Nail polish is like the icing on the beauty cake.

Mary Helen Bowers, Dancer

Pros and Cons of Working as a Nail Technician

advantages and disadvantages of being a nail technician

You think about becoming a nail technician but want to get further information on this career path before making your final decision? Great!

This article is exactly for you since I will show you all the pros and cons of being a nail technician in the following chapters so that you can better decide whether a nail technician career will be the right way to go for you.

Nail Technician Job Profile

Job DescriptionNail technicians make sure that the nails of their clients look as best as possible to increase the overall level of beauty of people.
Salary$32,000 per year on average, most manicurists make between $28,000 and $39,000 per year.
Job SecurityPoor since you will be replaceable rather easily.
Job SatisfactionGood if you love to work with people and want to be creative at work.
Work-Life BalanceGood since you don’t have to work on weekends and also don’t work long hours as a nail technician.
Physically / Mentally Demanding?Neither physically nor mentally demanding most of the time.
Future OutlookPoor since competition will become quite fierce in this field.
RequirementsNo special educational requirements. Finishing high school will often be enough for becoming a manicurist.

Advantages of Working a Nail Technician

  1. Nail technicians can work indoors
  2. You can work with many different people
  3. Manicurists can make people happy
  4. You can see the results of your work every day
  5. Hands-on work instead of office work
  6. Nail technicians don’t have to follow a strict dress code
  7. Working as a nail technician is not physically demanding
  8. Nail technicians don’t have to work long hours
  9. Free weekends for nail technicians most of the time
  10. You don’t have to work at nighttime
  11. You don’t need a college degree for becoming a manicurist
  12. Nail technicians can start their own business
  13. You can make money on the side
  14. You can leverage digital channels
  15. You can help out your friends

Nail technicians can work indoors

One advantage of working as a nail technician is that you don’t have to work outdoors under extreme conditions as construction workers and many other people have to do on a regular basis.

Hence, instead of sweating in the heat or having to deal with the cold all day long, you can work in a rather cozy environment where you can use our modern technologies to make your workday as convenient as possible.

Thus, working indoors can be a huge advantage that many people who have never worked outdoors greatly underestimate.

You can work with many different people

As a nail technician, you can also get in touch with many different people. In fact, your clients will change every day and you will see many new faces during each workweek.

Not only can this be quite interesting since you will have to deal with many different characters, but it also gives you the opportunity to talk to many different people about topics that bother you right now to get a different perspective on those issues.

Moreover, you will often listen to the problems of people and this will show you how small your own problems will be compared to that.

Due to this change in perspective and perception, you will also be able to appreciate your own life much more and can live a happier life in general.

Manicurists can make people happy

Since you can approve the looks of people, you can also make many people happy.

We all want to look as best as possible and nail technicians can contribute their part to the overall appearance of a person.

In turn, if you do your job the right way, your clients may have better chances in the dating market or also in various other parts of life.

Hence, even if you only make a little contribution to the overall picture, you can still have a positive impact on the lives of many people if you are really good at what you are doing.

You can see the results of your work every day

Another advantage of being a nail technician is that you can also see the results of your work every day.

People will come into your saloon with poorly looking nails and you will be the one who can really boost their appearance in this regard.

In fact, your clients will look nicer within minutes and it can be really encouraging to see those quick results.

In turn, chances are that you will stay motivated at work while many other people who have to prepare presentations all day long without seeing any real results often get bored and frustrated with what they are doing rather quickly.

Hands-on work instead of office work

By becoming a nail technician, you can also avoid working in a classical office job.

While some people like the type of work that is carried out in offices and rather want to work with their brains than with their hands, you will not get happy with this kind of work if you are the type of person who doesn’t want to sit in front of a computer screen all day long but rather wants to do something creative with his hands.

Consequently, a nail technician career can be great for you if you are the type of creative person who just doesn’t want to work in classical office environments but who wants to have contact with many different people every day.

Nail technicians don’t have to follow a strict dress code

As a nail technician, you also don’t have to wear a suit or a fancy dress. Instead, you can wear almost everything you want at work as long as it is not too exotic.

Hence, while many other people have to spend lots of money to look fancy at work, you will be free to wear what is most convenient to you and also what feels best to you.

Consequently, your overall workday will likely be much better since you will just feel more natural at work.

Working as a nail technician is not physically demanding

Even though you will work with your hands as a nail technician, you will still not have to do heavy physical work.

While working as a nail technician can be exhausting when you have many clients, you will still not have to lift heavy things as construction workers and roofers have to do every workday.

Consequently, you will often have more power left after work and while people who have to work in a hard physical manner will often just spend the rest of their day on their couches, you will have enough energy left to spend it on your hobbies.

