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Nail technician careers are available all throughout the country, no matter what state you reside in. So if you are interested in becoming a manicurist in the town or city where you live, you should not waste any time before you start on the path. The path to becoming a nail technician is a lengthy process, because of the various requirements that all applicants have to meet. First of all, they must complete the necessary amount of credit hours, which vary from state to state, in nail technician courses. In addition, these prospective manicurists must also meet the age and education experience requirements. And finally, most states require them to take specific nail technician exams, while others simply require their applicants to register for a certificate with their board of cosmetology. Only after you complete all of the aforementioned requirements for your state will you be able to pursue a career in the nail industry. But the good news is that there are plenty of opportunities that await, once you are ready. To learn more about these various opportunities and how to get hired as a nail technician in your state of residence, take a look at the details provided in the sections below. Here, you will be able to learn all about the locations where you may be able to find work as a professional nail technician, including at your local hair salon, with a mobile service and even in the comfort of your own home.

Nail Technician Job Locations

Depending on your state of residence, you may or may not have to take an exam to obtain a nail license. New York, for example, requires testing in order to obtain credentials, but Florida does not. So the first step that you must take once you have completed the necessary amount of education credit hours in your state is to find out whether or not you must be tested to become a nail technician. If you do need to take the nail technician exam and you pass, or if you do not and you simply file the necessary paperwork, then you will be able to get a job at a wide variety of locations. These include workplaces such as:

  • Nail salons
  • Nail and hair salons
  • Full beauty salons
  • In home nail services facility
  • Mobile nail salons

Successful applicants for nail tech licenses can find work in any of the above locations, all of which can provide excellent job experience with an average salary of about $20,000, which is a step up from careers such as attendants in locker rooms, dress coat rooms and more, who only about $19,000 annually. And this job experience is invaluable if you ever decide you want to branch out in your nail technician careers and open your own salons, be it at home, on the road or in a store.

In any case, before you reach the point where you are examining your future, it is important to take a close look at your present job situation. When applying to get a job as a licensed nail technician, at any of the salon locations mentioned above, it is important to ask your employer a number of questions, including those related to the salary, hour requirements, the need to provide your own tools, benefits and  the business’ background.

Work from Home as a Nail Technician

If you decide that working in a standard nail salon or cosmetology work environment is not for you, then do not be discouraged about your nail technician career choice. Fortunately, there are plenty of other opportunities available to you, starting with working as a home-based nail technician. By working from home, you will be able to practice your profession in a more relaxed and comfortable setting. Additionally, you will not have to travel in order to get to work, as all of your clients will now come to you. At its core, having your own in home nail services facility can be a great convenience. However, that is not to say that it is without any drawbacks.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when working as an at home nail technician is that your clientele will likely be limited. Depending on where you live clients may prefer to visit a storefront when it comes to getting their nails done. That is why working from home is often considered more of a freelance or part-time nail technician career, unless you create a long list of steady clients from the start. Either way, it is important to take note of each client’s history when you work from home as a home-based nail technician.

Nail Tech Client Checklist

Always be sure to interview customers in order to meet their needs, and some questions you must remember to ask should include:

  • Whether or not they have sensitivity to certain products.
  • If they have any product preferences.
  • If they have any health problems.
  • What their nail routines are.  

Finally, the last few things you must remember when working from home are that you must have your own tools handy, and that states require you to put a division between your home space and work space in order to keep the in home nail services center clean and safe. As for the specific equipment you must have, which mobile nail techs also need to have, they include:

  • Nail art, gel and acrylic brushes
  • Nail forms
  • Soak off bowls
  • Nail tip containers

The good news about having all of these items is that you will be able to provide all of the same services that you could at a local salon, including:

  • Applying nail polish
  • Removing old polish
  • Cutting and trimming nails
  • Buffing nails

Mobile Nail Technicians

In the event working out of your own home or out of a nail salon does not interest you as a manicurist, then you may consider one final option, which is to work out of a mobile nail salon. In this job path, you will be providing the convenience to your clients, unlike at home nail technicians who enjoy the convenience themselves. But with the slight inconvenience of travel, you may be able to gain more clients for your mobile nail services.

When it comes to where you can make nail service house calls, the possibilities are just about endless. Some of the most common events that your services may be requested for include all of the following:

  • Baby and bridal showers
  • School graduations
  • Birthday parties
  • Weddings
  • Special occasions and openings
  • Photo shoots and family portraits
  • Beauty events

Similar to working from home, taking a job as a mobile nail salon technician can be considered more of a freelance or part-time occupation. Furthermore, another similarity that the two nail technician careers share is that both require you to speak to clients about their needs in order to get a better idea of how to serve them for future events. Always be sure to ask customers questions about their preferences, allergies, routines and more. That way, you can provide them with whatever services they desire in the best possible way. Some common services offered by mobile nail salon techs include:

  • Applying nail polish
  • Removing old polish
  • Cutting nails
  • Trimming nails
  • Buffing nails

Frequently Asked Questions

It may not be required for you to obtain a full cosmetology license in order to work as a nail technician in a professional licensed setting, depending on which state you call home.
You can provide manicure, pedicure, acrylic, and gel services in any professional licensed setting as a nail technician.
In order to apply for nail technician jobs, you will be required to present proof of enrollment in an accredited nail tech school in your state, and complete certain amount of hours of school training.
In order to be eligible to obtain a job as a nail technician, you may be required to show proof of having completed a certain amount of hours in an accredited nail tech school ranging from 100 to 600, depending on the state in which you reside.
There are many types of businesses that seek nail technicians, such as nail salons, hair and nail salons, full beauty salons, spas and at-home facilities. is a privately owned website that is not affiliated with any government agencies.