What is the Difference Between a Manicurist and a Nail Technician?
What is the difference between a manicurist and a nail technician? Many people are asking this question because both professions sound great, but they don’t know if they are the same thing or not.
The Key Differences Between a Manicurist and a Nail Technician
To better understand what is required of a manicurist as opposed to a nail technician (and vice versa) it’s important that we analyze the role of each:
Nail Technician Duties
A nail technician trims, cleans, and polishes toenails and fingernails. They also can put on fake fingernails and toenails with professionalism. Consider your own fingernails. What do you do with them? Typically you will:
- Remove old nail polish
- Cut and trim nails
- Shape and buff them
- Apply a base-coat of nail polish
- Apply 2-3 coats of color
- Apply a top coat of nail polish
A manicurist will do the same duties as a nail technician. A manicurist also does waxes, including bikini wax and Brazilian wax, along with removing hair from any area of the body properly and safely. They can also shape eyebrows.
How to Become a Nail Technician
In most cases you will need a beauty school education to be a nail tech or manicurist and most companies and states require a license. If you are lucky enough to find a position without going through the usual channels, great, but the simple fact is that this is a growing field, so being able to leverage your beauty school education is a definite plus. If you want to learn more about the benefits of going to nail technician school, read here.
For more info on how to choose a nail technician school, check out our blog on the topic.
How to Become a Manicurist
The first step is to obtain your high school diploma or equivalent. Then you will want to search for a cosmetology school that is licensed. These are easy to find in most states.
Next, you will need to complete a manicurist course at the school. Each state has different course requirements, so consider searching for that information to talk to the school of your choice; they should be able to help you.
How Long Does an Education Take?
Again, the length of the course work will vary depending on your state. Some states only require 200 hours, while some require 600 hours of course work (about three months). Most courses will include practical training as well as classroom learning.
Are There Any Exams to Become Licensed?
Yes, there is a licensing exam that will need to be passed before you are considered a licensed manicurist or nail tech. However, most schools are able to give this test right at the school. Contact the school of your choice to find out more about licensing exams.
How Do I Know a Nail Service Career is For Me?
You should like to do certain things, like:
- Working with your hands
- Paying close attention to detail
- Be organized
- Be clean and know how to keep your workspace clean
- Be a “people person” (like being around all different types of people)
- Care about others
Knowing the difference between a manicurist and a nail technician is the best way to know which type of education you will need. In some states, a license is required for both positions. In others, it may not be. Always check out your local laws, and contact the school you are considering to find out more about what would be required of you.
Does becoming a nail technician sound good to you? Check out our program for more info!
For more reading on getting a nail technician license, see these blog posts: