June 8, 2021

What is a Nail Technician and is it the Right Job for You?

woman with red hair using nail tools to file down client nails

Do you have an eye for beauty and design? Do you love the latest fashion and beauty trends? Enjoy spending one-on-one time making others feel better about themselves? You may be surprised to learn that becoming a nail technician could be a great career option for you.

Nail technician work dates back to 3,000 BC. Yup, you read that right! The ancient Chinese royalty painted their nails red and black as a sign of power. Many other civilizations followed this trend throughout the years. But it became far more commonplace in the 1920s, especially as the film industry started to boom. Fashionistas and starlets prided themselves on having beautiful nails painted to match their outfits.

These days, you will see a nail salon in just about every town. It is estimated that over 56,000 nail salons are operating in the United States alone, which has created nearly 400,000 nail technicians jobs. Further, customers in the US spend $8.36 billion on nail services every single year!

Becoming a nail technician can be a great way to make money and have a flexible, enjoyable career. But what is a nail technician exactly, what does this job entail, and how do you become one? Let’s dive in!

client looking through different nail color options

What is a Nail Technician?

A nail technician is a person who provides services and treatments for the nails on the hands and feet. Some of the most common services they provide include manicures, pedicures, grooming, and treatments to promote the health of the nails.

Nail technician jobs can also include selling additional services or products to customers. Some nail technicians will specialize in specific treatments, like overlays, acrylic designs, or dip powder-styled nails.

Nail technicians often work at a salon to provide these services. However, there are many career options for someone with a nail technician license. They can start their own business or provide services out of their home. Nail techs may also work as “freelancers” who can be hired for specific jobs, such as weddings or photoshoots.

Nail technician jobs are known for being extremely flexible. It is generally easy to manage a great work and life balance, especially once you build up a base of clientele.

How Do You Become a Nail Technician?

All states require that you complete a nail technician course from a certified beauty school. Every state has a set number of hours that must be completed. For instance, nail technicians in Kansas must have at least 350 hours of training.

The nail technician course at Hays Academy of Hair Design is a progressive program. This means that our students are enrolled in continuous classes over the course of three months to earn their accredited training hours.

client and nail tech discussing colors

During nail technician school, you can learn:

  • Natural nail care and beauty
  • How to apply, style, and remove acrylic nails
  • Spa manicures and pedicures
  • Nail art
  • Communication and business skills
  • State laws

Instructors guide students so they are learning all of the necessary information in a classroom setting before applying them in real life. Then, the students can practice to earn training hours and hands-on experience.

Once all of those training courses are completed, the next step is to take the state certification exam. In Kansas, the exam is provided by the Kansas Board of Cosmetology and includes a written theory and practical exam. This will test your knowledge of the skills you have learned in nail technician school. It will largely focus on state regulations and safety.

If you passed, you can receive a nail technician license to practice in your state! To keep practicing, you are required to renew this license every two years.

How Do I Get Started at a Nail Tech School Near Me?

So, how do you know if becoming a nail technician is the right idea for you?
There are some qualities that any good nail technician must possess. One is attention to detail since much of your work will involve using nail polish and small brushes to create intricate designs. Some artistic skills are certainly useful, too!

You must also be able to take direction from your clients to learn about the style they want and make it come to life. Being a friendly, outgoing person can also help you connect with your clients.

Cleanliness and organization are also crucial for a successful career as a nail tech. Germs can be easily spread from client to client if your materials and workstation are not sanitary. State laws are very strict regarding cleaning procedures – so you must be sure to follow them.

Finally, there are some legal requirements to become a nail technician. You must be at least 17 years old to enroll in a nail technician program and have a high school diploma or GED. You must also be certified to work in the state through citizenship or a work visa.

woman filing down clients nails

The World of Nails is Waiting!

Becoming a nail technician can open many exciting doors. If you think you have what it takes, your next step is to find a nail technician school near you. But not just any program will do – you want to enroll in a course that can truly prepare you for a successful career.

This is what sets Hays Academy of Hair Design apart!

Our nail technician course is focused on providing exceptional training so you are ready to get to work once you receive your certification. We are accredited by the Kansas Board of Cosmetology and we focus on using the latest techniques, products, and equipment in the nail industry.

If you are ready to learn more about our nail technician training courses, please contact our team at Hays Academy of Hair Design! We would love to help you get started on your path to a rewarding career.