Career Development

What Does a Manicurist Do?

Find out what a manicurist does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a manicurist.

A manicurist is a specialized type of nail technician who specializes in the care and maintenance of hands, nails, and cuticles. They may also provide other services such as hand massages or paraffin dips to help clients relax while they’re getting their nails done.

Manicurists are often trained on the job by more experienced professionals, but many choose to take additional courses through beauty schools or other institutions to learn about proper sanitation practices, tools and equipment used in the industry, etc.

Manicurist Job Duties

Manicurists have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Cleaning and sterilizing equipment and work stations according to federal, state, and local regulations
  • Applying nail polish or other nail enhancements to fingers and toes as specified by clients’ requests
  • Massaging hands and fingers with lotion or oil to improve circulation in hands and fingers, as well as to moisturize skin
  • Polishing nails with nail polish or other nail treatments, such as artificial nails made from fiberglass or acrylic
  • Applying nail polish remover or other products to remove old polish from fingernails or toenails
  • Buffing nail surfaces to smooth out rough edges and improve appearance
  • Cutting and trimming fingernails and toenails using clippers or scissors
  • Cleaning tools and work areas to prevent bacterial or fungal infections from spreading
  • Applying artificial nails that are made of materials such as vinyl, gel, or acrylic powder

Manicurist Salary & Outlook

Manicurists’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the company size and geographic location.

  • Median Annual Salary: $41,500 ($19.95/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $73,500 ($35.34/hour)

The employment of manicurists is expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade.

The need for manicurists will increase as more people get regular manicures and other nail treatments. In addition, demand for nail services may increase as more people recognize the importance of these services in maintaining their personal appearance.

Manicurist Job Requirements

A manicurist typically needs the following qualifications:

Education: Most manicurists receive a high school diploma or GED certificate before pursuing an education in cosmetology. Cosmetology programs are typically offered at community colleges and technical schools. These programs typically take six to nine months to complete and include both classroom and practical instruction. Students learn about nail anatomy, nail care, nail shaping, nail art, nail polish application, pedicure care, manicure care, manicure techniques, nail disorders, nail repair and nail removal.

Training & Experience: Manicurists receive most of their training while completing their education. Students will learn the basics of the job while working with other students and practicing on fake nails. They will also learn how to clean and sterilize tools and how to properly file and buff nails.

Manicurists can also receive on-the-job training from their employers. They will learn how to use the salon’s products and how to perform different services. They will also learn how to interact with clients and how to handle any issues that may arise.

Certifications & Licenses: Most states require manicurists to obtain a cosmetology license. The length of the manicurist license depends on the state, but most require completion of a basic manicure course.

Manicurist Skills

Manicurists need the following skills in order to be successful:

Nail cutting: Nail cutting is the ability to cut a client’s nails to the correct length. This is an important skill for a manicurist to have because it ensures the client’s safety and prevents the client from getting an infection. It’s important to be precise when cutting nails to ensure the client is satisfied with the results.

Cleanliness: Keeping your work area clean is an important part of your job. You should be able to clean up after yourself and keep your station tidy. This is important for your own safety and the safety of your clients. You should also be able to clean your tools and equipment to ensure they are sanitary.

Communication: Communication is another important skill for a manicurist to have, as it allows them to interact with clients and other salon staff members. This can include explaining the process of a manicure or pedicure to a client, answering any questions they may have and making them feel comfortable. It can also include communicating with other salon staff members to ensure that clients receive the services they need.

Time management: Manicurists often have to meet deadlines for completing their work. This means they need to prioritize their tasks and manage their time well. For example, they may need to prepare a pedicure station before a client arrives or finish a manicure before a customer’s nails dry. This job requires good time management skills to ensure they complete their work on time.

Customer service: Customer service skills can help you interact with clients and make them feel welcome. Manicurists often work directly with customers, so customer service skills can help you make a positive impression and provide a great experience. You can use customer service skills to answer questions, provide information and make recommendations.

