Nailing down a career in the beauty industry

IF you have a keen interest in fashion and beauty - and enjoy a hands-on approach to work, then a career as a nail technician could be beckoning.

To become a nail technician, you will need to have creativity and patience. You will also need an organised approach.

Customer service and ‘people’ skills will be important, to enable you to talk to customers and find out what type of nail treatment they want.

You’ll also need to keep up to date with the latest fashion trends.

The work

As a nail technician, your work would normally include:

l doing basic treatments, such as manicures and pedicures

l cleaning and filing nails

l applying false nails or extensions

l decorating nails with coloured varnish, transfers, gems or glitter

l painting designs onto nails with an airbrush (by hand or using a stencil)

l repairing, looking after and removing false nails and extensions

l checking for any signs of skin or nail problems before treatment.

You would also give clients advice about looking after their nails, and recommend nail care products.

Health and safety is an extremely important part of the work. You would need to make sure that you use and store chemicals and varnishes correctly. You would also need to use tools carefully and follow strict hygiene procedures.

This is to prevent damage or infection to your clients’ natural nails You would normally work around 37 hours a week, often including weekends and evenings.

You could work alone, or in a salon with other technicians, beauticians, hairdressers or therapists.

Another option is to be self-employed.

You could work from home or visit clients in their own homes.

Nail technicians can earn from £12,000 to around £16,000 a year.

Experienced nail technicians can earn up to £25,000 a year.

Employers may expect you to have the following qualifications:

l Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Nail Services

l Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Nail Services.

Other nationally recognised qualifications include:

lCIBTAC Nail Technician Diploma

lITEC Level 2 Certificate and Level 3 Diploma in Nail Technology

lVCTC Level 2 Certificate Level 3 Diploma in Nail Technology.