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What does a Nail Technician do?

by Elizabeth Harmon
Posted: September 22, 2019

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Are you interested in turning your love of nails into an exciting and rewarding career? You’ll get to truly pamper clients with luxurious pedicures and manicures whilst delivering great-looking results with acrylic and gel enhancements.

This blog takes a closer look at what the role of a nail technician really involves, from the tasks you will need to perform daily, the soft skills you may need to succeed, what career prospects are available right now and how you can develop the skills and experience you need to become a nail professional.

A day in the life of a Nail Technician

As a Nail Technician, you may choose to work in a nail salon or be a nail professional in a spa that offers a range of other treatments. These may be standalone businesses, or you may find them as part of a hotel, hairdresser, gym, or even on a cruise ship. Whichever you choose, your role will generally involve:

  • Talking with clients to discuss their needs
  • Carrying out treatments that take care of, paint and decorate nails. This can include manicures, pedicures, applying fake nails, doing decorative nail art and more
  • Taking bookings and managing calendars
  • Handling customer payments
  • Maintaining a clean and tidy treatment room
  • Staying up to date with all the latest nail trends, products and techniques

Setting up a Nail Technician business

Instead of working for someone else, you may decide to set up your own business, where you work from home or travel to customers. You could even find yourself working on photo shoots or helping at fashion shows. When setting up on your own, as well as the above, you will also need to:

  • Manage inventory and purchase supplies
  • Promote your business to increase appointments
  • Manage finances and taxes

What soft skills do you need?

If you’re looking to become a nail technician, you will need a few basic skills:

  • Communication - It’s important that you are comfortable talking with other people so that you can make conversations during appointments, listen carefully to customers’ needs and be able to communicate information effectively.
  • Organisation - You will have various appointments throughout the day and so it’s important you’re able to stay organised, to stick to your schedule.
  • Creativity - Not only will you be looking after people’s nails, but painting them and decorating them, so having a creative flair is important.

What career prospects are there as a Nail Technician?

According to Job Outlook, the number of beauty therapists (which includes nail technicians) grew very strongly over the last 5 years. This growth is expected to continue and in terms of job openings, there’s likely to be around 5,000 per year, across Australia.

Research shows that only 39% of people in this field work full-time, which is ideal for fitting it around other commitments such as family or another part-time job. However, in some instances, you may be expected to work evenings and weekends.

The average salary is around AU$959 per week (when working full-time), which is lower than the average of AU$1,460. A nail technician salary may be slightly higher though, as it’s a specialised role. Your salary should also increase over time, as your experience develops.

How can you start your career as a Nail Technician?

Whilst you can practice painting nails on your friends and family, if you’re looking to become a professional nail technician, there is a lot to learn. In fact, to get started, you would usually need a certificate III or IV in a relevant field.

With Open Colleges’ nationally recognised online course, SHB30315 Certificate III in Nail Technology, you can learn how to provide manicure and pedicure services, how to apply safe hygiene, follow health and work practices, plus much more. You’ll learn how to start your own business, which is perfect if you’re interested in becoming your own boss. You’ll even benefit from an 80-hour work placement, in a nail salon setting, enabling you to put everything you’ve learnt into practice.

Take a look at our SHB30315 Certificate III in Nail Technology course online now, or download our FREE course guide to find out more.


Elizabeth Harmon

Elizabethis an experienced Freelance Social Media Consultant based in the south of England. She works with a growing number of clients all around the world, showing businesses how to use social media more effectively and helping them to get the maximum benefit from it.

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