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How to become a nail technician

Nail technicians play a significant role in the beauty industry, focusing on the care and decoration of nails. They might perform multiple tasks such as manicures and pedicures or styling acrylic nails. You can determine if this chosen career development is perfect for you by gaining knowledge on how to become a nail technician.

Job market outlook

Image for part: Job market outlook

According to BLS, the jobs of nail technicians are projected to rise by 33% between 2020 and 2030. It's much quicker than the national average and can be associated with an increase in the amount of full working day spas and nail salons. Job opportunities in beauty salons, and spas should be easily accessible. Locations at higher-paying salons are difficult to acquire and extremely competitive. As per the BLS, the middle 50% of nail technicians earned $24,820 and $31,890 in May 2020.

Tips for becoming a nail technician

To lawfully take a job in this profession, nail technicians must take the following steps;

Apply for a nail technician training course

Candidates must usually be at least 16 years and have a high school education or GED. Also, age and education criteria depend on the location, and some areas have no basic prerequisites at all. A few states also require candidates to verify their potential to serve the people in a "decent, genuine, and open way." Before applying to a training course, you should check with your state's committee of cosmetology or health panel for general regulations.

Finish a nail technician course

Following that, you should finish a state-approved curriculum by passing the requisite classes and accomplishing the prescribed number of training hours. A few states permit students to pursue traineeships rather than traditional programs, but you'll generally have to complete a lot more training hours this way. You'll have training periods in addition to lesson sessions, where you will apply what you have understood to real-world customers under the guidance of a teacher. Most courses have completion times ranging from three to nine months.

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Complete the mandatory exam and get a license

After completing the nail tech course, you will take a written or practical test, which will be in the type of a National Standard Theory (NIC) or state-authorized test. Students completing a traineeship must still pass their state examination to get a job in the field. The passing test score depends on the state. After passing the test, you will be able to acquire your license. A few US states may necessitate extra education in addition to a test. Once in the profession, you might have to take continuing education (CE) courses to keep your permit current. Based on the state, your approval may expire annually, every two years. Additionally, every state has separate criteria for ongoing training courses These classes, which can often be completed online, may cover high-tech nail methodologies or state laws.

What are the career choices and specializations for nail technicians

As a nail technician, you have numerous career opportunities. You have the choice of working at a salon or spa, being self-employed, or exploring other options. You can also try something unconventional, like starting your own YouTube channel or becoming a social media celebrity. Most people search the internet for fresh design ideas and nail art online courses, if you're interested in promoting yourself and your capabilities, this could be an unconventional and exciting path for you to undertake. There is a considerable amount to gain knowledge about nails themselves. Here are some of the most common trends and patterns used by nail technicians;


A fluid and powder combination is utilized to protect the nails and attach synthetic nails or tips to them. Acrylics develop alongside real nails and can be stuffed or eliminated by putting them in nail polish remover.


These are applied to the nails or nail tips and then left to dry with a UV light. Quite costly, but usually lasts longer. They can be packed or separated with nail polish remover, just like acrylics.

Dip powder

After applying a base coat, the nail is put in powder. The procedure is duplicated several times before being completed with a sealant. It dries quickly and can be cleared with nail polish remover, although this may take longer.


These are fabric folds that are wrapped around the nail and attached. They can be excluded or reinstalled by a nail technician and are employed to assist with a broken nail expansion.

Paraffin wax therapies

Warm wax is applied to the customer's hands and feet throughout the therapy, offering a comforting, hydrating experience. It is followed by a basic manicure or pedicure and some gentle massage in those places.

Where can a nail technician work

A nail technician can get a job in various settings. There most common ones like a nail or hair salons;


Most spas have nail centers, whether they are independent or part of a gym, fitness club, or hotel.


Large airports occasionally have small nail care kiosks where passengers can get nails done before or after a flight.

Cruise Ship

If you enjoy adventure, you should think about working on a cruise ship! These ships generally provide nail services to their passengers.

Nail Tech Instructor

Extra schooling and expertise in the field might be necessary to be a teacher in a nail tech course, depending on the state.

What is the work schedule for nail technicians

If you take a job in a standard nail tech context, such as a salon or spa, you will have a flexible schedule. Since you take a job many of your working days will be in the evenings and on weekends when the majority of individuals are available to obtain your assistance. You can work an eight-hour transition full-time or part-time. Working hours are typically from early or until late evening. A few establishments, although have various weekend shifts and may be finished one or two days a week. Other individually owned or specialized institutions may have distinct operating hours.

What are the traits of a nail technician

Working as a nail tech has several advantages. It's an expanding sector with inexpensive and rapid courses and different work settings and hours. You can obtain more money and save repeat clients by being approachable and providing excellent customer support. You can also advance in the sector by being an expert in one field or opening your salon. To be viable in the profession, you must master nail care design, communication, and customer service capabilities. Because you will spend a good deal of time conversing with customers in person, and your income may be impacted by those interactions, so latter is vital in the nail technician profession. You can also enhance your chances of achievement by furthering your education. You can generate income, instruct others, or manage a business by gaining knowledge about your craft. You can advance in the profession in many ways, based on which approach feels appropriate for you.

