What is a Manicurist/Pedicurist?

Sep 29 2022

graphic reading "manicurist/pedicurist: career dreams" with a brunette woman holding nail samples
Are you someone who pulls out your nail kit when having a girls’ day out? Do you always receive compliments on the nail designs you come up with? If this sounds like you then becoming a manicurist and pedicurist could be a great way for you turn your hobby into a dream job. Read more to find out how a career as a manicurist and pedicurist might be the perfect fit for you!

What is a Manicurist/Pedicurist?

A manicurist/pedicurist is someone who provides nail services for their clients. Nail polish is only one part of what manicurists and pedicurists can offer. In addition to painting a client’s nails, a manicurist/pedicurist should know how to apply numerous other nail techniques in a safe and efficient way. You should know how to shape, smooth and clean nails to make the client feel as pampered as possible. People often come to a nail salon to escape the hardships of their day so be ready for expectations of some good old relaxing hand and foot massages.

What Does a Manicurist/Pedicurist Do?

As a manicurist/pedicurist you will be working with the client’s hands and feet. That means you’ll be dealing with the client directly, so good communication is a must. You’ll want to feel comfortable giving your clients any advice relating to their nails. This can vary between how to safely care for them to what nail trends are popular at the time. Of course, you’ll also need to know the practical skills of cleaning and designing nails. Some daily duties of manicurists and pedicurists are:

  • Talk with clients about nail care and services available
  • Remove nail polish and rough skin
  • Clean, trim and file nails
  • Moisturize and massage hands and feet
  • Polish and buff nails

One of the most important duties that a manicurist/pedicurist will provide is proper safety. You will be working with an arsenal of tools to help the client have nails that are both healthy and beautiful. Many of the tools you will use are sharp and require constant cleaning to avoid infection. Your client’s safety should always come first!

What Skills Does a Manicurist/Pedicurist Need?

Those hoping to become a manicurist/pedicurist need nail care and design skills. You should also have some business skills if you’re the type of person who likes to lead and want to manage your own salon. Even if you don’t want to own a nail salon, business skills can help you effectively keep client retention.

You will be working directly with your client so it’s important that you are able to efficiently communicate in a way that makes them feel comfortable. Remember that, like a hair salon, people come in expecting a good manicurist and pedicurist to carry on a conversation. Being a good listener for your clients can often be the difference that leads to follow-up appointments. Some skills you’ll need as a manicurist and pedicurist are:

  • Communication skills
  • To provide advice and application of nail services
  • Knowledge of proper safety and sanitation
  • Proper hand and foot massage techniques
  • Business skills

A manicurist and pedicurist should also be ready if a client has no idea what she wants. Not everyone knows what kind of nail designs would work best for them. So prepare to let your creativity soar. Keep in mind the client’s skin tone to help you choose the color if you’re struggling to come up with something. One of the most satisfying parts of being a manicurist/pedicurist is when you create a nail design that both you and your client love!

Where Can a Manicurist/Pedicurist Work?

You may be thinking that a manicurist/pedicurist can only work in nail salons, but that can’t be further from the truth. In reality, manicurists and pedicurists can work in a variety of places. Some of the places you can work in are:

  • Nail or hair salons
  • Cruise ships
  • Spas
  • Resorts
  • Country clubs
  • Health and personal care stores

There are so many options available if you don’t want to work in a standard nail salon. It all depends on you and which working environment you feel most comfortable in.
interior of a nail salon with white counters and blue walls

How Can I Become a Manicurist/Pedicurist?

In Michigan, Tennessee, and Illinois a license is required to have a career as a manicurist and pedicurist. At Douglas J Aveda Institute we offer a cosmetology program at all six of our locations. As part of our program you’ll be tested on a variety of skills that you will need to become a manicurist/pedicurist. Proper sanitation, applying artificial nails, and hand and foot massage techniques are just some of the skills you’ll learn from our program. Our program will also cover business skills so you can be prepared for whichever route in nail care you want to pursue. Contact us today to learn more about our cosmetology program and how it can help turn your hobby into a dream job!

Here’s a sneak peak at some of the responsibilities and nail treatments that Manicurists and Pedicurists provide:

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