If you’re after a job that combines creative skills with an interest in beauty, then a career as a nail technician might be right for you! Here’s everything you need to know about becoming a nail technician and taking your nail art skills to the next level with the right qualifications.
What is a nail technician?
Nail technicians are experts in keeping nails healthy and well-groomed. They specialise in the maintenance and decoration of fingernails and toenails, a service also known as manicures and pedicures. This involves tasks such as cleaning, exfoliating and removing dead skin, moisturising and lightly massaging hands and feet, tending to the cuticles, filing, and applying decorative finishes such as coloured polishes and decals.
Nail technicians often work at a salon or spa with other beauticians, but they can work as independent, mobile nail technicians and visit clients at home. Wherever they practice, nail technicians are responsible for upholding strict hygiene standards.
Do you need a license to be a nail technician?
You can work as a nail technician without formal qualifications or a licence however, having certifications can help you advance your career prospects.
How to become a certified nail technician
There are a number of pathways available if you want to become a certified nail technician and you may be able to get Recognition of Prior Learning for some units of these courses based on your previous studies and work experience!
Certificate III in Nail Technology (CHB303015)
16 weeks full time
Most nail technicians have completed a Certificate III in Nail Technology. During the practical and theoretical nail technician course work, you’ll learn how to provide manicure and pedicure services as well as establishing and maintaining a small business.
The course covers:
- Providing manicures and pedicures
- Applying gel nails and acrylic nails
- Designing and applying bespoke nail art
- Using electric file equipment
- Applying safe hygiene and work, health and safety practices
Entry to the course requires the successful completion of English to Year 10 level.
If you haven’t successfully completed English at Year 10 level, you can demonstrate equivalency through successful completion of a Nationally Recognised Training qualification at Certificate II level or higher; or 2 years relevant industry experience in a role that requires the use of written documentation and communication.
Diploma of Beauty Therapy (SHB50115)
18 weeks full time
The Diploma of Beauty Therapy is a more comprehensive qualification, training beauticians in a broad range of beauty treatments including:
- Recommending treatments and products to address specific concerns
- Providing transformational client experiences
- Body treatments and specialised facials
- Lash, brow and waxing services
- Designing and applying different make-up looks
- Manicure and pedicure services
- Working safely within salon policy frameworks and health practices
Entry to the course requires completion of Year 12, or equivalent. Equivalency can be demonstrated by one of the following:
- A qualification at Certificate III level or higher, OR
- Two years of industry experience in a role that requires the use of written documentation and communication.
You’ll also need to demonstrate English proficiency as a Year 12 level through cuccessful completion of a Nationally Recognised Training qualification at Certificate III level or higher; or 3 years relevant industry experience in a role that requires the use of written documentation and communication.
Additional requirements for nail technicians
There are a number of attributes needed to become a successful nail technician.
- Creativity and craftmanship
- Hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity
- Ability to sit for long periods and engage in repetitive activities
- Strong interpersonal skills to help clients feel comfortable and at ease
- Good communication and time-management skills
- Attention to detail
What kind of salary can you expect as a nail tech?
Wondering how well nail technicians are paid? The most common annual salary in Australia for a nail technician is between $50k and $60k.