The Fine Art of Becoming a Nail Technician: Everything to Know

The UK beauty industry, especially the nail care market, has witnessed rapid growth in the last year and a half. Notably, the increasing vanity and growing penetration of social media trends in the nail business are the leading cause behind the catapulting growth of the nail care market.

A report reveals that the global nail care market value was $4.2 billion in 2018, and it has been speculated to accelerate at a CAGR of 6.1 percent during the 2019-2025 forecast period. The opportunity is there, and if you want to tap into the growing market, it will benefit you to undertake nail technician training or nail courses online.

In this article, we will shed some light on the craft of a nail technician, the qualifications required to become a nail technician, and how much scope for earning there is in this field.

Becoming a Nail Technician

Understand the Craft of Nail Technician

Before you decide to pursue nail tech training, understand first what the job entails. A nail technician or nail tech is required to groom and shape the finger and the toenails of a client. Other aspects of the job involve foot massages, hand massages, removing calluses/dead skin, and grooming cuticles.

However, that’s not all. Daily, a nail tech is expected to provide services like pedicures, manicures, acrylic nail application, paraffin wax treatments, and even treat fungal infections of nails. The job is not as simple as applying a layer of nail paint, and it requires some training for sure.

These days, various nail art styles are trending beyond simple acrylic nails, gel nails, and a french manicure. A nail technician should tap into their creative side and develop bold, innovative nail art designs. It requires the technical know-how of specialized brushes and airbrushing tools.

Qualifications Required for Nail Technician

In the UK, nail technicians don’t need any formal qualifications to be a professional. However, clients prefer nail technicians with experience and beauty qualifications. Moreover, you’ll need to apply for your business’s required license and insurance, which is not possible without proper qualifications in place.

To begin with, you can enroll at your local college for a nail treatment course. This introductory course lays the foundation for your nail career by providing the initial skills and knowledge required to kickstart the business. The nail treatment courses are of two types – levels 1 and 2. These courses can also require GCSE passes.

At the college level, there are general beauty therapy level 2 and level 3 courses that include nail therapy. Alternatively, aspiring nail techs also have the option to become an apprentice of a famous nail technician.

If you plan to work with brands or labels, you will need qualifications as a nail technician to be shortlisted. Here are some popular courses in the UK which can help you with your goal.

  • NVQ Level 2 (Junior) and Level 3 (Senior): The National Vocational qualification is a work-based course, which will provide you with valuable experience.
  • BTEC National Diploma: These courses are highly regarded by employers in the vocational industry like fashion and beauty.
  • ITEC Level 2 (Junior) and Level 3 (Senior): If you wish to travel during your tenure or start a business elsewhere, this is your best bet. This qualification is recognized in more than 33 countries across the world.
  • VCTC Level 2 certificate in nail treatments: With this course in your arsenal, you’ll be able to start in the beauty industry at the junior level. The course is intended for anyone over 16 years of age and is a good place to start if you have decided to make a career in the beauty industry, nail business in particular.
  • CIBTAC nail technician diploma: Explicitly designed for the beauty industry, CIBTAC qualifications have been recognized globally for the last 35 years or so. Just like ITEC, CIBTAC is also recognized globally and presents opportunities outside of the UK as well.

Average Earnings of a Nail Technician

According to a salary check website, the average annual payout for a nail technician in the UK is £22,000. It starts from £18,000 and goes up to £32,500 per year. This is when you opt to work with established nail bars or salons as a bonafide employee, and the salary will depend on the clientele and the level of the salon. Those employed in a high-end salon or a hotel are likely to earn a lot more than the average salary.

There are also nail studios with a chair rental policy, which work out best for those who want to start independently. Such studios will let you keep a percentage of each client fee but will require you to pay rent for your space monthly. Additionally, such nail technicians also get to keep the tips, ranging from 10 to 15 percent of the treatment fee.

Bottom line

So these are what you need to know before you take the leap of faith and start as a nail technician. You now know what skills are required, the qualifications, and the earnings of a nail technician, which should help you decide whether this is the right field for you or not.

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