One of the reasons why becoming a nail technician is an attractive career today is its consistent job growth. Customers wanting their nails to improve and look appealing in salons are increasing, and this is why many businesses are opening more work for manicurists and pedicurists.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics in the US reported that because the country is slowly recovering from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, many male and female customers are visiting nail salons for a mini pedicure. Having their nails clean and improved is part of their routine for a healthier lifestyle. This explains the increasing demand for nail technicians in many salons and spas in the country.
Manicures and pedicures are low-cost beauty services that people at all income levels continue to have. Considering this information, becoming a pedicurist makes it more enticing for you to pursue this career. So, to help you get started, let’s talk more about what to expect from a pedicurist.
What Is a Pedicurist?
A pedicurist works closely with a manicurist, and both have very similar duties. If a manicurist focuses on improving the hands, a pedicurist provides foot care services. They clean, file, and groom toenails and moisturize the feet and legs.
The basic process of providing toenail services is to start with softening and moisturizing the feet and legs. This is followed by cleaning, trimming and shaping nails, and removing cuticles and calluses. Applying nail polish is the final step for a basic pedicure.
What Services Do Pedicurists Provide?
A pedicurist provides different types of toenail and foot care services, but the popular ones are as follows:
- Toenail cleaning, grooming, and shaping
- Nail polish applications and removal
- Nail art and design
- Light foot massage and other relaxation techniques
- Skin moisturizing
- Tool and equipment sanitation
- Workplace disinfection
- Customer care
Here’s a brief description of what is expected from each service:
Toenail Cleaning, Grooming, and Shaping
Cleaning, grooming, and shaping toenails are basic nail care procedures. A pedicurist removes stuck dirt in the nails and cuticles using a cuticle pusher. They trim the nails and shape them based on customers’ preferences. With the help of a nail brush, cuticle and nail residues are easily removed.
Nail Polish Applications and Removal
Part of the basic pedicure service is the application of nail polish. This procedure creates a shiny, natural look or a colorful and chic nail appearance. Customers can choose from using regular polish or gel ones. A pedicurist also removes the nail polish if customers don’t want to do the removal at home. This is especially true for gel polish.
Nail Art and Design
This is one of the most popular pedicure services today. Nail art gives customers the freedom to choose their preferred design and pattern, and a pedicurist performs the style on the nails. The tools used for this service include:
- Nail polish correcting pen
- Matte topcoat
- Glitter nail polish remover pads
- Tip brush
- Dotting tool
- Nail art tape
- Pedicure tweezers
Nail art can provide a fun, elegant, fashionable, and colorful look on the feet.
Aside from the nail services a pedicurist offers, they also provide relaxation treatments for the feet and legs. Light massage, paraffin wax, foot scrub, and hot stone therapies are some of the examples of the services they offer. Customers can then choose what type of pedicure package they wish to take advantage of.
Moisturizing the skin of the feet helps in the removal of hard skin, calluses, and cuticles. Nutrients from moisturizing products enhance and nurture the skin. Lotions, creams, oils, and masks are some examples of the products used in a relaxing pedicure service.
Tool and Equipment Sanitation
Total equipment and facility hygiene should always be observed in a nail salon or spa setup. This is why a pedicurist must know how to clean and sterilize tools and sanitize equipment. Alcohol wipes, sprays, and cleaning solutions are some of the products used for this. Proper storage of salon tools and disposal of non-reusable items are also part of the sanitation process.
Not only are tools sanitized in a salon but also the entire facility. Wiping surfaces using a cleaning solution, spraying the indoor air with a disinfectant spray, and washing hand towels are all part of a pedicurist’s job. This is important in keeping the salon or spa clean and free from harmful microorganisms.
Customers always have their reasons for getting a pedicure, and it’s important for a pedicurist to understand their story. This helps in guiding them on which nail service is best for them and providing helpful tips to them. Aside from that, a pedicurist also promotes other nail services and products to customers as part of the salon’s marketing strategies.