Moreover, also your risk of physical health issues will be lower on average since you will just not have to stress your body that much.

Nail technicians don’t have to work long hours

Another benefit of working as a nail technician is that you don’t have to work long hours.

In fact, most nail technicians only work 40 hours or even less and this gives you the opportunity to spend enough time on the things you like even more than working.

For instance, you can spend plenty of time on hobbies or with your family while many other people who have to work many extra hours per week will just not have this luxury and will barely have any private life at all.

Free weekends for nail technicians most of the time

Not only will your overall workload be rather low, but you will also have many free weekends as a nail technician.

This will give you the opportunity to make nice trips with your family or just to relax and to unplug from your stressful daily life for a while.

You may take this for granted, yet the reality is that people who work in public transport and many others have to work during weekends and will just not have the luxury you will be able to enjoy as a manicurist.

You don’t have to work at nighttime

Another upside to a nail technician career is that you will also not have to work in the evening or at nighttime.

Quite often, you will just work 9 to 5 and will therefore come home rather early while many other people still have to work for a few more hours.

Consequently, you will have more than enough time to meet up with your favorite people after work or to spend some quality time with your family.

In fact, nail technicians have a great work-life balance in general and becoming a nail technician can therefore make quite a lot of sense for you in case money is not that important to you and you rather want to have plenty of leisure to spend with your loved ones.

You don’t need a college degree for becoming a manicurist

Almost everyone can become a nail technician. This means that you don’t need a college degree or any other form of fancy education to be eligible to work in this field.

Therefore, while many other people have to go to college to get a degree, you can avoid paying for tuition and other expenses related to college but you can rather earn money right after finishing high school.

Consequently, you can also become independent of your parents at a rather young age while many of your friends will struggle to finance their college degrees and will often even have to take on student loan debt.

Nail technicians can start their own business

It is also relatively easy to start your own business as a nail technician. In fact, you don’t need to make a high upfront investment.

Instead, you can just open a small nail studio with just a few thousand bucks on the side.

Hence, becoming a nail technician can also make quite a lot of sense for you in case you don’t want to work as an employee forever but have the dream to build your own business in the long run.

You can make money on the side

There are also various occasions where you could make money on the side as a nail technician.

If you are willing to work on weekends or after work, you can make lots of extra money, at least if you are good at what you are doing and also know how to deal with your clients in a proper manner.

You can leverage digital channels

It has also never been easier and cheaper than today to advertise your nail technician business to potential clients.

Thanks to social media and other digital channels, you can now target your audience quite well and this means that you can acquire new customers in a rather cost-efficient manner.

Moreover, you could also start a blog or a YouTube channel where you show people your best secret tips to make their nails look better.

In turn, people will greatly appreciate your tips and will often follow you on your channel.

Consequently, you may also be able to build a huge audience and can monetize this audience later down the road.

You can help out your friends

Not only can a nail technician career make sense for your professional life, but it can also help you in various parts of your private life.

For instance, you can do your own nails instead of having to spend lots of money on a nail technician.

Moreover, you will also be able to help out your friends who will greatly appreciate what you do for them and who will also likely support you in case you need help in different aspects of life one day.

As you can see, becoming a nail technician can make quite a lot of sense.

However, it is still not all upside and we also have to talk about the downsides of being a nail technician so that you get a more profound impression of what working as a nail technician really looks like.

Disadvantages of a Nail Technician Career

  1. Nail technicians don’t make lots of money
  2. You may need a second job to pay your bills
  3. Manicurists are not able to afford any luxury
  4. Hard to plan your life as a manicurist
  5. You may not be able to save enough money for retirement
  6. You may not be able to afford proper health insurance
  7. Social stigma for male nail technicians
  8. Rather low social status of nail technicians
  9. Clients can be difficult
  10. Almost no job security at all
  11. You will not learn many hard skills as a nail technician
  12. Hard to get out of this industry
  13. Teleworking is not possible for nail technicians
  14. You may get bored of it in the long run
  15. You don’t solve important problems for humanity

Nail technicians don’t make lots of money

One disadvantage of a nail technician career is that you will just not make good money from what you are doing. In fact, most nail technicians just make the minimum wage or a little bit more.

Consequently, you should not become a nail technician if money is really important to you.

In such a case, you should rather become a doctor, a lawyer, or work as an investment banker or consultant instead.

You may need a second job to pay your bills

Due to your relatively low salary, you may even need a second job to pay your bills as a nail technician.

In fact, if you live in rather expensive regions where rents are high, you will often simply not be able to pay your living expenses and other things for daily life.

