You are here

Nail technician

Nail technicians look after, shape and decorate people’s finger and toe nails.
Relevant to

What does a nail technician do?

Nail technicians look after, shape and decorate people’s finger and toe nails. You’ll be using a variety of techniques to give people manicures, pedicures or nail extensions. You may be working directly for a salon, or be self-employed. You’ll need good communication skills as you’ll be dealing with a range of clients. If you’re working as a self-employed nail technician, you’ll need good business skills too.

What do I need to do to become a nail technician?

You do not need any specific qualifications to become a nail technician, however experience and a nail treatments or beauty services qualification are highly desirable.

You could take a course in nail treatments at your local college which would provide you with skills and experience. These are available at level 1 and 2 and may require a few GCSE passes.  Some general beauty therapy level 2 and level 3 courses also offer options in nail therapy.  Alternatively you may be able to find an apprenticeship in this type of work. 

Customer service and 'people' skills will be important, so you can talk to customers and find out what type of nail treatment they want. You'll also need to keep up-to- date with the latest fashion trends.

You could take a course in nail treatments at your local college to provide you with skills and experience. These are available at level 1 and 2 and may require a few GCSE passes.  Some general beauty therapy level 2 and 3 courses also offer options in nail therapy. Alternatively, you may find an apprenticeship in this type of work. 


Related skills

  • Patience
  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Business management
  • Attention to detail
  • Customer service

Related subjects

  • Art
  • Biology
  • Design technology
  • Foreign languages

Desirable qualifications

  • BTEC in beauty therapy

Where could I be working?

You could find work at specialist nail salons and nail bars, at beauty and hairdressing salons, at spas and health clubs, and on cruise ships.

With experience, you may be able to progress to salon management or start your own business. You could open your own salon, rent space in a salon, or run a mobile business visiting different salons or visiting clients in their homes.  (You will need to find out about regulations and licensing requirements which may apply from your local authority environmental health department. You may also find it useful to take a course to develop your business skills). 

There may sometimes be opportunities to work with photographers, fashion designers or TV companies, preparing nails for photo shoots or fashion shows.


Related jobs


Job families