What is the salary of a nail technician

In the United States, the typical annual income for a Nail Technician is $35,464 per year. In Australia, the base remuneration for a nail technician is $23.37 per hour. If you are working in Melbourne, Victoria, it can rise to $76.40 per hour. Nail technicians in Paddington, Queensland, earn approximately $22.59 per hour.

What qualifications are necessary to become a nail technician in Australia

If you want to learn how to become a nail technician in Australia, there are some crucial things to know. As a worker, there are no specific requirements in terms of skills or licensing. If you want to work in highly qualified nail salons and thrive in this sector, you should consider obtaining relevant knowledge and honing your skills. The following steps can be taken to be a nail technician;

Complete high school

While proper admission requirements for nail technician credentials and classes do not exist in Australia, it is still valuable to finish your high school education before attempting to get training in this profession. Completing your education can assist you to prepare to study at a TAFE or similar establishment by improving your time management and learning skills. A high school diploma or equivalent can also demonstrate to prospective employers that you are dedicated and have strong math and literacy abilities.

Finish a relevant professional certification

You can pick from a variety of nail technician credentials. Such courses can be more specialized or broad, based on how sure you are that becoming a nail technician is the correct path for you. Certifications may entail the following;

  • Certificate III in Nail Technology

This course is available at many organizations in a hybrid online/offline format. This program can be completed in 18 weeks if studied full-time, but part-time alternatives are available, and it is qualified for government fee subsidies. The credential instructs you on the specific skills needed to excel as a nail technician, such as functional duties, client interaction, and health and safety processes. If you want to be self-employed and start a nail technician business, it could be a good starting point because you can pursue diplomas in business or beauty treatments afterward.

  • Diploma in Beauty Therapy

This diploma is a good starting point if you're not sure which field of cosmetology you would like to pursue. Although the diploma can last up to 18 weeks, it is more recognized than a certificate III and more costly, but it is still significantly less costly than a university education. This diploma combines school and practical instruction to instruct you on many beauty services, health and safety procedures, various make-up methods, and how to perform manicures and pedicures.

  • Certificate in Nail Tech

Different establishments conduct the self-paced program. Some also offer 24/7 access to classwork and flexible scheduling for practical training that fits your timetable. The training provides the unique skills required to cooperate as a nail technician, and you will receive a beauty kit delivered to your door. Though far less formal than the government-run classes mentioned above, this certificate might be a viable solution for those who want to learn around their hectic schedules or cultivate their beauty capabilities in a nail technician job.

Get professional job experience

Since certificates and diplomas typically contain technical learning as part of education, you can develop skills as a nail technician by seeking internships or a part-time job in a nail salon. It could include cleaning or reception duties, but it will still offer a good knowledge of how a nail salon works. Once licensed, you can qualify for entry roles at nail salons to refine your competencies.

What is the job of a nail technician

As a nail technician, you can learn a range of tasks related to nail maintenance and decoration. Nail technicians may specialize in specific tasks, whereas others may finish whatever the customer queries. These are a few of the core tasks performed by nail technicians;

Nail care

Nail technicians can assist their customers in maintaining their fingernails and toes by conducting a range of different methods. Such can involve nail shaping and styling, cuticle filing, and cleanup underneath the nails. Remove dead skin and massage moisturizer into dry places on your hands and feet.

Nail paint and decoration

Painting their customers' nails is one of the most common duties of nail technicians. It contains experimenting with various polishes and varnishes. More extensive approaches like retouching specifics on top of the base coat and introducing adornments like rhinestones to the upper layer.

Produces acrylic nails

Acrylic nails have grown in popularity as a substitute for decorated real nails, and nail technicians can specialize in creating these durable nail decorations. Preparing the nail by pressing back the skin and polishing it before implementing a nail tip with glue is part of this process. Nail technicians can use an applicator to apply acrylic on top of the protected and cut nail tip before actually sculpting it into the desired form and putting a top coat when it's dry. You can also utilize a pinching tool to create custom-shaped acrylics for your customers.

Consider customer requests

If your customers have particular or thorough requests, it's a better idea to set aside time to explore their styles and how you can make them a reality. That is extremely crucial if they have drawn in something they viewed online that you are unsure about or lack the necessary techniques for. By understanding the customer's suggestions and your qualifications, you can help ensure that the outcome is as decent as possible and that the customer is satisfied with the experience.

Arrange reservations

Since a few nail salons accept walk-ins from clients that don't want to schedule appointments, most can prioritize clients who have booked reservations. This appointment can cover the layout, duration, price, and even a specialized technician. The office manager handles calls in larger salons, and others use a workplace phone or digital bookings.

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