The increasing demand for cosmetologists like nail technicians (manicurists and pedicurists) continues at least in the next nine years. It is projected that there is a 19% increase in demand for these workers in salons and spas from 2020 to 2030.
In the US, for example, there are around 85,300 job openings for cosmetologists every year for the said period. This is because many tenured employees are choosing to switch to another career path or retire. Considering this information, it only makes studying a nail technology course more attractive to many aspiring students.
So, if you’re one of these many aspirants, enrolling in the program is key to becoming a successful pedicurist. To help you understand what you should expect from the course, let’s discuss what pedicure services are, the skills you’ll learn from the course, and the career opportunities after completing the curriculum.
What Are Pedicure Services?
If a manicure is a beauty treatment for the hands, a pedicure is for the feet. It works on cleaning and improving toenails and the skin of the feet. Cleaning, trimming, filing, and shaping nails are the basic procedures of a pedicure. But there are different types of services for it, and the common ones are:
- Paraffin wax
- Hot Stone
Let’s discuss the types in detail to have a better understanding of each:
A basic pedicure is the simplest type. It involves softening the skin of the feet by soaking them, so grooming cuticles and removing hangnails and hard skin are easier. A pedicurist then starts to trim and file the nails to shape them based on the customer’s preference. To finish the procedure, the nails are applied with nail polish, usually, two layers, to make them look shiny yet natural.
A mini pedicure is the same as the basic one, only that the time for the procedure is less. This is recommended for customers who have limited time to spend on beauty treatments. From the basic manicure, the soaking of feet is skipped, and the pedicurist directly cleans, shapes, and polishes the nails.
A French pedicure is the same as a French manicure. The only difference is where it is being applied, which is the feet. A basic pedicure is done, and the nails are polished with a clear or light pink color for a more natural look. The nail tips are then painted with a white crescent-shaped mark. Customers can also choose to color the nail tips with a different shade.
A gel pedicure uses gel nail polish applied to the toenails. After the nails are treated, the pedicurist applies the polish twice to the nails, with each application cured under ultraviolet (UV) light equipment. Once the gel polish is dried, the final coat is applied.
For a more relaxing pedicure, a spa-type toenail service is ideal. The process is the same as the basic manicure with added relaxation treatments, such as:
- Rubbing the feet with an exfoliating scrub to remove dead skin
- Wrapping the feet with a warm towel to soften the skin and cuticles
- Applying hydrating foot masks
Different relaxation treatments for a pedicure vary on the salon or spa that offers them. Customers can choose which package they like.
Paraffin wax is also another relaxing pedicure. It aims to soften and moisturize the skin of the feet, so cleaning and grooming toenails are easy. The process includes soaking the feet with melted wax or wrapping them with paraffin slippers for about 30 minutes.
The pedicurist then lifts the feet from the wax bath or removes them from the paraffin slippers after the estimated time. For the hardened wax, the pedicurist peels it off. A basic manicure follows after the wax treatment.
A fish pedicure is what you see in movies and ads where people are soaking their feet in water with so many fish. The concept for this nail service is to let the fish eat away calluses and hard skin on the feet. Soaking the feet in the water helps soften the skin, so the fish can quickly feed on it.
The fish involved in this treatment doesn’t have teeth. They only eat away the softened skin without actually hurting the feet. After the fish therapy, a basic manicure is done by the pedicurist.
This type of pedicure works more on treating the skin of the feet like the previous nail service. Aside from the basic pedicure process, the pedicurist performs relaxation and scrubbing methods to remove calluses and dead skin. Foot scrub and a light foot massage are common examples of the services included in an athletic pedicure. This is ideal for customers who like to frequently walk barefoot and are into running and other similar athletic activities.
The reason why this pedicure is called “waterless” is that it doesn’t involve soaking the feet with any form of liquid to soften and moisturize them. It only uses a special type of spray, wipes, or cuticle softener to condition the skin and toenails of the feet.
The process starts with cleaning and filing the nails, and the feet are then sprayed, wiped, or applied with a special solution. The pedicurist wraps the feet with towels or plastic wraps to warm and create moisture for them. The moisturizing benefit of when the feet are soaked with liquid is the same as what is in this procedure. Nail polish is applied as the final step for a waterless pedicure.
A hot stone nail pedicure is also another therapeutic type of nail service. Multiple stones are used to provide warmth to the feet, soothing tensed muscles. Every stone is inserted in each toe web space.
Once the feet are relaxed, a basic pedicure follows, and then a foot and leg mask is done. Warm towels are then wrapped around the feet and legs for five minutes to create a steam therapy.
