(Last Updated On: 05/04/2017)

Manicurist Job Description

Manicurists shape, clean, polish, and decorate their customers’ fingernails.

Most manicurists work in a salon or spa, but the work environment remains pretty similar regardless of the location.

While this is a relatively safe occupation, manicurists have to work with chemicals that can be hazardous if the necessary safety measures aren’t taken. Wearing masks and gloves while handling those chemicals is necessary for ensuring personal safety.

Since most people get their nails done after regular working hours, manicurists are normally required to work on evenings and weekends to meet the scheduling needs of their clients.

The majority of manicurists work full time, but there are plenty of part time positions available as well. Because most salons and spas maintain long business hours, there are often at least two shifts that need to be filled each day — a morning shift, and an afternoon / evening shift.

How to Become a Manicurist

To become a manicurist, you will have to complete a cosmetology program that’s approved by your state. Once you complete the program, you will have met one of the requirements for becoming licensed to practice in your state.

In addition to attending a cosmetology program, you will need to have a high school diploma or GED and be at least 16 years old. A written and practical exam must also be completed. To learn more about those exams, check with your state board.

All states except for Connecticut require manicurists to be licensed.

Related Occupations

Employment Outlook

There are currently 81,700 manicurists in the United States, with 2,850 new manicurist job openings created each year.

Manicurist jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.

Manicurist Salaries

Overall Salaries

Manicurist salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most manicurists make between $17,800 – $23,900 per year, or $8.56 – $11.50 per hour.