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What Qualifications Do I Need to be a Nail Technician?

24th June 24

The beauty industry is extensive, with numerous services falling under this umbrella. One of the most popular is nail services, and if you have a passion for nail art and would like to learn how to become part of this thriving sector, there are steps you can take to become a professional Nail Technician. 

While it is not mandatory to have formal qualifications to secure Nail Technician jobs, you will require training at the very least. Plus, studying a Nail Technician course will put you in a favourable position with potential employers.  

If you have the passion and desire to break into this industry, then continue reading! We explore the role of a Nail Technician, how to become a qualified Nail Technician, UK learners, and how you can start your own nail tech business. 

What is a Nail Technician? 

A Nail Technician is a professional within the beauty industry, who is responsible for grooming and tending to nails, using a variety of methods and techniques. Many people take great pride in looking after their nails, with most requesting services on a regular basis to maintain their quality. 

Nail Technician jobs can be specialised, with some professional Nail Techs training in certain techniques, such as gel or acrylic nails. Some Nail Technicians also focus predominantly on manicures, which are treatments on the hands only, while other Nail Techs are known to train in pedicures, focused solely on the feet. 

There are a range of basic treatments, such as styling and shaping a client’s nails, as well as applying gel nails or acrylics. However, many Nail Technician jobs involve more specialist treatments, including unique and eye-catching nail art. You can get a better idea of the responsibilities involved in Nail Technician jobs by scrolling through the list of services below: 

  • Shaping fingernails and toenails 
  • Removing polish that has been applied previously 
  • Painting and colouring nails 
  • Providing treatment and nail care advice 

If the Nail Technician has undergone the relevant training, they may be required to: 

  • Design and apply gel or acrylic nails  
  • Create bespoke designs for clients 
  • Apply jewels 
  • Provide hand and foot massages 

There are multiple settings in which a Nail Technician can work, including dedicated nail salons, spas, and hair salons. Some trained nail professionals set themselves up as their own business, operating a mobile nail technician service, which may involve travelling to clients’ homes.  


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How to Become a Nail Technician, UK Learners 

As mentioned, you will not be required to have a specific qualification to become a Nail Technician, but it will always boost your position in the job market. Employers are more likely to hire you if you have qualifications backing up your skills. 

According to the National Careers Service website, there are three ways to become a nail technician in the UK:

  • Take a college course in nail technology, nail treatments, or nail art
  • Take a Nail Services Technician Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship
  • Get a job as a trainee with a nail salon or beauty spa and learn on the job

In any instance, a level of training is necessary, and you will be required to obtain professional insurance if you want to perform nail services legally. Work experience is also valuable, but if you want to gain a solid understanding of the profession, then enrol on an online Nail Technician course with learndirect

As the UK’s leading online learning provider, we offer a wide range of beauty courses, including ones that specialise in nails. Our most popular is the Nail Technician – Professional course, as this will help get you ready for the industry and it contains all the elements you require to study from home in order to become a fully qualified Nail Technician and to secure professional insurance with the Associated Beauty Therapists (ABT) to practise professionally either from home, as a mobile service, or in a nail bar or salon.

What's even better, is that you don’t require any previous experience to enrol on this nail technician college course, which covers a wide range of job-specific topics, including: 

Anatomy and Physiology of the Skin 

  • Anatomy of the Nail 
  • Manicure 
  • Pedicure 
  • The Process of Nail Growth 
  • Client Consultation and Communication 

You will also explore the following modules in our Nail Technician course: 

  • Tip Types and Tip Customisation 
  • The Gel System 
  • The Fibre System & Maintenance 
  • Nail Enhancement Removal 
  • Health and Hygiene 
  • Marketing and Starting your own Salon/Nail Business 

To achieve your Nail Technician course certificate, you will need to complete a series of question papers and practical assessments that will need to be carried out live over video calling software. You will be issued one question paper after each lesson, with the questions based around the modules you have covered. 

Given that our online Nail Technician course touches on the requirements of starting your own nail business or salon, you could step out on your own and work as a mobile Nail Technician. Whatever avenue you choose to take, studying dedicated courses will certainly help you get there. 

Along with our Nail Technician – Professional course, we also offer the following online nail courses: 

You can browse through our range of courses by accessing our Nail Faculty

What is a Nail Technician Salary? 

The salary differs depending on the Nail Technician jobs and their settings. For example, someone who has set up their own mobile Nail Technician business may earn a different annual figure compared to a professional Nail Tech that works for a private salon or nail bar. 

Generally, though, the average starting salary of a Nail Technician is £15,500 in the UK, but with experience, it should rise to around £25,000. In terms of work time, the average weekly hours are between 35 and 39, while it is possible that you may be required to work some weekends and evenings, so it is important to be flexible. 


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How to Start a Mobile Nail Technician Business 

If it is your ambition to be your own boss and become a mobile Nail Technician, or set up your own nail salon, then there are steps that you will need to take. Below, we have outlined the process of setting up your own nail business. 

Register Your Business 

If you are making a profit from providing nail services as an individual, then you need to register as self-employed and make sure that you pay tax on your Nail Technician earnings. Remember, you must register if you are making more than £1,000 from your Nail Tech services. To be responsible for your finances, you will need: 

  • Your national insurance number 
  • A record of the incomings and outgoings of your business over the financial year 
  • To fill out self-assessed tax returns each year 
  • To pay income tax on Nail Technician profits over £1,000 

Get Insured 

To legally operate your nail business, you must obtain Nail Technician insurance that will cover you. There are various types that you should consider, including: 

  • Public liability insurance 
  • Property insurance (not essential for mobile nail technicians) 
  • Employers’ liability insurance 
  • Personal sickness/accident insurance 

Create a Business Plan 

If you want to build a nail business, then planning is an essential component. Without adequate planning, your Nail Technician business will no doubt struggle. The main components of the plan are to highlight what your business is, how it is going to make a profit, and what you need to do to reach this financial goal. 


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Focus on Marketing 

Many people wonder how to build clientele as a Nail Technician, a lot of which relies on spreading the word about your nail services to the local area. To bring customers into your salon or hire your mobile Nail Technician services, you need to market your business. This is an essential part of your Nail Tech operations, and marketing will be covered through our online Nail Technician courses, so you can educate yourself on the principles of marketing before setting up your own business. 

The first thing you need to do is create a marketing plan, setting out the various methods you can use to get the word of your Nail Technician business out there. From identifying your target audience to using SEO and social media to promote your nail services, having a plan will help put your Nail Tech business on the map! 

Take Steps Towards An Exciting Career! 

If you want to become a professional Nail Technician, either working in a salon or as a mobile Nail Technician, then studying the art of the role is incredibly important. Get clued up by studying one of our online Nail Technician courses. UK residents can get the information they need by giving one of our Course Executives a call on 01202 006 464. You can also reach out by contacting us online or explore our course offerings by clicking below. 


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