Nail Technician Careers


A nail technician is a type of cosmetology professional who specializes in professional nail, hand, and foot care. He or she performs various services on clients including manicures, pedicures, artificial nail application, and nail enhancements. A nail technician works on both fingernails and toenails and cleans, trims, files, and polishes nails and applies and removes nail polish. He or she also performs massages on hands and feet and advises clients about proper nail care. An array of tools are used, such as nail clippers, nail files, buffers, tweezers, and specialized equipment to apply and remove artificial products. Many nail technicians also advertise and sell nail care products. A nail technician must also thoroughly clean and sanitize his or her work area. Majority of nail technicians work varying hours depending on the employer and operating hours. A lot of employers allow nail technicians to work either full- or part-time. A nail technician working for a full service salon often works an eight-hour day. Most nail technicians work evenings and weekends to fit into the schedules of clients

Education and Training

To become a nail technician, an individual must complete a cosmetology program approved by his or her state. Most programs require applicants to be a minimum of 16 years of age and completed a high school diploma. Some institutions also require students to take a placement test. Most nail technician programs can be completed within six months to a year and students are usually required to complete courses and practical experience working in salons while supervised by licensed professionals. Manicures and pedicures, safety and sanitation, nail technology, artificial enhancements, and nail disorders and diseases are examples of course topics. The amount of required hours varies by state, but the average program consists of 400 to 600 hours. Vocational and technical schools, community colleges, and cosmetology schools offer nail technician certificate programs. Some institutions offer apprenticeship programs where students work in licensed facilities.

Licensing Requirements

With the exception of Connecticut, all states require nail technicians to become licensed. The specific licensing requirements vary by state, but in general individuals must receive a passing score on a written and practical examination. State boards of cosmetology or other related regulating board typically administer the examinations. Many states require nail technicians to periodically renew their licenses.

Employment Opportunities

Licensed nail technicians commonly work in a variety of settings, including beauty salons, private nail salons, and day spas. Many experienced nail technicians open their own salons and manage the daily activities. They hire and manage works, sell nail care products, and keep supplies stocked.

Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the mean annual salary for manicurists and pedicurists at $21,760, or $10.46 by the hour. The top 25 percent earned more than $23,920 per year and the lowest 25 percent earned less than $17,810 per year.

Career Outlook

As stated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of manicurists and pedicurists is anticipated to rise by 17 percent from 2010 to 2020. This growth rate is deemed about as fast as average for all jobs. The elevated employment growth will likely stem from various new nail services offered, including fast manicures at a lower cost and mobile nail services. Job opportunities will be good as a variety of employers will need to replace nail technician who leave the profession.

BeautySchool.com offers you the ability to search for nail technician schools in your area to find a quality cosmetology institution that fits your needs. Upon completing your nail tech program, you can obtain your state cosmetology license and begin a rewarding beauty career.