A Nail License is great for anyone: full time, part time or seasonal. Excellent side job for quick cash. 



Lower Pay & Income

Clients can sue an unlicensed Tech

Prosecution as a Class 1 Misdemeanor

Stuck in a frustrating work environment

Constant fear of being violated/sued

Can not move on to open a Salon

Can not get Licensed later when reported doing nails unlicensed 



Higher Pay & Income

Self-Employment business owner

Work for employers offering benefits

Recession proof Resort career options

Take advance classes/trade shows

Work for big brand Nail Companies

Future teaching possiblities

Can move on when frustrated at a job

Medical career for retirement benefits

Beat the competition as a Professional


Nail Technician Career Info

Before reading this article, take into consideration where else you have read so much information about a nail career. Blogs come here to use this information. The information here represents the amount of information this school can help students with and more. This school KNOWS about the nail career in so many ways to help graduates get a lifetime of help from the instructor to grow with them. This school is passionate about helping people get a license to be successful with this career trade regardless of their history or current situtation. 


A Nail Tech's income is mainly based on where and how much they work. Many people think of a nail career as being hunched over doing $25 pedicures. This is not just what a Nail Career consist of. Most customers have only visited low end nail salons that usually employ unlicensed Nail Techs against state regulations. A service by a licensed Nail Technician is very different and they are usually the Tech in the salon that the everyone wants to book with. Full time employment at professional spas and high end resorts could offer full benefits with an incredible salary even during recessions!


  • If you don’t like touching feet then you can just do manicures and/or artificial nails
  • You can work for someone, work at home or open your own business (alone or with staff/booth renters)
  • You can choose to only do Mani and/or Pedi without having to deal the odor of doing acrylic
  • Licensed nail techs can let clients know that they are a “Licensed Professional” to beat the competition
  • Nail Techs can use their nail license to leave a frustrating nail job to open their “own” business or find immediate work/income until finding another job (even as a side job to make extra income)
  • This career allows you to make quick cash whenever you want at home or with mobile with Nail parties
  • Virginia Nail Technician Licenses can transfer into other states for a long term moving career
  • Having a nail license is a great trade or side skill to anyone even if your main career is something else


Did you know that every nail salon in Virginia selling nail care must have in a convenient viewing location a salon license and a nail tech license POSTED for EVERY employee selling any nail service?


Not having a license posted for the business and for each employee selling nail care is the first violation(s). The second violation(s) is given for each employee selling nail services without a state nail license. It is your right to see licenses or you can report themSalons selling nail services must have POSTED: a State DPOR salon/nail license for the business, city/county business license, Va Sales Tax license if selling retail and a license for each person selling nail car. All licenses must not have expired dates. If all of of these licenses are not posted (or immediately presented upon request) then they are in violation and can be reported and/or sued for any damages.


This posting regulation applies to those in "training" that must have a state apprentice license posted that was personally issued to them by the state representative visiting the salon or they are not apprentices earning hours. Those working at home without a salon license can not have any employees selling nail care services and they must have their license posted.

Many nail salons will hire people without state approved training or licensure. Anyone selling nail services without a POSTED nail or cosmetology license can be sued by clients and if reported, procecuted for a class 1 misdemeanor. Most employers hiring unlicensed techs this will also incorrectly pay with 1099 to avoid helping paying into your taxes which means the earned commission pay salary made could be less than minimum wage at tax filing time by paying the share of taxes the employer did not want to pay. There are rules in California changing this and if headed this way, licenses will be required for a 1099 pay!


Higher end salons and spas will ONLY hire Licensed Nail Technicians to avoid violation and liability issues. These salons will charge more for services and therefore pay their staff more. Our Licensed Graduates can apply for these higher paying professional job positions. Professional resrot spas offer higher priced nail services all over the state to offer a good income while working in a pleasant professional environment that could include benefits and good income even during recessions!


Those with a hair (cosmetology) license can also offer nail care services but they rarely have the confidence to perform nail care without the proper training. Hair school is a 40 hour a week year long (or over a year part time course) and can cost $16,000-$28,000. The hair industry is extremely competitive to find work with quality pay. Most hair students need about 2 years of lower pay working experience after completing school to get the skills needed to work in the higher paying salons. Being dual licensed with esthetics or massage can help you stay booked or find success in self employment.  


Nail Techs just finishing nail school can start with Mani/Pedi skills to work in a high end resort.  Artificial nail skills can take 1-2 years to master beyond school training. Most nail students practice at home on the side until mastered to learn how to make happy clients with long lasting nails.


There are many young people doing nails without a license and it is only a matter of time before a shared social media lawsuit can scare these young people into hiding. Doing cheap nails is fun when life's bills is paid by parents but when these young people gain incredible skills and get a family or want to make real money in a insurable business, a License will be required. Getting a license while young is the way to go. This allows them to work in different job positions with their growing skills for advancement. The investment for a Nail Education pays itself over and over again to a Nail Tech that loves their career!


Having a nail license can also allow a Nail Tech's career to move into different positions that suit their lifestyle career needs at various times. This job can offer incredible networking to meet people that can afford to get their nails done while having the ability to build a connection with them.  It is an excellent trade skill to have for full time or part time income. College students can even use the trade while in college and put it away until later. There are so many options with this trade skill and you can meet a lot of people that can include access to other jobs for yourself or people close to you! A License opens doors for long term success!


What kind of jobs do Licensed Nail Techs have?

  • Self-Employed to open a salon to work alone or with staff
  • Work at home doing services with whatever hours 
  • Work in salons, spas, cruise ships and resorts
  • Work online with youtube videos, blogs or websites
  • Earn income as a sales rep for nail product companies
  • Mobile Techs can work in a RV or at homes/offices
  • Techs can work a one day service for weddings or parties
  • social media salary posting nail art videos
  • Jobs at spa resorts on busy weekends usually get high pay
  • Work at local salons to meet people in the area
  • Boost to confidence with clients that desire your services
  • Retirement homes/Podiatrists hire nail techs for nail care
  • Work on tv sets, magazines and modeling events
  • Become a personal Nail Tech to the wealthy/famous
  • Control when you work and how much you make
  • Work part time while doing another job 
  • Great for students to make money while in college
  • Meet all types of people for networking connections
  • Side job that offers extra income at home or elsewhere
  • Incredible confidence building and a fun creative outlet
  • Trade skill to make quick cash during financial hardships in life

Nail Tech Income Details

Typical nail services can cost around $15-100 per hour with the higher end salons and spas usually charging double to triple the average nail cost. The lower end nail salon usually average in income around minimum wage or less. The higher end salons and spas can offer an income of $20-50 an hour! The higher end resorts/spas are the recommended places to work for a consistent competitive salary but they require a nail license to avoid violations, liability and fines. 


Nail Techs usually earn around 40-60% of the service cost plus an added 10-20% tip.  Some of the higher end businesses that only employ licensed Nail Techs may offer benefits and/or a gauranteed hourly salary with a lower added commission per service. Retail sales commission can add additional income from products sold to customers. Nail career statistics data does not distinquish the difference with high end or low end salary calculations. 


#12 in Best Social Services Job
#18 in Best Jobs without a College Degree





Statistics are not broken down into high/low end positions

There is a very big difference in licensed and non licensed careers for Nail Technicians

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