How to Become a Nail Technician

Written by

George D. Baker


August 14, 2014


Good nail care is an essential part of a good appearance and more and more people are seeking professional nail treatment. Nail technicians are licensed professionals that specialize in a variety of nail services to customers to help them look and feel their best.

What does a nail technician do?

Nail technicians (also called manicurists or pedicurists) are beauty specialists that concentrate on nails and toenails and provide a variety of services to customers. They provide manicures, pedicures, shape nails, groom cuticles, polish nails, apply and remove artificial nails and nail extensions, and apply many different types of nail art. They use a variety of materials such as acrylic, gel, stencils, airbrush, gems, and glitter. Nail technicians must follow all safety and sanitation procedures to protect themselves and their clients. They must disinfect and sanitize all equipment and work areas before and after each use and replace old and worn materials. Some nail technicians are also responsible for record keeping, making appointments, and selling a variety of nail care products.

What kind of training does a nail technician need?

Nail technicians need at least a high school diploma or GED and complete formal training programs from community colleges or cosmetology and technical schools. Many aspiring nail technicians obtain positions in beauty facilities to gain practical experience and improve job opportunities. Nail technicians must also stay up to date on the current trends and often participate in workshops, seminars, and continuing education courses. All states require nail technicians to be licensed. Licensing requirements vary by state, but usually include graduating from an approved training program and passing a written and practical examination.

What are the prospects for a career as a nail technician?

Employment of nail technicians is projected to grow much faster than average for all professions, increasing 28% through 2016 (1). The continued growth of full-service spas and nail salons will drive job growth.

Job prospects should be good especially for nail technicians with a large client base and extensive experience. Job opportunities will also arise from the need to replace nail technicians that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do nail technicians make?

As of this year, nail technicians with 1 to 4 years experience earned average hourly rates between $8.20 and $14.47. Those with 5 to 9 years experience earned average hourly rates between $8.20 and $13.87 (2).

A career as a nail technician is an excellent choice for people with a strong interest in providing a variety of nail services to many different clients. Nail technicians must be up to date on the current trends and have a great deal of creativity to create stylish and eye-catching designs. They must also have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and be able to interact with a variety of clients. They must be able to keep a clean work area and have a good attitude.

Becoming a Nail Technician Requires Training, Start Today

Are you serious about becoming a Nail Technician? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the  College Mouse Course Search tool  to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!

Written by:  George D. Baker

George D. Baker is a long-time contributor to College Mouse. Now retired, Mr. Baker volunteers at adult education programs in his local community.

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