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Nail technician

Alternative titles for this job include Manicurist

Nail technicians offer customers treatments like nail art, filing, polishing and extensions.

Average salary (a year)

£15,500 Starter


£22,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

35 to 39 variable

You could work

evenings / weekends flexibly

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Nail technician

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role


You could begin by taking a college course, for example:

  • nail technology
  • nail treatments
  • nail art

Some colleges will offer nail services as part of a beauty therapy course.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

More Information


You could take a Nail Services Technician Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship.

This typically takes 1 year to complete and is a mix of workplace learning and day-release for study.

Entry requirements

To do this apprenticeship, you'll need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More Information


If you can show a real interest in nail art and have some skills in it, you may be able to get a job as a trainee with a nail salon or beauty spa and learn on the job.

More Information

Career tips

Working part time in a nail bar or beauty salon will help you learn about different treatments and allow you to develop your customer service and salon skills.

Nail technicians often work freelance. If you're thinking about being self-employed it's useful to find out what sort of business skills you'll need.

Further information

You can find out more about working in the beauty industry from the Hair and Beauty Industry Authority.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • active listening skills
  • excellent verbal communication 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

Restrictions and Requirements

Some local authorities request that you are licensed to run a nail business.

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a nail technician, you may:

  • offer manicure and pedicure treatments
  • clean, polish and file nails
  • apply or repair false nails, tips and enhancements
  • decorate nails with coloured varnish, transfers, gems or glitter
  • advise customers on nail care and products
  • store chemicals correctly and follow strict hygiene rules

Working environment

You could work in a salon, at a health spa, on a cruise ship, from home or at a client's home.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could manage a salon or start your own business.

You could work with photographers, fashion designers or TV companies, preparing nails for photo shoots or fashion shows.

You may want to take further training to learn other beauty techniques or to teach nail art.

You might also move into product sales, selling nail equipment and materials to salons and nail bars.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a Nail technician right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Nail Enhancement

  • Provider: HULL COLLEGE
  • Start date: 03 September 2024
  • Location: Hull

Award in Nail Technology

  • Start date: 19 February 2025
  • Location: NORTHAMPTON

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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Skills assessment

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