How do I Become a Manicurist?

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  • Written By: K T Solis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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A manicurist, also called a nail technician, is a person who takes care of clients' nails for a fee. The manicurist uses a variety of tools to shape, clean, polish, and paint fingernails and toenails. Creams, lotions, oils, and other nail products are used each day in order to make clients' nails healthy and attractive. In order to become a manicurist, the prospective beauty professional must possess a high school diploma or GED. He or she must also enroll in a licensed cosmetology school and successfully complete a nail technician program.

The program usually includes classes and hands-on training. Anyone who wishes to become a manicurist is required to pass a written and practical exam according to requirements of the state where the manicurist plans to work. Some schools may even have a job placement service to help new graduates find work in a local nail salon.

A nail technician can work from his or her own home or work in a salon. Typical job tasks include filing, polishing, and painting nails, but the manicurist must also be skilled at applying artificial nail tips. Many clients prefer to wear artificial nails instead of wearing their natural nails.


Manicurists must know how to apply these nails and paint designs on them. Such designs are created by using stencils or painting free hand. A manicurist must also be able to provide advice to clients concerning how to care for the nails. The manicurist may even recommend nail products that can improve the condition or appearance of the client's nails.

Skilled nail technicians must follow procedures that correctly sanitize tools in order to prevent spread of infection amongst the people who visit his or her salon. Proper hygienic procedures also prevent damage to clients' nails. Manicurists who own their own nail salons often need to be licensed by the local health department in order to ensure that proper sanitation procedures are followed.

The education of someone who wishes to become a manicurist does not end once he or she completes a nail tech program. Instead, the nail tech keeps abreast of new developments and trends in the field by taking short-term courses, attending trade shows, and reading trade magazines. Some manicurists expand their education and services by learning how to pierce ears, give massages, or offer beauty therapy. If someone wishes to become a manicurist, he or she should enjoy working with the public and be prepared to work evenings and weekends. Most people visit nail technicians after work or on weekends, so the nail tech will need to be available during these hours.



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