How to Become a Nail Tech

Alan Cohen
It is more than just painting nails. It is a profession that involves skilled artistry, patience and a genuine concern for your client. Having a career as a nail technician can be very exciting and rewarding. You will meet a great number of people and transform plain nails into works of art.


Employment Outlook

The employment outlook for nail technicians is optimistic. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a growth rate of 13% in the next 8 years for manicurists and pedicurists. This growth rate is faster than the average for all occupations. 

Nail technicians had an average income of $23,230 in 2017 with a median hourly rate of $11.17, according to BLS statistics. The national range for annual wages is $19,480 to $33,050 with a corresponding hourly rate of $9.37 to $15.89. These figures will vary according to the region of the nation where the technician seeks work.

Taking the First Steps

You must complete a cosmetology or nail technician program to enter this field.  The program must be state-approved and provide the education needed to obtain a nail technician license. You must have completed high school or obtained a GED to enter most programs. The minimum age to apply for a nail technician license is 16 years of age. 

A Comprehensive Course of Study

Nail technician programs off a full course of study that includes the following.

  • Sanitation and safety are very important as nail technicians use sharp instruments in their work. Students will learn the state requirements for keeping all tools and the workstation clean.
  • The manicuring course will include instruction for cutting and shaping fingernails. Students can also learn the art of hand massage along with paraffin baths and hot oil manicures.
  • Cutting and shaping toenails is the focus of the pedicure course.  You will also learn to give foot/leg massages and apply foot wraps.
  • Applying polish to the toe and fingernails is a major part of the decorative work portion of the course. Working with artificial products such as acrylic nails is included along with nail repair and the intricacies of nail design. 

These courses involve both classroom and practical instruction.

The Business Aspect

While being a nail technician involves artistic work, there are still business considerations in this field.  You must understand salon operations and be able to provide outstanding customer service in order to build a following.  Regardless of whether you work in a salon or as a mobile technician, you will have to comply with your state's licensing requirements. Business promotion is important along with competitive pricing.

It's Your Dream

If you have always dreamed of being a nail technician, make this dream a reality. Explore this fascinating field today. 

View Count 138