Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit by AAPA, AMA, AOA, and NCCPA.
- Laser courses approved by the Georgia Board of Cosmetology.
- Laser courses approved for Category I credit by the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG). 5. Laser courses approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing
- Courses sponsored by the Georgia Composite Medical Board.
- Courses taught by a licensed physician specific to laser practice and safety.
-As listed on the Georgia Medical Board Website.
Tattoo Removal Certification Georgia (in short):
- In Georgia, only licensed physicians and laser practitioners with a valid state license can operate a laser.
- The laser practitioner could be a physician assistant, nurse, medical practitioner, licensed practical nurse, esthetician, or a master cosmetologist.
- A senior laser practitioner can perform a procedure without supervision.
- An assistant laser practitioner can only work under the direct supervision of a consulting physician or a senior laser practitioner. Supervision is not required for laser hair removal or pulsed light treatments.
- Laser license must be renewed every two years.
Georgia Business Support
Many organizations and government departments help businesses start and run efficiently. Some of them are:
- The Georgia State website offers a step-by-step guide to setting up a new business. They have also created a detailed resource directory (https://www.georgia.org/small-business-resource-directory) for small businesses, providing information on funding, loans, tax exemptions, assistance programs, and so much more.
- The Georgia Small Business Development Center Network provides support and assistance to existing and new businesses through its various training programs and free consultation service.
- The Georgia branch of SBA (Small Business Administration) also has a lot to offer. The SBA is not only a storehouse of information but also provides networking opportunities through its various small business events. The Georgia Small Business Resource Guide (https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/resourceguide_3110.pdf) is a comprehensive guide to starting a business in Georgia – from funding options to state policies and permits.
- Score is a non-profit organization offering educational resources and advice and mentorship from business experts.
- Startup Atlanta is a non-profit organization that aims to bolster networking in the Atlanta startup community.
Note: The article does not offer legal advice or interpretation.
*Based on statistics from https://www.ipsos.com/en-us/news-polls/more-americans-have-tattoos-today