Nail technicians, also known as manicurists or pedicurists, are responsible for making works of art out of your nails. They work in spas, nail salons, and cosmetology centers that offer clients nail services. Nail techs give manicure and pedicure services that include cutting, shaping, and painting nails.

Skilled techs can create custom nail designs and nail art, and they may provide hand and foot massages. You don’t need a degree to become a manicurist, but you will need to complete a certificate program from a cosmetology school. The education and licensing requirements vary by state, and you do need a license to be a practicing nail tech.

Job Overview

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The ideal nail tech has strong communication skills, dexterity, the ability to upsell nail care products, and time management skills. Manicurists work with nail care tools like nail files, cuticle cutters, and clippers. They also use special tools to create nail art or paint classic French manicures. Nail professionals are trained in cleaning, filing, and grooming fingernails and toenails, both natural and acrylic. This includes trimming cuticles, moisturizing the hands and feet, moving dead skin from the hands and feet, and massage to improve circulation.

Many techs advance their careers by going to trade schools or community colleges to become cosmetologists or estheticians. The average wage varies by state but ranges from $19,910 on the low end to $33,130 on the high end.

Complete the necessary training and education.

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Depending on your state’s requirements, you must complete a minimum level of education and training to become a licensed nail technician. Most courses across all states take approximately four months to complete. Typical topics covered include hygiene, anatomy, chemistry, artificial nails, and histology of hands and nails. When warm weather sets in and it’s time to wear your favorite sandals, you want to show off a fun pedicure design. Finding the time to make it to the salon and sit for a manicure or pedicure isn’t always easy. You can achieve an easy nail design with custom-fit stick-on gels that can be self-applied. ManiMe uses proprietary 3D scanner software to scan your nails. Browse a range of designs from a gallery of professional nail art, then receive a set of custom-fit manis in 3-4 business days. Their pedicure designs include stripes, polka dots, glitter, rhinestones, embellishments, and more. You can find hundreds of shades of unique nail colors that will compliment any skin tone and add flair to your toenails.

Get your nail technician license.

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No matter what state you want to work in, you need a license to be a nail technician. Once you complete the necessary training and education, you can work on getting your nail tech license. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, anyone hoping to become a licensed nail technician must be at least 16 years old and hold a high school diploma or equivalent. All states require you to pass a written and practical exam as part of the licensing process.

It’s important to be aware of the expiration date of your professional license and go through the renewal process well before expiration. Holding an expired license could prevent you from getting hired, result in probation, or result in the need to apply for a new license. The easy way to get a standard license renewed is through an online service. Days3 explains what you can expect when renewing licenses online and how easy it is to stay current with your licenses.

Becoming a manicurist is a good option if you enjoy helping people feel their best. Nail professionals enjoy a degree of job security, flexible working hours, career mobility, and the chance to express creativity.