Beauty & makeup

Nail technician

Nail technicians repair, paint and decorate clients’ nails.

Annual Salary

£12,500 to £25,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

Future employment

There will be 1% fewer Nail technician jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • basic treatments, like manicures and pedicures
  • cleaning and filing nails
  • applying false nails or extensions
  • decorating nails with coloured varnish, transfers, gems or glitter
  • repairing, looking after and removing false nails and extensions
  • checking for any signs of skin or nail problems before treatment

You’ll also need to make sure that you use and store chemicals and varnishes correctly, use tools carefully and follow strict hygiene procedures. This is to prevent damage or infection.

There are no set entry requirements for this job.

You can take a course in nail technology or nail treatments at a college or private training provider, but this isn’t essential.

You should contact your local authority’s environmental health department if you want to set up your own nail bar business. 

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

The Hairdressing and Beauty Industry Authority (HABIA) has more information on becoming a nail technician.

£12,500 to £25,000

Starter salary: £12,500 to £18,250

Experienced salary: up to £25,000

These figures are a guide.

You’ll usually work around 37 hours a week, often including weekends and evenings. You could work alone, or in a salon with other technicians, beauticians, hairdressers or therapists. 

You may be self-employed, work from home or visit clients in their homes.

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. 

With further training you could move into teaching.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You’ll need to have:

  • creativity
  • an organised approach
  • customer service and 'people' skills
My top 5 skills from the skills bank
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