Nail Career Info

A Nail Tech's income is mainly based on where and how much they work. Many people think of being hunched over doing $25 pedicures as a nail career. This is not what a Nail Career consist of. Most people only visit low end nail salons that usually employ unlicensed Nail Techs against state regulations to charge a cheap price to customers. A service by a licensed Nail Technician is very different and usually they are the rare one everyone wants in the salon.  Most people that end up having a nail career, don't visit high paying resorts and spas that are desperatly looking for licensed Nail Techs and they pay a very good incredible salary! Full time employement at professional spas and resorts could even offer full benefits.

  • 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 “Professional” to beat competition
  • Nail Techs can use their nail license to leave a frustrating nail job to open your “own” business or find immediate work/income until finding another job (useful for those affected by the government shutdown)
  • This career allows you to make quick cash whenever you want at home or mobile with Nail parties
  • 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 nail salons in Virginia must have a license posted in a convenient location for EVERY employee selling any nail service?
Most lower end or typical nail salons will hire people without state approved training. These unlicensed employees can be sued by clients and if reported, procecuted for a class 1 misdemeanor for selling nail care services unlicensed. Most employers like this will incorrectly pay with 1099 to avoid helping paying into your taxes which means the earned commission pay could calculate to be 20-30% of a service cost at tax filing time.


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. Look at the links below to see professional nail care service prices.    HIGH END RESORT'S PRICE MENU 


Click the links to learn about other (non-affiliated) higher end nail prices:
Elizabeth Arden,  Wintergreen Resort,  Homestead Spa,  Salamander SpaKings Mill SpaLansdowneMassanutt,en Resort and many other professional salons, day 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!


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 10 times longer than nail school and can cost $16,000-$28,000. The hair industry is extremely competitive to find work with quality pay. Most hair students need about 2-5 years of lower pay working experience after school to get the skills needed to work in the higher paying salons. 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 in order to build a happy client base with long lasting nails. 


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. 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! 

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
  • 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 $15-50 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 a really good income! Most of the statistic data about this job do not distinguish between high end and lower end income. The higher end resorts/spas is the recommended place to work as a Nail Technician but they require a nail license. 


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 lower commission on top of a gauranteed hourly salary with a lower added commission per service. Retail sales commission can add additional income for Techs from products sold to customers. Nail career statistics data does not distinquish the difference with high end or low end salary calculations. 


The nail employment market on the higher end that only want LICENSED Nail Technicians is in serious EXTREME high demand from so many Retiring veteran nail techs that started before the vietnamese took over the nail industry in the 90's. Nail prices in general are increasing every year to become more profitable to work in. Licensed Techs can also open their own salons at home or in commercial spaces alone or with other staff/renters.

Keep in mind that the information you read on this website reflects the type of learning you get from this school. This is a very open diverse school with attentive education to make sure that students are ready to pass the state exams to get their state nail license.  The Instructor is an actual working Nail Tech with over 25 years of experience teaching you all the trade secrets held back by those not wanting competition!

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Statistics are not broken down into high/low end positions

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