Nail Technicians

Nail Technician Performs Manicure

Nail technicians clean, shape, and polish fingernails and toenails. They groom cuticles and apply cream to hands and arms (feet and calves in the case of pedicures). They apply a variety of artificial nails and provide ongoing maintenance. Many nail technicians are skilled in "nail art" and decorate clients' nails with stencils, glitter, and ornaments. Nail technicians may also call themselves manicurists, pedicurists, nail sculpturists, or nail artists. There are approximately 83,840 nail technicians working in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Manicurists, Nail Artists, Nail Sculpturists, Pedicurists
Duties Clean, shape, and polish customers’ fingernails and toenails; apply a variety of artificial nails and provide ongoing maintenance; apply stencils, glitter, and ornaments to customers’ nails
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $50,000
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities exist in all regions, but California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania employ the most nail technicians
Minimum Education Level
  • High School Diploma
  • Some Postsecondary Training
School Subjects
  • Art
  • Business
Experience Part-time experience helpful
Personality Traits
  • Artistic
  • Hands On
  • Helpful
  • Drawing/Design
  • Interpersonal
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Faster than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Nail Salon Owner
  • Experienced Nail Technician
  • Entry-Level Nail Technician