Manicurist Work Environment

Most manicurists work in salons, spas, or nail bars. They may also work in department stores, hotels, or resorts. Some work in their own homes or travel to their clients’ homes or workplaces. Most work full time, and about 1 in 3 worked part time in 2016. Many manicurists work evenings and weekends to accommodate their clients’ schedules. Some salons are open 24 hours a day, and manicurists in these establishments may work night shifts. Some manicurists may work more than 40 hours per week.

Manicurist Trends

Here are three trends influencing how manicurists work. Manicurists will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

More Men Are Getting Manicures

As men become more comfortable with beauty and grooming products, they are also becoming more comfortable with getting manicures. This is leading to an increase in the number of men who are getting manicures, which means that there is a growing demand for manicurists.

Manicurists can capitalize on this trend by developing skills that make them even more appealing to customers. This could include learning new techniques or specializing in a particular type of nail art. In addition, manicurists should be sure to keep up-to-date on the latest trends so that they can provide the best possible experience for their customers.

The Importance of Customer Service

Customer service is becoming increasingly important in all industries, but it is especially important in the nail industry. As customers, people expect to be treated well and to feel valued.

Manicurists can utilize this trend by focusing on customer service in their salon. This includes things like greeting customers when they enter the salon, making them feel comfortable, and providing excellent service. In addition, manicurists can focus on building relationships with their customers in order to create long-term loyalty.

More Women Are Working

Women are increasingly working outside of the home, which has led to an increased demand for manicures. As more women work, they need to look professional and put-together, which often includes having manicured nails.

Manicurists can capitalize on this trend by expanding their services to include other beauty treatments, such as facials and waxing. They can also develop relationships with businesses that employ women, such as law firms and banks.

How to Become a Manicurist

A manicurist career path can be a great way to get started in the beauty industry. It’s a relatively low-risk way to learn about different products and techniques, and it can lead to other opportunities within the industry.

To become a manicurist, you’ll need to complete an accredited training program. This will give you the skills and knowledge you need to perform manicures and pedicures safely and effectively. You’ll also learn about the products used in nail care and how to sell them.

Once you have your certification, you can start looking for jobs in salons and spas. You may also want to consider branching out into freelance work or starting your own business.

Advancement Prospects

The majority of manicurists are self-employed or work in small salons. Some find employment in larger salons, spas, resorts, or hotels. A small number of manicurists may find positions in department stores, beauty schools, or nail product manufacturing companies. Some manicurists open their own salons.

As with most occupations, experience is the best teacher when it comes to advancement in this field. Many manicurists start out working in small salons and then move on to larger ones as their experience and reputation grow. Some eventually open their own salons. Some manicurists become instructors in beauty schools. A few find positions in companies that manufacture nail products.

Manicurist Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we provide our clients with the highest quality manicure and pedicure services. We are looking for an experienced and talented manicurist to join our team. The ideal candidate will have a strong passion for the beauty industry, as well as excellent customer service skills. He or she will be responsible for performing manicures and pedicures, as well as providing other nail care services. The manicurist will also be responsible for maintaining a clean and professional work environment.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Perform professional nail care services including but not limited to manicures, pedicures, gel polish, and nail art
  • Maintain a high level of sanitation and sterilization standards in accordance with state regulations
  • Keep a well-organized and clean workstation at all times
  • Greet guests in a professional and friendly manner
  • Upsell services and retail products when appropriate
  • Schedule appointments and confirmations in a timely manner
  • Check voicemail and return calls promptly
  • Handle customer concerns and complaints in a professional and courteous manner
  • Stay up to date on the latest trends and techniques in the industry
  • Attend trainings and workshops as needed
  • Participate in marketing and promotional activities
  • Perform opening and closing duties as needed

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Cosmetology license
  • 1-2 years professional experience as a manicurist
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work well under pressure

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Some college coursework in cosmetology or related field
  • 3-5 years professional experience as a manicurist
  • Experience with gel nails, acrylics, and other nail treatments
  • Proficiency in multiple languages

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