How Much Does a Manicurist Earn Yearly?
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A manicurist is a type of licensed, professional cosmetologist who specializes in the grooming of hands and fingernails. Also commonly referred to as a nail technician, these cosmetology experts are highly-skilled at giving hand massages and performing various grooming tasks to care for their clients’ nails such as cleaning, trimming, and shaping.
In addition to being technical professionals, manicurists are also talented artists who know how to coordinate colors and paint incredibly-detailed pictures and images on nails.
Although a manicurist focuses solely on the hands and fingernails of their clients, they are responsible for numerous different job duties, many of which may surprise most people.
Whether it is a regular client arriving for their scheduled appointment or a new walk-in, it is a manicurist’s duty to greet every customer in a welcoming and friendly manner as soon as they enter the salon. Next, they will ask which service the customer is interested in, assess the current state of his or her hands and nails, and discuss with them their potential treatment options.
A manicurist’s primary job duty is to clean and groom their clients’ fingernails—however, the process involves much more than most realize. If their client is already wearing nail polish, a manicurist must first remove the old paint. Next, they will soak their client’s hands in a moisturizing solution so that the skin and nails are softer, easier to work with, and calluses are easier to remove. Manicurists will then trim, file, and contour their client’s nails according to the desired length and shape they specified.
Most clients who visit a salon are there to have their nails professionally painted. Once a client picks out the color/s and design they like, manicurists then buff and smooth the surface of their nails. Next, they will apply a base-coat of nail polish, two or more coats of color, and if the client requested a design, the manicurist will either apply the appropriate applique or paint the design by hand. Finally, they will set the nail color and/or design with a clear, top coat of polish.
Depending upon the service/s requested, a manicurist will spend anywhere from 20 minutes to over an hour with each individual client, and it is a manicurist’s duty to help their clients feel as relaxed as possible throughout the entire duration of their visit. One of the best ways to ensure that their customers feel welcome and comfortable is to engage with them in warm, polite conversation.
Manicurists clean and sterilize their tools and entire workspaces between each and every client they serve. This is important not only because a messy salon and dirty tools will turn customers away, but also because it is how manicurists can keep their patients and themselves safe from bacterial and fungal infections.
At the end of each appointment, manicurists should encourage customers to purchase additional hand, skin, and nail products before accepting and processing their payment. And to keep their business prospering, manicurists should offer to schedule the client’s next appointment before they leave the salon.
The working conditions of a manicurist are typically indoors a hair, beauty, or nail salon—and some even make house calls to their clients’ homes. The majority of a manicurist’s time is spent sitting and working under extremely bright lighting as they groom and pore over every details of their customers’ hands and nails.
For the most part, their work schedule is almost entirely up to them. However, if they want to have as many customers as possible, they should expect to work on the weekends and/or during lunch hours and after 5pm throughout the week.
Aspiring manicurists in the United States must attend a vocational or cosmetology school to complete a nail technical certification program compliant with the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences’ standards. Although it varies from state to state, the majority of programs require candidates to hold a high school diploma or GED and be 16 years or older to apply. The average program lasts around six to eight months, but some states require candidates to study their new craft for up to a full year.
In order to learn the basic techniques and procedures for performing a manicure, the first portion of a manicurist or nail technician educational program is spent reading texts, listening to lectures, and watching tutorials The second portion, however, is spent practicing these skills on hand/nail mannequins—and finally, students spend the latter portion of their education providing their services to real people who are either volunteers or charged a discounted rate.
Once an aspiring manicurist has fulfilled the number of mandated practical experience hours and earned their cosmetology program degree, they must then take a licensing exam. The specifics of this certification exam vary from one state to another, but candidates are typically required to first pay a fee, usually costing around $40, and then complete a series of hands-on assessments.
However, manicurists should always look to update and modernize their repertoire of skills not only to stay competitive, but also because most states require that they renew their license every two to three years.
In a manicure training program, students are taught a variety of skills and techniques that will prepare them for a long, successful career as a nail technician and/or manicurist. The following list outlines the major concepts that candidates can expect to learn—however, it should be noted that this is not complete list as there are likely many more subjects that will be covered.
There are many skills an aspiring manicurist needs to possess for a successful career in the field. While some of the following items are traits that should come naturally, many of these skills can only be learned by earning a degree in cosmetology.
Manicurists use a wide variety of tools to clean, groom, shape, and decorate their clients’ nails. Listed below are some of the most common tools of the trade, but it should be noted that this is not a complete list and there are potentially many more.
There are numerous reasons why manicurists love their career and listed below are just a few.
Before deciding to become a manicurist, candidates should first weigh the pros and the cons. Listed below are four of the most common disadvantages of being a manicurist.
Significantly faster than most professions, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that both manicurists and pedicurists should expect to see a 13-percent increase in job employment opportunities by 2026. As of May 2017, the state of California employed 22,590 manicurists, which is the largest number in the country. In New York, 18,370 manicurists found employment that same year, and New Jersey came in a distant third employing 8,460.
California, New York, and New Jersey may have offered manicurists more employment opportunities, but these states did not pay nearly as well as others. For example, manicurists in New York earned a median wage of $10.88 per hour/$22,630 per year, and in California, manicurists made a little over $12 an hour. On the other hand, while only employing 1,190 in May 2017, the median hourly wage for manicurists in Minnesota was $17.59 per hour/$36,50 per year.
Laser technicians are cosmetology professionals who use this new technology to meet a variety of different client needs. For example, lasers can be used to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots on skin due to aging and/or sun exposure. They can also remove unwanted hair over the course of several incremental treatments and can also help eliminate varicose veins.
Applying therapeutic lotions and oils, massage therapists help to relieve sore, tense, and stiff muscles by kneading and massaging various areas of the body. In addition to therapeutic touch, they also teach clients muscle relaxation and breathing techniques they can use at home to sooth themselves between appointments.
Not to be confused with dermatologists, who are licensed medical doctors, skincare specialists are cosmetology professionals who help treat a variety of minor skincare concerns. For example, they are most well-known for giving moisturizing and exfoliating facials, recommending skincare routine products such as lotions and soaps, and numerous other treatments for making minor yet noticeable improvements to the outer appearance of skin.
Hairstylists are perhaps most similar to manicurists. In fact, these two aspiring professionals will typically attend many of the same classes in cosmetology school. Hairstylists are responsible for shampooing, cutting, trimming, dying, blow drying, and styling their clients’ hair.