Manicure Technician: 5 Steps to Becoming a Manicurist
Are you passionate about beauty and personal care? Do you love to work on fingernails? You could make a career from these interests. To learn more about becoming a manicurist, read on. Schools offering Aromatherapy degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Is a Manicurist?
A manicurist, also known as a nail technician, is a personal appearance specialist who concentrates on providing care and beauty treatments to hands and fingernails. As a manicurist, your duties would include evaluating the condition of hands and nails, abrading dead skin and trimming cuticles. You'd also smooth and shape fingernails, remove old nail polish and apply new nail polish.
Other duties will be to clean your work station, sanitize tools and schedule appointments. If you own your business you'll need to advertise, order supplies and maintain financial records. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary of manicurists was $19,650 as of May 2010 (www.bls.gov).
Step 1: Earn a High School Diploma
You'll need at least a high school diploma to become a state licensed manicurist. States vary on the minimum age requirement, but some will license you if you're 16 years old, have a high school diploma or GED and have completed a manicurist program. High school cosmetology programs will help teach you a range of beauty services, including nail care.
Step 2: Gain Experience as a Manicurist
To gain experience, you should perform manicures on friends and family members so you can practice your technical and customer relationship skills. You could also volunteer at a salon so you can observe and learn how manicurists interact with customers.
Step 3: Complete a Nail Technician Program
Once you're ready, you'll find nail technician certificate programs are widely available at community and technical colleges and at beauty schools. These programs teach you the biological structure and composition of nails, skin and nail diseases and sanitation. You'll also learn the proper use and maintenance of emery boards, scissors and other tools, as well as techniques for trimming, filing and polishing nails. You can complete a certificate program in less than a year.
Step 4: Obtain a License
Before you can work as a manicurist, you'll need to pass a licensing exam for manicurists or nail technicians Your state may use its own exam or the exam administered by the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (www.nictesting.org). These exams typically consist of a written test covering nail science and nail care procedures and a practical skills test.
Step 5: Find Employment
You could find work in beauty salons, spas, barber shops, hotels, resorts and department stores. You may also start your own business. As of 2008, 76,000 people were employed as manicurists and pedicurists, according to the BLS. Employment is projected to rise to 90,200 or 19% between 2008 and 2018. The BLS also noted that growth and demand in personal care services are reasons for the increase.
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