How to become a Nail Technician in 2023

Nail tech painting nails

Nail techs are a bit like beauty wizards. With a wealth and breadth of knowledge about all things nail care, they are equipped with and skilled at using a multitude of gizmos, gadgets, lotions and potions to achieve beautiful results, and they bring colour and sparkle to the hands of whoever crosses their path. That sure sounds like magic to us!

Want to know how to become a nail tech? Are you curious to learn how much does a nail technician make? We will answer all this and more in this handy little guide to starting your nail technician career.

What does a nail technician do?  

Nail technicians are skilled individuals who tend to the care, maintenance and aesthetic needs of nails. With treatments and trends forever evolving, it is vital for a nail tech to stay on top of the latest nail styles, ensuring that they can provide the ultimate satisfaction for their customers. 

Nail technician job description

A nail tech in is responsible for providing professional nail care services to clients. This includes manicures, pedicures, nail shaping, cuticle care, and applying various nail treatments, including polish and nail art. 

They will have their finger on the pulse of all the latest nail trends, be able to provide an amazing level of customer service, be an excellent communicator with clients and coworkers alike, and take pride in keeping their work environment clean and organised. 

Successful nail techs also have a strong attention to detail, flair for creativity, and comprehensive knowledge of nail health.

Roles and responsibilities

Here’s an insight into the roles and responsibilities of a nail technician:

  • Provide nail care services such as manicures and pedicures.
  • Clean, shape, and trim nails to desired lengths.
  • Apply nail treatments, including polish, gel, acrylics, and nail art.
  • Provide cuticle care and moisturise the hands and feet.
  • Review clients’ nails and recommend appropriate treatments based on their condition.
  • Stay updated on the latest nail trends, techniques, and products.
  • Maintain a clean and organised workstation, as well as ensuring tools and equipment are properly sanitised.
  • Provide excellent customer service, as well as maintaining client confidentiality.
  • Handle cash transactions and book appointments.
  • Adhere to health, safety, and hygiene standards.
  • Handle customer complaints or concerns.
  • Keep accurate records of client preferences and services provided.
  • Upsell additional services or nail care products when appropriate.
  • Positively communicate and work with colleagues to create a welcoming work environment.
  • Undertake additional training to enhance skills and knowledge.
  • Manage nail products and supply inventory.

A day in the life of a nail technician

A day in the life of a nail technician is varied, fast-paced and predominantly focused on satisfying your clients. 

Mornings typically start with setting up a clean workspace and sterilising tools, before clients arrive. A nail tech will then prioritise engaging with clients, discussing their preferences and offering suggestions on the appropriate treatments. 

As appointments continue, the technician maintains a steady rhythm, applying treatments, shaping nails, and adding artistic designs. Alongside this, they will continue to maintain the sanitation and hygiene of their workstation.

The role demands skill, creative flair and artistry, and a commitment to helping clients look and feel fabulous.

Why should you be a Nail Technician?

Pros of being a Nail Technician:

  • Creative expression: you can flex your creativity through your nail art, designs, and colour combinations.
  • Flexible schedule: you can choose to enjoy flexible work hours, making it possible to balance personal and professional life to suit your style.
  • In-demand skills: Skilled nail technicians are always in demand, which means you’re likely to have plenty of job opportunities and potential for growth.
  • Client relationships: Building strong relationships with clients can lead to loyal customers and a sense of connection and fulfilment.
  • Quick training: The training period to become a nail technician is relatively short compared to other professions, meaning you can enter the workforce much quicker.
  • Positive impact: Nail technicians help boost clients’ self-esteem and confidence by enhancing their appearance.
  • Varied work settings: Nail technicians can work in a variety of settings, including salons, spas, resorts, and even as freelance nail techs.
  • Continuous learning: The beauty industry is ever-evolving, so you will regularly have the opportunity to learn about new techniques and products.
  • Earning potential: With your increasing experience, you can choose to increase how much you charge for your treatments, and also receive bigger tips from loyal customers.


