How to Become a Nail Technician
It starts with you and your interests. If you love doing nails and you love color, you are on the right pathway. There is a saying that “if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.” There is a lot of truth to that.
If you love nails, if you love salons, if you love having your nails done, if you love the atmosphere of “girl talk” that goes on in salons, then you should consider looking into becoming a nail technician.
If fashion is your passion, if you excel in color and women’s beauty, if color creativity is your gift, then check into the possibility of becoming a nail technician.
Where to Go for Training
If you decide it is the right fit, then the next decision is where to go for training. Of course, you will need a specialized nail tech school. There are several ways to find this information. You can do a Google search. You can ask people you know who are currently doing your nails where they were trained and what they would recommend.
Word-of-mouth recommendations are always the best. Most people are honest and will tell you the things they like and don’t like. People like to talk about themselves and their experiences, so if you are thinking of going into the field, consider getting your nails done by different operators or at different salons and talk to these people who are currently in the field.
They can give you a lot of valuable information and also some good ideas as to where to go to school. You can also read some valuable great tips from current nail technicians here.
Check Out Your State for Nail Technician Schools
States differ in how many nail tech schools they offer. Here are a few and you can search more state-by-state through this link.
- Long Island Nail and Skin Institute in Long Island, New York
- Academy of Nail Technology in Phoenix, Arizona
- Artistic Nails and Beauty Academy in the Tampa, Florida, area
- The Hollywood Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida
- International School of Skin, Nailcare, and Massage Therapy in Atlanta, Georgia
- Summit Salon Academy in Lexington, Kentucky
One of the biggest nationwide network of schools are the Paul Mitchell schools.
NOTE: You must thoroughly check what the schools offer. While they may offer the program you desire, they may not offer a place to stay. Therefore, you would have to make arrangements to move there locally.
A course may be as short as six months, but you would have to figure out your living arrangements before signing up, no matter how short the course. Because of that, you may what to check out local schools as stated below.
Look Locally for School and Funding
A good place to start checking for education is your local community college. Community colleges are always a good first choice. They are often more reasonable cost-wise than other schools.
An added benefit is because a community college is local to the community, you can live at home while going to school. Also, many community colleges have access to financial aid such as Pell Grants.
In your local community, there may be a center that helps people get training and jobs. These kinds of groups may be able to help you get through school at a discount. Ask around.
People to ask are school guidance counselors and your local librarian. If you check around locally, you may find a way to fulfill your dream in a creative way.
Nail Technician Supplies You Will Need
You will likely start working within someone else’s salon on a commission. You will need to have your own starting nail technician supplies. Here is a partial list, but if you followed the steps above and talked to current nail technicians before going to school, they likely will have given you some tips to add to this list.
It cannot be over-emphasized that the best way to learn anything about any field is to talk to someone who is currently working in the field. They can give you tips and help you avoid pitfalls. That said, here are some things you will need:
- A membership at a beauty supply house so you can purchase supplies at a discount
- Fingernail clippers
- Toe nail clippers
- Nail file or emery board (multiple, since you can only use these once per customer)
- Cuticle pusher
- Cuticle oil, cream, lotion, scrub
- Introductory nail kits to test the different tips, gels, powders, and activators; restock your favorites
- Wide selection of nail products
- Nail paint and glitter for nail art
Finally, purchase a practice nail hand so that you can perfect your art between customers. Leave your best artwork on display as a calling card of the skills you can offer to your customers.
Future Job Market Good
“There should be more than 11,700 new nail technician positions in this decade.” Quoting from the same source, the average salary is around $19,620. Another figure is $24,550 before tips. Like anything, if you are talented and good at what you do, you can command higher money and tips.
Those who do the nails of people on television or those in the public eye, such as politicians, can do better than average. It pays to increase your knowledge and skills.
Both men and women are taking time out for manicures and pedicures. For the person who loves nails and has good people skills, the future looks bright.