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How Are Nail Techs Paid

Do Nail Technicians Usually Get Tips

How do nail techs get paid? Commission or salary?/ Pay structure

Yes, most nail technicians receive tips, and also some type of bonus.

Most customers will provide their nail technician with a cash tip because of a job well done.

It is customary, at least in the United States, to give a tip to someone who provided you a service.

If a customer doesnt give you a tip, dont get upset, maybe they didnt have any extra cash or they didnt know they were supposed to tip.

Gender In Nails & Beauty

According to the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings for 2019, there is no gender pay gap between full-time nail technician workers. Both men and women earn exactly the same estimated amount.

There are a lot more women than men in the industry, but increasingly more men are getting involved. Especially at the managerial level, an area that has nearly double the number of male workers as in the staff area.

Currently, about 93 per cent of the staff workforce are women. And 16 per cent of nails and beauty managers are men.

What Are A Nail Technicians Working Hours

According to the latest 2019 official labour market statistics , about 53% of nail technicians are self-employed. This almost equal split shows there is great freedom of choice in how nail technicians can put their skills to the market.

When it comes to working either full-time or part-time, there is a pretty even split in both the employed and self-employed demographics. As the following graphs reveals:

There are no official numbers to qualify what counts as full-time working, but the UK government generally considers it to be around 35 hours a week.

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Frequently Asked Questions About A Nail Technician Salaries

The national average salary for a Nail Technician is $35,464 per year in United States. Filter by location to see a Nail Technician salaries in your area. Salaries estimates are based on 265 salaries submitted anonymously to Glassdoor by a Nail Technician employees.

The highest salary for a Nail Technician in United States is $53,470 per year.

The lowest salary for a Nail Technician in United States is $23,522 per year.

Complete Guide: How To Earn More Tips As A Nail Technician

How To Become a Nail Technician  NailDesignCode

Written by Ariana 6min read

Nail polish brush and buffer file in hand, its Saturday and youre finding it to juggle several customers in the busy nail salon. However, you know that upkeeping both a high quality of work and a relaxing environment for the client is what being a nail technician is all about. After all, your effort is directly reflected in customer satisfaction, and therefore your tips.

Unfortunately, tips only make up about 19% of a nail technicians median income of $13.30 per hour vs other industries where tips can account for 36%, such as a pizza delivery driver, who has a median income of $10.60. Getting more tips can help you cover the high costs of new tools and products if you follow our simple tips.

The nail technicians revenue growth has recently been on the decline as shown in the figure below . This is due to nail salons becoming less aggressive with expansion and focusing more on regulars, which in turn has reduced the consumers willingness to experiment with new salons . These factors have started to affect nail technicians tips, as more popular salons and technicians will receive more tips due to customer loyalty and continued business whilst a gap arises with less popular/early career technicians.

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Where Do Nail Technicians Work

Besides the exciting variation in on-the-job experiences and techniques you get to improve on every day, manicurists work in a large variety of locations with a broad clientele base.

The most common areas for professionals to work is in spas, airports, nail salons, and even cruise ships. Since youre in command of how many clients you service per day, you get to control your workload. That means flexible hours, meeting new faces every day, and preventing muscle strain .

Most manicurists and nail technicians work in environments that are busy, loud, and can be messy before disinfecting services are applied to workstations. A nail technician may use a variety of tools like nail clippers, files, and specialized cuticle equipment.

The majority of nail technicians work full-time, 8-hour days, though variable schedules are typical.

I’m A Nail Tech Who Works For A Salon And Will Receive 1099 Will I Pay My Own Taxes Should I Pay Taxes Can I Start Preparing Now Will I Be An Employee Or Contractor

As far as the IRS is concerned, you are self-employed. Doesn’t matter if they call you an independent contractor or something else. Your income will be reported on 1099-MISC with the amount in box 7 of that form. So you will be filing SCH C – Business Income & Expenses as a part of your personal 1040 tax return. Note also that in addition to regular income tax you will also pay the additional 15.3% self-employment tax. That’s basically the employer side of your social security and Medicare.

Depending on your income, it may also be necessary for your to pay quarterly taxes to the IRS, and if your state taxes personal income, you may need to pay quarterly taxes to your state too.

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What Are The Most Popular Nail Technician Qualifications

According to the Further Education and Skills data collected by the Department for Education and the Education and Skills Funding Agency, the most popular ambition amongst nail technicians is to achieve a Level 3 Diploma in Nail Technology, with there being a combined total of 2,620 enrolments for 2018/19.