After that, the feet and legs are applied with essential oil for a light massage, with hot stones used to press on pressure points.
What Is a Pedicurist?
A pedicurist is a nail technician that works on cleaning, grooming, polishing, and enhancing the toenails and moisturizing and conditioning the skin of the feet. Their services are similar to a manicurist with a focus on improving the feet.
What Do You Learn in a Pedicure Course?
Pedicure courses vary by location, the program structure, and the provider. But the common areas of study you’ll learn from the program are:
- Foot anatomy
- Toenail cleaning, polishing, and art (including stenciling)
- Equipment and facility sanitation and disinfection
- Toenail diseases
What Are the Different Ways to Study Pedicure Techniques?
There are several ways to study pedicure techniques, but enrolling in a licensed nail technology course is recommended to get a certificate and take a licensure exam. Offline learning, such as on-campus and in-salon classes, and online courses are available. However, it’s crucial to consider that studying pedicure techniques requires hands-on activities and tests, so it’s ideal to learn the skill in a face-to-face setup.
Vocational schools, colleges, and universities offer nail technology courses you can check out. You can visit and research online for schools near you. If you opt for learning the program through online classes, you can also maximize Internet research to see schools or licensed organizations that offer nail technology. Many online classes require internships, lab work, and other hands-on activities, so be ready to comply with these requirements.
Your local government may also offer cheap nail technology courses, so you might want to check this out as well.
What Prerequisites Are There to Study Pedicure Services?
The prerequisites for studying pedicure services depend on the regulations by country. However, most places require students to be at least 16 or 17 years old and have completed high school with a diploma or have a General Educational Development certificate. Other requirements follow depending on the region’s law.
What Accreditations Can You Get by Doing Pedicure Courses?
Like the prerequisites, the accreditations you’ll get differs from one region to another. But mostly, you’ll have a certificate for completing the nail technology program and a license for passing the licensure examination for a nail technician.
Other program providers give you lifetime access to their lessons online. Some make you a certified member of a licensed beauty organization.
What Will All of This Cost?
The cost for taking a nail technology course depends on the program provider, location, and the areas of study and skills covered. In the US, the program ranges around $1,000-$5,000 (USD) on average. This already covers the tuition fee, tools and supplies, and books. In Australia, the cost is around $1,050 (AUD). The length of the course depends on whether you choose to have it part or full time.
What Will You Be Able to Do at the End of a Pedicure Course?
At the end of the course, you can either take a licensure exam for nail technology or continue further study in cosmetology. If you choose the former right after completing the program, you need to pass the exam, so you can get a license. This increases your chances of getting hired in established salons and spas and your credibility in starting your business.
If you opt to continue studying cosmetology, fees and areas of study covered differ significantly.
How Do I Find the Best Pedicure Course?
Finding the best nail technology course depends on what you want to learn in the program and your availability in completing it. If you want to start with a beginner’s course, you can do so. However, learning the advanced pedicure techniques doesn’t require you to have a background in nail care. Most courses teach you the important skills and aspects you should learn about nail technology. But to guide you in choosing the best program for you, consider these factors:
Considering that nail technology courses differ by region, it’s essential to check and compare the areas of study and skills the programs offer. This way, you can better evaluate which course is best suited for you.
It’s also crucial to decide if you want to study the course full or part time. This means choosing a program that meets your schedule. If you want to learn nail technology through online classes, make sure that you can commit to campus visits.
Aside from the classes, resources, and hands-on activities you’ll get from studying a nail technology course, a huge advantage of the program is its benefits. Some providers assist graduates in job placements. They have connections to established salons and spas and will endorse graduates to these businesses for employment. Others offer discounts on their tuition fees if students can meet specific requirements or are academically excellent.
It’s always safe to enroll in a course that follows the regulations in your area or is licensed. This helps you qualify for a licensure exam and increases your credibility. It also prevents you from dealing with legal issues in the future, especially if you want to put up your own nail salon business.
A nail technology course must also display the willingness to help you get licensed and become successful in your chosen career. Licensed programs should encourage students to take the licensure exam and get certified, not just to make them finish the course. Some courses also promote continuing education in cosmetology for students who wish to study a broader scope in the beauty industry.
Start Checking for Course Options Today!
Now that you have a deeper understanding of what a pedicure course is, what it offers, and how you can grow your career for it, it’s time you start looking for nail technology courses near you. The best thing to do at this point is to visit schools in your area or research online to see the available programs. So, good luck and enjoy studying the course!