Nail technicians, often known as manicurists or pedicurists, provide manicures, pedicures, and other nail treatments based on the needs and preferences of their clients. They either work for themselves or businesses such as salons, spas, barbershops, and nail salons.
Throughout your apprenticeship, you may help:
- do treatments, like manicures and pedicures
- clean and file nails
- apply false nails or extensions
- decorate nails with coloured varnish, transfers, gems or glitter
- repair, look after and remove false nails and extensions
- check for any signs of skin or nail problems before treatment
- store chemicals correctly and safely and follow strict hygiene rules.
As a nail technician apprentice your starting salary would be £15,500 a year rising to £25,000 a year once qualified and with experience.
You will also be expected to work weekends and evenings. Typically, you will work 35 to 39 hours a week.
You could work in a salon, at a health spa, on a cruise ship, from home or at a client’s home.
Qualifications you can achieve as a nail technician apprentice include:
Level 2 Nail Services Technician – Entry requirements for this level include some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship.
This typically takes 12 months to complete as a mix of learning in the workplace and off-the-job study.
On a nail technician apprenticeship, you’ll learn:
- customer service skills
- the ability to work well with your hands
- excellent verbal communication skills
- active listening skills
- to be flexible and open to change
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to sell products and services
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device.
Career path and progression
You might operate a salon or start a business based on your experience.
You might prepare nails for photo sessions or displays for photographers, fashion designers, or television firms.
You might continue your study to learn other beauty techniques or to teach nail art. You might begin selling nail supplies and products to salons and nail bars.