pasting a post from an electrologist on another forum which should be VERY helpful to all here:
The following are different suggestions for consumers to consider when shopping for an electrologist. Please keep in mind that being licensed, being certified, nor being a member of an association is a guarantee that an electrologist is the electrologist for you, but it's a step in the right direction when beginning your search. Being licensed or certified usually includes mandatory continuing education, always a plus. Being a member of an association, especially a member that attends meetings and seminars, indicates an extra effort on the part of the electrologist to be on top of what's going on in the world of electrology.
Word of mouth is the best way to begin the search for an electrologist, but it can be difficult to find someone willing to admit they've had electrolysis.
Currently, only 34 states in the US regulate the practice of electrolysis. To check the status of your state, go to http://www.electrology.com/licensingoverview06.pdf
I imagine that all the licensed states require that the license be displayed. Look for it, and also look for the expiration date. Even in licensed states, there will always be those who try to get away with working w/o a license. Sometimes it's because they don't want to pay the fees and sometimes it's because they haven't met the educational requirements. Whatever the reason, it's not fair to those who follow the rules and a danger to consumers.
There are also voluntary certifications. They include CPE-Certified Professional Electrologist, CCE-Certified Clinical Electrologist, and CME-Certified Medical Electrologist. The CPE and CCE are on the same level, just sponsored by different national associations. The CME is the next step up from CCE. You must be a CCE to test for CME. CME is for those electrologists who also do laser hair removal.
I strongly believe that every electrologist should belong to at least one electrology organization. Professional associations are our main source of current information in this profession. Associations exist on local, national, and international levels. Most have websites or newsletters to keep members updated on our profession. They also have membership directories which aide consumers when shopping for an electrologist.
IGHRS-International Guild of Hair Removal Specialists began as an organization to aide consumers. In the 1970's worthless tweezer type devices were popping up in salons across the country claiming to be permanent. Consumers were being scammed. The Guild was formed to take on these fraudulent devices on behave of the consumers. Since then, the Guild has evolved to also include educational seminars for the electrology community. http://www.ighrs.org
SCMHR-The Society for Clinical and Medical Hair Removal began as an electrolysis only association, but now also embraces laser hair removal. SCMHR sponsors the CCE and CME certifications. www.scmhr.org
AEA-American Electrology Association was formed in the 1950's to work toward regulating electrolysis. AEA has been instrumental in helping many states obtain legislation. AEA sponsors the CPE certification. www.electrology.com
COPE-Canadian Organization of Professional Electrologists. This is the only Canadian association I can think of offhand. http://www.electrolysis.ca/
If there are any large organizations that I've omitted, please let me know. There are too many state associations to list each one.
There are 2 sites that have not been maintained in years. Originally the electrologist was to pay yearly to be listed, but I personally only paid for one year, and have been on there for at least 5 years. www.wrope.com
Worldwide Registry of Professional Electrologists and http://www.electrolysisreferral.com
Electrolysis Referral Directory. Both of these sites list the names of electrologists in my state that retired long ago. I just mention these sites as another option.
There is one more site I want to mention. It's called, "Electrologists on the 'Net Who Treat Men." It is free to be listed, but it's a very valuable site. Even men who are not seeking genital hair removal seem to have a difficult time finding an electrologist who will treat them. This site has generated more business for me than any of the associations or paid sites combined. http://www.laseawayhair.com/Electrologists.htm
The bulk of my business comes from an ad I run weekly in the local newspaper and the yellow pages. Those clients rarely educate themselves on hair removal before they call me. The fact that you are reading this means you are an educated consumer. I wish I had more clients like you!