Become a Nail Technician

By on 2-19-2014 in Cosmetology, Nail Art

Get a Career as a Manicurist

What Does a Nail Technician Do?

A Nail Technician, also known as a manicurist, is a beauty professional who specialises in the care and treatment of toe and finger nails. They provide such procedures as manicures, pedicures, nail polish application and nail art, among others. They can provide manicures and treatments for everyday wear as well as more intricate designs and treatments for special occasions, such as weddings.

A nail technician will often work in a beauty salon or a specialised nail salon. Some choose to work freelance and visit clients in their own homes.

Nail Technician

Nail Technician

What Qualifications Does a Nail Technician Need?

Although a qualification is not required to work as a nail technician, it is highly recommended that you gain one to increase career opportunities. There are a number of qualifications available for studying to become a nail technician. These include:

  • NVQ
  • VTCT
  • BTEC
  • ITEC
  • CIBTAC

Nearly all of these qualifications have three levels, with level three being the highest. A fully-qualified senior nail technician will need to achieve a level three diploma, though a junior nail technician can work in a salon with a level two diploma. These qualifications are all recognised throughout Britain and further afield.

Nail Technician Courses

A number of institutions offer nail technician qualifications, including universities and beauty schools. There are several different types of courses that you can attend to study from level one through to level three. It can seem overwhelming when trying to decide the right course, so we’ve explained the different types so you can decide which one is best for you.

  • Full-time Nail technician Courses –Full-time nail technician courses include NVQ and VTCT qualifications, among others, and it is normal for the three levels to last an academic year each. You can study just one level, or you can choose to study all three in one chunk. The diploma is often undertaken at a university, college or a beauty institution, such as the London College of Beauty Therapy. The benefit of full-time learning is that you can get it done in one go, this option is usually chosen by students straight out of school.
  • Part-Time Nail Technician Courses – Many institutions offer students the chance to study the full nail curriculum on a part-time basis. This is ideal for people who want to fit study around a current job and is usually undertaken by people returning to learning later in life. The same level of diploma can be achieved as in full-time study, it will just take longer.
  • Home-learning Nail Technician Courses – If you have a busy life, or can’t find a suitable institution near you, then home-learning could be a valid option. The learning is done at home, often via the web. Sometimes as a student you may have to attend exams or work experience, but the majority of learning is done at home at your convenience.
  • Short Nail Technician Courses – There are several short nail courses available that can last from a day to a period of weeks. They don’t usually include levels two and three, as these involve more in depth learning, but instead are usually focused on a particular skill, such as nail art. They are ideal for people who want to learn new techniques or for qualified nail technicians who want to expand their skill set.

Nail Technician Work Experience

As being a manicurist is such as practical job it cannot be learned through theory alone, work experience is essential. Most courses will include practical work and a lot of institutions have treatment rooms on site where students can practise. Also, courses will often include a work experience segment where students will work in a salon.

You can also get experience by gaining your diploma as an apprentice. This involves working for a salon and studying at the same time. Often you will spend one or two days a week learning and the rest at work, learning practically.

A lot of students also choose to gain work experience in their free time by working at a salon during their holidays. This not only provides them with more experience but it also looks great on their CV.

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