Nail Technicians

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 71,220 nail technicians working in the United States.

Quick Facts
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
Alternate Title(s) Manicurists, Nail Artists, Nail Sculpturists, Pedicurists
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $50,000
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities exist in all regions, but California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York employ the most nail technicians
Education and Training
  • High School Diploma
  • Some Postsecondary Training
Related School Subjects
  • Art
  • Business
Experience Part-time experience helpful
  • Drawing/Design
  • Interpersonal
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
Personality Traits
  • Artistic
  • Hands On
  • Helpful
Licensure/Certification Required
Special Requirements None
Career Ladder
  • Nail Salon Owner
  • Experienced Nail Technician
  • Entry-Level Nail Technician

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Health Service Administrator

  • $0
  • 25
  • 50
  • 75
  • 100
  • 100+
Yearly Salary Range (US$ Thousands)