What Does a Nail Technician Do? You’re considered a beauty specialist, and you pretty up the fingers and toes of your clients. As a nail technician, nails are your canvas; polishes, files, and creams are just some of your tools. Your daily duties include:

  • Talking with your clients about their nails
  • Using polish remover to take off the old polish
  • Tidying the nails by cleaning, trimming, and filing
  • Using creams to moisturize your client’s hands or feet
  • Applying the polish
  • Explaining to your clients how to care for their skin and nails in between visits
  • To make more money, having add-on sale merchandise such as polish, cute files, and other grooming tools
  • Making sure your workspace and tools are sanitized
  • Sitting. A lot.

You may own your own salon, work in one, or rent a chair from one.

How do I become a nail technician?

If you’re planning on working as a nail tech, then will need to enroll in one of the many state-approved cosmetology schools. Here’s what to know about becoming a manicurist:

  • You must be a minimum of 16 years old.
  • Have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Enroll in a state-approved and accredited cosmetology or nail tech program.
  • Nail tech training can take between three to nine months, depending on the program and your state.
  • You’ll learn how to give manicures and pedicures. You’ll also learn the business side of the profession.
  • You need a license to work so you’ll take the state boards; both practical and hands on portions will be given.
  • You need a separate license if you plan of being a mobile business.

Learn about other careers in beauty or go find a nail technician school near you.

Do nail technicians make good money?

Manicurists generally work full time, and very often on the weekends and evenings. You may even choose to work more than 40 hours, depending on your clients’ schedules. Many manicurists go out of their way for their regulars. Pay is usually hourly for manicurists. The median hourly wage is $10.65 (a little over $20K per year), with the top 10 percent making over $16 per hour ($30,720 yearly). Those wages are not including the tips manicurists earn, which can almost double their income.

What’s the nail tech job market like?

Most personal appearance workers such as manicurists have a pretty secure job. No matter what the economy is like, people still find the money to take care of their appearances. Since manicures are a relatively inexpensive way to enhance looks, your job will remain pretty steady. Job growth for manicurists and pedicurists are expected to grow 13 percent through 2026, which is much faster than most other occupations.