Hence, you may have to work in a second job and this can be really annoying since it will take away almost all of your leisure and you will also have lots of stress coordinating those different tasks.

Manicurists are not able to afford any luxury

You should also not become a nail technician if you want to enjoy any luxury in your life.

Instead, you will have barely any money left on those nice things and you will just not be able to afford to buy a fancy car or buy a fancy home as a manicurist.

Hard to plan your life as a manicurist

Another problem with being a nail technician is that you will also not be able to plan your life way ahead.

Since you will have a rather low salary, you will be barely able to save money for an emergency fund and you will also have a hard time getting a loan from your bank.

You will basically live from paycheck to paycheck and this can be really frustrating and also implies lots of insecurity since in case you lose your job, you will have barely any savings and may even end up homeless since you will just no longer be able to pay rent.

You may not be able to save enough money for retirement

Nail technicians are often also not able to save and invest enough money in a retirement fund.

Consequently, once they get older, they will often not have enough financial capacities to cover their expenses and this means that you have to worry about old-age poverty on a constant basis.

Hence, if you want to have financial peace of mind, you should not become a nail technician but rather go for a career that pays significantly more.

You may not be able to afford proper health insurance

Due to your low salary, you may also not be able to get proper health insurance as a nail technician.

Thus, in case of medical emergency, you may not be able to afford proper medical treatment or you may have to go into debt to finance those things.

Consequently, you may end up with huge piles of debt which you will barely have the chance to get rid of.

Social stigma for male nail technicians

Male nail technicians also have to deal with a certain social stigma.

In fact, this industry is still dominated by women and if you want to work as a man in this field, chances are that many people will make fun of you and even your friends may belittle what you do for a living.

Rather low social status of nail technicians

Another downside of becoming a nail technician is that you will also have a rather low social status.

While your clients will often appreciate your work, other people will often not understand the value you provide and will therefore not consider you being important.

Clients can be difficult

You should also not expect all of your clients to be nice. There are people out there who are just difficult and who can never be happy.

Those people will often try to bring you down and you should be mentally stable enough to deal with snarky comments and to let the comments of those people not bother you.

Almost no job security at all

Nail technicians will also have pretty poor job security. Since almost everyone can do this job, you will be replaceable rather easily and this means that you will always have to worry about losing your job.

In turn, you may have to deal with lots of emotional stress since you will just fear the consequences that come along with becoming unemployed.

You will not learn many hard skills as a nail technician

While you will become pretty good at improving the visual appearance of nails, you will just not learn many digital skills or other important hard skills that are valuable in the job market right now as a nail technician.

Hard to get out of this industry

Due to your lack of hard skills, you will also have a hard time getting out of this industry and you will therefore have to work in this field for quite a long time or even until you retire.

Hence, make sure that you really want to work in this field before becoming a nail technician to avoid any issues in this regard.

Teleworking is not possible for nail technicians

You will also not be able to work from home as a nail technician. Instead, you will have to be present at work in person and will therefore have to commute to work every day.

Consequently, you will also get stuck in traffic jams and have to spend lots of money and time on commuting.

You may get bored of it in the long run

Working as a nail technician is also not that exciting. In fact, it may get pretty boring in the long run but you will often not be able to get out of this industry since you will just lack the skills to do so.

You don’t solve important problems for humanity

While doctors save lives and scientists develop important tools that can make our lives better, you will just not have the same impact on the lives of others as a nail technician.

Instead, you will solve rather minor issues and may feel kind of unimportant in the big picture.

Top 10 Being a Nail Technician Pros & Cons – Summary List

Being a Nail Technician ProsBeing a Nail Technician Cons
Nail technicians don’t work many hoursNail technicians don’t make good money
You don’t have to work at nighttimeYou may need a second job
Manicurists often have free weekendsYou may not be able to save enough money
Your job will not be that stressfulYou may struggle with old-age poverty
You can work with many different clientsOverall high level of insecurity
Manicurists can be creative at workHard to plan your life
You don’t have to work with a computerYou can get fired without prior notice
You can see the results of your workManicurists don’t learn many hard skills
Nail technicians don’t need a degreeHard to get out of this industry
You can become independent soonYou may get bored in the long run

Should You Become A Nail Technician?

Not that you know about all the advantages and disadvantages of being a nail technician, you should take your time and evaluate all the pros and cons of a nail technician career yourself to make a good decision regarding this important topic.

Also make sure to check out the following articles to get more information on different job options:

Advantages and disadvantages of being a hairdresser

Advantages and disadvantages of being a sales agent

Advantages and disadvantages of being a historian

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nail_technician

https://www.statista.com/statistics/276859/nail-salons-in-the-united-states/

Own research and interviews.

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.

This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.

Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.

I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.

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