It seems that nail art and care has taken our modern world by storm! I mean, you can see photos of amazing nail art or tutorial videos of nail artists pretty much everywhere you look on social media!
A lot of people are discovering their passion for nail art and maintenance so they’re considering going professional and becoming nail technicians. If this sounds familiar, then this article is definitely for you!
Today, we’ll be explaining all you need to know on how to become a nail technician. Let’s get started!
What Is A Nail Technician And What Do They Do?
Also known as a manicurist, a nail technician is a professional who specializes in shaping nails and making them look neat. Nail technicians typically work in salons, spas, and cosmology centers where they provide treatments for your nails, hands, and feet.
Nail technicians offer their services in the form of manicures and pedicures that involve cutting, cleaning, filing, polishing, as well as painting your fingernails and toenails.
They may also work with acrylic nail applications or even give customers hand and foot massages.
A nail technician should wear protective clothing, such as gloves and masks, when dealing with chemicals and strive to maintain a sterile work environment at all times.
Nail technicians often demonstrate strong skills in communication, time management, multitasking, and sales. This is because they’ll need to establish good relations with clients so they become regulars and be able to sell nail care products.
How To Become A Legitimate Nail Technician?
If you’re planning to become a nail technician, you don’t need a scientific degree. However, you’re required to earn a certificate as well as obtain a license to be able to legally practice the profession.
The road to becoming a legitimate nail technician is typically made up of 3 to 4 steps to get your certification and license:
Finish High School
Before you even think about joining a cosmetology program, you need to graduate from high school. Yes, this is a profession where you’re required to hold a high school diploma or its equivalent to be eligible for applying for cosmetology training programs and state licensing.
Some technical high schools can help kick start your career by offering cosmetology programs where you get to complete a bit of training before you even graduate.
In such programs, you’ll learn about the different techniques of nail and hand, mostly through in-class discussions and laboratory teaching. Moreover, it’s possible for these programs to qualify you for taking your state’s license.
In this case, you won’t be needing the next step, which is to attend and finish a cosmetology program.
Complete A Cosmetology Program
With a high school diploma to your name, you’re now eligible to take a cosmetology program. You should choose a cosmetology training program that’s approved by your state’s licensing board. This way you can be sure that your certificate will be accepted upon applying for a license.
So where exactly can you find manicurist training programs?
Well, this type of program is usually available at community colleges, cosmetology schools, and technical schools where you’re awarded a certificate of completion after you pass the exams.
During these programs, you get to learn about the tools and equipment that a nail technician often needs and how to properly master their use. Also, you should expect to have classes in disinfection and sanitation, cosmetology chemistry, nail disorders, as well as artificial nails.
Not only will these programs really serve to grow your skills as a nail technician, but you can also make use of your time in the program to build a strong portfolio that showcases your most creative designs and favorite nail art.
Getting a head start on your portfolio can be a huge advantage to your career after you’ve earned your certification since you’ll be able to present visual examples of your amazing work and impress potential employers during interviews.
Obtaining A State License
Now that you’ve got your certificate in the bag, it’s time for you to apply for your state’s licensing exam. Remember, you won’t be able to legally work as a nail technician unless you pass the exam and become licensed.
Individuals who are eligible for licensure must be of legal age (generally 16 or older), hold a high school diploma or its equivalent, and have a certificate that proves their completion of state-licensed manicurist training programs.
As for the licensure process, it varies from one state to the other but commonly involves both a written and a practical exam.
On these exams, you may be required to demonstrate your skills and abilities in operating nail care tools as well as applying safety and sanitation protocols. Once you pass the tests, you officially become a licensed nail technician!
Maintaining Your License
As a licensed nail technician, you’ll need to apply for license renewal to maintain your license. This means you’ll need to achieve the renewal requirements set by your state through continuing education.
The goal of continuing education is for nail technicians to remain current and up to date on various nail care topics and techniques to enhance their competence.
The required number of continuing education hours differs according to your state, so you should check for it with your state board of cosmetology. Don’t postpone this step too long as most states’ licenses expire every 1 or 2 years.
Continuing education courses for nail technicians usually cover a wide range of subjects including advanced nail techniques, state regulations, as well as health and sanitation.
You can find such classes available online through cosmetology schools and continuing education companies so you can easily keep up. However, be sure to check the validity of these platforms with respect to your state board.
Advancing Your Career
With your rightfully-earned license, it’s time for you to start your career as a professional nail technician.
You get to work just about anywhere a nail technician can including salons, beauty centers, and spas. The more experience you gain and the better your skills develop, the more opportunities you’ll get for promotions or even opening up your own business!
Even though this profession of a nail technician has been around for a while, the internet really took nail art and care to the next level!
So if you’re interested in the field but you don’t know where to start, well, you’re in the right place!