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Nail Technician Job Description, Career as a Nail Technician, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Training/Educational Requirements: Certificate

Median Salary: $10 per hour

Job Prospects: Excellent

Job Description

A nail technician works with clients to shape and beautify their nails. They can work on either toenails or fingernails, but most nail technicians work on both. Providing manicures and pedicures is the main focus of this job, with many different versions of these services.

If working at a higher end, full service spa, a nail technician is involved with providing a more comprehensive treatment to their clients. They are expected to get their clients a beverage, provide a hand or foot massage, and create a more luxurious experience. As clients usually pay more for such services at this type of facility, they expect a more robust and glamorous spa experience. This adds to the potential job duties of a nail technician, but can also result in greater pay.

If a nail technician works at a hair salon or nail salon, then their job is focused solely around the treatment itself. They do whatever is necessary to prepare their station for manicures and pedicures. Then they take the client through the various stages involved. Nail technicians take off old nail polish, cut and shape the nails, soften the skin around the area, and prepare the nails for polish before polishing them. They engage in conversation with their clients and often develop relationships with them, which usually results in repeat business.

Training/Educational Requirements

Nail technicians need to obtain a certificate upon completing the required program and coursework. Some salons hire nail technicians without certification, and rely on a more hands-on approach. These salons usually pay an entry-level rate as the nail technician gains on-the-job training and learns how to improve their skills.

Most salons and especially higher scale spas only hire nail technicians with certification. They want to know the individual they are hiring has the necessary education, coursework, and practice required to provide the best possible experience to their clients. Often as a part of the coursework, nail technicians practice their skills on each other or to the general public at a cosmetology school. This helps them gain experience and benefits them and their future employer.

How to Get Hired

The best way to get hired as a nail technician is to have certification and experience. Although most technicians start in an entry-level position, they quickly climb in pay scale once they gain experience and a clientele. To get hired initially, having certification and experience in a cosmetology program is helpful.

Getting a foot in the door and gaining experience helps prepare an individual for a lucrative career as a nail technician. Most start out in an entry-level position and work their way up. The higher scale spas and salons want to see proven experience and clientele the nail technician brings with them. It helps to know someone in this field to get a foot in the door within an elite environment.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook, and Career Development

The need for nail technicians is on the rise. As people continue to invest in personal care, the need for nail technicians continues to increase. Even in tough economic times, people are usually willing to make a small investment into having their nails done. This means the job demand should continue to increase as more facilities hire for this position.

Adding to this trend is the fact that more salons are adding this service. There are more salons and spas that want to add these services to their list. This can only mean positive things for nail technicians as the demand continues to grow.

Working Environment

The typical working environment for a nail technician is usually a salon or a spa. Each nail technician has their own table or work station they use for their clients. In a salon environment this may be a smaller table located near a tub or sink that clients use for soaking. In a larger spa environment, nail technicians have their own room that is quiet and free from distractions. There is often quiet music playing to set the scene for clients to enjoy a relaxing spa experience. Nail technicians don’t usually have an office, but work as a part of a team interacting with other workers within the spa or salon.

Salary and Benefits

Although the average salary of a nail technician is generally $10 per hour, this range varies quite drastically. First and foremost, experience plays a vital role in the salary a nail technician earns. For example, nail technicians who have over ten years of experience, may earn up to $25 per hour. The salary also depends on geographical location, and the type of facility. If they work at a luxury spa, they can expect to earn more money. If they work at a more inexpensive standalone store, they can expect to earn less. Jobs at luxury spas are often far more competitive and demand more experience from the technicians. Benefits are offered in this high end environment, including medical coverage and paid vacation. However, in most cases, nail technicians do not receive benefits.

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesConsumer and Personal Services