How Do I Become a Pedicurist?
To become a professional pedicurist, you must study nail technology, which is a course that teaches students about nail care. The course covers the techniques, products, and tools and equipment used in a salon or spa. Many community colleges and vocational schools offer the program, so you can check out the institutions near you.
Once you’ve chosen a school, you need to know their requirements for the course. These qualifications vary by country, but most places require students to have a diploma in high school or a certificate for General Educational Development and be at least 16 or 17 years old.
Once qualified, you can enroll in the program and must complete it. Internships and other hands-on activities are a few of the major requirements for finishing the course. A certificate is given after completion, and you have the option to take a licensure exam or study continuing education in cosmetology.
Just remember that a license in nail technology is required in most established nail salons and spas for employment. Your state or region might also need a license from you if you’re planning to start your salon business.
What Training Is Available to Become a Pedicurist?
Nail technology courses vary by location and the provider, so the training also differs. But most programs offer the following areas of study:
- Toenail cleaning, trimming, and shaping
- Cuticle, hard skin, and calluses removal
- Nail polish application and removal
- Nail art and design
- Foot spa
- Light leg and foot massage
- Skin softening and conditioning
- Sanitation and safety
- Toenail diseases
- Customer service
What Job Opportunities Are There?
Career opportunities for a pedicurist are a lot, but the most common ones are:
If you’re planning to start your own nail salon, you can do so after getting a nail technician license. You just have to comply with the regulations of your region in putting up a nail salon business. Ask help from a business attorney for legal guidance whenever possible.
Salons or Spas
Getting employed in a salon or spa is one of the most popular career opportunities for a pedicurist. If your nail technology course provider offers job placement assistance, you’ll have a high chance of landing a job quickly in established brands. You can also apply to standalone businesses near you or spas and salons in malls, airports, vacation resorts, and gyms.
Working while traveling can be fun, and if you’re one of the many workers who enjoy this, you can become a mobile pedicurist. You go to your clients’ places and provide nail services. You can also travel to various places with big events like festivals and offer pedicures. On a regular basis, you can park outside of malls, parks, and other crowded places and give pedicures to interested customers.
Nail Technician Educator
If teaching others excites you more, you can become a nail technician educator. Train and educate students about nail services and share with them what you’ve learned. Just remember that your state or region may require you to study education to formally teach students.
Nail Technician Consultant
If an instructor is available for a nail technician, you can also become a consultant. Business owners will need your expertise in getting the right salon products and equipment. Customers will also ask for consultations about the nail services that suit them, toenail conditions, and nail care. You’ll educate people and earn at the same time.
Community Nail Service
Starting small with your pedicurist career is also a great choice. You can provide pedicure services to your friends and gain experience. This improves your portfolio and increases your chance of getting hired in leading salon brands or starting a successful business.
How Can I Find a Position in Pedicure Services?
There are several ways you can find a job as a pedicurist in a nail salon or spa. First is if your nail technology provider offers job placement support. They will help you find the ideal business that suits your lifestyle and needs.
The next place you can check out is the Internet. Research on brands looking for a pedicurist or nail technician. You can narrow down your search to the businesses near you. If you want to explore opportunities outside your region, you can also maximize the help of online search. Take note of the brands’ contact information, such as email and phone number, so you know how to reach out to them.
Magazines and newspapers are also good sources of job openings for a pedicurist. As much as possible, visit the salons and spas you can easily access, and inquire about career opportunities.
Okay, So Where Do I Start?
First, you need to qualify for studying nail technology. This means you should meet the age and academic requirements, at least in most places, of the program. Other qualifications differ by region. Once you’re qualified, enroll in the program, and make sure to complete it. You’ll be getting a certificate for completion and qualify to take the licensure exam. Once you’re licensed, you can already apply as a pedicurist or start your own business.