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What does a Nail Technician do?

Many people consider well-tended fingernails and toenails a necessity for their overall appearance and self-confidence. Proper nail care is an essential part of a polished look and this may explain why even in economic downturns, the demand for quality nail technician services has actually increased. Attentive, detailed care from a skilled nail technician helps clients achieve the well-groomed look and self-assurance they seek. It also provides them with a little pampering between their hectic daily tasks.

nail technician

Responsibilities of a nail technician

Nail technicians are also called manicurists or pedicurists. They are beauty professionals who focus on their clients’ fingernails and toenails, providing manicures, pedicures, nail polish, artificial nail treatments, nail shaping, cuticle grooming, and detailed nail art. Nail technicians can work independently, in which case they may keep their own financial and appointment records, or they may choose to work for a specialized nail salon or a full-service beauty salon.

Nail technician educational and licensing needs

Aspiring nail technicians need at least a high school diploma or equivalent before entering a nail care training program, many of which are offered at cosmetology and vocational schools, as well as some community colleges, throughout the country. Most programs provide dozens of hours of hands-on training and connections to local salons that present students with the opportunity for real-world practice and even employment opportunities after graduation.

Every state does require that nail technicians be licensed (requirements vary by state). You can obtain your license after graduation by taking an exam that includes both a written and a practical portion. After graduation, licensure, and employment, it is important that you stay up-to-date with nail trends and practices by looking into workshops and continuing education courses offered by your former school, cosmetology associations, and other resources in your area.

Career and salary prospects for nail technicians

The overall employment forecast for all appearance workers looks excellent. Job growth for nail technicians is expected to grow by 19 percent–faster than the average for all occupations in the United States. Job opportunities are expected to be especially promising for entry-level workers.

If you enjoy helping people look and feel their very best, consider training for a career as a nail technician.