In all of these courses, just 220 participants got an accreditation through an apprenticeship. A total of just over 3 per cent. The overwhelming majority was through college courses or other course pathways.

Requirements For Being A Nail Tech

Nail Technician Salary – How Much Money Does a Nail Technician Make?

Working as a nail technician requires a certain skill set and the completion of an approved post-secondary education program. Nail technician programs are available at various colleges and technical schools. Aspiring technicians must complete an approved program based on the state in which they plan to work, as each state has its own education and licensing requirements. Most programs require applicants to be at least 16 years old and hold a GED or high school diploma.

During a nail tech education program, you will learn more about the art and design behind manicures and pedicures, as well as the basic skills needed to remove polish, apply fresh polish, care for the nails and cuticles and give hand and foot massages. The coursework may also cover various types of manicures and treatments, nail design and how to apply acrylic and gel-based products. After completing your education, you will be able to take the state licensing exam. The number of training hours required varies by program and state.

In addition to completing an educational program and becoming licensed, a nail tech must build certain skills. They should be able to communicate effectively with clients to understand their needs and desires, as well as discuss any health conditions or concerns related to nail care. Nail technicians should be creative and able to create designs based on client requests. They also need strong interpersonal skills, as they interact with people throughout their work shifts.

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What Is A Nail Technician

A nail technician is a person who works with fingernails and toenails to make them look and feel nice.

A nail technician works in a salon, where they use tools to cut, file, and paint nails to look good.

They also make sure that their station is up to date with state regulations, so that they provide a sanitary experience for their clients.

One of the most important parts of being a nail tech is that all of the tools are sterilized before and after each client.

This way, everything stays clean, and clients nails stay gorgeous.

Most nail technicians find themselves sitting and hunching over a lot, so make sure that you stretch out those back and neck muscles.

You can work in beauty salons, department stores, and even from your own home.

Is There A Nail Technician Job In Massachusetts

Significantly, Massachusetts has a very active Nail Technician job market as there are several companies currently hiring for this type of role. With these nine states paying on average above the national average, the opportunities for economic advancement by changing locations as a Nail Technician appears to be exceedingly fruitful.

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Nail Technician Career Options And Specialties

There are many career options as a nail technician. You can choose to work at a salon or spa, go work for yourself, or one of many other options. You can also pursue something outside the box, such as creating your own YouTube channel or becoming a social media personality. Many people are looking online for new design ideas, nail art tutorials, or just some #nailinspo, so if youre into the idea of marketing yourself and your talents, this could be a nontraditional and fun path for you to take.

When it comes to nails themselves, theres a lot to learn. Here are several different styles and techniques nail techs typically have in their repertoire:

AcrylicA mixture of liquid and powder thats used to cover the nails and affix artificial nails or tips to them. Acrylics grow out with the natural nails and can be filled or removed by soaking them in nail polish remover.

GelThese are brushed onto nails or nail tips and dried under a UV light. Typically, more expensive, but generally last longer. Like acrylics, they can be filled or removed with nail polish remover.

Dip powderAfter a base coat has been applied, the nail is dipped into a powder. The process is repeated and then finished with a sealant. It dries instantly and can be removed with nail polish remover, though the process might take longer.

SilkThese are fabric wraps that are fitted onto the nail and then glued. Theyre used to help a cracked nail grow out and can be removed or reapplied by a nail technician.

Do Women Nail Technicians Earn More Tips Than Men

How Much Do Nail Techs Get Paid In 2021? Salary And FAQ

The industry is very female-orientated with the breakdown showing 95.1% of the industry is female and 4.9% is male. When it comes down to tipping, typically the nail technician who has a larger social media presence and more loyal clientele will receive a higher volume of tips and larger percentages. Research has shown that tipping depends on the fame, quality, and customer service aspects, rather than gender.

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Do You Want To Be A Nail Technician

The nails and beauty sector is full of opportunity. Not only is it the fastest growing industry, but it is also rapidly diversifying and expanding. And with its growth comes more demand for skills and, as a result, higher pay-grades.

The next big revolution is expected to be male-orientated cosmetics.

So the future looks very bright for the world of nails and beauty, with no signs of slowing down.

How We Determined Pay By State

As we mentioned earlier, we took the average annual salary data for nail technicians from the Bureau of Labor Statistics specifically their Occupational Employment Statistics.

