I thought this post would be perfect this #manimonday for those nailphiles thinking of taking their passion for nails a step further. Thanks to Holly Barry for writing this Guest Post on pursuing a career as a nail technician.

Until quite recently, hair stylists and beauty therapists tended to operate quite separately from one another, each having their own salon or treatment rooms. However, things are evolving in the hair and beauty industry, and at present, it is common for both hair and beauty treatments to coincide next to one another. This is a match made in beauty heaven – after all, if a customer is looking for a cut and blow dry, they may well be interested in some additional treatments, such as having their nails shaped and painted to match their new over-haul.

The range of nail treatments available has increased dramatically over the years, from simple manicures and pedicures to gels, acrylics, airbrush designs and overlays. This growth means that career opportunities for nail technicians have expanded dramatically.

As a nail technician, you could choose to operate on a self-employed basis, or you could work for an international beauty brand. You could be based in a local salon or spa, or you could travel around the country, promoting products in stores and at events. There are even opportunities to work on cruise ships, travelling the world whilst working in an upmarket on-board salon.

The Facts

This industry has seen phenomenal growth in recent years, and a career as a nail technician is now seen as an aspirational choice, with plenty of opportunities for progression. Let’s look at some statistics, to show just how ‘big business’ the nail industry has become:

In 2014, the global annual spend on nail tech reached $8.54 billion. In the UK, the average woman spends £450 per year on her nails, visiting a nail salon on average twice a month. Globally, over 89,000 bottles of OPI nail polish are sold every day. That’s a staggering 61 bottles per minute!

George Schaeffer, the founder of nail giant OPI, was originally a taxi driver. How’s that for a successful career change? The world’s most expensive nail polish costs a whopping $250,000! Black Diamond Nail Polish, from luxury jewellery firm, Azature. The product contains 267 carats of actual black diamonds! As a nail technician, you could expect to earn up to £25,000, with celebrity-endorsed specialists earning considerably more than that.

It is clear to see that nail treatments have become a mainstay of most women’s beauty regimes. From a simple French manicure to a full set of gel or acrylic extensions, women from all over the world over have started to embrace their nails like never before.

The Rewards

One great thing about becoming a nail technician is that there are no fixed requirements or qualifications needed to start. Of course, if you’re serious about becoming a nail technician, you should aim for a certificate in nail technology or sign on to a programme in manicuring, as these will definitely help you on your newly carved career path into beauty.

A career as a nail technician can be a very creative and rewarding one. As a professional nail technician, you will have the personal satisfaction that comes with making clients feel happy and confident. There are few careers where you can indulge your artistic creativity all day, but working in the nail industry will allow you to do exactly that. The most talented nail technicians literally create miniature works of art on their clients’ nails. With celebrities like Victoria Beckham, Rihanna and Rita Ora all championing the skills of their personal nail technicians, the sky could genuinely be the limit, in terms of where your career takes you. Some incredibly talented celebrity nail technicians include: Tom Bachik (J Lo, Heidi Klum and Emma Stone are a few of his clients), Gina Edwards (Rita Ora and Demi Lovato are regulars) and Michelle Saunders (Manid Moore and Pink).

Another advantage of working as a nail technician is the flexibility it offers. From working in a salon, either as an employee or in a self-employed capacity, through to running your own salon or mobile nail bar, there are nail tech openings to suit everyone’s needs and requirements.

Nailing the Trends for 2017

The nail industry is one of the most creative sectors in the beauty world. Nails are every bit as much a fashion item as clothing and jewellery are, so it pays to keep up to date on the latest trends. So just what is predicted to be a hot topic next year?

As the New Year starts, fashion bloggers are predicting that ultra-dark polishes will be on trend, ranging from jet black lacquers to deep plum shades and deep, deep purples. To add some glamour to these sensual colours, crystals, pearls and glitter are all set to make their mark in 2017.

So called ‘cuticle jewellery’ is another trend that looks set to wow women in 2017. Starting with a clear base lacquer, glitter polish is then applied just to the edge of the cuticle, leaving most of the nail free of polish. This look is understated but oh so confident.

Is a Nail Technician Career for you?

It’s clear that the nail industry is on the up, with a manicure being as much of an essential for women as a haircut. A career as a nail technician is a creative and fulfilling one, with plenty of opportunities to take things as far as your ambition and talent will let you. Who knows…with hard work, study, creative flair and a keen eye on the latest trends, in a few years’ time you could be working alongside fashion designers, for a prestigious beauty brand or even own your own salon. You never know where the next year could take you.


  1. Polish Perfect

    This is a perfect job for people who are creative and independent. It might be rough at first but the reward is awesome. You can be a freelancer or work on a cruise ship as a nail technician and travel the world while working.

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