How to Become a Pedicurist in 5 Steps

Research what it takes to become a pedicurist. Learn about training and licensure requirements to work in this field, career outlook and salary information to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Nail Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Pedicurist?

Pedicurists specialize in foot and toenail care. They listen to clients' needs and help them maintain healthy and clean feet and nails. During a pedicure treatment, pedicurists will clean and trim nails, remove callouses, massage feet, and may paint nails if desired by the client. They can provide advice and product recommendations to clients and they are responsible for making sure their work stations are clean and sterile. Some pedicurists may own a salon, meaning they would also be responsible for a number of managerial and administrative tasks. The following chart gives an overview of a pedicurist's job.

Training Required Cosmetology or nail technician program
Key Skills Cleaning and filing nails, moisturizing feet, polishing nails, cleaning tools and work area
Licensure Required
Job Growth (2014-24) 10% (faster than average) for pedicurists and manicurists*
Median Salary (May 2015) $20,820 for pedicurists and manicurists*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Enroll in a Training Program

Some institutions offer programs focused specifically on nail care. These programs are often sufficient to become a licensed pedicure technician. However, you may want to consider a program in cosmetology, which covers a broader range of skills. Nail technician programs can be completed in as little as a year. Degree programs, such as an associate's degree in cosmetology, usually take two years to complete.

Step 2: Obtain a License

All states require personal appearance workers, including pedicurists, to obtain a license. State requirements vary, but most require completing a training program and passing an exam. Aspiring pedicure technicians should check with their state licensing board for requirements as well as approved training programs.

Step 3: Find a Job

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, manicurists and pedicurists held about 83,840 jobs as of May 2015. For the decade 2014-2024, employment of manicurists and pedicurists is expected to rise by 10%. The vast majority of manicurists and pedicurists are employed in the personal care services industry at places such as hair salons, nail salons or day spas. Pedicure technicians might also find employment at hotels and resorts, department stores or beauty supply stores.

Step 4: Consider Career Advancement

Pedicurists may advance their careers by creating a loyal client following and by expanding their range of services. Some pedicurists manage salons, open their own shops or move into sales positions.

Step 5: Complete Continuing Education

In most states, pedicurists must complete continuing education courses for license renewal. In some states, continuing education credits must be earned through approved providers.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Manicurists perform very similar duties as pedicurists, though they focus on hands rather than feet. Individuals may also be interested in cosmetology if they want to cut and style hair, or in becoming a skin care specialist, in which they would provide various face and body treatments to clients. Massage therapy is another similar career option.

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