Before choosing to become a nail technician, it is important to know how much money you can expect to make, especially in your first year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for manicurists and pedicurists is good, with an expected 16 percent job growth between 2012 and 2022. This growth is faster than the average, making it a lucrative option.
With completion of a specialty state-approved cosmetology or nail technician program and the passing of the state licensure exam the only requirements, this is a career opportunity of which many people can take advantage. The amount of money you can expect to earn will be based upon any specialties, the location, your experience, and other factors.
The National Average
Nail technicians are those that handle manicures and pedicures in a salon, spa, specialty nail salon, in-home, or other locations. As a nail technician, you handle all the components of nail maintenance and beatification, including shaping, buffing, polishing, and applying fake nails.
You also will often be expected to massage the hands or feet during manicures and pedicures. According to the BLS, the 2012 national median pay in 2012 was $9.24 an hour, which adds up to $19,220 per year. However, the range of wages can be as low as $8.02 and as high as $14.42, depending on several factors.
The Location of Services
One of the largest influences on the salary of a nail technician is the location of services, which can be in a hair salon, a specialty nail salon, spas, medical facilities, luxury hotels, department stores, in clients’ homes, and other locations. According to survey data published in the Houston Chronicle‘s section on work, about 95 percent of people work in personal-care services, which led to an average hourly wage of $10.35.
Generally Speaking, you can expect to receive higher payment by working in more luxurious locations, such as a spa, because they charge clients a higher price for manicures and pedicures. The highest paid industry for nail technicians was in traveler accommodation, which had an average pay of $13.40 an hour. Two other industries in which nail technicians were paid higher than average was amusement and recreation, which offered an average of $12.92, and department stores, which paid an average $12.05 an hour.
Another significant influence on the rate of pay is the geographic location in which you work. Some of this influence is directly associated with the cost of living differences around the country, but other factors contribute to the differences as well. Although you would expect large cities, such as Los Angeles and New York, to be among the highest paid, highest paid city for nail technicians is Columbia, S.C., which had an average pay of over $40,000 per year. Arkansas, Iowa, Tennessee, and Nebraska also had higher average rates of pay compared to the rest of the country.
Experience Level and Specialty
As with any job, your experience level and any specialty services will influence the amount you can expect to make. In your first year, you will most likely earn on the lower end of the payment scale, which would be around nine dollars an hour. As you gain more experience, your rate of pay will increase, especially as you reach ten to twenty years of experience.
There are other ways you can increase the amount you earn. With popularity of nail art, the ability to create unique and beautiful creations will help you to make more money, no matter your experience level. Owning your own salon, offering in-home nail services, and similar opportunities also increase your annual salary.
Manicures and pedicures are popular expenditures, which provides some job security for nail technicians. Although an entry-level manicurist cannot expect to earn much more than nine dollars an hour, there are avenues for increasing this pay.