Currently Browsing: Salary Ranges

1. What is the consensus on tipping with in a Medical Spa? We at one time accepted them but the doctor now does not want to have her pts. feel obligated to tip. I am not talking about the nurses I am only talking about the Estheticians and spa services. I have a house full of unhappy technicians.Any comments or ideas? Thank You!

Response #1: I don’t think the patients need to feel “obligated” to tip, but certainly if the technician (aesthetician or nurse, if they perform the same service) does a good job and the patient wants to show his/her appreciation, then by all means, tipping should be acceptable. When mixing “spa” and “clinical” there needs to be a blend, especially if the facility’s decor and ambiance suggests something other than your basic exam room. I think that if the facility has the connotation of “spa”, then tipping, in “spas” around the world is the acceptable thing to do. I am amazed that physician’s want the “spa” atmosphere, but will not allow their employees to be compensated extra by the patients in the traditional sense of a salon atmosphere. After all, you can call any facility by any name, (medical spa. salon, clinical skincare) but when it comes right down to it, you are performing COSMETIC PROCEDURES in a salon atmosphere! A physician should feel complimented and proud that he/she has quality staff that the patient’s appreciate and revere as professionals in the true sense of the word, and want to show their appreciation by tipping. I would worry if the patient’s didn’t at least ask about tipping, as that is a reflection of the quality of service they are or are not receiving. Also, remember that tips need to be reported as income and must have all applicable taxes taken out of the employee’s payroll. – Bea Hunter, Past President, SPSSCS

Response #2: Our facility maintains a “no-tipping” policy in order to separate ourselves from a traditional salon/spa atmosphere. We feel that it is important for us to project the image of a medical treatment facility and that tipping does not fit in. However, I have spoken to facilities that do allow their staff to accept tips. This can become a difficult issue when adding cosmetologists and estheticians to a medical staff because “tips” are an anticipated part of their income in a salon/spa environment. Also, you run into a problem if nursing staff is added. Do you begin to allow the medical staff to accept tips as well?

I recommend that the physician reevaluate the importance of maintaining a “tip-free” environment versus keeping the staff happy. If it is extremely important to them that tips not be accepted, I would recommend raising the commission or pay base comparable to what the technician would be paid in an area salon for the same treatment including a tip. The technician will compensate for the tip income no longer given through a “tip” and the physician can maintain the atmosphere of the medical practice.

If your physician does not have strong enough conviction to compensate the technician for wages lost to the no tipping policy, then I recommend that the technicians be allowed to continue to accept the money and/or gifts offered to them in appreciation of their service. – Michelle Cox, Past President, Savannah, GA >

Response #3: While it is standard practice in most offices to not accept tips for any services, it can be difficult to stop or change an existing situation. In the new concept medical spa situation some physicians do allow tipping for “non medical” services like facials, body treatments, waxing etc.

How to deal with “unhappy technicians” is however another issue. As their perception of this change can be one of loss of income you might look at another aspect of salary compensation for them. Do they have an opportunity to receive any type of bonus program? This can be based on service, retail and performance goal achievement. Exploring ways to have your technicians not feel they have lost income and the physician comfortable with not receiving tips in the spa would be a “win-win” situation for all. – Sandra Adams, Past Board Member, Crandall, TX

December 30, 2011

2. What are the salary ranges for skin care specialists?

This is a sticky and tough question. There are a lot of different factors that are taken into account here, just like any other job we may apply for even if we weren’t in skin care. Experience is always the key. Whether we have medical skin care experience or just a new graduate will always dictate salary. It is also dependent on where you live and how busy your practice is. Do not think that because you are entering the medical skin care industry that you will make more than in a salon –that is not always true. Negotiate your salary – some are base, base plus commission, some include insurance and non-taxable benefits. Make sure you understand and feel comfortable with any contract that is given to you before you sign it. Even have your own lawyer take a look at it.

December 30, 2011