Is nail tech a good career?

In the rapidly-advancing beauty industry, nail tech has prospered significantly in recent times.

Nail technicians, also known as pedicurists & manicurists, work specifically on the hands & feet to groom nails. A regular service entails soaking the hands or feet of the client to soften the skin so as to peel off artificial nails & expired skin cells. Nail technicians also shape & apply polish to natural nails or apply & decorate artificial nails. While some nail technicians have their own salon, which warrants discharging business activities such as keeping order & inventory supplies, certain nail technicians recruit & oversee personnel & even sell nail care products, like foot cream, nail polish, etc.

In current times, with an increase in the number of females willing to incur additional expenditure to have a professional manicure, nail salons have gained relevance and are no more a “thing of the past”. Factors such as a wholesome overall experience, value for money, and quality results have made getting nails done at a salon more rewarding in the contemporary context. With the need for proper manicures, comes the necessity of professional manicurists & being a good manicurist requires much more skills than merely painting nails. Thus, if you are someone who likes being challenged on a daily basis, enjoys exhibiting your artistic prowess, and loves meeting & interacting with new people then nail tech, as a career option, might be a perfect fit for you.

Reasons why you should definitely consider making a professional career as a nail technician

Creativity: Every manicure renders you  creative liberty to explore your imagination and try something fresh. It further requires you to be able to smoothly complete little and sophisticated nail designs, and also to suggest styles & harmonize them with individual preferences.

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Nail tech is a creative career.

Meeting new people: When clients come to your salon, they look for something more than a mere “mini-makeover”. They anticipate a relieving session and an opportunity to have something to conversate upon.

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Work with people aspiring to look beautiful

Demanding work: Please don’t fall into the trap of disinformation, a manicure can be way more demanding than you imagine. Understanding the needs of your clients & articulating that on a canvas as minute as a nail can at times be quite challenging. However, challenges are a part and parcel of every profession and so is the case with nail tech.

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Source: NBC News // Demanding Workplace in Salon

Flexible working hours: One of the most significant perks of working as a nail technician is the professional independence that you get in terms of flexible working hours. If you operate a nail salon, you get the liberty to work either part-time, full-time, or on weekends, whereas working as a freelancer offers you, even more, liberty to work.

Handsome pay: Getting paid as a nail technician seems as if you’re being paid for your hobby. Going by the recent trends, nail technicians have received an average payment of $40,293 per annum or  $20.99 per hour in the USA. While freshers start at $29,689 per annum whereas qualified professionals earn up to $61,291 per annum.

Requirements for becoming a nail technician in the United States

It is commonly believed that to become a nail technician, there are no qualifications that a person is supposed to possess. However, in the United States, nail technicians are required to undergo and complete a nail technician program or state-approved cosmetology. Though, most States have their local cosmetology school or provide “trade classes in personal care”. Training Programs generally entail courses on the products & instruments that are used to offer nail services, identifying nail disorders and skin, & methods used for sanitation.

Subsequent to the completion of the program, nail technicians are required to appear in practical and written examinations in order to get a license from their respective state boards. For the purpose of getting a license, candidates are required to be at least 16 or 18 years of age and possess a high school diploma or equivalent degree. Licensed technicians, under state reciprocity agreements, can be granted the license in other states without completing an additional program or passing the concerned state’s exam.

Apart from the aforementioned requirements, the other important qualities that a nail technician must possess are:

  • Business Skills: Nail technicians who operate their own salon must adopt business principles in managing the daily affairs of the salon. For instance, they should be able to carry out administrative work, like accounting, & be competent enough to manage the salon and its workers smoothly and profitably.
  • Expertise: A stable hand is vital in performing accurate nail design. Moreover, as nail technicians generally use sharp equipment, they are supposed to possess decent finger dexterity.
  • Customer-service skills: Considering the nature of the occupation, nail technicians must have good interpersonal skills in order to cater to the needs of clients. As mentioned earlier, interacting with customers during the course of the manicure aids in business getting repeated.

Job Prospect

If you like doing nails for yourself or others, a career as a nail technician in the United States is something you should definitely give a thought to. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, nail tech as a beauty industry is estimated to make a growth of 22 percent from 2021 to 2031, which is way more rapid in comparison to all other occupations. Such an estimated growth in the industry shows the demand for nail services, such as mobile pedicures & manicures (nail services being rendered out of the salon) & mini-sessions (instant manicures at an affordable cost). 

The aspiration among females and a rising number of males to carry a healthier way of life through adequate grooming & wellness are anticipated to result in increased employment for pedicurists and manicurists. Hence, considering the affordability and efficiency of the service, nail technicians will remain in demand by clients at every income level in the United States.


Hence, if you are looking for a job in the United States with a good work-life balance, least-stress level, & a solid prospect to improve, then you should definitely consider nail technician as a viable career option. It is an extremely fulfilling & creative career choice, with a myriad of opportunities to explore your interests and hobbies. 

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