  • Physical strain: It’s a pretty physical job, with prolonged periods of standing and performing repetitive motions.
  • Chemical exposure: As you’ll be working with nail products, you’ll be exposed to a number of chemicals and will need to ensure you use protective measures.
  • Client preferences: Satisfying all your client preferences can be challenging, especially when dealing with intricate or advanced nail designs, and dealing with client dissatisfaction can be difficult.
  • Erratic income: Income might fluctuate based on the number of clients you have, which may lead to less predictable earnings.
  • Long hours: You might need to work extended hours during busy periods, like weekends and holidays.

Overall, the pros of being a nail technician definitely outweigh the cons, as this career offers a creative, flexible, and rewarding professional pathway for those passionate about nail care and design.

Skills needed to become A Nail Technician

There are three strands of skill types required to become a successful nail tech sorcerer:

Practical skills

  • The basics – The foundations of nail tech are paramount in order to build a solid foundational skill-set. Being familiar with all the appropriate tools, products and treatments and knowing how to expertly use them is a must.
  • Stepping it up a notch – Now, if you are wanting to step it up from traditional polish (which seems likely with the range of exciting new nail treatments now on offer) there are a few extra things that will complete your kit. Gels and acrylics are the most popular treatments of the now, and so it is important to have all the right equipment and skills in order to deliver these styles for your clients. 

Theoretical knowledge and know-how

  • Nail care and health – Knowing the signs of damaged or unhealthy nails is a vital skill for any nail tech, as well as being aware of particular nail infections. A nail tech must also have excellent knowledge of skincare and be aware of any sensitivities or allergies their client may have so they know which products or treatments to avoid.
  • Tools and tricks – Knowing the best and most effective tools to use for nail care is super important to ensure expert and efficient execution of treatments and services. 
  • The latest trends and styles – A nail tech needs to be up to date with the latest nail styles and treatments on the market so they can offer them to their clients. You want to be able to offer options to your clients so that they can make the most informed decision about the service they want.

Last but certainly not least…people skills!

While all the practical tools, tricks and equipment are vital, the thing that will truly set you apart from other nail businesses and keep customers coming back to YOU is the vibe and attitude you give off towards your clients and about your business.

Creating a welcoming, safe space in which clients can feel comfortable sharing their needs or insecurities without fear of shame or judgment is one of the most valuable services a nail tech can offer.

A kind, encouraging manner and friendly atmosphere is the key to client happiness.

How to become a Nail Technician

Research the role

Make sure you firstly understand the responsibilities and expectations of a nail technician.

You need to be confident that you have the creativity, attention to detail, and customer service skills required for the job.

Begin your training

Enrol in a nail technician training program that will teach you the core skills of manicure, pedicure, nail art, hygiene, and product knowledge.

Gain hands-on experience

You’ll want to practise lots in order to master these skills. So ask for friends and family to be your models so you can become a pro.

The aim of the game is customer satisfaction, so the better your skills the better your levels of customer service.

Obtain the required licensing

Depending on your location in Australia, you may need to obtain additional licences or certifications to legally practise as a nail technician.

Search for your dream job

You may begin the search for your dream job by looking for job opportunities in salons, spas, beauty clinics, or freelance positions.

Remember to build a portfolio filled with examples of your work and experiences to discuss during the interview.

Keep learning

Stay up-to-date on all the cutting edge nail care trends, techniques, and products to ensure your skills stay up to scratch. You may want to consider undertaking additional training with specialised courses, such as in nail extensions or spa treatments.

With this ever-growing experience, you may wish to climb the career ladder to secure a senior position in a beauty salon, or even open up your own!

Remember, becoming a successful nail technician requires dedication, continuous learning, and a passion for creativity and customer satisfaction.

How easy is it to start your own nail technician business?

With an online course at Australian Beauty School, kickstarting your career has never been easier!

Our Certificate in Nail Tech, Certificate in Nail Art and Design and Certificate in Manicures and Pedicures all come with a custom-designed kit, containing everything you will need to complete your training, sent right to your front door. The kit will have all the necessary gear to aid you on your nail tech journey, allowing you to experiment and explore from the comfort of your own home. 

Choosing to study on one of our online nail tech courses will give you 24/7 access to your studies, giving you the flexibility to work your learning around your schedule and lifestyle.

Start learning today

Start your magical beauty journey today with a short beauty course at Australian Beauty School.

Does becoming a beauty boss sound exciting to you? Take the first step and get your course brochure today!

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