To make the comparison of salaries apples to apples across states, we also took into account the cost of living in each state.

We then created an index by dividing the average wage for a state by the cost of living relative to average. As an example, the cost of living index in California is 135.9 and the average pay is $26260, so our index value would be:

$26,260 * = $19,323

We then ranked every state on this criteria with the state with the highest salary index ranking as highest average salary for nail technicians.

Heres a look at the full ranking for all states.

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How Much Do Nail Technicians Make


If your friends have you pegged as the creative type someone who enjoys working with people but also covets flexibility and independence you may be well-suited to a career as a nail technician. It won’t take long to conduct a career review that should address most of your questions. And if a nail technician’s salary in 2020 was a deal-breaker, you’ll be pleased to know that a prominent online job site has just released the national average salary for 2021. Combined with a nail technician’s expected commission rate, you might be facing a nail-biting decision.

Treat Your Clients Right

Make More Money as a Nail Technician | 5 Mistakes
  • While doing your clients nails, try to get to know them on a personal level. This helps you to deliver excellent customer service!
  • Remembering clients names and their preferences will make them more inclined to come back to you
  • Try to get referrals and have incentives for clients to come back to you.
  • You can offer half off nails/free pedicures after a certain amount of visits/dollars spent. People love rewards!

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Advance Institute Of Wellness & Esthetics

  • employment turnover
  • occupational growth
  • size of the occupation.

In Alberta, the 6562: Estheticians, electrologists and related occupations occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.3% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 134 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.


NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the 134 new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Earnings for nail technicians vary a lot. They depend on the location, the services offered, and the technicians reputation. Rates are often set for each type of service, so earnings may vary from day to day. More experienced technicians tend to have higher earnings.

Nail technicians may rent space in a beauty salon and keep their earnings separate from those of the salon. Or they may be employed by the salon and receive a basic salary plus commission. Those who are self-employed must pay overhead costs .

  • Low

How To Become A Nail Technician: The Definitive Guide

Have you ever looked down at your gnawed-on fingernails and wished you gotten a manicure?

If so, you probably went to a nail technician.

She probably looked at your nails and cried a little inside, but that didnt stop her.

She picked up her nail file and a bottle of polish and made you look new again.

This could be you!

All you need is some training and a genuine interest in cosmetology.

Heres how you can get your start:

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Complete A Cosmetology Program

If you didnt have a cosmetology program in high school, then youre going to want to find one now that youve graduated.

Most licensing boards require you to pass a training program.

Youll be able to find these types of programs at community colleges, technical colleges and cosmetology schools.

Some of the classes that youll take throughout this program may include: cosmetology chemistry, disinfection and sanitation, artificial nails, and nail disorders

While in school, youll want to build your portfolio, which will showcase your talents in the area.

Average Nail Technician Salary: $21790 Per Year Before Tips

Nail Technician Course

The average annual salary of a nail tech in the United States is $21,790, which is 49% lower than the average salary of Americans. The salary of a nail technician is $1,816 per month, $419 per week and $10.48 per hour.

U.S. Nail Technician Average Salary $10.48
$3,545 $42,540


Another factor Bureau of Labor Statistics data typically doesnt account for accurately is the tips a nail technician could receive for his or her manicure, pedicure and nail services.

Percentile wage estimates

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Employers That Recruited In The Last 2 Years

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Interest in comparing to clean, shape and polish fingernails and toenails and provide related treatments


Interest in serving – assisting clients by providing treatments to hands and feet designed to enhance physical appearance


Interest in manipulating and applying various specialized products

The interest code helps you figure out if youd like to work in a particular occupation. Its based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory , which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means its a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Duties vary but, in general, nail technicians:

  • manicure and pedicure natural nails, including:
    • removing old polish
    • cleaning and shaping nails and cuticles
    • buffing nails
  • apply, maintain, and remove artificial nails
  • extend natural nails with liquid and acrylic powder
  • treat the ends of nails to make them stronger and apply nail tips as needed
  • remove dead skin from hands or feet
  • apply paraffin wax treatments and other optional treatments
  • follow proper steps to sanitize tools and keep the work area clean
  • detect fungus, infections, and diseases
  • maintain an inventory of supplies
  • promote and sell nail care products
  • advise clients on colours and nail care products
  • advise clients on proper nail care.

They also may:


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