Manicurist and Nail Technician

Learn about the job duties, training, salary and employment outlook for manicurists and nail technicians. Get info about the licensing requirements for these beauty professionals.

Is Nail Technology for Me?

Career Overview

A manicurist and nail technician program will teach you what you need to know to become a successful nail care professional. You'll learn how to care for the skin and areas surrounding the nails, put on nail polish, apply various products to nails, give manicures and perform pedicures.

As a manicurist and nail technician, you might work in different types of salons, spas, resorts or fitness centers, among other businesses. You could even choose to specialize in a certain area, perhaps becoming an acrylic nail manicurist.

Required Skills

If you are interested in becoming a manicurist and nail technician, your characteristics might include being ambitious, artistic, outgoing and self-sufficient. Other attributes might include promptness and assertiveness.

Employment Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of manicurists and pedicurists was expected to increase 16% from 2012-2022 ( In May 2013, the median annual salary of those professionals was $19,340, reported the BLS.

How Do I Become a Manicurist and Nail Technician?


To start your training, you could enroll in a manicurist program. Course topics might include cosmetology, nail care, manicures, pedicures and operating salons. You may learn about proper sanitation and sterilization of instruments, nail disorders, nail diseases and applicable industry laws, as well as regulations involving health and safety.

Nail programs are offered at beauty schools, technical colleges and community colleges. Training typically lasts a minimum of 12 weeks. Most programs offer studies that are required for state exams to become licensed.

Some colleges and schools might offer evening classes. You could also enroll in distance learning, such as participating in an online nail technician course or online classes in nail art. Degree programs in cosmetology also cover nail training, such as an associate degree in cosmetology or cosmetology bachelor's degree.

As a graduate of a manicurist and nail technician program, you will be able to display shaping, filing and clipping techniques for manicures, as well as pedicures. You will also be able to apply artificial nails and nail sculptures, as well as performing nail care and hygiene procedures.


All states require these workers to become licensed manicurists or licensed nail technicians. You may need to check with your state for the exact licensure requirements. Formal training, tests and exams may be required.

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