The beauty industry has been growing like never before and many segments that were not heard of earlier are being explored today by many brands and companies. Nail art is one of them. Nail art has become popular not only among youngsters but among people of all ages.
If you have aspirations of becoming a nail technician and want to know, what do you need to be a nail tech, read on.
Right from a French manicure to a nude look to different designs using rhinestones and fine lines, nail art has grabbed the beauty market with thousands of possibilities.
Today, the demand for nail art has gone up so much that many salons, beauty parlors, and spas contract nail technicians to meet the demand.
- What Does A Nail Tech Do Exactly?
- Soft Skills You Need To Be A Nail Tech
- Do You Need A License?
- Training After The License
- What Education Is Required To Be A Nail Technician?
- Alternative Career Options
What Does A Nail Tech Do Exactly?
A nail technician is a professional who offers specialized services like manicures, pedicures, and other nail and hand treatments to clients.
In case you have been asking around what do I need to become a nail tech, read on.
Firstly, let us look at the duties you would be performing:
- Trimming and cleaning nails
- Filing and polishing nails
- Removing nail polish
- Buffing nails
- Giving hand and foot massages
- Applying artificial nails
- Providing advice regarding manicure and pedicure
- Scheduling appointments
- Promoting nail and skin care products
- Sanitizing all tools before each use
Soft Skills You Need To Have
Being a nail technician is not only about technical knowledge, but it is also about acquiring certain soft skills that are a must.
In terms of soft skills what do you need to become a nail tech is listed below:
If you want to be a successful nail technician, you should know how to use specific colors and designs to create a beautiful nail look. You should be open to experimenting with different designs to deliver the best to your clients.
2. Good hygiene practices
You will only get repeat customers if you maintain a clean and hygienic work environment in your salon. Hygiene is extremely important as an untidy work area can be a breeding spot for fungi and bacteria which can cause nail disorders.
3. Attention to detail
Apart from creativity and hygiene knowledge, additionally, what do you need to become a nail tech? Well, it is extremely important for nail technicians to be observant and pay attention to every detail as a slight mishap can cause great damage and harm to the client. Providing nail services requires great patience and focus.
4. Passion for nails
To be successful in this career, passion goes a long way. You should be passionate about what you do to do a great job.
As in any profession, being organized is the key to success. A successful nail technician can keep track of appointments, payments, requests, and other administrative tasks throughout the day.
Many individuals think what do I need to become a nail tech and the answer is that you should be able to maintain an organized workflow and balance your tasks to maximize efficiency and keep your business running smoothly.
6. Customer service skills
Your priority should be to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for your customers where they can be at ease and are treated with respect. Always keep your customer’s problems a priority and do everything possible at your end to resolve them with a positive attitude.
Build a strong relationship with your customer so that they keep coming back to you.
A good nail technician is someone with a lot of patience to work diligently. Your patience will come in handy when you trim your customer’s nails, work with their cuticles, apply polish, and also hear about their specific requirements etc.
8. Good communicator
Being a good communicator will help you to understand your client’s goals with respect. Always be open towards communication so that it can enhance the atmosphere of your salon, making your customers feel at home.
9. Quick learner
When students ask what do you need to be a nail tech, the expert answer is you should keep updating yourself.
Nail trends keep changing every season. So, you need to learn and invest time in updating your skills. Your clients will count on you when it comes to nail beautification.
Do You Need A License To Be A Nail Technician?
Nail technicians need a license before starting out on something of their own or getting a decent job. Most state requirements include a minimum age to be eligible to take the exam to get a license. They should either hold a high school diploma or GED and should have completed cosmetology programs licensed by their state.
Usually, these exams consist of practical and written exams. These exams test your knowledge of hygiene and safety techniques. You also should show the ability to use manicure tools.
Even after getting your license, you need continuing education credits to maintain your license and keep up-to-date skills. The expiration of your license depends on the state you work in; it might need to be renewed every year or two.
Every state has different requirements for continuing education. Make sure to check the requirements of your state licensing board to prevent your license from lapsing.
Once you get your license, you can work anywhere that nail technicians work. You can start working as an entry-level technician in spas, salons, beauty parlors, hotels, and other businesses.
Over time as you gain experience, you can climb up the ladder and reach managerial positions. Finally, you can also start your own business.
After The License, What Do You Need To Be A Nail Tech?
You need extensive training and education for becoming a nail technician. If you are an aspiring manicurist and want to get into a cosmetology program and obtain a license, you must possess a high school diploma or its equivalent degree.
It would be better if while studying you could focus on coursework involving anatomy and biology and design or business. This would help you to gain more knowledge about nails and skin and also art can help with nail designs.
You can also buy a decent nail tech book that covers different nail tech topics in depth.
In many technical high schools, students can take up cosmetology programs where they give training before passing high school. These career training programs teach you about nail art and hand care techniques in detail.
