Who Can Administer Botox?

Who Can Administer Botox?

Botox and dermal fillers are powerful treatments for a wide range of aesthetic and medical conditions, but they require precise application from skilled and certified professionals. While the professionals who can perform Botox and filler injections vary by jurisdiction, they’ll always need appropriate training and certification. Taking a credible and robust course in Botox and dermal fillers is a crucial first step.

Understanding Botox and Dermal Fillers

Poorly administered Botox or dermal filler can cause long-lasting adverse effects for patients, especially in sensitive areas like those around the eyes — but when a trained professional administers these two treatments, they can offer life-changing benefits to their patients.


Botox’s action comes from a neurotoxin derived from Clostridium botulinum. While this is the same bacteria that can cause botulism, the Botox product sees significant processing and purification for approved health care applications. It blocks nerve signals in the muscles at the injection site, causing temporary paralysis.

Licensed medical professionals can only purchase this controlled substance through pharmaceutical supply chains. Botox supports many indications and off-label uses with low risks of serious side effects. In aesthetic medicine, providers often use it to reduce wrinkles and fine lines. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved botulinum toxins for many applications, including frown lines, crow’s feet and forehead lines.

Other applications include preventing muscle spasms, reducing sweating, reducing urinary incontinence and treating migraines. Some dentists can also administer Botox to treat issues like jaw clenching, teeth grinding and temporomandibular jaw (TMJ) disorders.

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers also support a more youthful appearance, but they use a different mechanism. Fillers inject substances to add fullness and volume to certain parts of the face, like lips or cheeks, to adjust the shape and smooth out wrinkles or sagging skin. Popular ingredients used in dermal fillers include hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxyapatite and poly-L lactic acid.

This treatment is popular for addressing wrinkles and lines, such as nasolabial folds or marionette lines. Fillers are often used in the lips to give a fuller appearance. Dermal fillers are also used to reduce the effects of aging, which can cause the skin to lose elasticity and reduce collagen production.

What Degree Do You Need to Give Botox Injections?

Only licensed and trained medical professionals can provide injections, but the types of professionals qualified to administer Botox and dermal fillers may vary by state or jurisdiction.

Although the FDA permits Botox at the federal level, administration requirements differ across the country and are usually determined by individual states. Some require supervision from physicians or place limitations on when certain providers can perform injections. Always check with your state’s laws surrounding who can administer Botox and fillers.

Some of the professionals who may be able to inject Botox and fillers include:

  • Doctors: Doctors of Medicine (MD) and Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DOs) can typically perform injections in all states in various settings, ranging from medical spas to clinics.
  • Physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs): PAs and NPs can often provide Botox and fillers but may need supervision from a physician.
  • Registered nurses (RNs): RNs can sometimes administer Botox and fillers, usually with additional training and the supervision of a physician. Usually, aesthetic nurses pursue certifications when working in medical spas or other spaces dedicated to aesthetic medicine.
  • Dentists: Doctors of Dental Surgery (DDS), Doctors of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD) and professionals with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) can sometimes perform Botox and filler injections. Some states restrict dentists to specific applications, such as noncosmetic treatments. They may also require specialized training.

Medical and clinical assistants, aestheticians and other professionals outside of those listed above typically cannot perform injections with or without supervision.

Can Aestheticians Administer Botox?

Can Aestheticians Administer Botox?

While aestheticians often work alongside medical professionals injecting Botox, they cannot administer it themselves. Aestheticians can only offer support to the physician, such as handing them supplies or taking photos.

Although nonmedical staff can be instrumental in patient care, providers should never allow aestheticians to perform Botox or dermal filler, as it could risk the patient’s safety and the provider’s license and legal standing.

Geographical Variations in Aesthetic Medicine Practice

While Botox has federal approval from the FDA, individual states determine who can administer it. Laws can vary widely in areas like:

  • Who can inject Botox and fillers: Some medical professionals may not be allowed to administer injections in certain states.
  • What training or certifications they need: States may require additional continuing medical education (CME) credits before allowing professionals to perform Botox and fillers.
  • Which applications they can treat with Botox and fillers: States might only allow providers to administer fillers and Botox for certain applications. For example, dentists may not be allowed to provide Botox or fillers for cosmetic purposes or for off-label applications.

In California, for example, licensed physicians are the only ones who can administer Botox and fillers without supervision. Other providers — like RNs, NPs and PAs — can typically offer injections with a physician’s supervision or direction.

Providers must understand these differences to avoid fines, penalties and regulatory action. Always check with your state’s health regulators for more information.

How to Get Certified in Botox and Dermal Fillers

Many states require a CME course with both classroom instruction and hands-on learning on botulinum toxins and dermal fillers. You can complete these courses in as little as two days.

Topics include:

  • Botox and dermal filler products.
  • Facial anatomy and dimensions.
  • Aging processes.
  • Administration procedures and demonstrations.
  • Hands-on injection practice.

The American Association of Aesthetic Medicine and Surgery (AAAMS) offers two versions of the AES 101 training program — one virtual and one hybrid. Both offer 17 CME credits and include instructional and hands-on training to prepare qualified professionals for safe and effective Botox and dermal filler injections. Students finish with certifications for Botox, fillers and chemical peels, along with a free one-year membership to AAAMS.

Both classes start with a self-paced, online module for the Facial Aesthetics 101 Series and chemical peeling. For the hybrid version, students will practice injections on lifelike mannequins and human models at our Beverly Hills, California, headquarters. The virtual course provides similar training on mannequins and models in your home, supported by real-time coaching and feedback.

Doctors, RNs, PAs and dentists can take these courses. Both options offer a comprehensive learning experience from expert instructors. The hybrid approach is ideal for in-person training, while the virtual option eliminates travel costs. 

Train for Botox and Dermal Filler Administration With The AAAMS

The AAAMS has been training clinicians in aesthetics and noninvasive cosmetic surgery since 2006, strengthening the knowledge and skills of the entire industry. We offer a range of certifications to help aesthetic medicine professionals expand their capabilities and give patients safe and effective results.

Learn more about and register for the virtual AES 101 class or the hybrid version of the course today.

Train for Botox and Dermal Filler Administration With The AAAMS