Liam does designer nails at a trendy nail salon. 

He loves the energy and excitement of the salon, and loves the chance to be creative whileworking with people.

Woman with nails.

Do you have a passion for nails? Are you creative about nail design?

Be like Liam and become a nail technician!

What Do They Do?

Woman filing her nails.

Nail technicians make their clients' nails look their best by bringing their nail visions to life.

The best nail technicians aren’t just technicians, they're people who really care about making their clients happy. At its core, being a nail technician is about helping someone feel better about themselves and brightening their day!

What Might A Typical Day Look Like?

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Nail Care

  • Trim, file, and paint natural nails

  • Perform pedicures and manicures

  • Apply acrylic nails and decorations

  • Keep a tidy work area

  • Sanitize nail tools

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Customer Service

  • Make customersfeel at ease

  • Schedule and manage appointments

  • Look for new customers

  • Process payment for services

nails love GIF


What duties would a nail technician NOT do in a typical day?

But Will It Pay The Bills?

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In the United States, the average yearly salary for a nail technician can range from $30,000 to $60,000.

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In Canada, the average yearly salary for a nail technician can range from C$30,00 to $35,000. 

You'll Love It If...

  • You enjoy working with people.

  • You have a passion for nails.

  • You can handle a lot of responsibility.

  • You have the physical stamina to work on nails all day.

  • You enjoy helping people look their best.

  • You can keep a tidy and clean work area.

Look For Another Career Path If....

  • You don't like working with people.

  • You don't like touching people.

  • You won't like sitting all day.

  • You don't want to be tied to client or salon schedules.

  • It's hard for you to keep a clean work area and disinfect tools.

A meme showing the differences in perception that people have of nail technicians.

How Can I Become A Nail Technician In The United States?

Nail technicians must be licensed in order to work in the United States.

A nail technician must meet these criteria:

  • Apply to a state-approved nail technician program. The program requirements vary from state to state.

  • Complete the coursework and training hours. The majority of programs require between 300-400 hours of training.

  • Pass the required exam and obtain licensure. Many programs can be completed in under one year.


Molly wants to become a nail technician. She just completed state-approved course work and training hours. What should be the next step in her mail technician journey?

How Can I Become A Nail Technician In Canada?

While there aren't any national requirements to become a nail technician in Canada, regulations differ across provinces. Check with a beauty school program in your area for the legal requirements to practice as a nail technician.

There are also ways to stand out against other candidates:

  • Take a nail technician course even when it's not required.

  • Seek out qualification in a specialty area, such as acrylic nails. Doing so can help you land a job in a high-end salon or spa.

Take Action

Nutcracker Ballet Nails GIF by Ovation TV Do you think you want to become a nail technician?


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