If you have undergone any such training programs, it may help you qualify for your state’s licensing exams, in which case there is no requirement of attending a cosmetology program after high school.
What Qualifications Do You Need To Be A Nail Tech?
For becoming a nail technician, you don’t require any specific qualifications. However, getting training will always be an added advantage in the job market. Employers are likely to hire professionals with qualifications backing up your skills.
A certain level of training is required to obtain a professional license if you want to provide your nail services legally.
But, talking about what education is required to be a nail technician, mostly all boards need nail technicians to pass a cosmetology training program licensed by the state. Such programs are available in community colleges, cosmetology, and technical schools and usually come with certification.
The duration of the course depends on the requirements of the state licensure; it might take four to eight months or longer.
The curriculum of these programs includes classes in the basics of nail care and skin. You will also learn about nail disorders, nail cuticles, nail plates, and hands. These courses also include lessons on how to apply artificial nails without damaging your nails.
Plus, you will be taught the chemistry and chemical safety required for nail treatments.
Hygiene and sanitization are also important parts of these classes. They will teach you how to maintain high standards in your work area to prevent the spread of fungi and other bacteria.
It will also cover the sanitization of your manicure tools. Students will also be taught how to offer quality customer service to their clients. You can also get enrolled in any online nail tech course including the ones that specialize in nails. They are certificate or diploma courses.
These professional nail technician courses include practical exposure that will help you get ready for the industry by providing you with a solid foundation in the profession.
So, if you are confused and thinking what qualifications do you need to be a nail tech? We would suggest you choose a specialization.
You can specialize in several different treatments including:
- Acrylic nails
- Gel polish
- Gel extensions
- Gel polish nail art
- Fibreglass extensions
- Manicure and pedicure
- Nail art and designs
- Natural nail manicure
It is also a good start if you can get work experience so that you can build an impressive portfolio with all your best work and nail designs. Your portfolio will help you expand your career opportunities after your certification.
Nail Tech Salary: What Is The Earning Potential Here?
The salary of a nail technician depends on a lot of things. Your experience, educational qualifications, certifications, and skills also play an important role in determining your salary.
Plus, it also depends on the place you work. Starters can make around $17,000 a year, while those with more experience can make around $22,000.
The salary it pays off totally justifies all your efforts of practicing and knowing what do you need to become a nail tech.
Where Do Nail Techs Get Employed?
A nail technician can work in several places including spas, salons, health centers, hotels, or gyms with nail stations. Many times large airports have hair care stations where patrons get manicures or pedicures before or after a flight. You can also work on a cruise ship that offers patrons nail care services.
You can also start working in a college offering education in beauty services. For becoming an instructor, you might need additional education or experience in the field. Nail technicians can also work in a podiatrist’s office for helping people with specific nail disorders.
Some nail techs also start their salon or nail studio or can even start their mobile business offering services at their client’s homes. Manicurists work in salons, spas, nail studios, barbershops, etc.
Alternative Career Options for People Interested In Nail Tech
You may sometimes wonder, now that I know what do I need to become a nail tech, can I explore other careers?
Apart from working at salons, spas, and nail studios, there are many other career options that a nail technician can choose from. We have listed a few:
i. Working on Photoshoots
Have you seen those beautiful advertisements for nail polish and nail brands? Who do you think creates those gorgeous looks?
If you want to be the person behind those looks, start networking on social media. Post pictures of your nail look and show off your talents, some agency, brand, or a good photographer might notice you. You can also create a portfolio of your work and reach out to agencies and employers.
Through some training with online photography courses, you can also click your own pictures.
ii. Medical nail technician
For becoming a medical nail tech, you need skills and education in nails. Here more than the cosmetic look, you would be more concerned about the health of the nails of your patients. A medical nail tech’s role involves diagnosing patients, removing fungal infections or growths, and reconstructing fingernails and toenails.
iii. Beauty blogger
If you want to make a name in the nail industry, you can become a beauty blogger. For this, you will have to share your knowledge, tutorials, and fun videos with your fans. Remember posting interesting videos every week is not an easy task. You would need good video ideas, camera set-up, editing skills, and creativity.
You might also like to learn more on how to become a bloggers with these blogging courses online.
iv. Nail educator
If you like to share your knowledge and see your students become successful, teaching is the perfect bet for you. For this, you would need teaching qualifications to teach accredited courses in the nail industry. There are different types of training available for becoming a professional nail educator.
To Sum Up..
With new salons popping up everywhere and the development of new techniques, more and more nail technicians are needed. The career of a nail technician is promising, exciting, and creative.
Therefore, if you are passionate about this job, it is an excellent career choice.
Hope this post on what do you need to be a nail tech helped you to understand how to get started in your journey of becoming a nail tech.